Air Conditioners

Why is An Air Conditioner Not Draining Water?

An air conditioner is that one appliance we all appreciate during the hot summer. It ensures we get to enjoy cooler our homes the way we like. It lowers the room temperature to a comfortable level no matter the temperature outside. The best part is, it does also help remove the dangerous levels of humidity in the air.

But for you to enjoy these benefits, the air conditioner has to operate optimally, and that includes making sure it drains water. If it’s not, there may be an issue with the cooling system, blocked drain, or rusted drain. The coils might also be dirty, damaged, or frozen. Those are the main reasons why an air conditioner won’t be draining water.

If your air conditioner is having this problem, this post will help you troubleshoot it and probably assist in fixing it. The problem might be easy to fix with simple DIY skills. Read along to know if it’s a problem you can attend to and save some cash or if it’s an issue that needs a pro to remedy—either way; it has to be attended to as quickly as possible.

Why Should You Be Concerned If Your Air Conditioner Isn’t Draining water?

For the AC to cool down the air in your room, it passes it through copper fins or coils with cold refrigerant in them. When cooled down, the moisture in the air is turned down into the water, which drops out through a drain.

The water has to find a way to avoid accumulating in the air conditioner and causing stagnant water. If it accumulates in the unit, it can compromise the AC’s hygiene and compromise the air quality. And it could get worse when the molds start growing.

And know this, the water condensation increases as the air conditioning process continues. It does even increase the rate when the air becomes more humid. At the high humidity levels, the water will accumulate quite first.

It would be best to make sure the water gets out of the system before bacteria grow in the unit. Besides, the issue of your air conditioner not draining water could be an underlying problem with the condensation coil. It would be best to check it or high AC technicians for the job.

If you decide to do it yourself, the following are some pointers that will guide you.

How to Fix Air Conditioner Not Draining Water

If you suspect your air conditioner isn’t draining water, it calls for immediate action to be taken to prevent further damage. Here is a list of possible causes of the problem and how you can fix them.

Disconnected Drain Line

One of the obvious reasons why your air conditioner isn’t draining water is a disconnected drain. That would probably the first place to check when troubleshooting the problem.

With all the vibrations during AC operation, the drain line could get disconnected. It might also be caused by improper installation.

Check and make sure it’s tight; your unit might start draining again. If the drain line is okay and nothing is draining out, it might be this next possible culprit.

Clogged Drain Line

When the drain line gets clogged, it will block the water from dropping out of the air conditioner. The blockage could dust and debris produced by the condensate. Here is how to tell if your air conditioner drain line is clogged:

  • You will start seeing water where it should not be, especially in the air conditioner’s drain pan.
  • You might also see water collecting near the air conditioner itself.
  • Your AC might start to produce some moldy smell.
  • There might also be water damage near the AC unit or on your roof.

A clogged air conditioner drain line can do more damage than you think. It can cause damage to your home, lead to mold and bacteria growth or even cause structural foundation weakening, including your roof. That’s why making sure it’s not a leak can save you costly repairs to your AC unit and your house as well.

How Can You Unclog an AC Drain Line

Unclogging an air conditioner drain line isn’t rocket science. You can even do it in few minutes if lucky less than five minutes, especially if you have a wet/dry vacuum.

The first step you will want to take is to turn off the air conditioner as a safety measure. You can then move to find the drain line direct access and runoff to remove the clog.

The unit’s access should look like a vertical pipe that comes with a cap. It should be near the unit’s indoor air handler. The runoff should be another PVC unit located near your AC’s outdoor unit.

Now comes the practical part; wrap a duct tape or towel around your wet/dry vacuum mouth and create a seal around it.

Attach the vac’s hose to the drain line end and run it for a minute or two. You should be able to remove the clog that easily.

If you start to see a flow of dirty or brownish water draining out, you succeeded.

But if you don’t have access to a wet/dry vac, you can use a garden hose as a substitute and attach it to the unit’s condensate drain. Turn on high for few seconds and do it few times to make sure the clogging matter loosens up.

If you can remove the clog, calling a professional can be the best move for you. An expert should help save you from all the hassle.

How to Prevent Future Clogs

These clogs are easier to prevent than you might think. All you need is to pour some bleach into the condensate drain.

The bleach prevents the algae and mildew from growing inside the drain line. That will allow the air conditioner to operate optimally without any clogging issues.

It’d also be best to use high-quality HEPA filters that you clean and replace frequently. These air filters trap debris and dirt that are the leading cause of the clog.

Rusty Drain Pan

There is the chance of the drain pan getting all worn out and rusty for the old air conditioners. If you see rust or wear on the drain pan, it might be causing some problems with water draining out. In such a case, it’d be best to replace it.

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

Another problem that could be leading to your air conditioner not draining water is an issue with the condensate pump. This is the unit that pushes the moisture from the air condensate to the AC drain line. If that is the issue, you’ll have to call a technician to do the repairs.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Air conditioner evaporator coil can freeze for any reason, and if it does, it can lead to water damage, which can leak around rather than draining out.

If you have this problem, you can troubleshoot it by looking for leaks. If you confirm the problem, the water can lead to significant issues.

The best option here is to hire a professional AC technician to do the fixing.

Dirty or Damaged Coil

When dirt builds up in the coil, it can prevent condensation or prevent the water from flowing in the AC drain line. The same problem could occur if the coil is broken.

When the freezing coil is broken, the condensation won’t occur, and eventually, there will be no water draining out.

A regular air conditioner can help avoid this problem, but you’ll need to sort after a professional to fix the problem when it does.

How Often Should You Check Your AC Unit for Water Draining Issues?

It would be best if you had a monthly schedule of checking the condensate drain all summer to make sure it drains the water properly.

If the unit wasn’t draining right, there could be an issue that would cost you a lot to restore the water damage and the unit’s repairs.

Related Questions

Can you use an air conditioner as an air dehumidifier?

Yes, if the room’s humidity levels are slightly high. A dehumidifier takes away the humidity in the air and reduces it to the ideal levels. And with an Air Conditioner also taking away some moisture from the air, it can work to some extent as a dehumidifier.

Air Conditioner Not Draining Water – the Simple Fix

If your air conditioner is not draining water, its water draining line is disconnected, clogged, or damaged, which you can fix with a wet cloth wrapped on a wet-dry vac or a garden hose. It could also be caused by a frozen, dirty, or damaged coil, which would force you to hire a professional for the job. An AC contractor can schedule maintenance routine checks to monitor your unit even when you forget. It can make all sense if you decide to go that route.

About the author

Sharif Hasan

I am Sharif a data-driven marketer by profession and run The Spruce Air. I am very interested in keeping good-quality air inside of my home. Besides, I love to share my air-related knowledge through my website.

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