How to Clean an AC Drain

Each air conditioning unit installed in a house has a drain line. The purpose of the drain line is to eliminate the condensation that builds up inside the air conditioner unit and outside your home. Without proper cleaning, however, mold and dirt will clog the drain line and not allow condensation to drain properly. This can lead to water damage in your home caused by the air conditioner leaking water from the unit.


  1. Turn on the air conditioner unit and disconnect the power source. If the air conditioning unit is connected to electricity, turn off the circuit breaker.
  2. Unscrew the front panel of the air conditioning unit. Put the screws in a safe place. Each make and model of the air conditioning unit is different and, depending on the model, you may only need to slide the front panel of the unit. Find the drain line, usually located near the bottom of the pain drain and below the condenser coil, and disconnect it from the unit.
  3. Attach a nozzle fitting to the water hose. The joint must fit perfectly in the drainage line. Attach the nozzle to the end of the drain line you just disconnected. Secure the other end of the water hose to a tap.
  4. Find the end of the air conditioning drain line that leaves your house. Ask a friend or family member to stay near the end of the line. He will be able to tell if the water is flowing out properly.
  5. Turn on the water of the hose connected to the drain line and let the water flow through the line for several minutes. The water will clean the lines and push out any obstruction. Remove the water hose from the drain pipe.
  6. Place the tip of a funnel inside the drain line. Pour equal parts of hot water and chlorine bleach into the funnel. The chlorine mixture will clean the drain and kill any mold present on the line.
  7. Wait 15 to 20 minutes before reconnecting the water hose to the drain line. Rinse the drain line with the hose water for several minutes. Turn off the hose and remove from the drain line. Reconnect the drain line and secure the front panel in place.
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