Home Improvement

What To Do If AC Is Not Draining?

Air conditioners work by eliminating moisture from indoor air to keep the house comfortable. The moisture leaves through the drain line to the outside of the building. However, if your ductless air conditioner fails to drain the water, it affects the performance of the unit. Let’s take a look at some reasons contributing to the issue and how you can prevent them in the future.

Disconnected Drain Line

If your air conditioner is failing to drain moisture, the first thing you need to check is the drain line. With time, the drain line tends to clog due to dirt and debris. In that case, the water will simply fail to flow through the pipe. It could also be that some connections are loose due to poor installation.

Try connecting the loose ends to see if the issue gets fixed. If not, chances are that the drain line is blocked. Unblock it by consulting the user manual to become familiar with the steps.

Clogged Drain Line

Another reason contributing to drain failure is dust and debris from the condensate. Try using bleach or a wet/dry vacuum to suck the clog out. Plus, grab a thin wire and poke the clog until the pipe unclogs. If the AC has not been maintained in a while, the blockage might be serious.

Worst-case scenario? You might have to change the drain line. Depending on the air conditioner, the process might be slightly complicated requiring a professional’s touch.

Rust In Drain Pan

Rust in the drain pan is a common issue with old air conditioners. If there is rust on your drain pan, it might prevent water from flowing to the drain line. The reason is that a rusty drain pan might have cracks or holes causing water to leak.

In this case, you should replace the drain pan. However, if the drain pan seems fine, you should use a hard brush with a cleaning agent to thoroughly clean it before reinstalling it.

Malfunctioning Condensate Pump

A condensate pump is a component located inside the air conditioner that pushes the moisture to the drain line. If the condensate pump tends to be malfunctioning, the moisture will not be able to make it through the drain line.

There could be several reasons why the condensate pump could malfunction. Then again, you will need to consult HVAC repair services Huntington and maybe replace the component.

Frozen Evaporator Coil

Air conditioners come equipped with condenser and evaporator coils that work together to produce warm and cool air. If you are living in a region that experiences extreme winter conditions, frozen evaporator coils tend to be a normal situation.

In such cases, modern air conditioners tend to activate the defrost function. If you observe that the evaporator coils of your air conditioner are still freezing, it might be causing the draining issue. As a result, the water will simply leak instead of exiting through the drain line.

Secondly, frozen evaporator coils can easily become damaged if they are left ignored. If the defrost function is not very effective, you should use lukewarm water to help melt the layers of ice.

Dirty Or Damaged Coils

In addition to coils freezing, dirt and dust happen to be the worst enemies causing coil failures. While cleaning the air filters is a necessary and basic part of maintenance, ensuring the coils are free of layers of dust and dirt is also equally important.

Coils help dissipate heat. If they are covered with layers of dust and dirt, the heat will simply not escape and will overheat the coils. As a result, the AC system performance will decrease leading to a permanent failure of the coils as well.

Keep in mind that condenser coils could be expensive to replace. So, when it is time to maintain your air conditioner, make sure to clean the coils during the process.

What Are The Signs Of AC Drain Line Being Clogged?

Puddles Of Water

One of the most common signs of an AC drain line being clogged is puddles of water. You will notice standing water on the floor. If the drain line happens to be clogged, the condensate pan will not be able to empty, causing the water to leak onto the ground. This means there is a clog somewhere in the air conditioner.

Water Damage

If the water does not exit through the drain line, it will leak and find a place to rest. As the water continues to collect, it will travel down to different areas of the house and cause mold in the walls or floorboards. So, if you observe that your walls and floorboards look suspicious, you should investigate if there is a water leakage issue.

Simply follow the trail of water and if it leads to the air conditioner, it surely means there is a blockage

Moldy Smell

A moldy smell is another sign that your air conditioner has a clog. In some cases, the smell takes time to be identified due to a clogged drain pipe, extra condensation, or a filled condensation drain pan. The growth does not take place overnight. In some cases, it might take a few days.

However, as soon as you notice the smell, you should turn off the air conditioner and try to investigate. In most cases, a clogged drain line comes out to be the issue. So, that should be your first point of concern.

How To Prevent AC Clogged Drain Issues?

The best way to prevent clogging issues is to provide professional maintenance to your air conditioner. Air conditioner maintenance depends on the usage frequency and the location of the air conditioner. If the air conditioner is used most of the year, then professional maintenance at least once or twice will suffice.

Furthermore, if the air conditioner is surrounded by trees, bushes, and other natural items, you will need to keep an eye on dead leaves, branches, shrubs, etc. The reason is these things can make their way inside the outdoor unit during thunderstorms and other extreme weather conditions causing damage to the components.

Therefore, you need to make sure the outdoor unit is clean and clear from debris and is installed away from trees and plants.

Should I Consult A Professional Each Time?

Consulting a professional when it comes to solving drainage and other issues ensures that your air conditioner is in safe hands. In most cases, homeowners attempt to fix issues on their own in order to save money but it ends up damaging the components.

This is why consulting a professional is like investing in your air conditioner. It will work smoothly for years to come without minor or major issues. Otherwise, air conditioners tend to become problematic after a few years if not maintained properly.

Therefore, instead of trying to save a few bucks, get your air conditioner maintained and fixed by an expert who knows the ins and outs of the unit.


In the end, drainage issues in air conditioners are minor in most cases but can turn major if left ignored. Keep the tips mentioned above if you happen to come across such a situation in the future. And, if the issue seems complicated, do not hesitate to call a AC repair services Smithtown.

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