How To Clean AC Drain Line With Air Compressor?

How to clean AC Drain line with air compressor

The air conditioner is indispensable to any household in the hot summer. It not only beats the heat but also makes the air circulation inside your house.

However, a dirty air conditioner line will spread bacteria and hinder its cooling capacity. So, in this post, I will instruct you on how to clean an AC drain line with an air compressor.

The methods below are straightforward and simple to carry out. Just follow the steps carefully, and your air conditioner will remain like new.

Can You Use an Air Compressor To Clean Ac Drain Line?

The answer is yes. Using an air compressor is actually a prevalent method to clean the air conditioner line.

Due to its powerful airflow (around 800 PSI), the air compressor can unclog the condensate lines in large constructions.

However, since the airflow is way too strong, it can actually damage the small components in your air conditioner line. When the small joints get damaged, it’s very hard and costly to repair your air conditioner.

Therefore, there will always be a small risk that the air compressor damages your AC drain line.

If possible, you should use small AC with less power to reduce this potential risk.

Cleaning The Air Conditioner

How To Clean Ac Drain Line With Air Compressor?

As I discussed above, there is an associated risk when you use compressed air for cleaning the AC drain line. In this section, I will instruct you on cleaning the drain line safely using the air compressor.

I will highlight alternative solutions with less risk of cleaning the AC drain line. You should pick a suitable method depending on the tools you have on hand.

Method 1: Using Compressed Air From Air Compressor

Obviously, you will need a small air compressor to clean wet or dry conditioners.

The first step is to locate the location of the AC drip pan. It’s most likely in the bottom of your air handler.

Slowly remove the pan and drain the inner water with your air compressor. You should take the pan out entirely for this task. Wash the pan thoroughly in hot water with soup to remove the built-up clog.

The next step is using compressed air to clean the conditioner’s drain line.

You may put the air compressor on one end of the drain line and start blasting compressed air inside.

The suction power will slowly remove the clog and blast them out of the drain line through the other end. You should wait until the drain line is completely clean of clogs and move on to the next step.

Finally, pour in the drain line a mixture of vinegar water and soup (around one gallon is sufficient). While compressed air can remove the clogs and dirt, it cannot kill the algae and mold forming inside.

The vinegar mixture can effectively kill the mold and bacteria while preventing them from building up in the future.

Small AC should Do The Trick

Method 2: Using A Dry Or Wet Vacuum

What if you don’t have an air compressor at hand, or the device is too powerful for your air conditioner? In this case, a dry/wet vacuum is the best alternative.

The vacuum is normally less powerful than the air compressors. In addition, they allow users to flexibly adjust the vacuum power, thus reducing the risk of damaging the conditioner’s joints.

You should choose vacuum cleaners with at least 90 CFM in power. They can effectively wipe out the clops without damaging your conditioner’s inner parts.

Method 3: Applying Chemicals And Mold Fighting Substances

The compressed air can remove the dirt and clogs, but it seems ineffective in killing off the mold and bacteria forming inside the conditioner. For the rusty conditioner drain line, you must apply harsher solutions.

One way is using mold-fighting chemicals bought in the grocery stores. Just mix the substance with water following the product’s instructions and pour the mixture into the drain line to clean.

Using A Vacuum Cleaner

Tips For Preventing Clogs In Your Ac Drain Line

Built-up dust is the main factor that clogs your AC drain line.

It’s impossible to prevent the dust from forming, so the only solution is to frequently clean the air filters of the device.

Cleaning the air filter will remove and prevent dust from forming, thus enabling the air conditioner to operate at its optimal capacity. For busy people, you should clean the air filter at least once a week.

Another tip is to frequently clean the drain line with warm water. It will flush and remove the clogs out of the line. You can also mix warm water with extra vinegar to kill off the mold and bacteria inside.

If you don’t have much time for cleaning, consider installing a condensate trap.

This small component can trap the dust and bacteria before they can enter the conditioner’s drain line.

If you want more helpful tips on preventing the clogs in the conditioner, consider watching this video to learn more.


What Cause Clogs?

The conditioner produces water flow that contains air particles and tiny bacteria.

When the water flow circulates through the drain line, the air particles and bacteria will attach to the line surface to form mold, algae, and clogs.

How To Identify A Clog?

When the drain line gets clogged, the air conditioner will immediately identify the issue and shut down its engine. However, some older AC models don’t support this automatic feature.

If you see dirty water emitting through the conditioner’s vents or ceiling, then the chance of a clogged drain line is very high.

In this situation, you should instantly turn off the machine to clean it.

Final Thoughts

So that’s the easy solution and instructions on cleaning the AC drain line with an air compressor.

Ensure that you turn off the device completely to prevent electrical accidents to the machine.

I hope that you are satisfied with the instructions provided in this post.

Thank you for reading!

Read more: How To Fill A Paintball Tank With An Air Compressor?

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