A/C drain line plugged, what to clear it with?

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Hey,thanks Chris. 10% sounds good. A couple days after my op, I got a bag of Power Shock from a pool store, which is 73% calciumhypochlorite. Had no idea of how much to use, but the entire 1# bag was supposed to treat 16500 gallons of water, which would return to normal Ph (sp?) after about 8 hours. Figured that worked out to 27 mg/gallon, so I measured 1/10 of a gram into a gallon jug and filled it half way with water (something like 1.7 % chlorine, I *think*.) Smelled exactly like the air around a pool. Poured that into the inlet I installed 10 years ago and let it drain. Finally decided this morning to quit fooling around and mixed up a half-gallon of 7% stuff (1 gram in a half-gallon of warm water) and am about to add it to the drain pan through the inlet I put in (don't know what else to call it.) Hopefully, this will clean out the crud growing in the line, which I will determine by whether or not I can close the 1/4 turn valve I also put in 10 years ago. Maybe after this I will remember to flush it out every six months or so, and avoid the whole problem further down the line. Maybe make it a New Year's thing, and do it when the new calendars come out. If it works well, I won't bother weighing the chemical in the future, and will just dump a level 1/4 tsp (which is about 1 gram) into the jug and add water before letting it set for a bit to dissolve. Am only typing all this to let people know what I am doing, in case it comes in handy for anyone else.
Don't *think* I got any of this backwards, but if anyone has questions don't hesitate to ask. It might take me a day or two to answer though.
Take it easy...
Dave
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Of course, you do realize that 10% means one part of clorox bleach out of the jug, and 9 parts water? Sorry, I didn't give you reference points, there.
I think the concoction you made was a wee bit too strong. Part of the problem, is that pouring clorox into the evaporator pan makes the house smell like a swimming pool. But, it does cut down on microbes.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
Hey,thanks Chris. 10% sounds good. A couple days after my op, I got a bag of Power Shock from a pool store, which is 73% calcium hypochlorite. Had no idea of how much to use, but the entire 1# bag was supposed to treat 16500 gallons of water, which would return to normal Ph (sp?) after about 8 hours. Figured that worked out to 27 mg/gallon, so I measured 1/10 of a gram into a gallon jug and filled it half way with water (something like 1.7 % chlorine, I *think*.) Smelled exactly like the air around a pool. Poured that into the inlet I installed 10 years ago and let it drain. Finally decided this morning to quit fooling around and mixed up a half-gallon of 7% stuff (1 gram in a half-gallon of warm water) and am about to add it to the drain pan through the inlet I put in (don't know what else to call it.) Hopefully, this will clean out the crud growing in the line, which I will determine by whether or not I can close the 1/4 turn valve I also put in 10 years ago. Maybe after this I will remember to flush it out every six months or so, and avoid the whole problem further down the line. Maybe make it a New Year's thing, and do it when the new calendars come out. If it works well, I won't bother weighing the chemical in the future, and will just dump a level 1/4 tsp (which is about 1 gram) into the jug and add water before letting it set for a bit to dissolve. Am only typing all this to let people know what I am doing, in case it comes in handy for anyone else.
Don't *think* I got any of this backwards, but if anyone has questions don't hesitate to ask. It might take me a day or two to answer though.
Take it easy...
Dave
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Dave-
My ten year old system suddenly started leaking all over the garage last year. Due to its construction/installation, it is not practical to access the evaporator pan.
I cut into the PVC drain and installed a coupling as close to the pan as I could. I had a slender plastic tool lined with barbs intended for removing hair from a sink drain, and fed it into the pan. There was no sign of anything there, so I assumed the pipe was blocked further downstream.
I now realize there is a trap under the house near where it exits to the outside. That is probably where it was clogged. It is hard to tell if it was clogged by an algae, or if a lizard had crawled in and died.
I took half of another PVC coupling and capped it with a plug. I drilled and tapped the plug for 1/4" NPT pipe thread and installed a quick disconnect coupling for an air hose. Connecting the coupling where I had cut the PVC drain, I fed it with 100 PSI from a portable air tank. That seems to have cleaned out the pipe. It has been draining nicely ever since.
I agree that a ten percent bleach solution should prevent growth of the algae, but I plan to just blow mine out once a year. If it should clog up in less than a years time, then I'll look at using a bleach solution after blowing it out.
Fred
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I've been using a solution of 1 part bleach, 3 parts water and running about a gallon of it through my condensate drain line forever (it may not be as efficient as the new systems but my AC was installed in 1973) I made an opening in my duct that allows me access to the drain pan. I pour the mixture in the drain pan and verify that it comes out the other end. I do this each year at the start of the season. Living in the NE the AC obviously doesn't get the same workout as in the hotter climate. MLD
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Dave wrote:

Last summer, I figured that the drain line for the A/C unit at $Dayjob was blocked when water started leaking out of the plenum and dripping onto things that shouldn't get wet (like the fan motor, etc).
The drain line is plumbed with 1/2" copper pipe that runs out and down the cabinet to the floor, and then a few feet where it stops at a floor drain.
We have a small compressor that is used to charge a 5-gallon steel air tank. I charged the tank to 100 psi, connected an air blow-gun to the tank, wrapped a small rag around the nozzle of the gun and shoved the nozzle-rag into the end of the copper line and pressed the trigger. When I removed the nozzle, a flood of water ran out of the tube as the condensate pan drained.
Problem solved.
No messing with chemicals, no taking-apart-of-the-plenum to access the condensate pan, etc.
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Dave wrote:

First, no amount of straight bleach will hurt anything. I dump a couple of cups of Clorox in the system each year. For a few hours the house smell like a hospital. The screams from the algae colonies aren't too bad.
Second, you can get a biocide that comes in a block about the size of a candy bar. You put it in the condensate area and it s-l-o-w-l-y releases a substance that posions algae (Kobolthorium-G, I think).
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In water reservoirs, algae in the lake, and green growth around the edges is killed by using copper chloride. Usually dispensed in beautiful blue crystals dropped into the lake.and then yes we drink that.
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I've been told that is slime mold. White in color, in suspension in drinking water [like a contaminated bottle purchased at the store] itlooks like someone had a cold and spit in the water. If you have this in your A/C, you probably have a white jelly ring around the inside of all of your toilet tanks, too.
Bleach is great for instantly killing slime mold, making it break up, release, and fall off. Like a stream into the tank - BUT straight bleach is caustic, and the fumes released are caustic, so rinse afterwards with dilute bleach to 'neutralize' everything.
The concern of your wife's advisor is that fumes from breakdown into gas form will eat aluminum parts. But, a flash of bleach followed by rinsing will prevent that type of damage.
Don't know why valve does not close.
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I'll roger that! Brief contact, rinse well.
Christopher A. Young Learn more about Jesus www.lds.org .
The concern of your wife's advisor is that fumes from breakdown into gas form will eat aluminum parts. But, a flash of bleach followed by rinsing will prevent that type of damage.
Don't know why valve does not close.
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If I get a stopped up drain line, I usually use the wet/dry shop vac. Take out the filter element of the vac so it will not get wet and then go to the outside of the house and hook up to the line and suck it out. I just wrap my hand around the gap between the hose of the vac and the smaller line. That is after I stick the smaller line about 6 inches to a foot in the larger line.
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Ralph Mowery wrote:

OUTSIDE the house?
In this part of the country, if a/c condensate is dripping outside the house that means the primary drain is clogged!
If the primary drain is not clogged, sucking on the overflow drain - the one going outside - does very little good at all.
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My central air (heat pump) has one drain line. The air handler is in a walk in basement. The yard has a lot of slope going away from the house. There is a deck that is about 10 feet off the ground and the drain pipe goes from a hole in the wall that is at ground level and out about 10 feet to the edge of the deck.
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What is this valve your talking about. I never looked into the drip pan. I got a pump I would like to bypass. Originally they fed into laundry tubs, old fashioned, where the water eats away at the cement like material. I dropped it to the floor drain.
Greg
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Suck the drain pipe out with an aqua vac, and put a Gel-clear tablet in the pan, end of problem. www.gel-clear.co.uk.
Your welcome!
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Dave and others. I just had the AC guy here to do my aircon. It was dripping water from underneath.
We went outside to the condensation drain line/pipe. He had a suction hand pump [ i have seen them in america called mighty pump]. A couple of go's...and out came the blockage scum.
now working great. Have also seen people use wet/dry vac with a bit of cloth on the pipe to get suction for about 18 seconds on utube.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

If you search the web, you may find recommendations to occasionally add bleach to the AC's condensation pan. This keeps the scum from growing.
Mine started leaking when it was around ten years old. I was able to install a coupling in the plastic drain pipe near the AC unit, and a compatible coupling connected to an air tank. Filling the tank to 100 PSI and then dumping it to the drain pipe, seems to clean out any blockage. I do that about once a year to keep the line clear.
Fred
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