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How to Address Condensate Drain Problems

How to Address Condensate Drain Problems

On humid summer days, your air conditioner is doing double duty, not only cooling your home but also removing moisture that would otherwise make you feel sticky. That moisture condenses from vapor and is exhausted through a part of the A/C known as the condensate drain.

As with any other component of the air conditioner, things can go wrong with this drain. Here's some basic information for understanding condensate drain issues.


Over time, condensate drains can develop leaks, both in the line and in the drain pan. These parts should be checked regularly and replaced as needed so that you can avoid damaging leaks and even flooding.

The drains can also become plugged up by sludge composed of moisture, mold and dirt. Plugged drains likewise cause leaks and flooding.

Blocked Trap

Your drain has a trap similar to the kitchen or bathroom drain, where a U-shaped section of pipe holds water continuously, blocking gases from the sewer line. If the water supply to this trap becomes blocked and the trap dries out, gases may enter the home.


Your A/C's condensate drain stays moist most of the time. This sets up perfect conditions for the creation of mold. A malfunctioning blower or a dirty air filter can exacerbate these conditions, and before you know it, mold has colonized your air conditioner, and mold spores are being dispersed through the HVAC ductwork and into the home.

The best way to avoid any of these problems is to schedule regular HVAC maintenance every year. Your service tech should include the condensate drain in the inspection, checking for clogs, leaks and other issues.

Some homeowners with handyman skills feel competent to inspect the drain themselves, and use a wet/dry vacuum to clean out the sludge or blockage. Be sure if you do the work yourself, you're on the lookout for holes or other damage to the drain and the pan and have them replaced.To find out more about condensate drain issues, contact Air Assurance. We specialize in quality service to our customers in Broken Arrow and the surrounding area.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Credit/Copyright Attribution: “geralt/Pixabay”