It’s common to experience warm temperatures in the summer.

But in Arizona, summers aren’t just warm. They’re hot.

Average temperatures for Scottsdale, Arizona will reach into triple digits for all of June, July, and August.

Such heat makes air conditioning more than just a luxury.

It’s a necessity if you want to function during these summer months in Arizona.

So you can imagine the amount of panic that ensues when an AC begins to blow warm air on the hottest of days.

AC condensate line issues can cause such a problem for homeowners.

You can help yourself out by freeing a clogged AC line.

You can also take steps to prevent the same problems from happening in the future.

By the time you’ve finished reading this article, you will understand the signs of a clogged AC line, ways to clean the AC condensate line, and methods for preventing a clogged AC condensation drain line.

AC Condensate Line Issues

Several things can cause your AC to blow warm air.

But there are a few telltale signs that will indicate you have a clogged AC line.

Indoor air will move through your evaporate coil when you run your AC.

Moisture tracks dirt, dust, and other airborne particles.

This debris will eventually build up and stick in the condensate lines as the condensation drains.

A qualified HVAC technician will know to look for a clogged drain line immediately when you have one of these problems:

  • Standing water near your indoor unit
  • Moldy smells near the indoor unit
  • Musty smells coming from your registers or vents
  • Water damage near the indoor unit
  • A warm house and an AC that can’t keep up
  • An AC that seizes up and won’t turn on

All of these problems whether they’re isolated or combined indicate a problem with a clogged air conditioner line.

Qualified HVAC service technicians will fix your drain line if you’re unable to.

Fixing the Clogged AC Condensate Drain Line

When your HVAC tech arrives, they will run through some basic steps. Here’s what you can expect.

Turn Off the AC Power

First and foremost, whether you’re working on your unit or a technician is working on it, you should turn off the power supply.

The pros know it’s not safe to work on a powered AC unit.

Drain Pan Check

Next, the technician will locate and check the drain pan for standing water.

They will then soak the water up with rags or suck it out with a wet vac.

If you don’t clean the drain pan, you create an environment ripe for mold.

If you have mold in your drain pan or anywhere near your AC, the spores can go airborne through your AC system and make your entire household sick.

Thus it’s essential to check and clean the drain pan.

Unclog the Line

Next, the technician will remove the debris from the drain pipe opening and AC line.

Often a technician will use a shop vac or wet vac to suck the debris from the line.

They may also use a plumber’s snake or a garden hose to rinse the line.

If the technician succeeds, they will find a dark mass in their vacuum.

They will have sucked up this mass of debris from the line.

They can then test the line by pouring clean water through the line and watching it flow out.

Clean the Line

An old drain line can easily accumulate more than just a random piece of debris.

It may also have mold growing in it.

To clean it, a technician will pour a cleaning agent like vinegar into it to kill the bacteria and prevent mold growth.

Then the technician will put all the parts back together and turn the power on.

If a clogged condensate line was your problem, your AC should be blowing cold air once again.

Other Major Condensate Issues

Sometimes the problem isn’t just a clogged line.

Because the condensate line deals with moisture, it can easily have problems specific to moisture.


Mold grows most ideally in warm, damp areas.

We’ve already established that Scottsdale, Arizona has ridiculously warm summer temperatures.

Thus AC units in the Scottsdale area are prone to mold because of their moisture and heat combination.

The mold can cause illness to anyone in the household.

It’s important to keep that drain line clean so you don’t have mold growing and causing illness.

Ultimately, we have mold all around us and can’t stop it.

Some people experience severe symptoms while others have basic allergy-like symptoms like itching eyes and runny noses.

Regardless, anytime you can control mold, you should.

In this case, you can easily control the mold by cleaning the condensate line regularly.

Dirty Trap

Your condensate line will have a trap below it.

Your trap can sustain a blockage as well or dry out completely if water isn’t flowing through it.

Mold, fungus, and mildew will then grow in it.

At this point, you’ll notice funky sewer smells and gasses backing up into your house.

Keep your trap cleaned and maintained to avoid this problem.


When you have a blocked condensate drain line, the condensate pan will fill with water and then overflow.

You’ll have water damage to your drywall and floor as well as your AC equipment.

Preventing Problems

You can prevent a disaster such as a clogged AC condensate line if you do a few basic things.

Begin by checking your line regularly. Then do these things:

  • Change air filters at least every 30 days
  • Use quality air filters
  • Clean drain by pouring bleach into it every three months

In addition to these basic steps, you should have an AC maintenance technician give your AC a tune-up once a year before the hottest months set in.

Stay Calm, Stay Cool

AC condensate line issues may cause temporary concerns.

But now that you know how to fix them, you should feel a sense of calm knowing you can stay cool this summer.

Know the signs for a clogged line, and call an AC expert to clear your line and have your AC functioning once again.

Are you looking for a qualified AC repair service company in Scottsdale?

If so, contact us. Our experienced technicians are ready to help you with all your AC issues, whether you need a tune-up before that scorching Arizona weather worsens or if you need a repair to get your house cool again.


Are you having AC condensate line issues? We can help you troubleshoot and repair any AC issues that you are experiencing. The team at Scottsdale Air Heating & Cooling has been serving the valley for over 75 years! Call 480-945-7200 or request service online! …*Yes, We DO offer Financing Options.

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