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AC condensate line tips from home inspectors in Birmingham al
October 24th, 2017 8:45 PM

AC Condensate Line Tips From Home Inspectors In Birmingham AL

While doing our home inspections in Birmingham Alabama we are often asked about air conditioner maintenance. One of these best tips we can give is to get the air conditioner serviced and checked out by a professional. However, in addition too that, the owner of the air conditioning system can maintenance the condensation line himself! 

First though, what is the condensate line? 

If you go outside your house and walk around the perimeter you are likely to see a small white white pipe dripping. This pipe is usually close to the ground and near the exterior AC unit. These things are just general rules, as it can be discharged anywhere on the exterior and sometimes the pipe is small and clear instead of white. 

By the way, in case you are curious, the condensate line, discharges condensation that is made from the air conditioning process from the evaporator coil to the exterior. So this pipe is suppose to drip when the AC is on. 

The most common way to clean out the condensate line is to pour a small amount of bleach into the condensate line at the vent or entry point near the evaporator coil inside of the house. Always turn the unit off before cleaning the line out. Bleach is only to be used during the summer months as during the winter the bleach may eat away at the pvc pipe and the glues used to bind the pipe joints together. During the summer months, the condensate line also has liquid running through it regularly to help the bleach move through the pipe. Bleach can also kill the grass or plants wherever the condensate line discharges too. 

So if you cant use bleach year round, what can you use?

Vinegar! Distilled white vinegar is significantly less toxic than bleach but also does a good job of helping clean out the line. Usually a 1/4 of a cup will do it and flush it out with water.

It is recommended you do this monthly so the line will not back up and leak into the house!

If you are having issues or cannot find an access point to add the vinegar, call an HVAC technician and he can find it for you and install an access point as needed!

This is just one of the many things we have learned from doing home inspections in Birmingham Al! If you need a home inspection give us a call!