News, Tips & Tricks

HVAC • Indoor Air Quality • Cooling & Heating

AC Drain Pan Full Of Water? + 3 Preventative Tips

October 13th, 2021 | Cooling & Heating, Tips & Tricks

Keeping your home functioning at its best year-round is what we’re all about at AirMAX Heating & Air. 

With over 20 years of experience to our name, our family-owned and operated company is a trusted HVAC repair provider serving Charleston, SC, and beyond! 

Our comprehensive air and heating services include everything from AC repair and AC tune-up to heating system upgrades upon request. 

While we proudly service Charleston, SC homes, we also provide quality service to homeowners across the region, including James Island, Daniel Island, and Mt. Pleasant. 

We realize just how important it is to pair impeccable service with upstanding customer care standards, so we make sure to prioritize both at every turn. 

Over the years, we’ve been able to help our customers handle all kinds of issues related to their AC. One of the most common complaints from homeowners is suddenly discovering their AC drain pan full of water. 

Fortunately, we can help.

There are several common reasons this happens in homes across Charleston, SC. Taking a few simple preventative measures can help reduce the frequency. 

Let’s take a look at what it all means.


What Homeowners Might Encounter

It’s not uncommon for us to hear from homeowners who have spent a long day at work only to come home and discover water spilling over the top of their air conditioner’s drain pan. 

It’s a frustrating moment that can leave you wondering what you’re supposed to do to prevent overflow and the costly damage that it might cause. 

Here’s the one thing that you can know for sure: Anytime an AC drain pan is full of water, it’s a sure sign that you need a professional to come out and take a look at the unit. 

Water buildup is a symptom of an underlying condition that will likely require repair.


What Causes Water to Fill the AC Drain Pan?

The primary culprit behind standing water in an AC drain pan is often a clogged drainpipe. Understanding what the condensate drain line does makes it a bit easier to see why this might occur. 

A condensate drain line plays an important role in how your AC functions. It can disrupt the effectiveness of the entire system when things go wrong, and the pipe gets clogged.

This line works in tandem with the AC’s evaporator coil, which produces condensation. 

The drain line is linked to the coil and is responsible for removing that condensation by draining it from the air handler towards the outside of the property.

Unfortunately, this collection of evaporator coils, drains, and pipes inside the AC unit provides a place for mold and algae to grow over time. 

The conditions within these mechanisms are just right for breeding different microorganisms. If left unattended for long enough, debris, algae, and mold can effectively clog the drain. 

A clogged drain quickly leads to inefficient drainage. This type of blockage ultimately leads to that pan full of water that homeowners notice. 

While a clogged drain is common, it needs to be addressed relatively quickly.  A drain that continues to remain clogged can lead to more severe and costly mechanical issues with the entire AC unit.


Call the Experts for Quality AC Repair

Homeowners in Charleston, SC, who notice an AC drain pain filled with water will want to make sure to call the AirMAX Heating & Air professionals as soon as possible. 

Our team of experienced and detail-oriented technicians can pinpoint the problem quickly and get repairs underway just as fast. 

Once one of our technicians arrives, the unclogging process can begin. 

While it’s refreshingly simple to clear out an AC drain, it does require adherence to certain safety standards. For this reason, it’s always recommended to let a trained technician handle the job.

Before moving forward with anything, the technicians will make sure the power supply to the AC unit is turned off. 

Our team member will thoroughly inspect the unit tubing to determine whether any cracks or leaks in the drain contribute to the buildup of water in the pan. If damage is found, the technician will likely recommend a drain replacement.

If a crack or leak isn’t detected, the underlying issue is likely algae and mold buildup. We will remove standing water with a wet-dry vacuum before removing the drain PVC cap.

Once the drain is exposed, the technician can access and remove the problematic clog using a specialized wire brush. 

The drain will be carefully cleaned and sanitized to remove any residue on the walls that could accumulate and cause future problems. When the clog is cleared and the drain is clean, we can replace the PVC cap. A technician will always test the drain’s efficiency before leaving. 


Can I Prevent This From Happening?

After we fix an AC drain clog, many homeowners ask us what they can do to prevent the problem in the future. 

We’re happy to provide a few simple preventative steps to take. 

Preventative Tip #1: Schedule Regular AC Maintenance

Scheduling regular maintenance for your AC unit is very important. It’s recommended that HVAC systems be serviced once before summer and again before winter.

This simple step can extend the lifespan of an AC unit significantly and ensures that clogs will be caught long before standing water is an issue.

Preventative Tip #2: Flush Your Drain Line 

This DIY strategy isn’t vital or foolproof but can prove helpful in killing algae, mold and drain bacteria before it has a chance to accumulate. 

Consider pouring ¼ cup of distilled white vinegar into the drain line once a month.

Allowing the vinegar to sit for 30-minutes will generally suffice. Then flush the drain with water.

Preventative Tip #3: Consider an Energy-Efficient AC

AC units that have to work harder than necessary to provide temperature control to a home are not only frustrating but costly. 

The more often a unit has to turn on to cool things down, the more energy it uses and the more likely it will accumulate mold and algae in the drain line.  To this end, consider upgrading to an energy-efficient model when you’re looking to cut down on energy costs and avoid standing water in the drain pan simultaneously.


Call Us Today

When you notice standing water in your AC drain pan, the team at AirMAX Heating & Air is here to help. 

Call us today to schedule an appointment and learn more about our many HVAC repair, AC repair, and AC tune-up services in Charleston, SC, and beyond.

Call Today!843.614.3276

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