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Air Conditioners - Clearing The Drain Holes In The Air Conditioner Unit

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In order for your air conditioner to run at full capacity you need to keep the drain holes clear from debris. There are many air conditioner manufacturers. Each air conditioner provides air circulation, if drain holes are clogged it will have air constric

When an air conditioner is being operated, water collects in the evaporator side of the unit. This is air circulation. The water exits through a drain passage into the condenser side; there it is picked up by the condenser fan and sprayed against the condenser coils. The drain passage is frequently just a hole or space under the barrier separating the evaporator from the condenser. It should be kept clear. If not, it will have air constriction, which is not good.

On some models, (which there are many air conditioner manufacturers),  the evaporator pan and drain passage will be readily visible after the front grille has been removed. The grille may be attached to the unit by one or more screws hidden from view by the filter retainer, so remove the retainer to look for screws before trying to take off the grille. If the passage cannot be reached from the front, take the chassis part way or all the way out of the cabinet to gain access to it. When you have exposed the drain passage, remove any debris that is clogging it.

Some air conditioners have an additional drain hole in the back of the unit, facing outdoors, which permits water that has not been picked up and sprayed by the condenser fan to flow off. Clear the hole if it is clogged by debris, otherwise some water may back up into the evaporator pan. The hole is easy to locate without disassembling the unit.

Before doing any work on the inside of the air conditioner, discharge the capacitor to avoid shock, or damage to a volt-ohm meter. Capacitors (you may find more than one) are located in the recessed area behind the control panel or near the compressor or fan motor. Use a 20,000-ohm, 2-watt resistor to discharge the capacitor by connecting the resistor leads to its terminals. If there are three terminals, connect each of the outer ones to the center terminal.

By simply removing the front grille from certain models, you gain access to the drain hole. Take out any retaining screws, pry out the grille or pull it down and out, or up and out, to remove it.

Water collected under the fan is a sure sign that the drain hole is clogged. Push a stiff wire, such as a straightened-out clothes hanger, down the drain hole to remove any debris that is clogging it.

If the evaporator coils block access from the front, unclog the drain hole from the side. To do this, pull the chassis part way from the cabinet or remove the chassis entirely.

2 comments

cee
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Posted on Jul 28, 2011
Francina Marie Parks
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Posted on Jul 27, 2011

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