Innovative Pump Unclogs AC Condensation Drain Lines
By: Joe Truini
The power of the Internet continues to amaze me. About three years ago, Danny and I taped a Simple Solutions segment that showed how to use a wet/dry vacuum to unclog the drain line of a central air conditioning unit. Seemed like an innocuous enough tip; boy was I wrong.
Shortly after the tip aired, it was posted on todayshomeowner.com as AC Drain Clean Out. Since then it’s been viewed more than 70,000 times, and we have received over 100 comments, questions and suggestions from visitors to the site. Apparently people all over the country are very unhappy with their central A/C units. I never realized that clogged condensate lines were such a huge concern.
Mighty Pump clears A/C drain clogs.
Unfortunately our Simple Solutions tip couldn’t help every homeowner with a leaky A/C unit. Partly because not every air conditioning system is installed the same way, so gaining access to the condensate line can be extremely difficult or even impossible. And since there’s an infinite number of installation methods, it’s not possible for us to answer every question or concern posted online. I feel bad about that because I always make an effort to answer questions from viewers and website visitors, but in this case it just isn’t possible.
However, I did learn that we have a very loyal following of fans for both the website and TV show, Today’s Homeowner with Danny Lipford. They’re passionate about maintaining their homes, and trust the information they receive from us. As a member of the Danny Lipford team, I couldn’t ask for anything more than your confidence and loyalty.
I also discovered that information at todayshomeowner.com flows in both directions. Here’s a perfect example. This past March we received an online comment from Donna about a product called Mighty Pump, which is a hand pump that’s specifically designed for clearing clogs from A/C condensation lines.
I had never heard of Mighty Pump, so I called and spoke with the company’s president, Stuart Oakner, and found out that the product was introduced just a few weeks earlier. Oakner had been a licensed air conditioning contractor in Florida for over 30 years and knew firsthand how much water damage can be caused by a clogged condensate line. So, he invented the Mighty Pump, which he now sells online for about $70.
Attach hose and pull up on the handle.
As an interesting side note, Oakner mentioned that 90% of his central-air service calls were related to water leaks. Here are the three main reasons why a leak occurs: 1) there’s a crack or hole in overflow drain pan, 2) there’s a clogged condensate line and water backs up and floods the overflow pan, or 3) the air filter is clogged with dirt, which causes the evaporator coil to ice up and then drip water.
So, you can easily eliminate two of the three causes of water leaks by keeping the condensate line clear of clogs, and by regularly changing the air filter. Here’s another valid reason to keep the condensate line clear: Most modern A/C units are equipped with a water-overflow cutoff switch, which automatically shuts down the A/C unit if it detects a clogged condensate line. The switch helps prevent water damage, which is good, but most homeowners don’t know why their air conditioner suddenly stops, and they end up calling a service technician.
Mighty Pump is the first readily available tool that homeowners can use to keep condensate lines flowing freely. It looks similar to a bicycle pump, except that it has two hoses. The hose on the inlet side is used to suck clogs from the very end of the condensate line. The other hose is on the exhaust side of the pump, and is used to blow out clogs from the upper end of the line, near the air handler.
With its ability to deliver a one-two punch to clogs, Mighty Pump is a must-have tool for every central-air homeowner. And now, thanks to our smart and vocal fan base, I, too, know about this indispensable new tool.