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-   -   How do I clean my AC drain tube? (

tyndalelady 10-04-2005 01:01 PM

How do I clean my AC drain tube?
It is not draining like it should and I think it is clogged.

Do I fish something from the top down or from the bottom up? Can I use a hanger or would an air compressor with an attachment work better? What is the tube made of, rubber or copper? Plastic?

I searched and found lots of chatter about the tube but no details on cleaning it out.


bobechs 10-04-2005 02:10 PM

You seem to have a pretty good handle on the various methods that are commonly used. Which one you choose is really up to you

I will mention that using an unfolded wire hanger will only go about twenty inches in, which will work only if the clog happens to be at the end of the tube. What are the chances of that? I have used a much longer wire, a piece of solid 10 ga. copper hook-up wire from the bottom up with success, doing no damage. To make the tip un-sharp I folded the end back about an inch to make a rounded tip.

Getting to the top of the tube to work down is no picnic, unless you take your lunch with you, while ascending the coach and field-stripping the A/C.

I will also mention a method I have not used but has been reccomended. If you pour household bleach down the tube, it should wipe out a blockage due to growth of mold and fungus in the tube. In my case the blockage seemed to be due to mud-daubers or other insects in the tube and I don't think bleach would have worked.

nickcrowhurst 10-04-2005 02:11 PM

When this happened to my AC, I knelt down beside the trailer, took the tube in my mouth, and blew long and hard ( I play bagpipes, flute and tin whistle, so I am a trained AC drain cleaner!) After initial resistance, I could feel a gurgling of air through water. I took the tube out of my mouth, and then received a face full of muddy water. Next time I will try to move a little faster. :lol:
The tube has stayed unblocked for a couple of years. Enjoy!

smily 10-04-2005 02:35 PM

Compressed Air
No lips required;)

tyndalelady 10-05-2005 01:12 PM

thanks guys, Though I think Nick's way was the most...interesting...I think I will start with compressed air and bleach. Then work toward the wire.

Thanks so much.


sovereignrwe 10-05-2005 03:02 PM

I don't know about your version of the Airconditioner, as it is at least 11 years newer and may not be original equipment.

In a 1972' with the original AC, the drain tube is accessable from the inside of the trailer without removing any covers. Our drain tube can be reached by removing the air filters and reaching in through the filter opening to disconnect the tube from the bottom side of the AC unit. To clean our tube of any clog, I will run the air hose from this point out the bottom of the trailer.

markdoane 10-05-2005 05:10 PM

After reading this, I'm going to replace my PVC tubing with Pex. I think Pex might be less likely to clog.

wayner1239 10-05-2005 06:26 PM

cleaning ac drain tube
I was at the beach in 90 degree weather when I found that mine was stopped up. (probably mud daubers) The only thing I could find to clean it out was a clothes hanger. When I got home I used compressed air. Mine was a rubber (or plastic) tube and a clothes hanger could possibly punch a hole in it. Hopefully someone knows a better way.

Loren 10-14-2005 10:24 PM

Mine was also plugged. The Airstream Factory Service Center used compressed air.

I would think that you would want to be gentle with the pressure applied.


Mr. Al 05-21-2008 09:47 AM

Try a thin "rooter"
Dripping water was the very first problem our "new" baby had. Assuming a clogged drain tube, I looked for something long, thin and flexible. What I found -- at Wal-Mart - - was a dryer vent cleaning brush on a 10-foot flexible wire. I just clipped off the brush, leaving a couple of little brass knuckles at the end. It worked like a champ, and was exactly the right length to go from the outlet up to the unit (saved the effort of trying to go from the top down) It even has a little handle on the end so you can give it a twist to root out those "dauber digs"...

Crusty 05-21-2008 11:47 AM

When mine clogs up, it's usually both the tube and the catch pan so clearing just one doesn't fix the other.

The method that I've settled on is I take a long piece of weed wacker string (I use the green stuff) and I fish it up from the bottom as far as I can, cut it off and chuck up the end in my screwgun and let 'er rip.

Sometimes I have to drop all the air delivery components to get to the drain outlet from the pan and once again feed a piece of trimmer line up into the pan and give it the screwgun treatment.

missysanford 06-21-2008 09:40 AM

93 excella air leaking
My air-conditioner is dripping water on the floor. I took the filter covers off but don't see anything that isn't electrical. How do I fix this? I have the original Penguin Duo-therm.

easyride 06-21-2008 10:27 AM

Shop vac works for me,connect to hose coming thru belly pan,seal with a rag ,and let it go for a while,it will also suck out a lot of scum in pan. Dave

lewster 06-21-2008 11:05 AM


Originally Posted by missysanford (Post 579339)
My air-conditioner is dripping water on the floor. I took the filter covers off but don't see anything that isn't electrical. How do I fix this? I have the original Penguin Duo-therm.


Your water problem might, or might not be related to a blocked drain tube. You should have the tube blown out with complessed air first and see if that solves your problem. The drain tube usually terminates in the road side wheel well.

If this doesn't solve your problem, then your A/C unit is creating the problem, which could be caused by a number of factors like dirty condenser coils, a blockage in the exhaust air flow, evaporator freeze-up, and several others.

At this point, you should have your unit serviced by a qualified Dometic professional.

vajeep 06-21-2008 01:49 PM

Our 1976
Our 1976 Overlander was leaking on the inside, I tried the hose and it was not blocked. What I did find when I removed the inside plastic cover was that the leak was comming from the clamp that attached the copper tube to the plastic drain tube. It took some moving around, but I was able to tighten the clamp and my inside drip stopped.

olddog299 06-21-2008 01:58 PM

While I like the chap who uses the weed trimmer and his drill as a possible solution, I didn't have one handy when I cleared my last plug. What I did have in the truck was a "fish tape" for conduit which is essentially really thick weed whacker line with a spring hook attached. I ran that up through from down below by hand and it did a great job.

easyride 06-21-2008 02:34 PM

I hope all the people saying compressed air are blowing down from top,if not they are just blowing the slime back into the pan for it to plug another day.Dave

henw 06-21-2008 06:12 PM

1/2 second of hose spray up the drain tube.

nikon 06-24-2008 06:02 PM

A/C drain hose
My 1976 tradwind A/C drain hose is cracked inside the wall. With the a/c on water flows inside the the trailer . Dealer said they would have to take the walls apart to replace drain hose.

Question: Is it possible to run a drain hose outside the trailer, attached, to side to bottom? Anyone done this? I thought I saw this done some years ago.

Has anyone replaced their drain hose? and do you have to remove the wall panels inside?

Thanking all in advance,

richinny 06-24-2008 09:16 PM

i wonder if a smaller hose could be fished inside the old one? it would not handle as must water but it might help.

is anyone a heart surgeon? lol

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