What is cleaning the evaporator drain tube all about?
The evaporator drain tube allows your air conditioning system to dispose of the condensation created by the air conditioning unit’s evaporator coil. You may have noticed that a home air conditioning system sometimes drips water. That happens in your car as well, but the evaporator drain tube drains it from the system and out of the vehicle. When the drain tube needs cleaning it can fail to do its job.
Keep in mind:
- When the evaporator drain tube is cleaned it should also be checked to see if it should be replaced.
- If the debris accumulation in the evaporator drain tube has caused molding or algae growth, then the rest of the system should be inspected for cleanliness.
How it's done:
- Climb under the car
- Find the evaporator drain tube
- Take a hanger and run it in and out of the tube
The air conditioning system is a closed system, and is not inspected during routine maintenance. Even though the evaporator drain tube is easy for a mechanic to access and clean, it usually won’t be inspected unless a problem is reported. If you notice any leaking in the cabin of your vehicle, schedule an inspection immediately.
What is a common symptom indicating you need to clean the evaporator drain tube?
- Water leaking inside the car
How important is this service?
As your vehicle’s air conditioning system operates, the evaporator coil creates condensation. This condensation needs a way to escape the air conditioning system and the car. The evaporator drain tube is attached to the air conditioning unit, and drains all of this condensation away so that no liquid remains in the system. When the evaporator drain tube gets dirty it can develop mold or algae growth that can plug the tube entirely. When that happens, the air conditioning will have no way to excrete its condensation, and water will likely seep into the cabin of your vehicle.