air conditioner tube

Air conditioner drainage: methods of condensate drainage

In the internal unit of the split system there is a so-called air conditioner evaporator. During the operation of the device, water droplets are formed on the surface of the evaporator, which are most often called condensate. Condensate from the air conditioner must be removed outside the system so that excess water does not heat up in the unit. Otherwise, the water will just start flowing into the room.

A drainage system for condensate is provided inside the unit. With its help, you can collect unnecessary water and drain it. The scheme of the drainage system of the air conditioner is extremely simple: in the indoor unit there is a bath into which condensate drips from the evaporator; a tube is connected to the bath, through which water flows out of the air conditioner.

But where exactly it flows out — this is the main question in our article. Today we will tell you what are the ways to remove condensate and how to make the drainage of the air conditioner.

General information

We have already explained above what a typical drainage system of an air conditioner looks like and why it is necessary. Without drainage, the split system will not be able to work fully, this is necessary for the removal of condensate and draining water outside the room.

The drainage bath in the indoor unit will gradually fill with water, which needs to be taken out somewhere. To do this, a so-called drainage tube is connected to the bath (we will talk about it later). The drainage pipe can be removed to the street or to the sewer. Let’s take a closer look at both of these options.

Condensate drain to the street

What should I do if water drips from the external air conditioner unit?

The output of the drainage pipe for the air conditioner to the street is the cheapest and easiest option. The tube is removed through a special hole in the wall along with the route of the air conditioner. Most owners of split systems resort to this method. And often installers do not even offer any alternative options.

This is a convenient and simple method of condensate removal, but it has a number of significant disadvantages. First, if you choose the wrong location of the tube, the water will flow down to the neighbor’s balcony, windows or on the head of passers-by. Sooner or later, it ends in a scandal.

Secondly, dust, fluff and… insects are clogged into the tube. They organize their nests there and actively reproduce. In the end, this leads to a blockage that needs to be cleaned.

Condensate drain into the sewer

check valve for air conditioner

But there is another way to organize the drain from the air conditioner. According to the mind, you need to do exactly this. We are talking about the output of the air conditioner to the sewer. To do this, the drainage pipe is not taken out to the street, but into the sewer pipe.

However, this method also has its drawbacks. The most important of them is the complexity of installation. Often, there is no direct access to the sewer system in the room where the air conditioner is installed. It is necessary either to build up the sewer pipe, or to lead the drainage pipes to the place of discharge.

Nevertheless, we are convinced that the withdrawal of the air conditioner drainage into the sewer is the most convenient and correct option. Yes, connecting the air conditioner to the sewer takes some time, you need to make a hole in the wall, lay a drainage pipe, connect it to a water collection tank.

But all these works are carried out only once, subsequently you do not need to clean the tube from insects and face other troubles. in our opinion, this is the best solution for drainage.

Please note! The drainage pipe must not be taken directly into the sewer. A siphon with a hydraulic seal should be installed between them. It will prevent unpleasant odors and toxic gases from entering the room.

If the distance from the air conditioner to the sewer is too large and there are height differences along the drainage tube, it is better to additionally install a drainage pump. It acts as a pump, helping the water to move forward along the tube so that it does not stagnate. The pump is easy to install, rarely breaks, and is inexpensive.

A few words about drainage pipes

drain pipe

There are two types of tubes on the market: corrugated and smooth. Smooth ones are used if a tube of a small length is needed, for example, for 1 meter. Such situations are extremely rare, but in this case it is better to use a smooth tube.

In most cases, a corrugated drainage tube of the air conditioner is used. Such a hose is characterized by increased flexibility, it can be bent in any direction. This is especially convenient when installing drainage into the sewer. There is also no need to use additional fasteners, as in the case of a smooth drainage pipe.

Some craftsmen manage to put a garden hose or a tube for laying electrical cables to remove the condensate of the air conditioner. This is a big mistake. You should not save money by using scraps of other materials. Buy a standard corrugated drainage tube and don’t try to reinvent the wheel.

Installation of the drainage system

air conditioner rattles

So, we have figured out what devices exist for condensate drainage. Let’s move on to the important question: how to properly connect the air conditioner to the drainage. Laying drainage is a simple, but time-consuming process.

Installation step by step:

  1. You need to find a drainage bath in the indoor unit. In some models, it is enough to open the decorative cover for this, and in some it is necessary to snap off the fasteners from the bottom of the block and lift the device to get to the condensate collection tank. Read the operating instructions of your air conditioner to learn more about it;

  2. On the side of the drainage bath, you need to find a hole. It is to him that you need to attach the drainage tube. Use a clamp for connection;

  3. Carefully lower the indoor unit into place, snap the fasteners. The corrugation should freely come out of the drainage hole.

  4. The first installation option. Take the tube outside through the technical hole in the wall. It is done in a certain order when laying the route. Secure the hose near the outdoor unit. Make sure that the water will not get on the neighbor’s balcony or on people’s heads;

  5. The second installation option. Make a small recess in the wall from the indoor unit to the sewer, lay the drainage hose for the air conditioner in the strobe, fix it. It is important that the tube is mounted at a slight slope. Connect the tube to the siphon, the siphon to the sewer. Plaster the strobe.

Drainage system malfunctions

the air conditioner drips in the room

The drainage system for condensate drainage is very simple, but problems may occur in its operation.

The most common problems faced by users of split systems:

  • Drainage pipe, which is taken outside, often freezes in the cold season, if the device is used in the air heating mode;

  • The hole between the bath and the tube is clogged with dirt due to the lack of regular maintenance;

  • The master did not provide for a sufficient drainage slope and the condensate began to accumulate in the tube, then flow back into the bath, and from there into the room;

  • Dainage pump has failed (if it is installed) and the condensate has stopped moving through the drainage pipe;

These problems can be solved by regular cleaning and technical diagnostics of the air conditioner. These works should be planned at least twice a year if the air conditioner is operated in the summer. With additional use in the cold season, maintenance should be carried out at least 3-4 times.

Drainage maintenance

Installation of air conditioning in the apartment

Some work on cleaning the drainage for condensate drainage can be done with your own hands. However, we recommend that you do this work with a partner, because you will have to stand on a stepladder for a long time.

Maintenance instructions:

  1. Locate the drain pan. In some models, it is enough to open the decorative cover for this, and in some it is necessary to snap off the fasteners from the bottom of the block and lift the device;

  2. Disconnect the drain pipe from the tray. Carefully remove the bath from the unit. Be careful: the container may be overflowing;

  3. If the tube goes outside, take a thick cable and push it into the tube until the end of the wire comes out from the outside. This way you will remove insects and dirt from the hose. If the blockages are not eliminated, it may be necessary to replace the drainage tube;

  4. If the air conditioner is drained into the sewer, clean the siphon. Most modern siphons for draining condensate are equipped with a special door that can be opened and everything cleaned;

  5. Empty the drainage tub and rinse it. If there is mold or stubborn dirt, use special means to clean air conditioners.


In this article, we told you how to make a condensate drain, in which cases it may be necessary to replace the drainage tube, why it is necessary to remove condensate from the air conditioner at all, and how it is cheaper to remove excess water outside the room. Any other questions? Ask them in the comments below. We wish you good luck!

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