Simple Steps To Clean a Condensate Pump

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A condensate pump is one of the essential parts of an HVAC system, but people tend to neglect it. The condensate pump eliminates water from the air conditioning unit and returns it to the environment. Therefore, it ensures that there are no leakages in your home. If your condensate pump is dirty, you will need to clean it up because if you don’t, you may end up with mold inside your house. Mold can cause health problems like asthma attacks, lung disease, and even cancer. So, how do you clean a condensate pump? We have discussed simple steps to clean a condensate pump in this article. Keep reading! 

What is a Condensate Pump? 

A condensate pump is a device that removes moisture from the refrigerant of an air conditioner or heat pump. It does so by drawing out the liquid water from the evaporator coil. Once the condensate has been removed, it returns to the atmosphere through the drain pan. 

The most common type of condensate pump is the centrifugal pump. This type of pump uses a spinning impeller inside a housing to push the condensate out of the system. These pumps are typically used in residential applications where the condensate produced is small. They are also used in commercial settings where we need to remove large amounts of condensate. 

Condensate pumps work on the principle of suction. When the compressor turns on, the refrigerant enters the condenser coil. As the refrigerant goes through the coils, it absorbs heat from the surrounding air. This causes the refrigerant to change state from gas to liquid. At this point, the refrigerant is cooled down and to know how long does dry ice last you should check. 

Cleaning the condensate pump is as important as cleaning every other component of an HVAC system. So here are simple steps to take while cleaning a condensate pump. 

Simple Steps to Clean a Condensate Pump 

Check the Pump for Water 

Before cleaning, ensure that there is no water present inside the condensate pump. You should check the pump at least once a year. Turn off the power source of the pump and open the access panel. Then, look for water inside the pump. If you find excess water, you need to dry the pump before cleaning it. 

If there is no water in the pump, you can proceed with cleaning it. But if you notice some water inside the pump, you need to stop the process immediately. Call a service technician to fix the issue. 

Detach the PVC Tube from the Reservoir 

After checking the pump for water, you need to detach the PVC pipe from the condensate reservoir. You can use pliers to pull the tubing away from the reservoir. Make sure that you keep the end cap intact during the entire process. 

 Remove the Drain Pan Cover 

If you want to clean the condensate pump without removing the drain pan cover, you must first disconnect the electrical connection between the drain pan and the condensate pump itself. Remove the drain pan cover and locate the drain pipe. Unscrew the bolts holding the drain pan cover onto the drain pipe. Now, pull the drain pan cover away from the drainpipe. After doing so, unscrew the bolts holding the cover onto the drain pan. Finally, lift the drain pan cover away. 

 Clean the Pump With a Brush 

Once you have removed the drain pan cover, use a brush and soap to remove any debris or dirt that might be stuck inside the drain pan. After cleaning the drain pan, rinse it using warm water. Ensure that you don’t get too close to the motor area of the pump. Also, don’t use harsh chemicals to clean the pump because these may damage the pump’s internal components. 

Use soapy water to wash off the condensate pump’s outer housing. Then, use a soft-bristled brush to scrub the entire surface of the pump and rinse with warm water. Be careful when washing the pump because a protective shield usually covers the motor area. 

 Reattach the Drain Lines 

Now, reattach the drain lines back into place. Use new rubber washers or gaskets to seal the connections. After doing this, tighten the screws holding the drain pan cover back onto the drain pan.  

After completing the above steps, restore power to the condensate pump and test it again. The compressor will run continuously until the pump runs properly. Now you can enjoy your HVAC system perfectly again.  


Cleaning the condensate pump is very important. It helps maintain the efficiency of the cooling system. It also prevents clogs and blockages. In addition, it keeps the pump free from corrosion. All these factors help in keeping the condensate pump working properly. So, make sure that you perform regular maintenance on your condensate pump.