Portable Air Conditioner Drain – Everything You Need to Know

Many people may argue that portable air conditioners do not need draining. Sadly they are mistaken! Just because they have a condensation exhaust system that can expel water out of the system doesn’t mean they do not need draining! No matter how cleverly your portable air conditioner has been designed, it will accumulate water inside its internal tank.

Water builds up in every portable air conditioner, regardless of its type, and needs to be drained. If you want to know how to drain your portable air conditioner you have come to the right place! In this article, you will find a series of discussions on how to drain your portable AC without any hassle.

Should I Drain My Portable Air Conditioner?

Yes, you should drain your portable AC.

If you do not drain your portable air conditioner condensed water will build up and overflow. Do you want a big leakage out of your AC unit? If not then you should drain your portable air conditioner once or twice every month.

Luckily, most of the new portable AC models have an automatic shutdown system. This feature turns off your AC automatically as soon as it starts to overflow with water,

How to Drain Your Portable Air Conditioner Easily

There are two ways to drain your portable air conditioner.

  • Using an ordinary hose-pipe
  • By using a condensate pump

Things to Keep in Mind

First of all, before draining, remember to unplug all power sources going into your AC unit. You don’t want to get electrocuted, do you? Next, you need to place your portable air conditioner in a place where you can let the water escape into a container.

You can also attach a pipe leading to your sink. Keep in mind that a drainage setup will drain all the water downhill.

Then identify the drain plug at the back of the unit. You need to measure the drain port properly and connect a hose to it before removing the drain plug. The hose should be of the correct width so that it will be a water-tight fit.

If you do not have a hose you can check if your garden hose fits. You can also get hoss from any hardware or departmental store too.

Diameter of the Hose-pipe

All drainage hoses for portable air conditioners are within 4 to 7 feet. The size of the pipe is not important, but the diameter is. To find the right diameter you need to measure your portable air conditioner’s drainage outlet. You can also check the manufacturer’s site to get specific measurements. You can also get the proper dimensions from your AC’s manual guide.

The diameter of the hose pipe varies between different air conditioner models even if they are from the same manufacturing company. For instance, most LG portable air conditioners require a hose of 10 mm in diameter.

On the other hand, the Whynter models of 14000 BTU can be drained with any half-inch pipe. You need to remove the drain plug and take out the rubber stopper and attach the hose to drain all the condensed water.

How to Drain Your Portable AC Using a Hose

After securing a drain hose-pipe that first your AC unit, you need to connect it to the AC unit. The hose should be connected in a way so that it is angled in a downward direction. However, some ACs have different configurations, so you better take a look at your manual before this step. Attach the hose securely with a tight seal to prevent any water spillage.

Take a pan, container, or bucket. Put the other end of the hose into your container. After you unplug the drain pipe, water will flow through the hose and immediately fall into your container.

It will take a few minutes to completely drain your portable air conditioner. Once it has been completely drained, remove the hose and put the drain plug back. Finally, connect the power to the portable AC unit. And you are all set!

How to Drain Your Portable AC Using a Condensate Pump

The condensate pump is another efficient tool to drain any portable air conditioner. Even though a condensate pump may be a bit costly, however, it has many advantages. Unlike the hose, you can keep it connected to the AC unit.

This means you do not have to attach and detach it every time you need to drain your AC. Also, unlike a hose, it does not need to be positioned downward or at a certain angle for drainage.

Condensate pumps can automatically turn on and pump the water out itself. The condensate pump operates using two pipes. One stays connected to the unit and the other to the pump. The other end is left open to drain the condensed water out in a container.

Most condensate pumps automatically drain water out of the portable ACs when the water level rises to a certain level in the interior tank.

Should All Types of Portable Air Conditioners Be Drained?

Yes, all types of portable air conditioners need to be drained. Your air conditioner might also get damaged if you do not drain it routinely.


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Your portable air conditioner might not turn on again easily

This is one of the most common results of air conditioners that are not drained for a long time. You will notice that your portable AC contains a float switch. Its function is to automatically turn off your AC when the condensate tank reaches a limit.

However, if it overfills it gives off an alarm or will show an indicator light, or an error code on its screen.  Unless you completely drain your portable air conditioner, it might not get turned on both automatically or manually.

Microorganisms can thrive in your portable air conditioner

Mold, mildew, and other microorganisms grow in the accumulated condensed water if it has not been drained. The cool water in your portable AC’s internal tank provides the perfect environment for mold to grow. It also provides the perfect temperature for them to proliferate rapidly. This will produce a stinky moldy smell from the air that comes out of your AC. It might also cause breathing problems in children.

How Often Should I Drain My Portable Air Conditioner?

The number of times you should drain your portable air conditioner depends on your weather conditions and usage. If you live in an area that is very humid and you keep the air conditioner turned on for long hours then you might have to drain it every week.

If you live in dry areas, the air usually has less moisture, and thus less water will accumulate in your condensate tank. In such cases, you need to drain it every month.

Most portable air conditioners are built using the latest technology. These help to remove moisture from the air in your room completely. They use the exhaust vent to do this, and to compensate for this, the air conditioner uses some of the water from its internal tank and sprays it as moisture.

The condensed water comes into contact with the AC’s condenser coil which is responsible for turning the liquid into moisture. This results in less accumulation of water in the condensate tank.

Final Thoughts

Just like all other electrical appliances, it is better to keep an eye on your portable air conditioner. Now that you know how to drain your portable air conditioner try to drain it at least once a month.

Remember to keep it dry and drained for better longevity of your portable air conditioner. And as wet conditions inside your AC can cause molds to grow, so better get a hose and drain it whenever you can.

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