How to use a drain hose on portable air conditioners

To use a drain hose on a portable air conditioner you need to choose between having a continuous drain setup, or one with a condensate pump.

Different types of portable air conditioners drain moisture in varying ways, but it is common for this type of air conditioner to have a drain hole at the bottom.

You can attach many types of hoses to this drain hole to set up a continuous drain or a hose with a condensate pump to automate the drainage process.

How different portable air conditioners need to be drained

There are many models of portable air conditioners available on the market. As a result of all of this variety, there are also many ways in which portable air conditioners drain the moisture and heat that they extract during the air conditioning process.

Self-evaporative models drain moisture from the exhaust hose, along with the hot air that was removed from the room. Other models use gravity to drain excess moisture out of a drain plug. Some older portable air conditioners have an internal tank that needs to be emptied manually and regularly.

How to use a drain hose on portable air conditioners

As a result of these differing draining methods, not all portable air conditioner models have a gravity drain.

However, most portable air conditioners try to make the drainage process as simple as possible for consumers by including a gravity drain with a screw plug, so that they can drain the accumulated moisture using a hose.

If your specific portable air conditioner model does have this type of drain, one of the most common ways to drain off moisture is to attach a hose to this drain hole.

Once you have the drain hose attached, you will be able to set up what is known as a continuous drain for your portable air conditioner.

This simply means that your air conditioner will drain automatically as moisture accumulates and you will not need to drain it manually into a bathtub, sink, or pan.

However, in this case, it is crucial that you find a good drain hose, as you will want this system to be as convenient and long-lasting as possible, so that there is less effort involved on your part.

The problem with attaching a continuous drain hose is that you need to rely on gravity to move the moisture out of the air conditioner. This means that you need to be able to access a floor drain for this type of drainage system to work effectively.

However, you can also rig up a fully automated drainage system using a condensate pump and plastic tube, which will allow you to drain the moisture from your AC out of a window or door in the same way.

How to use a hose for a continuous drain

If you choose to use a continuous drain method to drain your portable air conditioner, it is important that you consult your owner’s manual for the correct sizing, so that you can ensure that the hose fits securely around the unit’s drain hole and that you will not have any leaks.

The process to install this drain hose is quite simple. You just need to fit the hose over the drain hole after you have unscrewed the plug.

The other end of the hose then needs to go into a floor drain, so that the moisture can run through the hose directly into the drain.

It is important that you secure the connection between the hose and the drain hole, using a hose clamp, to ensure that the moisture does not leak out and damage your floors or carpets.

Drain hose options

There are many options to consider if you want to attach a drain hose to your portable air conditioner, including clear PVC tubes, speciality air conditioner draining tubes, and garden hoses.

Some of these options and their prices are:

Drain hose option Where to buy Price
PVC tube
Buy it on Amazon

Between $12.99 and $72.99
Speciality air conditioner drain hoses
Buy it on Amazon

About $13.99
Garden hose

Buy it on Amazon
About $1.00 per foot

The choice between these options really comes down to the size of the drain hole and the kind of appearance that you want.

How to use a hose and a condensate pump on your portable air conditioner

If you do not have access to a floor drain, using a condensate pump with the drain hose can help you drain your air conditioner against gravity, out of a window or door, because the pump will be able to pull the moisture through the hose.

This Little Giant VCMA-20ULST condensate pump is available on Amazon for $112.99 and comes with a clear PVC tube included for easy installation.

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