How To Fix P1 Error On Air Conditioner

A portable air conditioner resolution is to condition your room. But with less energy usage, something good for your pocket and environment. So, what happens when a portable air conditioner has the P1 error code? And what is the next course of action?

In this article, I’ll break down the P1 error code. And show you how to clear the error code on your portable air conditioner. Hope you find the article helpful.

What does P1 Mean on AC?

When your portable air conditioner indicates the p1 error codes:

  • There’s an irregular increase/decrease in voltage
  • Water in its bottom tray is at the highest level

If it’s a case of varying voltage levels, examine the cables in your portable air conditioner. First, the cable examination ensures the AC cables are properly connected. After that, read the power supply to ascertain the correct voltage. Finally, drain the tray in a portable air conditioner in the case of a full bottom tray.

What Causes P1 Error Code on An Air Conditioner?

1. The Bottom Tray is Full

When a portable AC’s bottom tray fills up, a clogged drainpipe is the culprit. Within the pipes and refrigerant coils, there’s a breeding ground for molds and algae.

Over time, the mold and algae clog the drainpipes. And when the drainpipes clog, it causes a water buildup in the bottom tray. Although it’s easy to fix that, contact authorized service center personnel.

Otherwise, you’re in for a mechanical issue with your portable air conditioner.

If you decide to unclog the AC’s drainpipe, power it down first. Once the portable air conditioner is off, examine its tubing. Ensure there’re no cracks or leaks on the AC’s drain line.

If the same error code persists, check for accessories spare parts. After replacement, clear out the water collection in the AC’s bottom tray. A wet-dry vacuum will make the water clear out easy for you. 

Once you’ve cleared the water collection and residue, unclog the drainpipe. 

  • Discard the PVC cap
  • Use a brush to disassemble the clog
  • Add bleach to the AC’s drainpipe on the outdoor unit. The bleach clears mold and algae
  • Replace the unit’s PVC cap if the P1 error code persists

2. Voltage Surge

Engineers recognize two voltage surge causes:

  • Internal sources that come up within the portable air conditioner
  • External sources that arise outside the portable air conditioner

Internal Sources

Most electrical appliances operate when you power them on or off. But you can do so when you increase or decrease power flow. And a portable air conditioner isn’t different. Think of dimmer switches or thermostats as circuits.

Moreover, manufacturers design them to increase or decrease electrical loads. Think of a portable air conditioner fan or compressor that affects your home’s power.

A second power surge source involves a magnetic coupling. Moreover, the coupling process occurs when electricity creates a magnetic field. That is, in a portable air conditioner circuit.

In some cases, the magnetic field affects the portable air conditioner wires. And as a result, it causes a power surge in a portable air conditioner.

The static electricity in your portable builds up over time. And when it discharges, the power surge causes a P1 error on the portable air conditioner.

External Sources

Different external power surge sources differ by region. A standard power surge source in developed countries is unequal national grid usage. In the evening, most people switch on their ACs, which drain the national grid. Power surges can happen as people turn their air conditioners off when they prep for sleep.

In parts of our world, lightning is a common culprit of power surges. High chances are lightning may hit the portable air conditioner circuit.

Likewise, the lightning may strike nearby circuits that connect to your portable AC. And that lightning hit results in power surges that affect the AC.

Also, lightning strikes affect overhead power cables in the outdoor unit. A hit on the overhead power cables causes short-term spikes. Moreover, it spreads to the AC surrounding properties. And as a result, the P1 error code appears on your portable AC.

3. Voltage Inconsistency

HVAC systems depend on various components to run. And that’s from the condensate pans clearing water from the AC system to the refrigerant gas.

Moreover, the AC components rely on electricity to run. And when electrical issues play out, they cause extreme damage to your portable AC system.

The most significant trouble is when the system’s array, the motor, to be specific, runs on electricity. If anything interrupts the AC’s electrical current, the array will become faulty.

Suppose there’s low voltage, amperage increases. And as a result, the AC components melt or malfunction in that process. But when there’s a high voltage, it causes the AC to run too high and extra fast. And when an AC runs in that matter, its service life decreases. The portable AC cables, leads, and cords aren’t at risk.

But, appliances like AC units are more sensitive to electricity fluctuations than others. Thus, it applies to appliances with too many coils (portable AC motors) or PCs. To deal with low voltages, go for low voltage protection on the indoor board.

Without enough protection, overvoltages destroy your unit’s sensitive components within the circuits. Overvoltages can result from switching impulses. That is, from other powerful electrical appliances in your home.

But the ruthless causes of extreme voltages arise due to indirect lightning strikes. And for sure, that’s the end of your unprotected air conditioner. You’ll only experience the P1 error on the AC if you’re lucky.

4. Bad Power Supply

A lot of things result in a bad power supply. It may be a loose or corroded connection within your home or power lines. Such connections result in voltage fluctuations.

An electrical supply of poor quality causes power surges, cuts, or spikes. And they can interfere with your unit’s normal operations. An example of that is a P1 error on your portable Ac.

A good quality power supply is essential. And that’s because the impact of an inadequate power supply on your AC unit is significant. They can cause power havoc on your unit, resulting in the P1 error code.

Thus, equipment instabilities, failure, and operational delays. Also, sensitive appliances like PCs are vulnerable to inadequate power supplies.

Also, a bad power supply causes your AC to run outside its average values. As a result, system errors like overheating, malfunction, failure, and the P1 error come up.

5. Power from Circuit Breaker Wrong

One effect of insufficient power on circuit breakers is the nuisance trip. When a circuit breaker trips, it can cause:

  • P1 error code on portable ACs
  • Unplanned shutdown
  • Data error
  • Damaged air conditioner

Correct power should prevent the P1 error code in your portable AC.

6. Loose Connections

As I mentioned earlier, P1 error codes arise from irregular voltage shifts. So first, check the AC wire connections from the external to the internal unit. Doing so will ensure the unit’s wires haven’t crossed each other.

But if the AC wires have no faults, check its power supply. Again, the confirmation helps you ensure the correct voltage reaches the AC unit.

7. Main PCB Board

Manufacturers design the unit’s main control board to signal the P1 error code. That is when the AC experiences high or low voltage.

When the AC system gives such an error, check the voltage passing through the main PCB. Whether it’s the correct voltage or not. And if the voltage is incorrect, you’ll need to troubleshoot the P1 code.

Moreover, examine the power supply and the primary voltage to the AC unit. Keep in mind if the AC power supply is incorrect, it can damage the PCB board. Therefore, once you identify the faulty AC components, replace them at the earliest.

How to Fix P1 Error on Air Conditioner

When you notice the P1 and P4 error codes on your AC unit:

  1. First, turn it off
  2. Waite two minutes, then turn the AC on
  3. If the P1 and P4 errors persist, examine your external unit
  4. Discard the unit’s side wiring cover using a screwdriver
  5. Test the voltage level using a multimeter. For systems that run on 120 volts, place the multimeter’s ends on the L1 and ground. While for a system that runs on 240 volts, attach the ends to the L1 and L2 parts.
  6. With the help of an Allen Wrench, ensure the refrigerant valves haven’t clogged. But remember not to force the valves to do so. They only need to be open.

The above P1 troubleshoot steps apply when it’s a voltage issue.

The following DIY is for a full bottom tray. 

When the water in the lower tray fills up to the predetermined level:

  • move it to the drain location
  • Discard its bottom drain plug
  • Let water drain away
  • Put back the bottom drain plug
  • Restart the system until the P1 code disappears

If the P1 code persists, contact an HVAC pro. The AC system beeps about eight times. And the P1 code appears on the digital display of the AC. At that moment, the air conditioning process stops. But, the system’s fan motor continues to run, something normal.

Remember to reinstall the lower drain plug before you use the AC unit.

And if the DIY steps don’t clear the P1 and P4 errors, contact an HVAC pro.


To this point, we’ve seen how the P1 error code on an AC comes about. And how to clear the code too. It’s scary to see the code on your AC. I understand.

But the two DIYs I’ve listed in this article will help you navigate the issue. Unless a severe cause other than power issues or button tray is behind the P1 error code.

So, after what period do you see the P1 error code appear on your AC unit?