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#131344 - 04/28/08 12:35 PM Collecting AC condenser water
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Anyone here collect the water from their ac unit? The amount of water mine condenses out here in humid Houston is amazing. I want to try and reclaim the water rather than send it down the drain.

Any thoughts?

-Blast
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#131345 - 04/28/08 12:44 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: Blast]
williamlatham Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 234
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
I would collect it and use it much like grey water, watering plants etc. The condenser coils collect a significant amount of dirt, pollen, and potentially fungus so without treatment, I wouldn't count on drinking it.

Bill

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#131346 - 04/28/08 12:58 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: williamlatham]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Bill,

Good point. My main interest is to use it on my garden. The water comes out at 50F, so I'll need some sort of warming tank. Hmmm, I wish I could set up a nice, decorative tank in the living room so that we could use the coolness of the water to cool our house.

*sigh* Our house would be very different if DW gave me free reign to do as I wished...

-Blast
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#131353 - 04/28/08 01:07 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: Blast]
williamlatham Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 234
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
I understand that one. Since you probably run the AC a fair amount, why not plumb the condenser outlet into a black hose laying on the surface of the ground or directly into a soaker hose. It should heat up fairly quickly and if it gets too hot, bury it.

Bill

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#131354 - 04/28/08 02:14 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: williamlatham]
Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Sector 16
I ran a PVC line from my AC runoff so it would slowly drip into my garden, worked great. I never had to water my garden.

I set it up, so it would drip into a small bowl set right in the middle of my garden, and set some rocks in the bowl that would stick up out of the water. That made a small "pond" to attract beneficial insects, and the water would run over the top of the bowl and soak into the ground and spread through the garden.

One thing my heating and AC guy told me though, if you use a central air unit like me, where the runoff comes out of a pipe in your foundation, NEVER use a system that can allow that to back up and overflow if your line becomes blocked.

I avoided that by rigging the pvc line to "catch" the drip from the AC and divert it, but did not directly attach it to the pipe.


Edited by Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp (04/28/08 02:17 PM)
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#131363 - 04/28/08 06:04 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp]
MDinana Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/08/07
Posts: 2184
Loc: Deep south... Carolina
Um, I'd be really worried about Legionaire's Disease. After all, it was "discovered" in Philadelphia, from the A/c units.

If you do it at all, I'd at least filter it.

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#131378 - 04/28/08 07:43 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: ]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Wow, scary. frown Maybe I'll just keep sending the 80+ gallons of water down the drain each day... It seems like such a waste.

-Blast
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#131393 - 04/28/08 11:44 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: Blast]
nursemike Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/09/06
Posts: 788
Loc: wellington, fl
Legionella was a problem to the Legionnaires because the HVAC system was spraying bacteria laden droplets upon them for days on end; the ones that got bad sick from it were the ones with compromised immune systems. Transmission is by aerosol distribution and inhalation. Run the outflow directly into the earth via seep hoses, and there will be no aerosol problem. The other bugs are scary, but, again, if you put the condensate directly into the soil, all those scary pathogens will merely be joining others like them-clostridia varieties come to mind-tetanus and gas gangrene bugs-that are already living happily, and safely, pretty much-in the soil. All of the bacteria that cause infection in humans are around us in the environment all the time, colonizing our skin, saliva, telephones, computer keyboards-and our immune system fights them off handily. Infection occurs when there is a breakdown in the immune system-a break in the skin, nutritional deficiency, other disease. Anyway, the condensate is probably no more dangerous than any other water in the garden.
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#131395 - 04/28/08 11:51 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: nursemike]
Bear_Claw_Chris_Lapp Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 08/23/07
Posts: 227
Loc: Sector 16
Originally Posted By: nursemike
Legionella was a problem to the Legionnaires because the HVAC system was spraying bacteria laden droplets upon them for days on end; the ones that got bad sick from it were the ones with compromised immune systems. Transmission is by aerosol distribution and inhalation. Run the outflow directly into the earth via seep hoses, and there will be no aerosol problem. The other bugs are scary, but, again, if you put the condensate directly into the soil, all those scary pathogens will merely be joining others like them-clostridia varieties come to mind-tetanus and gas gangrene bugs-that are already living happily, and safely, pretty much-in the soil. All of the bacteria that cause infection in humans are around us in the environment all the time, colonizing our skin, saliva, telephones, computer keyboards-and our immune system fights them off handily. Infection occurs when there is a breakdown in the immune system-a break in the skin, nutritional deficiency, other disease. Anyway, the condensate is probably no more dangerous than any other water in the garden.


What he said. As long as the runoff is going into the ground to water plants, it is not dangerous at all.
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#131437 - 04/29/08 12:34 PM Re: Collecting AC condenser water [Re: ]
williamlatham Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/12/04
Posts: 234
Loc: Stafford, VA, USA
You don't need straight bleach to sanitize anything. Bleach mixed with hot water will work fine. In fact, that is what comes out of the washer every time you do a white load and is emptied into PVC drain lines.

Bill

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