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Author: Subject: Summer & collecting purified water from dehumidifier & AC
RogueRose
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Summer & collecting purified water from dehumidifier & AC

So I found that during the really humid week we had my AC was putting out well over 7 gallons of water a day from the drip tray and the house was still humid, so I set up a dehumidifier and was getting 6 gallons from that and then 4 from the AC until the humidity dropped to a reasonable point.

So I filled some barrels with the water as I thought there is no reason not to keep it and can always use it for watering or just dump it. I may pass it through a thick activated carbon & diatomaceous earth filter and let it sit in sunlight for a few days and after that I'm thinking it should be pretty clean of bacteria, viruses and any dust.

I've tried to find what this water would be called and the closest I've come within the purified water page is de-ionized water but that label seems to be reserved for when the water goes through a process with ion exchange resin so IDK if this can be called DI water or not. Is there something else that is a better definition?

I'm planning on using this instead of distilled or tap water for my chemistry that requires non-critically clean water.

If anyone has need for good amounts of pure water throughout the year, now is the best time to get it for free and in most areas you can find 30-55 gallon plastic drums (usually blue or white) that are food grade and would be great for storing the water and can usually be gotten for fairly little . They are often posted on Craigslist from what I've found.

It'd be nice to have a large container that was made of clear plastic (like soda bottles) to put in the sun, instead of having to use 2L or 1gal bottles. I'm wondering if the clear light blue 5gal water bottles would allow the UV rays to pass through or if they would be blocked? That is about as large as I can think that is made of clear plastic.

[Edited on 7-8-2018 by RogueRose]
unionised
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In an ideal world- where the air was pulled through a filter to remove dust before it was chilled by the dehumidifier and then condensed on a very clean surface and collected cleanly, you would have sub-distilled water (or sub-boiling distilled water).

It's possible that the water in the barrels is no better than tap water, or it may be very pure. It's impossible to tell without testing
Sulaiman
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I would drink the condensate from a clean air conditioning unit,
but the condenser part is rarely clean.

Rainwater cleans the air and absorbs carbon dioxide,
so collected rainwater has all kinds of pollutants and a pH approaching 5.5

River water contains even more 'stuff'
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Sunlight and water storage is usually a bad combination as algae will grow.
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I'd expect a little iron contamination from the window unit air conditioners, in the form of rust.
Plastic cased de-humidifiers probably have atmospheric pollutants as the main contaminants.
In practical terms, that means microbes and skin debris etc
XeonTheMGPony
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think of the volume of air that goes through the evap coil of the AC, this will all ways have some water film on it when cooling, now think of all the dust that is in the air.

Wet tacky coil + Thousands of cubic feet of dust and pathogen laden air = Clean looking toxic soup!

Why one should never consume water from a dehumidifier with out aggressive sanitation and the only other option is a sewage tank!

Hvac techs have been killed and crippled just by the grave unluck of replacing filters and breathing with out mask or having exposed wound on large central HVAC air handlers.

OP: Your coils may been flushed some what clean due to massive water loading of that poor system! (Water removal is a big ass load!) but be very very cautious with that as it will be very high bacteria count of every specimen within your home and body and any one ells that has been visiting for an hour and pets!
unionised
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"Hvac techs have been killed and crippled just ... having exposed wound on large central HVAC air handlers."

Got any evidence of that?
Though I take the point
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionnaires%27_disease
XeonTheMGPony
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 Quote: Originally posted by unionised "Hvac techs have been killed and crippled just ... having exposed wound on large central HVAC air handlers." Got any evidence of that? Though I take the point https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionnaires%27_disease

Sadly I didn't record things when I did trades school but sure if you research OH&S reports you'll find cases, one of the guys teaching hand was partially parallelized due to an infection, he nicked his hand on a sheet metal screw when working on air handler

I never saw air filters as this harmless dusty thing ever again!

the deaths and disability are caused by pathogens not the filters them selfs other then they just contain the soup of the pathogens.

It is one of those things that high lite that every day you get out of bed the roll of the dice starts
RogueRose
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I guess I'm somewhat lucky as far as the water goes as far as how clean it seems because both units were new for this season. I did read that it was a very bad idea to drink the water and never planned on that, lol..

As far as AC's and dehumidifiers being full of germs and bacteria, I can say I've seen plenty of nasty in these over the years and just cleaned one out that had massive black mold in the cooling part. Soaked all the plastic & styrofoam parts in bleach water and cleaned the cooling parts 3 different ways (disinfectant ways). Hopefully it won't return.

The reason I mentioned putting the water in sunlight was because I had heard that this was a good method to kill bacteria and viruses due to the UV rays. Supposedly a few hours is enough to kill them. IDK if this is true or not but there is a large community that seems to believe this. IDK if doing this with the lid on ensures that no air can get into the water and help algae grow.

I have a barrel of melted snow water I captured ~18 months ago (put it in a corner and left it) off a new plastic tarp, and it still looks as clean as it did when I got it after all that time at 65-85F in a sealed barrel. I might take a sample and put it on a petri dish of agar and see what shows up. Could be interesting. Will probably do the same with the dehumidifier/AC water before and after filtering and UV exposure.

[Edited on 7-8-2018 by RogueRose]
Texium

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I wouldn't use rainwater for chemistry, but if you can ensure that it is clean, it works very well for cleaning glassware. I grew up on a rainwater system, where the water from the roof was collected in large tanks, and filtered through cloth, charcoal, and UV before entering the house. I only used it for cleaning glassware, since it was still appreciably acidic. It certainly helped make the DI water I purchased for chemistry last longer.

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MJ101
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I have a similar issue with drinking water in New York City, where I live.
The water has a strong odor of chlorine as well as small amounts of rust in it.
Then, there's fluoridation, which is quite common in the US. I've also read stories about tiny diatoms
in the drinking water, which may interfere with a reaction (Calcium)

I purchased a counter top water filter that removes most of the VOCs and junk from the water.

It's great for cooking and drinking, but I still wouldn't use it for anything other than washing glassware.

Here's a link to the company:
https://www.propurusa.com/

And here's the lab report on the filters that I use:
https://www.propurusa.com/assets/images/16-325%20ProMax%20Co...

I suggest you get distilled water, or distill it yourself. That's the best way to guarantee that your reactions will not be affected
by contaminants.

FWIW.
WGTR
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I just used a couple of gallons of collected condensate to rinse off my condensing unit after spraying it with cleaner. It avoids the situation of hard water deposits in normal tap water clogging the fins. Sometimes I use it to top off batteries or radiators. I never drink it or use it in the kitchen. It's not worth the risk.

Ubya
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 Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose The reason I mentioned putting the water in sunlight was because I had heard that this was a good method to kill bacteria and viruses due to the UV rays. Supposedly a few hours is enough to kill them. IDK if this is true or not but there is a large community that seems to believe this. IDK if doing this with the lid on ensures that no air can get into the water and help algae grow. [Edited on 7-8-2018 by RogueRose]

since when the sun is a good sterilizer???
yes UV rays reach earth surface but they are not nearly enough to sterilize anything. if it was able to, why do you use chlorine in a pool? the sun is enough, the ocean eould also be sterile, every surface would be sterile, which is not the case at all. if you want to sterilize your water with UV, buy a UVC immersion light, ta daaaaaa, don't listen to random hippies and self proclaimed science educators

[Edited on 8-7-2018 by Ubya]

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alking
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Distilled water is less than a dollar a gallon. Why skimp on literally the cheapest solvent in your lab?
unionised
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 Quote: Originally posted by alking Distilled water is less than a dollar a gallon. Why skimp on literally the cheapest solvent in your lab?

Because "free" is still a better deal than cheap.
OldNubbins
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I guess it depends on how much you value your time.

My salary is far lower than the value I place on my personal time, so based off \$1/gal for distilled water I would need to produce over 100 gal/hr to make it worthwhile...
alking
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Same here, IDK what dollar amount I'd put on my time but it's well more than the time and effort it would take to purify the water. Even simply running it through a filter and then drying the filter/glasswear afterward would likely cost more to me than it's worth, especially since that's still not going to be as pure as some 70c/gallon distilled water at the grocery store.

 Sciencemadness Discussion Board » Fundamentals » Beginnings » Summer & collecting purified water from dehumidifier & AC Select A Forum Fundamentals   » Chemistry in General   » Organic Chemistry   » Reagents and Apparatus Acquisition   » Beginnings   » Responsible Practices   » Miscellaneous   » The Wiki Special topics   » Technochemistry   » Energetic Materials   » Biochemistry   » Radiochemistry   » Computational Models and Techniques   » Prepublication Non-chemistry   » Forum Matters   » Legal and Societal Issues