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Old 02-01-2007, 03:51   #1
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idea for watermaking

if i had a brand new aircon and i live in the tropics and run my sircon for about an hour a day off the generator would the water produced be drinkable? i only ask as even a 10000btu can produce a fair amount of water as a byproduct when the humidity is up
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Old 02-01-2007, 04:46   #2
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NO

Although the drainage of condensed moisture from air conditioning units, refrigerators, freezers, and refrigerated spaces does not require use of a Marine Pollution Control Device to mitigate adverse impacts on the marine environment - Air-Conditioner Condensate should not be considered “potable” water.
ASHRAE* defines Grey water as wastewater that is collected from sinks, showers, baths, and air conditioning condensate, and is treated for reuse.

*ASRAE: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers
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Old 02-01-2007, 06:01   #3
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I know we've talked about this before somewhere. Why is it that this water isn't potable? What are some of the specific chemicals, aside from possible mold mycotoxins?

I ask because we use our dehumidifier water, which is created the same way as aircon water to wash our dishes. Of course, we rinse in fresh potable, but we soap them up in the dehumidifier water.
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Old 02-01-2007, 13:24   #4
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It will include all the crap that is in the air plus will promote growth of such stuff too. I know my house hold unit in the attic has chlorine tablets in it to try to eliminate growth in the condensate. The air isn't really all that clean. As it moves ofver the condensor coil it precipitates out particalate as well as the humidty. You sort of get a bonus with the water. I wouldn't drink it, but washing with it if you don't store it for long periods might be OK. Piping it back into the water tank would be a very bad idea.

Many A/C systems use a pitot tube to allow the seawater cooling pump to suck out the condensate with the cooling water. The tubes get stuck up with all sorts of crap you wou;dn't want to drink.
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Old 02-01-2007, 13:57   #5
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In theory the condensate from the evaporator coils will be potable water and there ARE watermaking systems that trap "mist" and condense it from the air for this very purpose. The military has them on tractor-trailers, too--BIG installations.

I'd be very leary of doing it with an airconditioner though, because of the issue of who knows what was on the evaporator pipes. As Paul says, lotsw of STUFF is going past them. Then again, it is stuff we breath...it probably is safe to drink what we breath.<G>

If you made a point to keep them clean...and certainly offshore where the air is cleaner...I can't see why not. That would also mean installing the evaporator pipes in a way that made them easy to clean--And because efficient pipes are going to be finned and the fins are going to be hard to clean...that might be difficult. And, you might want to send out some water samples for analysis just to make sure. (There could be lead contamination from solder, for instance, or perhaps excess aluminum).

I know that dogs routinely drink up the condensate from air conditioners in the street, but then again, dogs ain't known for their discriminating eating habits.<G>
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Old 02-01-2007, 15:11   #6
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i have lived on tank water before and it is incredible what grows in tanks and gutters but doesnt affect the taste of the water, once had a house with a couple of dead rats in the tank, theyd obviously been there a while as they were see through, didnt stay there long though as couldnt get the rats out of tank
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Old 03-01-2007, 05:23   #7
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The only way to determine the constituents of your condensate water would be to perform a complete lab’ anaylisis - (analyzed for bacteria and fungi, pathogenic protozoa, metalic & chemical contaminants, and allergens, etc.).

It's well known that the dark, damp conditions that exist within HVAC & Dehumidification systems can contribute to the formation of bacteria, fungus, and other microbes. These undesirables can cover metal surfaces with a thin, almost invisible layer. In more advanced stages, the coating can be thicker and easily seen.

Cleaning does provide some short-term protection against dangerous contamination of your system. However, as soon as your system is turned back on*, the dangerous micro-organisms begin to re-colonise.
* * In these warm and humid conditions, mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours after the materials have gotten wet and stay wet with a continual water source. The air conditioning system once contaminated with micro-organisms becomes an effective amplifier of Mycotoxcins (mold release molecules), and Endotoxins & Glucans (mold breakdown products).
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Old 03-01-2007, 08:51   #8
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Legionella (Legionaries Disease) and similar pathogens are prone to flourish in AC condenser water and on the coils (massive colonies - biofilm/calcyx). Such biofilms when decomposed release endotoxins, etc. which are the nasties of cellular decomposition (GIVE YOU FEVER). The large mass flow of air across the coils will mathematically enhance the capture of such bacteria. Legionella and similar bacteria are especially prone to enhanced growth if such AC units have reheater sections of the coil that elevate the air temp once the vapor load is dropped in the cold coil section.
Even far out at sea atmospheric air is quite laden with particles (many of the particles as air-borne bacteria, etc.) .... to the tune of about 30000 particles (0,1-0,2µM) per cu. ft.
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Old 03-01-2007, 10:26   #9
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Guys, while critters can easily grow in AC systems...bear in mind that if it was THAT simple, and the conditions THAT flexible, then we would find AC systems had been banned by the survivors after 90% of us had already been killed off by the critters.

Considering that most car AC systems run 10-20 years with no cleaning and zero access, and the occupants sealed in them rarely come down with legionaire's disease...

This is like saying "canned food will kill you, botulism can grow in it." Yes, it can. No, it usually and commonly doesn't. Whether Sean wants to gamble and what table stakes he wants to play for...that's another issue.<G>
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Old 03-01-2007, 11:40   #10
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My father contracted Legionaires disease in May. He went from feeling poorly to almost dead in less than three days. He spent over 30 days in ICU and fortunatly doesn't remember a thing from it. It was a very bad thing. They believe he contracted it while cleaning out the gutters. I did a lot of research during that time and current thinking is while it is spread in contaminated water sources and soil most AC units are not a source of worry. Large evaporating towers are. Also you have to breath it, not ingest it as it is a bacteria that lives, and thrives, in the lungs.

I can say it is scary to think what could have happened if he had been somewhere without good medical care, like a long ocean passage.
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Old 03-01-2007, 13:10   #11
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Very intresting posts. So, given that Leigonella and other nasties can thrive on systems, do you think it is safe to wash dishes in that water? Our process is as follows:

1) Obtain water from reservoir in dehumidifier
2) Add 1 tablespoon of bleach and a good squirt of dish soap
3) Wash dishes and set aside
4) Empty dishwater from the "wash cycle"
5) Fill basin up with potable fresh water from our main water tank
6) Rinse dishes off above the basin of potable water with faucet, and dunk some of the dishes in the potable rinse water and rinse in the basin (to save more water of course!)

Seems to me the nasties would have a hard time making it from dehumidifier evaporator to my mouth, since they would have to go through a bleach bath, scrubbing with soap, then a fresh water rinse and a dry before I come in contact with the surface.

The bacteria and toxins on 2 day old fish left in the sink don't make it through, so it seem like it would be even harder for the toxins and bacteria from the dehumidifier to make it. Of course, I'm not biologist. Richhh is. He helped me get rid of a serious mold problem. (THANKS AGAIN, RICH!! BORAX!)

Any thoughts?
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Old 03-01-2007, 13:13   #12
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Sean-
I suppose one could use a Steripen or other UV-C light source to simply nuke the condensate before using it. That simple step ensures a 100% biokill in the water, even faster than the bleach does. Tastes better, too.<G>
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Old 03-01-2007, 14:10   #13
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Oh brother, UV doesnt kill 100% bacteria, it 'stuns' most of the cells so that they cell division is greatly attenuated. .
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Old 03-01-2007, 14:15   #14
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Sean - what you are dealing with bioforms is statistical probabilities, just like the statistical probability that there will be pathogens in a sea water wash, etc. etc. Those statistical probabilities will include the apparent activity level of your auto-immune system.
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Old 03-01-2007, 14:31   #15
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Richh-
No one said "UV". UV-A, UV-B, and UV-C are all quite different. Exposure to high energy UV-C is, from every source I have found, stated to disrupt all living matter including bacteria and viruses. Not stun them, but disrupt them and render them safe.

Not UV, but UV-C specifically.

Steripen portable water purifier If they've been lying, they've fooled an awful lot of reputable folks who seem to agree with them.
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