Water from A/C overflow

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 08, 2002 at 00:00
ThreadID: 1937 Views:1914 Replies:5 FollowUps:3
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This may sound stupid but...Is there any reason the water that comes from the Air Conditioning overflow can not be stored and drunk?

I have measured the amount of water coming from the overflow and it is sufficent to keep an on-board water tank full. It appears to taste OK and is very clean (I distilled 4ltrs to see what was left behind and found virtualy nothing.). It seems such a waste of clean water so I was thinking of connecting the overflow via a filter (Just in case) to our water tank.

What do you all think?
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Reply By: StephenF - Sunday, Sep 08, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 08, 2002 at 00:00
Sounds like a good idea, Kiwoka. The water has been condensed from the air that passes over the a/c evaporator and should be very pure. The amount you get will depend on the humidity of the outside air.
AnswerID: 6468

Follow Up By: Bob - Sunday, Sep 08, 2002 at 00:00

Sunday, Sep 08, 2002 at 00:00
And the only problem is that in the areas where water is really scarce (eg outback) you may find the a/c produces very little water because of the very dry air. Mine was producing litres in Brisbane last January but virtually none in Birdsville a few months later!
FollowupID: 2886

Reply By: Savvas - Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00
This sounds like a great idea. You may have found an idea for a niche market! I might investigate doing the same on my Jackaroo, as it produces heaps of water in Sydney. Just be aware when doing this that you don't get water backing up into the condenser. You need to ensure that if your tank gets full, any extra water being produced still has a path to be expelled. Another problem may be that if your car is on an angle, say a steep descent, you have to ensure that the water in your tank doesn't rush forward and up the pipe into the condenser (and maybe into the cabin). Just some thoughts. But done right, it is an absolutely great idea!
AnswerID: 6484

Reply By: Mark - Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00
Sounds like a great idea but i'd be weary about drinking the water from an air conditioner condensor, they are known to be breeding grounds for
bacteria like Legionella. I'm no expert but the theory is that the large volumes of air that pass through the condensor help accumalate any air borne bacteria into the water collected.
AnswerID: 6494

Follow Up By: Stephenf - Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00
I thought that Legionella breed in evaporative a/c units that run constantly, eg. in buildings, and was airborne in the cooled air. Car a/c units are refrigerated and dry out after every use. Nevertheless, it might be an idea to check.
FollowupID: 2908

Follow Up By: Member - Keith - Tuesday, Sep 10, 2002 at 00:00

Tuesday, Sep 10, 2002 at 00:00
Stephen & Mark, My wife contracted Legionella at the Melb Aquarium about 2 years ago and the class action claim is still in progress. Stephen is correct - legionella bacs like the warm water in airconditioning cooling towers and breed like crazy if the unit is not serviced regularly. The danger is of course the aerosol from the cooling towers not the air in the building. My wife got the bacs while resting on a bench outside the aquarium. However I understand that legionella can also be a danger in potting mix. Nevertheless, Mark's suggestion to treat the water to get rid of all sorts of bacs is a good one. Cheers.
FollowupID: 2922

Reply By: CJ - Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00

Monday, Sep 09, 2002 at 00:00
The 'guys' from Qld Subaru Club have this listed as an easy mod for their members cars. In a Forester the pipe is easily pulled back from firewall and plugged into a 'Coke' bottle. If you are not sure about the water quality it could be boiled - but it is certainly a great source of water that shouldn't be overlooked.
AnswerID: 6504

Reply By: shane - Saturday, Sep 14, 2002 at 00:00

Saturday, Sep 14, 2002 at 00:00
you could use that water for washing ,showers etc and save your drinking water.
Always a good idea to have more than one supply anyway.
you should have a break of about an inch between the ac outlet pipe and the hose that goes to the storage tank, you could wrap a thin piece of foam around the break to stop dirt getting in.
AnswerID: 6609

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