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Cautious Optimist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently had a friend put me onto something I never thought of. He told me that I was making a major mistake by not capturing the condenser water dripping from my central air conditioner tube. In his words, "It's like Miracle-Gro on your tomatoes and garden."

Well, I found a 2.5 gallon bucket that fits just right under the drip. I'm emptying it three times a day! This thing is cranking out 6-7 gallons a day, and I put all of it on my planters of tomatoes, cantaloupes, carrots, peppers, and beans.

So, try to make good use of that water that's just running out onto the ground.
 

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digger I asked about that water once before and it was suggested that it wasn't a good idea to use it on food. That water usually runs through an open pipe to reach the ground and there's all kinds of bacteria that can build up in there, not to mention whatever builds up on the coils of the air conditioner. I'm not knocking what your friend said, but that's what was suggested to me when I asked this question. I really didn't think it should be a problem because it's just whatever dirt is already blowing around, but just the same I decided not to use it. Did your friend say it was clean and safe? Our water just runs out onto the ground and eventually waters a bit of grass, and keeps the ants out of my house too since they have ready access to water in the summer.

EDIT: I do remember looking this up and from what I've read it's not to drink, but I don't recall seeing anything about watering my food with it.
 

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Maximus
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...
EDIT: I do remember looking this up and from what I've read it's not to drink, but I don't recall seeing anything about watering my food with it.
I water my garden with gray water all the time. Soil will filter out the possible heavy metals. Never really seem to harm my plants too bad. Am I ingesting some "bad stuff" that travels through the plants... maybe, but it is still healthier than what I get at the supermarket LOL

If you are concerned though, you can use them to water flowers or grass.
 

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Some years back, I worked on a floral walkin cooler. Did a replacement evaporator(cooling coil) change as old one was rotted out and leaking freon. Owner asked if I could install a flex drain line for the condensate water so he could use for watering flowers? He was tickled that I installed a valve w/ hose adapt so he could slow down the drain water at the knee high height. Perfect for a 5 gal bucket to water his products. Valve kept from leakage all over the floor when switching buckets. He is still using our system today from 15yr ago!
 

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Cautious Optimist
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Some years back, I worked on a floral walkin cooler. Did a replacement evaporator(cooling coil) change as old one was rotted out and leaking freon. Owner asked if I could install a flex drain line for the condensate water so he could use for watering flowers? He was tickled that I installed a valve w/ hose adapt so he could slow down the drain water at the knee high height. Perfect for a 5 gal bucket to water his products. Valve kept from leakage all over the floor when switching buckets. He is still using our system today from 15yr ago!
Wish mine was that high! I have to use a smaller 2.5 gallon bucket (former dog food container). :upsidedown:
 

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Cautious Optimist
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
digger I asked about that water once before and it was suggested that it wasn't a good idea to use it on food. That water usually runs through an open pipe to reach the ground and there's all kinds of bacteria that can build up in there, not to mention whatever builds up on the coils of the air conditioner. I'm not knocking what your friend said, but that's what was suggested to me when I asked this question. I really didn't think it should be a problem because it's just whatever dirt is already blowing around, but just the same I decided not to use it. Did your friend say it was clean and safe? Our water just runs out onto the ground and eventually waters a bit of grass, and keeps the ants out of my house too since they have ready access to water in the summer.

EDIT: I do remember looking this up and from what I've read it's not to drink, but I don't recall seeing anything about watering my food with it.
Actually, water from the condenser is some of the cleanest, purest water available. It is merely condensation from atmospheric humidity caused by the temperature differential. Mine runs in a steady stream from a 1-inch piece of PVC pipe extending outside my exterior wall. The pipe has an angle of decline from the condenser that makes the water flow to the outside of the house.

I am quite sure that I could culture the stuff and it would be clean as a whistle. But even if it does harbor a few bacteria, so what? When watering plants the soil will filter that out. And I'm sure it would be fine, even, for drinking after running through a good filter.

Alls I know is that my 'maters love to get a good, ice-cold drink of the stuff! :thumb:
 

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Banned
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You are taking a risk of dying,even handling the water,DO NOT USE IT,please!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionellosis

Potential sources of such contaminated water include cooling towers (some 40% to 60% of ones tested[8]) used in industrial cooling water systems as well as in large central air conditioning systems
Legionellosis is sometimes fatal,easily transmitted,and is a specialized bacteria.

Thanks,Bob
 

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www.chemflame.com
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I don't know if I would drink (even filtered or boiled). I have also been told not to use it for plants, but the lawn where it drips out seems to be ok, so it probably is ok to use in the garden.
 

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"It's like Miracle-Gro on your tomatoes and garden." i think he means its like clean water... not nutrients added like miracle grow.

And, these are not my own words, its from somebody else. "Infection normally occurs after inhaling an aerosol (fine airborn particles) containing Legionella bacteria. Potential sources of such contaminated water include cooling towers used in industrial cooling water systems as well as in large central air conditioning systems, evaporative coolers, hot water systems, showers, windshield washers[9], whirlpool spas, architectural fountains, room-air humidifiers, ice making machines, misting equipment, and similar disseminators that draw upon a public water supply.
The disease may also be transmitted from contaminated aerosols generated in hot tubs if the disinfection and maintenance program is not done rigorously.[10] Freshwater ponds, creeks, and ornamental fountains are potential sources of Legionella.[11] The disease is particularly associated with hotels, fountains, cruise ships and hospitals with old, poorly maintained pipework and cooling systems."

according to a quick google search, this bacteria is everywhere. I say its safe to use on your plants. No snorting it.
 

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I knew an AC man that ran it into a bowl for his dogs to drink. He said they love the cool water in the summer and he has been doing it for 5+ years with no problems with his animals. I am not saying it is a good idea or not I guess you could buy a water test kit if you realy wanted to know. I think I will just keep it going into the flower bed.
 

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One would have to isolate them selves from all life .

You are taking a risk of dying,even handling the water,DO NOT USE IT,please!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legionellosis



Legionellosis is sometimes fatal,easily transmitted,and is a specialized bacteria.

Thanks,Bob
the bacteria is every where naturally, even potting soil .
A better prevenitive is to grow up playing in the dirt and develop the anti bodies to deal with desease .
People that live in fear of all this stuff are more likely to acquire the illnesses they work so hard to avoid.
If you never challange the immune system it wil not develop ,fact.
Of several familes in our church ,growing up in the 50s and 60s ,it was easiet to tell the healthier children . The poorer ones usually. the were alllowed to play in the dirt and be dirty all day long ,eat less than perfect food ,bugs and beans . while the rich clean kids were sick all the time .
A lot of people here are not going to survive simply because they are grossed out by lifestyles less sophisticated then them selves.
If you have been breathing the air in the same atmosphere the distilled water is being drawn from it really doesn't make any difference .
Important to note however , that if there are sick folk sharing the same air ,it is likely any one not immune, will pick up the same illness any way .
Un fortunately the good modern medicine tries to do ,makes people more dependent on them and disregard the development of their own immune system.
BTW adding colloidial silver to the water will sufficate all the bacteria.
 

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I knew an AC man that ran it into a bowl for his dogs to drink. He said they love the cool water in the summer and he has been doing it for 5+ years with no problems with his animals. I am not saying it is a good idea or not I guess you could buy a water test kit if you realy wanted to know. I think I will just keep it going into the flower bed.
Yes,my dog drinks water from a lot of sources that would probably kill me,BTW it can be used for lawn and flowers.All the mold,mildew,and dirt that gets past the filtering system is in the water and CAN spawn a disease,not worth the risk for food crops or human consumption,IMHO.

Thanks,,Bob
 

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Hobby = Snail Porn
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Yes,my dog drinks water from a lot of sources that would probably kill me,BTW it can be used for lawn and flowers.All the mold,mildew,and dirt that gets past the filtering system is in the water and CAN spawn a disease,not worth the risk for food crops or human consumption,IMHO.

Thanks,,Bob
I wouldn't use that water on salad greens or root crops, but I can't see a reason why vining (growing UP on a fence and not on the ground) and bush crops would be at risk.
 

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Cautious Optimist
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Actually, the legionella "hysteria" is pretty left field for water dripping from a home air conditioner condenser.

Legionella requires warm (almost hot) water for propagation. This is the environment that you find in hot tubs (a primary source of legionella) and in large cooling towers for large buildings.

NOT on the small condenser coil for an a/c unit on a 2,000 sf house.

I choose to use this ice-cold water, and my maters, peppers, and cantaloupes are lovin' it!
 

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Actually, the legionella "hysteria" is pretty left field for water dripping from a home air conditioner condenser.

Legionella requires warm (almost hot) water for propagation. This is the environment that you find in hot tubs (a primary source of legionella) and in large cooling towers for large buildings.
Exactly. The most I've heard about it have been incidents on cruise ships, where it ends up in AC ducts on the ships (along with black mold of the aspergillus variety and other unhealthy things) while they float around in warm humid climates.

Since I use a window AC unit in the summer in the same general area of the house where the first floor shower and the basement sump pump are located, which is much higher than the garden, I've been brainstorming ideas for an integrated catchment system. I could bury simple piping near the house that would still be high enough above the garden to use gravity to transfer the water, then run it above ground through a flower/blackberry garden that runs perpendicular to the vegetable garden, and then couple that to some kind of flex hose system so I could move it out of the way for mowing/etc. or to change the flow direction.

I probably won't get around to it this year, but am looking into materials. It seems like something I could do in an afternoon, but I want to do my research and make sure I'll get the most bang for my buck and effort.
 
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