Use Recycled Water

Here is simple way to collect a fair amount of water each day for use during the summer that doesn’t involve a rain barrel or trying to save up gray water from your kitchen sink or your bathtub.

Collect water from your air conditioner’s condensation drain tube.

If I guessed right, you’re probably scratching your head on what that is. If you don’t know, its the tube that drains out water collected by the air conditioner while it cools the air in your home. This water is the moisture inside your home that is drawn out of the air during the process – essentially a dehumidification process.

Now you’re probably wondering where the heck that tube is.

If you’re house is like mine, you’ll find somewhere on the exterior of your home – a white PVC tube sticking out of the wall. It could be near your condensing unit(s), or in a random place (as mine is). Now, it’s best that you have this water draining away from your foundation – I had a downspout basin below mine that drained the water away, until I came up with my collection “system” you see here.

All I’ve done is add some pipe fittings to extend the tube to drain above a plastic bin. I just drilled a couple of holes in the top to allow the water to drain in, and a relief hole near the top on the end facing away from the foundation. I simply empty the container into a watering can when I want it.

Depending on your conditions, you can collect a fair amount of water this way – perhaps a gallon or two (or more) per day. It’s enough to water a few plants in containers here and there. If you create a large enough collection system, over the course of a week you probably would have enough to do some serious watering.

Published in: on May 25, 2010 at 8:10 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Great idea!

  2. Unfortunately ours does not drain outside. It just leaks out around the unit in the basement. We keep telling the landlord about it, but so far nothing has been done……

    • Wow – sorry to here that! For some people it’s connected to an existing drain line, so they never see it.

      • The house was built in ’64 and I think that the AC was put in much later and they didn’t think to put a drainage pipe in…..

  3. Another recycling water opportunity are dehumifier units – I have a three gallon one in our back basement and I have to empty that one every…single…day and I use that to water the plants on the deck.

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