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Atmospheric condensation considerations...

Greetings, I am in the process of upgrading the literature used for educating our RPA members about total comfort HVAC. On the topic of humidification/dehumidification, I am making the recommendation that some means of water treatment/conditioning be incorporated into the system to minimize corrosion associated with hard water.

Here's my question. If a person has a dehumidification system, it makes sense in my mind to utilize this "atmospheric" water to be used in the process of humidifcation. The water would be free of all hardness and other associated salts that cause corrosion on evaporative elements. So, can a person "harvest" condensation and turn around and use that same fluid for humidifcation without compromising health and equipment?

It makes sense in my hydronic mind, but I want to run it by other minds and see if they agree. I'm not talking about the condensation associated with combusition, although THAT fluid HAS to have some other benefical use. I understand that there are contaminants in that fluid that a person DOESN'T want to recycle into teh air. Maybe it's just good for water plants, or spitzer bushes, which like a low pH. One use I have discovered (inadvertently) is that if a mouse drinks it, it iwll cause their internal organs to fail, which causes their demise. Unfortunately, they usually pick a bad place to die and rot, causing olfactory issues...

Thanks in advance for your learned comments.

It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.


  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 3,864
    Best to check ASHRAE standard 188-2015 concerning Legionnaires Disease. Storing without treatment or testing may have issues.
  • bmwpowere36m3
    bmwpowere36m3 Member Posts: 512
    Sounds like you'd be storing water from the summer months... to use in the winter? Not a professional, but I think that brings on a whole set of issues wrt to storage, bacteria, etc...

    I'd be more inclined to use water from dehumidification to water plants... than to reintroduce into the home. How much water are we talking about?
  • hot_rod
    hot_rod Member Posts: 19,261
    Maybe just use it as grey water for outside watering, flushing, etc.
    Or window washing if all the minerals have been pulled out.

    Ever test the ph of that de-humidifier water? I wonder how it compares to boiler condensate waters?

    Here in Missouri, it common to have a small portable dehumidifier in the basement. Mine just drains out to the lawn, and hasn't caused any problems with the grass.
    Bob "hot rod" Rohr
    trainer for Caleffi NA
    Living the hydronic dream
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 14,379
    edited February 2016
    I remove a good 6 gallons a day from my basement from April - October.

    Wait, 1000+ gallons a year?!?

    Jeez............ Damn dirt floor and stone walls!
    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • Harvey Ramer
    Harvey Ramer Member Posts: 2,225
    There's probably a lot more stuff in that condensate than meets the eye. Anything that is airborne can end up in there. I have cleaned condensate traps that were horribly disgusting. Green slime and whatnot.

    It's a novel thought but I don't know that the logistics and economics of making it feasible would allow it to really catch on.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 21,093
    The condensate will probably have some odd stuff in it, as @Harvey Ramer noted. What it won't have in it is much in the way of buffering capacity, and as a result it may be surprisingly acid (from the carbon dioxide in the air) and corrosive.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England