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Using a Rain Barrel to Collect Condensate From Your Air Conditioner!

The a/c causes lots of condensation that just runs out onto the ground. From what I've read, condensate water from the a/c is 99% pure clear water, no chemicals, just a bit of dust! Why not catch it and use it? We did just that! Here's how we did it.
It took right at a full week to gather a barrel full of water. That's approximately 55 gallons of water that would have otherwise jut gone onto the ground. Now we use it to water all the little plants and the garden!
Time: 45 Minutes Cost: $30.00 Difficulty: Easy
This is our final product and it works perfectly! Why didn't we think of this a long time ago? We don't know, but I'm glad my honey decided he wanted to try and catch the dripping water.
These barrels are actually all one piece, no lid to take off so you can get to the inside. Using a reciprocating saw, cut the "lid" off. As you can see, this barrel was nasty! After it was open, it got a good scrubbing with soap and water.
You can get the the whole story and a list of supplies on our blog and then just follow the step by step directions for installing the spigot. Remember to add the Teflon tape to the spigot for a better seal.
We used a piece of screening to filter out any unwanted yuck into our water barrel.
Next, my honey used the hole saw again and made some drain holes in the lid just in case it rained, the barrel would catch the water. Double duty!
The lid is actually turned upside down. It makes a perfectly snug fit to hold the screen in place.
To raise the barrel off the ground, my honey built a stand using left over 2x4s, 4x4s and some more of our fence pickets. That's another post though! The stand was necessary so we could get a water can under the spigot to use the water we'd gathered.

To see more: http://ourcloverhouse.blogspot.com/2014/07/using-rain-barrel-to-collect-condensate.html

Ask the creator about this project

  • Carole
    Carole Australia
    on Aug 9, 2014

    We keep two buckets under ours and it only occurred to me recently to use it on the garden as we are in drought like conditions. I regularly empty it onto our garden plants now.

    • DeeDee
      DeeDee Decatur, TX
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Carole its a very good thing you're doing! Praying for rain for yall!

  • Amy P
    Amy P Frontenac, KS
    on Aug 11, 2014

    We do this but it goes to a big water bowl for our dogs. They never run out of water when it is hot outside, because the air conditioner is working extra hard to fill it up!

  • Nancy Hatcher
    Nancy Hatcher Republic, MO
    on Aug 11, 2014

    I have a plant that needs a lot of water under mine. It looks pretty and I don't have to worry about it drying out. One year I put a tomato plant there and it did better than my other tomato plants but here's too much shade for it now.

  • Kathy C
    Kathy C Newport News, VA
    on Aug 11, 2014

    You can also use extra pavers or bricks you have lying around to build the stand. They make a good, solid base to hold the weight and the stand won't rot as it might with wood. We measured each time we added a layer of bricks to make sure a watering can would fit under it. Also, in the winter, if you live in an area that freezes, make sure your can is empty so that it won't crack if the water freezes into a big ice block. And, finally, make sure you clean it out at least once a year to wipe off the algae that forms inside. I build water barrels with my Master Gardeners and this is the advice we give people that make them. Hope this helps...

    • Kathy C
      Kathy C Newport News, VA
      on Aug 12, 2014

      @Clover House, DeeDee You're most welcome!! I've used the AC water for my plants and have never had a problem. I do not let my dogs have it though as I fear it may have some type of chemical residue in it.

  • R. Adam Q
    R. Adam Q Smyrna, TN
    on Aug 11, 2014


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