Dehumidifier Water

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous Equipment' started by Worker 11811, Jul 22, 2011.

  1. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    I have a dehumidifier in my darkroom which produces a couple of gallons of water every two or three days. I usually just dump it down the drain but I often think that the water could be useful.

    Water condensed by a dehumidifier is essentially distilled water. Isn't it?

    Provided I keep the coils and the catch basin clean, do you think I could use this water to mix chemistry instead of buying distilled. Just to be sure, I could filter it through one of those Brita water pichers. Couldn't I?

    Just wondering.
     
  2. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    Just buy distilled. I think it's impossible to keep the coils and catch clean. If it were possible, it would be decent water, but the dehumidifier by nature gets lots of airflow and picks up lots of stuff. I supposed if you hepa filtered the air and uv treated the catch basin area, it would be clean, but it's probably not worthwhile.
     
  3. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    Capture the water in a jug that doesn't allow other debris to enter and it should be fine. It is actually cleaner than the tap water in most communities. If you want, just pour it through a filter or fine mesh sieve. I know people who use the water collected from air conditioners.
     
  4. Gerald C Koch

    Gerald C Koch Member

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    Which is cheaper; a gallon of distilled water or a roll of film? Even if you filter this water its just not safe.
     
  5. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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    What makes it not safe?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2011
  6. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Read the many threads here on this subject, but here is a tiny summary. Dust, dirt, grit, bacteria and mold spores also collect on the coils and in the bucket. Look in there and you see black slime! I was taught to never use this water for anything!

    PE
     
  7. jp498

    jp498 Member

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    A dehumidifier is basically an air handler like an air conditioner, but it's not meant to clean the air like a central-AC system (which ideally aims to keep the ductwork clean and improve air quality). Thus the coils are picking up stuff constantly. While it might be reasonable to consider filtering it, I prefer to start with clean water. The temperature cycling only makes it better at collecting stuff you don't want. The water if left alone in the collection bucket gets nasty pretty quick; that means it's got the stuff in it all along to cause that. I've got a dehumidifier in my garage, and I have a hose hooked up to drain it right outdoors rather than collect inside.
     
  8. Bob-D659

    Bob-D659 Member

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    Not to mention chemical dust from the air, acetic acid fumes, etc which collect on the evaporator and the condenser, that water is anything but clean. Steam distilled water is 99 cents a gallon on sale at your local drugstore, here in Canada anyways.

    When you get down to it, a dehumidifier or an a/c evaporator coil does a pretty decent job of cleaning the air. A/c techs have a whole army of chemicals to clean the crud off of the evaporator coils.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 22, 2011
  9. Rick A

    Rick A Subscriber

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  10. Worker 11811

    Worker 11811 Member

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    Well, it seems that, in theory, the idea would work but, once you go to all the trouble to keep the dehumidifier clean and filter the water, it ends up being a loss.

    I'm fine with dumping it and using bottled distilled water.

    I was just wondering, ya' know...