Atmospheric Water Generator

I can't drink the water supplied from our city,  and the atmospheric Water generators out there cost more than many can afford.  So I made one for a little over $300.  That is one sixth the price of a lowest costing unit sold online.

1 - New Dehumidifier (this brand is Kolin) $225
1 - New Extreme Water Filter system (hardware or Home shops) $125 in the US.
1 - 32" piece of clear vinyl tubing (found at Aquarium shops) $3
1 - Servo Voltage Regulator (in case of power fluctuations) $75
2 - 4"X9" 3M scrubber pads $2
1 - Zip tie 10cents

3/4 inch drill with a 1/2 inch drill bit
Philip Screwdriver

1) Remove all covers to your new dehumidifier. Rinse inside out thoroughly with garden hose don't use high pressure it will damage condenser flanges. dry completely before using.
2) Remove knock out for hose on back cover
3) Run clear vinyl tube through knock out and attach to hose connector inside the Dehumidifier (this will by pass the
internal one gallon reservoir )
4) Cut the 3M scrubber pads to fit air filter holder on front of machine for air filter (original filter does not trap a lot
of dust) attach filter holder to front panel.
5) Wash water filter Unit and filter before use. This unit has a 1 micron ceramic filter in top and a five stage filter in
the bottom.
6) Drill hole in top of filter unit and run vinyl tubing into the filter. Be sure not to crimp hose. Place top on filter
7) Plug unit into servo regulator and you are ready to make water from the air.

Turn on machine run for 6-8 hours depending on humidity levels to fill upper filter area.
Allow water to filter into the lower storage area.
Water comes out Neutral at 6.0 pH after filters it will be around 7.4-8.0 depending on what type of mineralization filters you used
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WilliamH383 minutes ago

What size vinyl tubing are you using 1/4" or 1/2" for this unit? Also, is the Zen (type) filter in the picture the only additional filter you are using? I am currently using a Katadyn for my home filtration. Thanks

sgt_rock3 months ago

Legionaire's disease is passed through dehumidifier water. Are these filters good enough to filter that out?

Oh, legionaire's disease from what I gather can be in any water system,,, there are filter systems to prevent or help prevent, but nothing is 100%... It thrives in stagnant water that is 68-113 degrees, which anything coming from your hot water tank could possibly have it,,, from what I have also gathered, to remove it from your water system, you would have to have the pipes cleaned with intense heat,,, ( I suspect a seam system to blow out your pipes or something,,, you could always search and ask around, Im working on the same issue also.... and its not just about a micron filter,,, search around and be sure yourself... there are even places that sell filter systems in a faucet or shower head that is to help prevent,,, but the key word here is PREVENT.... I do not know if it can live in extremely hot water, 115 degrees and above,,,, or colder temps, but, if they thrive in 68-113 degrees,,, extremely cold water should help, until its heated, but you also want to keep the water moving, constantly,,, this helps it from going stagnant... even some kind of stir system in a bottom of a barrel or something,,,

chesterjohn (author)  sgt_rock3 months ago

yes a micron one should remove any virus or disease with no problem.

-chase-1 month ago
I've often wondered about using a dehumidifier for water collection. Interesting to hear the responses on precautions. Obviously you found one you feel comfortable using.

I do have to put the question to you again about that water filter you are using. Replies have been vague.

What brand is it? And can you provide links to Ebay, Amazon or Aliba(sp?) as to were we can get one?

I've searched and haven't found it under "Extreme Water Filter" or anything close.

Thanks for sharing your build.

- chase -
atomcloud1 month ago
http://newsoffice.mit.edu/2013/how-to-get-fresh-water-out-of-thin-air-0830 be careful, I dont believe vinyl tubing is safe to drink from like a garden hose, I believe it contains pthalates, also I think they are so small you cant filter out that chem... maybe with diatoms, but not your standard charcoal filter. Also water that has less dissolved solids than your body will leach minerals from ya, a la osmosis. Very cool though, good water is crucial.
cefarmer1 month ago

at night there is more humidity

atmoswater3 years ago
Just a note about water quality testing---if you plan to drink the water from your machine over the long term I would recommend an annual comprehensive potable water test including conventional parameters, total metals analysis, dissolved metals analysis, and microbiological analysis. I did such a test with a similar dehumidifier-water treatment system and found dissolved fluoride was 2.1 mg/L which is higher than the maximum acceptable concentration of 1.5 mg/L. The fluoride was likely coming from the aluminum evaporator coil of my dehumidifier. The Kolin dehumidifer may be fine but testing will verify that the product water meets water quality standards.

Bacteria growth in the system (bacteria are always present in the air processed by the system) can be controlled by weekly cleaning of the system components.

I have a website dedicated to providing accurate scientific knowledge about water-from-air systems. You are welcome to visit www.atmoswater.com
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater2 years ago

So how many PPM's per gallon would 1.5 mg/l equal?
1.5 mg/L = 1.5 ppm

Please see unit conversion examples at http://www.ausetute.com.au/partspm.html

One would simply say "ppm". The phrase "ppm per gallon" is invalid. You could use units of grain/gallon (US) if you wish. To convert a unit from milligram per liter (mg / L) to grain per gallon (U.S.) (gr / gal) ., multiply by 0.058417834731272 [source: http://metricsystemconversion.info/grain-per-gallon-U.S.-gr-gal-.-to-milligram-per-liter-mg-L.html?func=detail]

6 mg/gal

chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater2 years ago
That works out perfect then

As a precaution I bought a Berkey PF-4 Reduction Element. which under testing based on 20-30ppm (2.0-3.0mg/L) reduced fluoride by 95% and in some cases 99%.

Lead is reduced by 99%

Also it absorbs heavy metal Ions if there be any.

So the Addition of the Berkey PF-4 would eliminate any harmful metals from this Atmospheric Water Generator is well worth the investment.

Currently the water being produced after the PF-4 has a 7.0pH completely neutral. A mineralization filter put in the bottom of this unit will increase the pH to 7.4.
If you're looking for the purest water possible after extracting it from the atmosphere, you could either Ozonate the water, that'll kill all virus, bacteria, fungi, and should neutralize heavy metals & other nasties. You could also get a bit more tricky and runs some electric leads into your gathered water and generate some HHO(Browns Gas/Oxyhydrogen), burn that, which recombines into PURE molecular, unadulterated water. And of course you can then pull heat from the HHO burn and generate steam/hot water/energy(which then can be rerouted to power the AWG), etc. Hope that helps.
chesterjohn (author)  MindbenderMike2 years ago
interesting idea. food for thought that is for sure. I have a multi stage filter for tap water and I have the AWG. the water from the AWG is so much more refreshing to drink. What process of Ozonation were you thinking? I know if you steam water and expose the steam to a strong UV it converts the steam to Ozone. then you cool the steam down through distillation and you get a pure water with traces of Hydrogen Peroxide. This happens in nature in the upper atmosphere as the evaporated water gets to the Upper atmosphere it is exposed to high UV and creates our Ozone layer. Good points you got there
Well, I could get all conspiratorial and connect the dots, showing how Ozone production, Tesla, cures for cancer, free energy, anti gravity, transmutation and other oddities were all suppressed about a century ago by the industrial elite, buttt, I'll just say:
Google "Medical Ozone Generator" "Water Ozonater" "Ozonated Olive Oil" & "Ozone Therapy"...and there's now even HHO geneators that turn the Oxygen into Ozone and then use the Hydrogen for fuel supplementation.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater3 years ago
I did want to ask a question as your concern was one of mine when I first was looking for a dehumidifier.

would not the fluoride cause the water to have a higher than normal pH?

Keeping the unit clean if true for any water filter and storage system. I am wanting to place a UV light in the storage unit that also helps with killing bacteria.
Because pH is related to the hydronium ion concentration, [H3O+], in the water the presence of fluoride anions, [F-], should not affect the pH.

A couple of useful references about using UV in small water systems such as water coolers are:

- http://www.watertechonline.com/disinfection/article/water-temperature-and-uv-systems-0407

- http://www.watertechonline.com/disinfection/article/cooler-sanitizing-%E2%80%94-with-o3-uv-h2o2-or-chlorine
The addition of fluoride anions decreases pH.

[F-] + [H30+] -> HF + H2O

chesterjohn (author)  burntferret2 years ago
the water directly from the generator has a 7.0pH.
Thanks for the correction to my chemical analysis. Theoretically, you seem to be correct but the paper, Can Fluoridation Affect Water Lead(II) Levels and Lead(II) Neurotoxicity?, at http://www.fluoridealert.org/urbansky.pdf, in section 5 has an explanation about the buffer capacity of a solution such as water. The practical net result is that adding fluoride to water has no measurable effect on the pH. It is interesting how complex things can get!
chesterjohn (author)  burntferret3 years ago
so you are saying that fluoride makes water acidic?

I am glad the unit I have used Stainless Steel on it condensing coils. Salty air from off the sea eats up aluminum that is why this one is made with stainless steel.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater3 years ago

Thanks for those links. It is important for people to know how to keep their drinking water storage area clean and bacterial free.

that would even go for inline reverse osmosis filters as well. Cleaning filter cartridges and holders are a must for healthy drinking water.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater3 years ago
Great Article on the UV. My lamp is much Higher than the ones you have in your study and it is a lamp designed to be in the water placing it correctly is important,

Our water temp never drops below 60f or above 70f. We are in a warm tropical country even our air temperature when it is cold it is 76f but as high as 98f.

Our humidity levels on an average are between 86%-100%. During our dry season our humidity level is 79%-89%.
chesterjohn (author)  atmoswater3 years ago
What I liked about the Kolin unit it that it uses Stainless Steel condensing coil not aluminum. It is made for Island and seaside use where there is high salt in the air. If they used aluminum it would corrode easily and quickly.

The Micron 1 ceramic filter keeps bacteria and airborne contaminates out of the drinking water.

Bacteria was and is the problem with the municipal water here. and the bottled water companies are not regulated and tested by the Local health dept.

Thanks for your link. I am looking into some strips to check dissolved metals they are not available here. I didn't want to buy a 100 strips bottle yet.
craig.bartmer4 months ago

Can you please be more specific about that two chamber water filter you are using? I can not find anything similar to that by searching online. is there a site for it? did you make that too?


chesterjohn (author)  craig.bartmer3 months ago

I bought this in the Philippines. Alibaba had them listed on one of their sites search water filters

JamesB671 month ago
TeresaR31 month ago
Can you use charcoal or other diy filter after you make the water if your system filter goes bad ?

how many gallons are you getting per day????

chesterjohn (author)  wygrizzlybear3 months ago

in a 24 hour with 80% humidity I can produce 15 gallons

thanks,,, I know someone that purchased an in-home one, no diy,,, for here in wyoming they said they weren't sure how much water it would produce,,,its suppose to produce 30l. or 8 gallons,,, and for them, they said they can still get 3-4 gallons a day.... which made me happy,,, Id like to try to build an outdoor commercial type version,,,, would be nice to build it for in home use for showers and toilet, have a small version for drinking and cooking in the kitchen,,, and the outdoor one to hopefully fill cisterns for irrigation,,, ( thats a lot of water, and dont see being able to get enough even with the shower and toilet issue.... lots of study and design for this,,, then you have the electric consumption... would have to go with a solar system or something,,,, Ive seen a large diy version like Im talking about, but it still depends on the humidity lvls for where anyone is at.... and may be a while before I can do anything like this myself, even for the size you have... naturally, I would worry about the filtering system for cooking and drinking,, but for us, we dont use that much water in the kitchen,,, 3-4 gallons would be fine,,, but, then, I would need at least 60 gallons a day for showers and toilet... ( thinking on a composting toilet though...like sunmar composting toilets....lol ),,, course, dont think I would even need 60, mayber 40... but, then for irrigation, that can go up to the 1000's,,, ( depending on how much land it is,, which would also be done with a drip system,,, and with rain water catching would help with that too,, main worry would be during the june and july months,,, so, if I could catch enough during the rainy season, which has been now,,, may be able to save it back for those months,,, ( if I can keep it fresh enough and kind of stiring it until needed...),,, doubt If I can get enough just for showers/baths let alone for irrigation...but would be fun to just try....but, this wont happen till at least next year....lol... thanks for the instructable...

Well hes getting 15 gallons a day, a 250 watt dehumidifier costs a dollar a day, so..

An average shower is 2.5 gallons per minute, so a ten minute shower will cost you about two bucks, and it would only take you 48 hours to get the water!

Plus a toilet is only like a gallon per flush,Ill give you four and it takes me about ten minutes of water to do the dishes, and I drink close to a gallon a day so, all told your looking at like over $100 bucks a month in power consumption for your water.Plus you still have to pump it. Assuming you don't already have tonnes of it on your roof already.

Also its something like thousands of gallons to raise a single cow, so or farming applications this is great. You could build a nuclear power plant next to every farm in California and we will be all set!

Of course it will never rain again.

at what temperature?

chesterjohn (author) 3 months ago

Even though the Kolin I purchased had stainless steel coils the circulation tubing was still copper. the Berkey metals filter filters out 99% of the metal that may leach.

salb43 months ago
Anyone in the USA have luck finding a dehumidifier with Stainless Steel parts?

Thanks for the article. This is the way to go. The ready-made systems are too expensive and unreliable, and they keep going out of business, so good luck finding those proprietary filters you need every 3-6 months.

The only trouble with your system is finding a good dehumidifier. Or else figuring out how to modify one or build one.

Has anyone done this with a Berkey filter? That is where I am leaning.
chesterjohn (author)  ThirstyBloke3 months ago

if you use a berkey metals filter it should remove 99% of any metal leaching from the coils. you can buy a food grade surface finisher and spray it on the cools before starting. any food grade varnish or countertop coating would do

chesterjohn (author)  ThirstyBloke1 year ago
thank you.

The Berky metals filter will help to filter the water of residual metals from any type of dehumidifier. And because the residuals will be minute that the Berky filter will last longer than expected.

The colloidal silver filter encased in ceramic is from Australia and can be ordered online. I am sure you can find one in the US>

I don't have an image of mine with the Berky filter in it but I have it in the storage area and the other on top where the water comes in.

Using these you should be able to get good results. finding the right dehumidifier would be a challenge. You could order this type from the Philippines or find a dealer in the US that could get you one.

I have moved back to the states and am looking to make one myself. so I will keep you up to date on how that one works. Please let us know how your search goes.
After a ton of searching, all the dehumidifiers I have found that will work in the U.S. have aluminum and/or copper evaporator coils.

A possible solution is a new spray-on glass coating from German company Nanopool called BACTERLON. Supposedly, it will render the coated surfaces inert, as if they were solid glass. Here are some links for more info:
http://www.siotec.ch (German language)

Bacterlon might not be available yet for consumer purchase, or it might be sold under a different name. If anyone finds it, please add a comment on this blog page.

I suspect that most of the ready-made Atmospheric Water Generators also have aluminum/copper coils, sometimes coated with a "food-grade" coating.  As far as I know, the only ready-made system to use stainless steel is the countertop unit from Korean company ATW (www.atwtec.com, formerly known as Dong Yang) that is sold under several brand names, such as Dewpointe and AquaBoy.

There is a lot of info on ready-made units at these sites:

Any opinions on the safety of copper coils vs aluminum?

The Kolin dehumidifiers from the Philippines appear to be 220V, but maybe the voltage could be modified:

Kolin has more than one model, so if you get one, make sure it uses stainless steel.
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