Introduction: Air Conditioner Condensation Reclamation
My air conditioner runs most of the summer and the condinsation line drips and keeps the side of my driveway wet and the ground soggy. I kept a three gallon bucket under it last year and emptied it out at least twice daily to water some new trees and plants. What I needed was a way to automaticly drain the water when it got full into my water collection tank so I could use it when I neded it (or with my next project, the auto watering sysyetm). I dont have a lot of descretionary funding, so I had to do this on the cheap. Along with the bucket I already had I recycled a few other bits and peices to make this automated system.
Step 1: Parts List
Parts list. Most of these items I used because I already had them
1/2" drill bit (drill optional if you can spin the bit really fast)
Cigar or Project box. ( Mine is indoors, so i used a wooden box, but you can buy watertight ones if you want to mount yours outside.
Old extension cord or two
Old garden hose (You only need the female end)
120 volt Outlet
Water fountain pump
Old speaker wire
Step 2: What to Do With the Parts
Warning, Disclaimer. Whatever I need to put here to make you look. This project involves wiring 120 Volts and water. The breakers in your system MAY save your life, but it also may NOT. If you are not sure if you did this right, DON't plug it in until you get someone to check it out that IS. Thanks for not hurting yourself.
From whatever outlet you want to use, Have the male end of an extension cord and wire it (after routing it in the method of your choosing) into a common 120 V ( or whatever your are uses) outlet. I have a dozen or so laying about, but they are cheap at any hardware store. I used pliers to work off the tabs so the unit would fit better into my enclosure. After connecting the appropriate wires to the correct screws (see picture) I recommend wrapping the outlet with electrical tape as shown. The hot wire is the one that can bite you, So I recommend mounting the outlet with that screw "hidden". I used JB putty, but Liquid Nails, Silicone, or possibly super glue would work.
Now you have power for your Timer and the pump.
Step 3: Wiring the Timer
The timer I used can actually be used to close AND open contacts (switches) to multiple devices for a set duration of time when the source voltage is applied. The source voltage for this timer is 12V dc. When screw 13 and 14 are powered, then an electromagnet Opens the normally closed contacts between screws 1 & 9 and also 4 & 12 and closes 5 & 9 as well as 8 & 12 for the set time on the timer.
In other words....
I hooked the positive line from the 12V transformer to the 14 screw. The negative line from the transformer got connected to the float switch via speaker wire, then from the other side of the float switch back to the 13 screw on the timer base.
The white and green wire from the short male end of the extension cord connect using the wire nuts directly to the same color wire on the female section of cord. The black ends of the cords attach to the timer base screws numbered 8 and 12 (or 5 and 9).
The water pump is simply plugged into the female part of the cord and placed in the bucket that is collecting your condensation water.
The timer is set via the dial on the top. Time how long it takes to empty your bucket and set accordingly.
So.... Water drips out A/C discharge, float switch closes 12v contact to coil, coil closes 120V AC power to pump for 1 min, pump empties water into collection tank, 1 min lapses, coil disconnects power to pump, ready for next fill.
There are many options as to what to do with the water. This was convenient for me, but you could also run it directly to plants discharge it into a pond or fountain.
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