Scavenging Water From an A/C Evaporator Core/unit

Introduction: Scavenging Water From an A/C Evaporator Core/unit

How to scavenge water from from a normal home Air Conditioning unit.

Step 1: Bare With Me

This is my first instructable so please bare with me on this one.

A little thirsty? Need a glass of water but none in sight? Maybe you haven't payed your water bill in a year or so? Well no need to worry! As long as it's summer time that is.

Recently I have become unemployed. It's been about a month and a half now and there just isn't too many jobs out there for aging computer technicians. With my last job I was able to pay for the mortgage, food and gas, but that was about it. Well since I haven't payed the water bill in some time the city cut off the water so in the mean time until I can get the $550.00 for the water bill I needed water for bathing, drinking, cleaning, and of course the cats. So here it is, my idea.

I walked outside and saw water coming out of a tube from the evaporator core on the A/C unit of my house, and then it hit me, why is this water going into my yard when it can be going back into my house? So I disconnected the water discharge line from the evaporator core, hooked up some PVC and copper tubing to the discharge line that was lying unused next to it, and then placed a 1 gallon jug under the copper tubing. Wa-la! Somewhat free water, or at least water that was going to waste and no longer is. I take the water inside, boil it, then filter it with coffee filters to get any particles out of the water.

Thank you for looking at my first Instructable! Not very good is it, but it's my first attempt.



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    9 Discussions

    Can't you just go in your front yard and take the blue cap or whatever color the thing is and unscrew it and just turn the screw at the bottom and turn you water back on i know with some of them it is not that easy tho but you should try oh and if you do that you should unplug your water meter so when you do decide to stop stealing water they won't know lol

    2 replies

    When the City cuts off your water, they make sure you can't turn it back on. I.E they put a lock on the water main valve. They aren't that stupid :)

    I dont particually think that you can just "unplug" them because people could end up fiddling with their meter readings.

    Although its a feesable idea i would not try it. Without a water purification method available. The trap that makes the little bow in the pipe always has water in. It is what every sink toilet and other Plumbing product on the market have built into them. It holds waster in them to prevent odors from coming back out pipes from Sewers in this case its there so nothing can get back up the pipe to the A/C condenser. The water in those traps gets Stagnet and can hold numerouse Viruses. I am a plumber by trade and would never tell anyone they should get water from that source. Its better to get water from your Toilet tank (NOT) Bowl than from a Condensate Drain for the A/C

    1 reply

    The trap is actually to break the vacuum so that the water drains, not so that nothing gets back in. Things go backwards through traps all the back ups. I completely agree about the water purification. I guess if you were desperate, you could boil the water and drink it. again, if you were desperate. I would drink rain water first.

    it must be dry where you live... my window unit can collect 2 gallons a day... south texas... lol

    If the coil is on the supply side of the blower then you don't need a trap. They only put it on the return side to break the vacuum so it will drain. And most just drain under the house or out into the yard. But you could if you wanted to pipe it through another coil and blow air over it because the condensate is pretty cold water. try and suck every last cooling btu out of it before dumping it outside. But do not drink it without first boiling and proper filtration. It "can" contain possible bacteria, diseases, dirt, dust, and allergens.....

    1 reply

    I just finished reading article, says you boil it which is good. But I wouldn't recommend this to others unless in DIRE need of water. Theres better sources, such as rain, ponds, wells, etc, no matter the source it still should be boiled or at least filtered with a good quality filter.