Sunday, July 27, 2014

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

We live in Texas and in the summer it doesn't rain much.  As a state we have severe water shortages every where.  The air conditioner also runs a lot because its HOT in Texas!  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.
This is our final product and it works perfectly!  Why didn't we think of this a long time ago?  We dont know, but I'm glad my honey decided he wanted to try and catch the dripping water.
Our unit is in the attic, so the drip line runs across the attic floor to the outside edge of the house.  At first it just dripped down at the base of the foundation.  My honey added some PVC pipe and a few elbows to make it drain out onto the grass.
When he decided to catch the water he used a cat litter container and just cut a hole in the lid for the PVC to fit into.  That was all fine and good until the darn thing was full in about a 36 hour time period.  That's lots of water!  Then he decided he'd make a rain barrel to catch it.  GREAT idea honey!
We started out with a brand new bright and shiny metal trash can.  $19.97 at Walmart.  Keep reading and you'll see why we decided not to use the metal can.  But in the mean while I'm going to tell you what we did so we could get the water out of the container to use it.
You will need a barrel and a water spigot with a few other items to make your very own water catcher!
You'll need a hole saw to make a hole for the spigot to fit into.  LOL! Are you wondering why my honey has a blue finger nail?  He tried on my newest nail polish for me so I'd know what it looked like on.  He's the best!
A few rubber pieces to use as a gasket to help seal the hole cut in the barrel.  We used an old bicycle inter tube that was left over from the DIY Kids Bike Makeover my honey did back a few months ago.
First, grab your spigot.  We used a washing machine cold water spigot for our barrel.  Make a mark on the rubber piece so you can cut a hole to fit the spigot through.  You'll need two of these, one for the outside and one for the inside of the barrel.
To cut the hole, use a box cutter.  Cut an X in the circle and slip the spigot through the X.
The white fitting you see in this picture came with the spigot.  Adjust it to the proper space needed and then add one piece of your rubber to the spigot.
We bought this faucet rosette washer and nut in the 1/2" size (the size of our spigot) to add to the inside of the barrel for the final seal of the spigot to the barrel.
You'll insert your spigot from the outside of the barrel like you see above.  Not shown in the picture, but we did add Teflon tape to the spigot threads in the final barrel.
On the inside add another rubber piece and then the washer and nut piece and tighten down securely.
Next, water test.  Add water to just above the hole you cut in the barrel.
This is what happened to our pretty metal can!  It leaked badly!  The spigot leaked too!  Back to the drawing board!
We ran into town and grabbed a big plastic barrel.  It cost us $22.
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.
And then just follow the previous steps I showed you up above.  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.
We placed the stand in an opening of our shrubs near the existing PVC drain, added a couple of 45 degree elbows to redirect it and TahDah!  Lots of water being captured!

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 just gone onto the ground.  Now we use it to water all the little plants and the garden!  Thank you Baby! You're the bestest!

It doesn't have to be done all at once.  It is a slow process in the works! C-ya next time!

I'm Linking to:
These lovely and FUN parties!
Between Naps on the Porch
DIY Home Sweet Home
We Call It Junkin

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  1. Awesome project and great tutorial. Pinning!

    Thanks for sharing on Show-Licious!
    ~ Ashley

  2. I love how you call your other half your "honey". My husband and I have been married 44 years and he is still my "honey". Life is good love each other forever!

    1. Thank you so much Linda and that is so true! :)


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