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Watering w/ DeHumidifier Water?

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Heather

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Is this a good or bad idea?
I'm feeling a little wasteful because I've been buying distilled water since I moved. Then I pump 20 gallons of water into the air each day in one room via my humidifier while, in another room in the basement where we had a ceiling leak, I run a dehumidifier when necessary.

I'm just wondering if I could use the dehumidifier water instead of the distilled. Aren't they fairly similar?
 

bwester

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NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!!!!!!!
Think of it as a giant air filter. Much like my thoughts on rainwater, everything else in the air gets trapped in the water too. Also, water isnt the only volatile compound in the air. Would you drink it???
 
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Bob Wellenstein

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Water from a dehumidifier is essentially distilled water. Just make sure you clean the receptacle well. My only concern was if the cooling coils are copper, how much copper leaches into the water. A very little is beneficial, some commercial growers use electrically charged copper plates in their water supply to add very low levels of copper ions, saying it is the best fungicide/bactericide program available. Some dehumidifiers have aluminum cooling coils, I don't know of any problems associated with them. If that doesn't supply enough then look into a small RO unit, small units that hook up to a hose bib that work well are as cheap as $129 these days. Bottled distilled water has a huge carbon footprint in heat for production, packaging and transportation. You've already created your carbon footprint for your dehumidifier by running it, obviously needed, use its product if you can.
 

Rick

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Bob is esentially correct about dehumidifier water. But (depending on the quality of any air prefilter) it will also have a considerable amount of airborne dirt/dust/microbes/pollen/moldspores/etc. Probably nothing that's not already in your potting mix. But you may want to watch your results with a few plants first before going all out.
 

Heather

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Will do. Thanks for the additional information. I may try it, in combination with distilled, on a few plants and see what happens. I also need to think about using my fish water more.
 

bwester

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waterfiltersonline.com has good deals, thats where I got my RO
 
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couscous74

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Heather, you should consider a counter top RO unit. It goes with you anywhere you move. Just screw the adapter into kitchen faucet and you're ready to go...
 
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Eric Muehlbauer

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I have a very damp basement in my Long Island summer place, and we occasionally use a dehumidifier there. I pour the water into my bog garden, and the Sarracenia's and venus fly trap have never complained...Take care, Eric
 

NYEric

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Heather said:
Thanks, but until I have a more permanent living situation I doubt I will be buying an RO unit.
Another pitiful poorly disguised attempt to get an RO system as a gift. If I win a ST contest I would get Heather an RO System!!!
 

Wendy

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Heather, I used to use the water from our furnace dehumidifier to fill up the humidifier in my grow room. I stopped using it after i was told that it could carry bacteria responsible for Legionnaires disease. The man who told me that works on cooling/heating systems so I tend to believe him. Now I let the dehumidifier water run down the drain. To me it wasn't worth the chance. If anyone else has any input on this I'd like to hear it.
 

Ray

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And do orchids get Legionnaire's disease?

The legionnella bacterium was discovered in cooling towers in a hotel convention center in Philly, and were carried over into the cool ventilation air in the mist. The conditions in the sump of a cooling tower are vastly different from the static conditions in a dehumidifier tank, and certainly from a flower pot.

Likewise with the concern over the "filtration" of the air. The level of bacteria or mold spores that are in your basement air are probably negligible (the same cannot be said for my basement), and are very unlikely to explode into massive replication when exposed to fertilizers and in-pot conditions. Besides, in order for your plants to get infections, there must be some damage or cultural shortcoming that makes them susceptible. Those bacteria and spores are in the air around them anyway.
 

Wendy

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Ray, i also used the dehumidifier water in the orchid room humidifier. I'm only passing on what i was told from a person who works with heating/cooling systems. He seemed to think that the mist from the humidifier could transmit the harmful bacteria into the house. I wasn't concerned about the orchids....I know they can't get Legionnaires....but WE can. I wasn't willing to take the chance with my family....however remote the possibility.
 

Ray

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Sorry, Wendy. I missed that little "detail"...

I still doubt that legionnaires is much of a concern, but why push it?
 

Rick

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In the tox lab I work at we also see allot of cooling tower and air conditioner condensate waters, and we occaisionally get microbe species that are pathogenic to fish.

I don't think any of these would be pathogenic to orchids but obviously stranger things have happened.

A dose of physan would probabaly be benificial for long term storage of this water. Or if you process it through a 0.22um filter or UV system that would take out the bugs pretty well too.

It may be more trouble than the risk. I think you should use it to water your outside garden plants or something that gets full sun exposure. Also as far as waste goes, your local POTW could probabaly stand to get some relatively clean water to help dilute the other treated waste streams heading to the river.
 

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