An authoritative source, the Dehumidifier Corporation of America, says
the condensate from a dehumidifier is not suitable for drinking:
"Q: IS WATER FROM A DEHUMIDIFIER CONSIDERED GRAY WATER OR IS IT SAFE
A: WE CONTACTED THE DEHUMIDIFIER CORPORATION OF AMERICA FOR YOUR
ANSWER. IT SAYS DEHUMIDIFIER WATER IS CONSIDERED GRAY WATER, WHICH IS
ANY WATER BESIDES SEWAGE SO IT IS NOT SUITABLE FOR DRINKING. BUT THE
DCA SAYS THERE ARE NO CHEMICALS IN THE WATER SO IT IS CAN BE USED TO
WATER PLANTS, INCLUDING PLANTS THAT PRODUCE FOOD."
NBC4.com: Ask Liz
This comes from a manufacturer of dehumidifiers:
"Can I drink the water collected in the tank?
It is not advisable to drink this water as it can contain dust
particles. Remove water that has collected in the tank. Accidental
drinking of the water or using it for other purposes may cause illness
and/or unforeseen accidents."
Damp Solutions: Dehumidifier Questions and Answers
Advice from syndicated do-it-yourself columnist James Dulley:
"Q: I run a dehumidifier sometimes during the summer instead of the
central air conditioner to save energy. I assume the water in the pan
is distilled water. Can I drink this water, use it for plants, etc.? -
A: You are correct, the water in the dehumidifier pan is basically
distilled water. This would be fine to use for watering plants,
washing windows (no hard water deposits) or similar tasks.
It would not be wise to drink the water or give it to your pets to
drink. Since there are no chemicals, such as chlorine, to purify the
collected water, it may contain an unacceptable high microbe level."
James Dulley Homepage
Here are some excerpts from an interesting newgroup thread on the
"The water that drips from those aluminum condenser fins is not pure
as distilled water is. Water is the greatest solvent known to mankind.
As such, aluminum deposits most likely reside in the water. It may be
okay for batteries, but I wouldn't drink it."
"The only way to tell if your dehumidifier water is safe to drink is
to have it analyzed."
"Do not use this for drinking...the condenser isn't sterile or even
particularly clean, unless you are fanatical about scrubbing it every
Thread from misc.consumers.frugal-living newsgroup
From another, similar newsgroup thread:
"Just bought a new dehumidifier and right in the owner's manual in big
DO NOT DRINK THE WATER!!"
Thread from alt.home.repair newsgroup
And yet another newsgroup thread:
"I just purchased a dehumidifier for my apartment, and it says very
explicitly in the manual NOT to drink the water that's generated from
it. You would think that in a survival situation - where you had
electricity but no running water - that a dehumidifier would be a good
source of clean water.
Why would the manual say this? If it's true (that dehumidifier water
is unfit for human consumption), what could I do to make it
"Dehumidifier water is *not* clean water. Dehumidifiers remove
moisture from the air by cooling it below the dew point and catching
the condensation. Along with the moisture that condenses it also
catches a good deal of what was floating in the air with it, namely
fungus spores of all kinds, dust mites, dust and who knows what else?
At best, you'd have to consider it as no better than ground water and
treat it accordingly."
"It's a good source of demineralized water, but from a biological
standpoint it's pretty nasty stuff. Dehumidifiers collect all sorts
of dust and dirt on their coils which then provides food sources for
fungi and bacteria. Unless you were taking to clean your dehumidifier
coils and catch basin every day with a bleach solution, it's best not
to drink it straight from the source."
"Actually, simply boiling the water may not take care of all of the
problems. Some spores require more than 212 f to kill them. Also
beware of some of the simple distillers which can concentrate VOC's
(volatile organins compounds) found in herbicides and pesticides. A
proper distiller actually works like a cracking tower to ensure only
water is condensed w/o any VOC's."
Thread from misc.survivalism newsgroup
However, there is at least one dehumidifier that does produce potable
Excel Water Systems
Search terms used:
"dehumidifier" + "to drink"
"dehumidifier" + "water" + "safety"
"dehumidifier" + "potable"
"dehumidifier" + "drinkable"
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