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I have a split A/C system in a room that runs on low 24 hours a day during Summer that unfortunately cannot be connected to any drain or pipe and which therefore requires a bucket to be used to collect the condensate from the condensate drain line in the exterior unit that sits on my balcony in my apartment building.

This is quite frustrating as the bucket has to be emptied every single day (once a day), so I'm looking for a better solution.

The bucket is already quite large and gets quite heavy at the end of the day when it's full, so maybe something that makes the water evaporate faster than normal so that I don't have to empty the water so often?

Does such a solution exist or am I condemned to a lifetime of emptying the bucket every night during Summer?

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You can't just let it drain on the ground? –  Tester101 Jul 2 at 17:30
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Why can't it be connected to a drain of some sort? And why is it not dripping onto the ground? –  SpectralGhost Jul 2 at 17:42
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The two things that will increase evaporation is larger surface area (a pan instead of bucket) and increased air flow. I'm assuming you can't make any modifications to apartment, but you can probably get away with attaching a hose to the drain and letting it go over the side of the balcony. –  diceless Jul 2 at 18:27
    
@Tester101: It's on a balcony of a rental apartment, so I can't make any modifications, unfortunately. Letting it drip off the balcony on to passersby below is not allowed. That's why I'm looking for a solution that at least slows down the build up of water so I don't have to empty it every single day. Any ideas, products, or solutions that would help? –  ProgrammerGirl Jul 2 at 19:04
    
@SpectralGhost: Please see my reply above to Tester101. –  ProgrammerGirl Jul 2 at 19:04

5 Answers 5

If there really is no possibility of connecting it to a drain with its normal gravity flow, your only non-bucket option is to install a condensate pump, whose job is to raise the liquid up to a height where you can easily dump it in a drain or on the lawn or something. These are very common for basement installations of central air conditioning units where the condensate line is below the level of any drain plumbing.

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Is there access to the rain gutter from the balcony? If so you might be able to run the output from a condensate pump up into the rain gutter. If you're in the US you can get condensate pumps at Lowes or Home Depot or on the net. You'll also need tubing for the output and cable ties for a cleaner look. –  John Dyer Jul 2 at 19:28
    
@iLikeDirt: It's on a balcony of a rental apartment, so I can't make any modifications, unfortunately. Letting it drip off the balcony on to passersby below is not allowed. That's why I'm looking for a solution that at least slows down the build up of water so I don't have to empty it every single day. Any ideas, products, or solutions that would help? –  ProgrammerGirl Jul 2 at 19:41
    
@JohnDyer: Unfortunately there isn't. Any other ideas? –  ProgrammerGirl Jul 2 at 19:42
    
This is the most workable solution here. The pump doesn't require modification the the apartment. Just run the output tube from the pump along the wall to a sink. –  longneck Jul 3 at 1:21

OK, if you can't change it, and they own the A/C, and you previously agreed to the current state of affairs but are now annoyed by it, here's another idea: plant an extremely water-thirsty plant that will transpire a large amount of water every day. Then just water it with the condensate. Grass can have a high transpiration rate. Maybe you could have a little patch of turf on your balcony! Bamboo also transpires a lot and accept very moist soil. There are lots of options.

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I see from your profile that you have previously asked questions about various configurations of ductless mini-split heat pumps, and that you have (or had) a Daikin model. Is this a unit you bought and installed yourself? If so, it seems that you have already violated the "no modifications" rule and presumably you could do it again to make a modification involving a flexible drain pipe or condensate pump, either of which could redirect the flow to a less objectionable location.

If, on the other hand, the A/C unit is owned and was installed by the apartment, it's eminently reasonable to ask them to come up with a solution. They can't set it up in a certain manner and then tell you that their install own results in an impermissible condition. That's just ridiculous.

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The Daikins were for a different apartment. This apartment is a rental, already came with A/C, they explained the drainage limitation to me beforehand that I'm suffering now, so I'm trying to find some kind of solution that wouldn't require me to modify anything, such as some kind of super absorbent fast evaporator type device. –  ProgrammerGirl Jul 2 at 20:28

I would also offer as an alternative: a wider and flatter bucket. If you used a wide pan the evaporation rate would increase and might even be to the point of not needing to be emptied.

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Depends on the climate. Somewhere soggy and cloudy like the UK, that might not make much of a difference. –  iLikeDirt Jul 2 at 20:54

Same solutions used for dehumidifiers should work: Let it drip into a tube run to somewhere appropriate (a drain, for example), or let it drip into a container that periodically pumps the water to somewhere appropriate. (My basement dehumidifier drains into the same pump that takes care of condensate from my boiler; its output hose is routed into the washing machine drain.)

Of course then you have a hose running through your apartment.

The only other thought I've got, assuming you can't join it into a rain gutter, would be to try to figure out how to route it so the water runs down the side of the building rather than being dumped out in midair. That would mostly keep it from falling on pedestrians.

Are there other occupants with air conditioners? Ask them how they've solved this.

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