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I recently had my older style air conditioner replaced with a newer style high-efficiency electric heat pump. Working great so far. One thing that is different is that it apparently extracts quite a bit more water condensation and so the installers put a PVC drain line directly out of attic (under open eave). I'd say it is generating close to 1-2 gallons per day. Is this water potable? And if not "potable" exactly, should I try to prevent the family pet dogs from drinking it?

I just have no certain idea what kind of contamination there could or couldn't be in that system. I suppose even if it just isn't safe for animals, I could always use it for watering dry lawn or crude washing tasks.

Extra details, if it matters: installed in the San Joaquin valley of California, the heat pump unit is the Trane XR17 two-stage (https://www.trane.com/residential/en/products/heat-pumps/xr17/), drain pipe looks like standard white sprinkler pipe.

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    I doubt that anyone does water quality tests on HVAC condensate. I wouldn't drink it for just that reason. I don't think I'd let me dog drink it either. I don't see any issues with plant watering with it though.
    – jwh20
    Sep 7 '21 at 17:47
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    Would get something like a rain barrow to collect it and use for lawn or car washing. Do not know what surfaces it flows from or what it picks up. Imagine a glass a year won't kill, but everyday probably not best for your health, unless tested. Public health tests are usually just for germs, you would need a test for minerals/chemicals.
    – crip659
    Sep 7 '21 at 17:47
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    Too much danger of mold \ mildew build up, so no. But it might be OK for watering indoor plants. Sep 7 '21 at 17:55
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It's probably not potable in any sense. I mean, I've drunk out of a garden hose a few times as a kid, but there's a reason they don't let you use those things for your RV potable water. The same would apply to A/C coils (anything on the coils could be in the water).

The larger issue will be that the line might start to fill with things like algae or mold. You could probably still use it to water your plants, but I wouldn't try to drink it.

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    Us kids got to do all the cool stuff.
    – crip659
    Sep 7 '21 at 23:08
  • It is essentially distilled water, it could be useful for watering plants if your tapwater is hard. I would not drink it . Sep 8 '21 at 0:47
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It might be safe today, specifically; it is just condensation after all.

However, I am 99% certain that drain pan material inside A/C coils is not approved for potable water, nor is the PVC drain pipe.

Regardless, I think a quick image search for "clogged condensate line" would tell you that condensate water is reserved for your enemies.

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    The materials aren't really to blame. It's just that there's a whole lot of mold spores and bacteria in dust and there's no disinfectant in the condensate,making the mix a perfect growth medium for all kinds of unpleasant microscopic life.
    – TooTea
    Sep 8 '21 at 6:48
  • @TooTea I'm not blaming the materials though.
    – MonkeyZeus
    Sep 8 '21 at 11:19

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