Posts tagged "greywater"

How can I reuse or recycle water from a condenser dryer/air conditioner/dehumidifier?

We’ve had an email from Mark:

What is the best way to recycle small quantities of hot water from a condenser tumble dryer?

I know i could pour it down the toilet, put it on the garden etc, but what are the economical benefits of reusing this clean water. Can it be used (when cold) for anything beneficial? Recycled/redirected to a dishwasher etc

In yet another of those great-minds moments on here, I’ve been thinking a similar thing lately – we’ve had a dehumidifier running in our office after a series of leaks over the summer and while it’s thankfully slowed down a lot of late, we’ve had bucket upon bucket of water from it over the last few months. For me it’s less about the “economical benefits” and more about hating throwing anything away that might be useful.

Wikipedia describes this type of water as “a rather clean kind of greywater” – but various articles online advise against drinking it/letting animals drink it (because of possible bacterial/fungal spore/heavy metals contamination, and also because it’s been distilled & will taste weird). Watering well-established houseplants with it is probably ok – actually better than tap water if you’re tap water is very soft – although because of the possible bacterial/heavy metals issue, it’s still probably better to avoid using it on vegetables, particularly leafy ones.

Mark mentioned putting it down the toilet – I’m not sure whether he means just to get rid of it or in lieu of flushing. The latter will have an “economical benefit” if your water is metered — toilet flushing accounts for a huge proportion of most people’s water usage: just keep a bucket of water next to the toilet and pour some into the bowl to flush it. I’m not a water expert but based on the advice about possible contamination, I’d probably be more inclined to use it for clothes washing than dish washing (although it would probably be fine for that too, especially at hotter cycles).

Anyone have any experience reusing water from condenser dryers, air con units or dehumidifiers? What do you use greywater for around your home/garden?

How can I improve my greywater system?

We’ve had an email from Su:

I do like to tax the minds of all who read these sites, not intentionally, but in a ‘why don’t I know how to do that’ sort of way.

Here goes, I collect all the water from my washing machine, and use it to flush the loo. However, hauling watering cans of water up the stairs with a frozen shoulder is not especially easy. So I would like to construct (if possible) some sort of pump, preferably from reused bits. Unfortunately, I have not the remotest idea where to start!

I can easily put a pipe out of the bathroom window into the container of water, but it would be easiest if the pump, or at least the switch was at the ‘top’ end, so that I don’t end up running up and down stairs to switch it on and off. Would a washing machine pump (not that I have one lying around) do the job? Could it be solar powered?

All ideas gratefully received.

I haven’t had much experience with setting up greywater systems so I can’t really advice – hopefully someone else will be in a better position to comment. As someone who has an incredibly vertical house, I’d love to learn more about options for pumping water too.

One thing I will say though is could you change it around so you don’t need to pump upwards? For example, using greywater from shower/bath for the toilet, and using the stuff from the washing machine elsewhere (such as on the garden, if it’s chemical free). It obviously depends on the set up of your home – there might not be storage room on that level for the water – but it might be easier to rejig things that way then get a powered pump working.

Any ideas, suggestions or advice?