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AC Water Run-Off for orchids?

This is a discussion on AC Water Run-Off for orchids? within the General Orchid Culture forums, part of the Orchid Culture category; Has anybody here tried to water their orchids with runoff water from the AC? Our ...

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  1. #1
    delphiguy's Avatar
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    Default AC Water Run-Off for orchids?

    Has anybody here tried to water their orchids with runoff water from the AC?
    Our AC is giving out half a bucket of water a night and I'm thinking that maybe
    I could use it to water the orchids with, but are there other chemicals there
    that may be bad for our orchids? or is it safe to use for orchids?

  2. #2
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    hi randy,
    i think it was discussed here somewhere...
    as far as i know, its not recommended on orchids, had the same idea coz its quite a waste of water.
    on the other hand, i dont see anything wrong by mixing the AC water with regular water.

    my thoughts...

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    kubruceiii is offline Junior Member
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    I don't see how using it to water any plant would cause issues. It is simply moisture that condenses from the air onto the A/C unit as it is far colder than it's surrounding. Asid from gasses that diffuse into it, it should essentially be straight DI water.

    As for not using it being a waste, at least it isn't coming from the water treatment plant and being wasted after energy was used to treat and transport it, but of course it would be great if you could find a use for it!

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    Actually, they call that distilled water, and it's very good for orchids. You will, however, have to put back the nutrients that distillation removes. There are certain orchids that will not grow with regular tap water due to the impurities. I use the water from my cooling/heating unit and certain plants really seem to do better because of it.

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    ah thanks, that clears it. I was hesitant to try it coz some nasties may have mixed with
    the water.

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    kubruceiii is offline Junior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cjcorner View Post
    Actually, they call that distilled water, and it's very good for orchids. You will, however, have to put back the nutrients that distillation removes. There are certain orchids that will not grow with regular tap water due to the impurities. I use the water from my cooling/heating unit and certain plants really seem to do better because of it.
    DI (de-ionized) is distilled. How often would you have to fertilize if using DI water to mak sure that the plant gets enough nutrients and other elements needed for growth?

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    ah ok, thanks connie for sharing your experience!!!

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    I use A/C water run-off regularly for my orchids but you have to add a bit of fertiliser to it because as Connie says it is actually distilled water. Incidentally I also use it to top up my car battery as well.

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    I would first check for pH, dissolved solids and concentrations of metal ions in it before using it. The heat exchangers are washed with a strong Alkali (NaOH) during regular maintenance, so it might be present in the condensate. Secondly the water that condenses on the heat exchangers is pure water, hence it has a pH of about 4.5 to 5 on formation, therefore it is very acidic, it can corrode the heat exchangers which are mostly made of copper aluminium alloys, so there can be high concentrations of Copper and Almunium in the water which can hazardous for orchids.

    It would be best to test for these parameters before using it. I would recommend what Ron suggested, to mix it up with normal water and then use it, so that it will dilute any excess metal ions.

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    thanks yew and amey for the insights...

    Amey's insight exactly echoes my concerns. I'll probably do half/half then, half tap water
    half AC water.

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