How clean is the condensate water that my 90% furnace produces?
Is there anything in it that would make it unsafe for plants?
vegetables? pets? kids?
I've got no plans for it...just curious about what's in it.
This is more of a guess than a scientifically accurate answer:
Condensate is a result of the combustion of natural gas which should
be a pretty clean process, but NG isn't perfect, so there are bound to
be some impurities in it, but it should be generally clean. As a
furnace gets older and the heat exchanger corrodes, there should be
more metallic impurities.
as Big Jake points out the water you're talking about is condensed
combustion products...if the NG was 100% pure then so would the water
but NG has other stuff in it plus metals picked up from the furnace.
Is the condensate from a high-efficiency furnace harmful to a septic
It's unlikely that a healthy septic system will be affected by the
water condensed from the flue gases of a high-efficiency furnace.
A 60,000-Btu furnace operating 50 percent of the time will produce
about seven gallons of condensate a day. The condensate has a pH level
of about four, which is about the same as a carbonated soft drink.
However, furnace condensate is not safe to drink because of trace
toxic chemicals it contains.
If it's not safe to drink...it's probably not safe for watering food
I wouldn't use it to water veggies or fruit but acid loving
ornamentals "might" be ok. Depending on your soil it "might" help
depending on your situation....can the area you're talking about
handle the water load?
Why not just dump it down the the drain?
Distilled water (which is basically what condensate is) has an amazing
ability to leach lead from solder joints. I haven't done an analysis of
furnace condensate, but I did one for a coolant system, and the amount
of lead was truly amazing...
If you have a system with lead solder, your condensate could contain
high levels of lead.
Definitely a no no for drinking; for industrial users (i.e. those with
their own discharge permits) may even be a no no for direct discharge.
Yeah just dump it down the drain. It'll only end up in the ocean and/
or the Great Lakes, or local waterways etc. Just like much of the
stuff/pollution we humans excrete!
Since acid rain, caused by the smoke etc. from internal combustion
engines, coal, oil and gas fired electric power plants and so forth,
pollutes the atmosphere, a few gallons of acidic water, including any
trace metals it contains, is probably not very significant?
BTW meet anybody these days who doesn't believe in the effects of
'Global Warming'? Just thought I'd ask!
As you say, it's probably insignificant,
however, if every house had one
of these, it might add up. BTW, I just
remembered another thing in the
manual ..... it said something about a
"special filter", whatever that is, is
required in some areas.
Art, c'mon... Have you ever been to a wastewater treatment plant?
If EVERY, STEENKIN' house in the ENTIRE city had such a furnace, the combined
acidic condensate from them, compared to the total volume of wastewater, would
be equal to a flea's fart in a tornado.
I guess it's true: We have become so fat, dumb, lazy and affluent that we
actually consider such things. <sigh>
...and I'll bet every one of those areas is in California.
I agree fully, however, treatment plants
primarily remove solids. I wonder what
do about acids? I have seen the local
treatment plant put out a clear liquid
muddy river. It looks good, but I
really can't tell what's in that real
Actually, they remove biological waste as well as solids. All those
dissolved nutrients that end up killing things. Solids removal is only
a tiny fraction of the pollutants they remove, usually done in a
small-ish tank or filter at the head of the plant, right where the main
line comes in.
pH neutralization is part of the process.
Ask for the DMRs; they're available under the FOIA. (And if you don't
know what a DMR is, educate yourself on the regulatory process for WWTPs.)
I respectfully disagree. A modern plant, operating properly at current EPA
minimums does a *LOT* more than simply remove solids.
As the OP said, they are (more or less) neutralized.
This is called "effluent".
I had the job of installing a phone line at our local wastewater treatment
plant. The engineer was a friend and gave me the GRAND tour. He was quite
proud of the operation and deservedly so.
Properly treated effluent, he claimed, was "almost drinkable". He explained
further that he had never tried it. Still, it is almost clear and *NOTHING*
like what "comes in the front door". Very impressive.
While at the plant, but outside, I had to "relieve myself" and asked if there
was a toilet. He asked if my need was a "stand up proposition" (#1). It was.
He pointed to a door at the top of a long, metal stair case. He told me to
descend the stairs and "let 'er go". I did - directly into the incoming
(raw) flow. VERY awesome.
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