Is condensation water from the A/C pipe safe for a dog to drink?
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Not really. The water runs through aluminum fins and is filled with all kinds of pollution from that as well as the dust from the air which even a clean filter will not stop all. I would not allow my dogs do this. It is definitely not distilled!
Provided there isn't any oil, solvents or other toxic stuff in the AC /pipes, I don't see why not, it will essentially be distilled water anyway. Most dogs drink from puddles which are far from clean. They have really tough digestive systems.
Your dog definitely should not be drinking this water. It is carrying pollutants from the pipes and system to be combined with the bacteria that forms in the container that is catching the water. Then the dog's saliva only adds contamination to the water. This water is great for your plants that need watered but not the dog! Your dog deserves fresh, clean drinking water (just what you would drink) everyday in a container that is cleaned every day to eliminate the build up of saliva. This is one sure way to show your love for your dog!
Since I don't know what all might be in that water, but feel certain that it's not clean, I'd rather my dog not drink it. I realize that when outside, they may drink worse, but that worse can sometimes kill them (anti-freeze etc). I would much prefer providing fresh water that I know is clean for my pets.
If your dog (or cat) has just lapped up a little bit before you caught him, I wouldn't worry as long as he doesn't start acting differently. But I would try to enclose the area where your a/c drips so that your pet can't get to it again. Mine is on my deck and so I set a large planter with dirt (and a hardy plant) in it underneath my a/c. No more puddles from the a/c and so I don't have to worry about it anymore.
Allow me to remark about weather the condensate is toxic to drink or not.
Now condensate can come from more than one place depending on your A/C configuration (package system or split system etc). You normally have condensation from the evaporator coil (the one inside that is responsible to chill the room air passing through it).
You can also have condensation from the return line, or the Low Side line, going back to the A/C condenser unit. A package unit has both coils inside the"Package". However, this is a minor detail. Both sources of condensate are ABOUT the same in so much as the water is simply moisture in the air being "Condensed" onto something cold enough. This is governed by the laws of physics and is basically a distilling process.
The water is not "Pure" however, unless it was nearly pure while suspended in the air. But it is REALLY clean water as it condenses. Here is the deal though: 1.The water can be a little dirty while in the air,
(Ever heard of acid rain? City's like L.A. have dirty air from smog etc which can contaminate the moisture in the air...) That's for starters. 2. The coil, the Low Side return line and any other cold part in the A/C equipment are never really "Clean" and what ever is on them likely ends up in the condensate. Dirt, dust, cigarette smoke, kitchen/cooking vapor's or smoke, wielding flux and solder are all possible sources of contamination, not to mention bugs (esp dead ones) and all the goodies they carry in side your drain pipe.
So while the condensed water, as it is condensing from vapor suspended in the air, is indeed pretty darn clean (by "drinking water" standards), it is well contaminated by the time it drips out the drain line. Having said that... I have collected this water (so as to not allow a mud puddle to step in and track into the house), and seeing that in my case the water was crystal clear, cold, no oder etc.
I often wet my face towel in it on hot days working around the house, and for two years I have allowed my two small dogs to drink from it and no ill effects have come. I do NOT recommend this! But in all likelihood if a animal happens to drink some of it, odds are they will be fine.
But unless your confident your A/C system is truly clean, and the water looks clean with no order etc, I would error on the side of caution and keep your pets away from drinking this water (even though many dogs eat their own and other dogs crap!). Go Figure.
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