How to Use an Air Conditioning Drain to Water Plants


When in use, an air conditioner creates a great deal of condensation, especially during the hottest days of the year. If an air conditioner runs constantly, it can create gallons of water per day. An air conditioner drainage system prevents this condensation from causing damage to the area where the air conditioner is located, but the water goes to waste. With a little effort, that water can be captured and used in household tasks, such as watering plants.

Step 1

Install a rain barrel or two. Plastic rain barrels can be purchased at home improvement or hardware stores and can also be found for sale online. These barrels are designed to store rain water for later use, but will also be ideal for storing the water created by an air conditioner.

Step 2

Unhook the drain pipe on the air conditioner. Use plastic drain pipe to connect the air conditioning unit to the rain barrel.

Step 3

Set up the plastic drain pipe so that it angles downward from the air conditioner to the rain barrel. Gravity will lead the water from the air conditioner drain through the tubing and into the barrel.

Step 4

Use the water captured in the rain barrel to water plants all over your property. Collect water in watering cans and use it to water house plants, flowers and hanging plants, or collect in buckets to water larger areas, such as tree saplings and gardens.

Step 5

Connect a garden hose to the rain barrel if your rain barrel is at a higher elevation than your garden or outdoor plants. Once a hose is connected to the spout of the rain barrel, if the hose is angled downward, gravity will allow water to run down the hose and it can be used to water the garden or plants as normal.

Things You'll Need

  • Rain barrels
  • Plastic drain pipe
  • Buckets or watering cans
  • Garden hose


  • Johns Hopkins University: Rain Barrels
  • Plant Answers: Water Sources for Plants
Keywords: air conditioner, water, plants

About this Author

Alexis Lawrence has been writing professionally for six years and has been published on Associated Content. She is also a freelance filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. Lawrence attended the University of Central Florida where she earned a Bachelor of Science in English.