Fixit: Don't use water from dehumidifier

  • Article by: KAREN YOUSO , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 28, 2006 - 10:42 AM

Q How may I use the water condensed by my basement dehumidifier? Is it safe to use in any way?

Q How may I use the water condensed by my basement dehumidifier? Is it safe to use in any way?

A The water collected by a dehumidifier isn't pure, and it's probably best just to pour it down the drain. The water comes from condensate on refrigerant-type coils and it collects in a basin. The water washes dust out of the dehumidifier as it drips into the collection basin, where it also collects dirt.

Fish breeders won't use dehumidifier water in aquariums because fish don't breed well in it, possibly because copper or zinc collects in the water from the condensation coils. Watering plants may be the safest re-use of this water, however the minerals may be an issue there, too.

It's best probably to just pour it down the drain.

Wallpaper seam repair

Q What is the right way to reseal wallpaper seams that are separating? The paper has been up for a long time, but we still like it.

A Special seam repair adhesives are available at stores selling wallpaper and supplies. Basically, you lift each side and apply the adhesive. Press out any bubbles and roll flat.

Rose no longer in bloom

Q What would cause an established rose bush to suddenly stop blooming? My rose bush grew very well this year. The leaves were large, green and shiny. It looked the picture of health, except there were no roses.

A That happens when the grafted "desirable" portion of the rose has died, often due to winter kill. The vigorous shoots are all coming from below the graft union and will never amount to anything.

Dig out the bush, and plant a new one next year. If you want to stay with a tender hybrid tea rose, plant it so the graft union is 2 to 3 inches below the soil surface. In mid-October, cut it back to about 18 inches and mound it with about 10 inches of soil covered by leaves or, better yet, straw. That way some of the "good" wood will survive from year to year, instead of just the disappointing root-stock sprouts.

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