How to use your pressure cooker as a water distiller

If your pressure cooker has a vent pipe on the lid, you can make an emergency distiller with the addition of a few items. While this process to create pure water is slow and uses quite a bit of energy, it could save your life in an emergency. Taking a pressure cooker with a vent pipe of 1/4-inch outside diameter as a reference, here is how to do it.

1.    Fill the pressure cooker 2/3 full with seawater, pool water or any other water that may or may not be contaminated
2.    Attach a 3-foot length of 1/4-inch inside diameter food grade vinyl plastic tubing to the valve stem on the cover of the cooker.
3.    Using a hose clamp over the vinyl tubing, attach a 10 feet of 1/4″ copper or stainless tubing to the remaining loose end of the plastic hose.
4.    Coil the copper tubing so it can fit into a container of cold water. The colder the coils the faster the condensation will occur.

5.    A second piece of vinyl tubing attaches to the copper tubing end at the bottom of the bucket with a hose clamp as well.  The other end of the metal tubing is then placed  into a clean container to collect the   fresh water.
6.    As steam builds up inside the cooker, it begins to make its way through the tubing. When it reaches the copper coils, it condenses into pure water and flows into the water container.

* Adapted from an article in Good Old Boat Magazine, November/December 1999.