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Thread: Water storage

  1. #1

    Water storage

    As part of an ongoing upgrade to our water system, we changed out one of our water storage tanks.

    I always get a laugh out of newbies when they throw out the thought that they are going to "do it once and do it right!" Really? And without EXPERIENCE you will know it's "right" how??

    Egg Zach Lee...

    Also, our best intentions are often hindered by the real world considerations of:

    *Availability of a product
    * COST of a product
    * Adaptability of a certain product to our specific location, circumstances, use, etc.
    * Our lack of real experience- or long term experience- with a certain item.

    So when I first set up this part of my water storage system back in 1999 ALL of the criteria above applied to me also. I needed a product for water storage that was readily available, it needed to be reasonably priced, it had to fit a very specific size and it had to be installed at a very specific stage in the building process or it would not fit afterwards. And finally, we were transitioning suburbanites at the time (hence in 1999 no real long term experience with homesteading systems).

    Opting for a white plastic water tank, like you can find at Tractor Supply, AG stores, etc. is what we used for 210 gallons of our water storage.


    oldwater.JPG

    We have a hill on the property close enough that when the tank was placed on the hill, it would provide some semblance of water pressure to the main house, to gardens, etc. It worked fine, although not ideal. Problems we had-

    * The tank did not have an overflow. Only one inlet into the tank and then one larger screw top opening that really wasn't useful for anything. It was too small for true cleaning and too large for plumbing hookups. We could have cut an overflow, but the tank was inside a building and we wanted to avoid the chance of flooding the building.

    * The tank was NOT a pressure tank, hence could not be left "inline" in our water system.
    * The tank was next to impossible to clean.

    Here's how it looked after a few years with our hard water. A view inside the tank-


    oldtankcalcium.JPG

    So the "order of operation" of this was originally to run the genset, which powered our deep well. Water was pumped up the hill to the tank. Someone had to babysit the tank to make sure it did not overflow and flood the building.

    Second part coming up-

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  2. #2
    Part 2-

    So, we have added a couple other wells, solar and hand pumped.

    We needed to be able to "tie" all of these individual components together into a system that

    *Was Operable 24/7
    *Met our self reliance goals
    *Offered a fair amount of water storage, mostly protected.
    *Put out a fair amount of water pressure
    *Offered multiple redundant options for supply


    So the old tank in the picture above had to go.

    Unfortunately it was a total loss. As I mentioned above, the building was built around the tank and there was no way to remove the tank in it's original state. It cut up easily with a Saw Zall. I was able to salvage some of the very bottom of it, that may prove useful as part of a water trough for animals one day.

    FWIW, the plastic is thicker than you think in those sorts of tanks. I honestly thought at first I would simply take a hammer to it and chuck the pieces out the door. The hammer never penetrated the tank.

    So in an effort to have a constant flow through approach to this part of our water storage I opted to go with galvanized pressure tanks.


    Attachment 2389

    Attachment 2390


    We started off with a 210 gallon water tank. We needed to get the new tanks in through a relatively small opening. Another super large tank would not work. Further, a TALLER tank or tanks, would have brought them into view of the windows in this building, thereby perhaps allowing them to be SHOT through one day. So the shorter tanks we opted for lay below the window level and have the ballistic protection of the building.

    Four 42 gallon pressurized tanks replaced the one 210 poly tank that would NOT take pressure.



    Now the four tanks could be "inline" in our water system CONSTANTLY. With the water circulating through the tanks constantly.

    Since we only want the water flowing from the tanks towards the house and not back to the wells, we installed a check valve a few feet below the tanks on the inlet side. The outlet side doesn't need one.

    On the tanks themselves- they have 1 1/4 inch female threads. Three holes. The worry was that once all four were daisy chained together and the system turned on, that the air would not be fully displaced in the tanks and less than a full capacity of water would be held in each tank. Therefore we added a HOSE BIB at the top 1 1/4 hole on each tank. As the system was first pressurized, we simply allowed the air to escape via the hose bibs.

    Finally, I added a 110 volt on demand pressure pump.

    Attachment 2391

    We have reliable 110 power there with our alternate energy system. The water does flow through the pump via GRAVITY as it did previously with the poly tank. However now it is under full pressure with the pump cycling only when pressure falls.

    Finally, a wood box was added around the four tanks and plumbing to avoid someone stumbling through there and stepping on a pipe line, or other dumb things that do (have) happened.

    Attachment 2392

    Additional storage tanks are being used near the solar wells in addition to this.

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  3. #3
    Nice setup/upgrade! Attachments in second post don't work.

    Again, nice upgrade using hard-earned experience...

    Regards,
    Templar
    Salutations,
    Templar

    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ _________________

    There are very good reasons why we all are gathered here...

  4. #4
    newtank2.jpg

    New tank, galvanized 42 gallons per


    tankpump.jpg

    Four tanks in place and tied together. 110 volt pressure pump in line on outlet side. Ball valve there to facilitate changing out of pump without draining all the tanks to do so, if and when that ever becomes necessary.

    Water still flows via gravity and some pressure is still felt with the pump off.

    newbox.JPG

    Box built around tanks, plumbing and pump to keep feet from stepping on pipes and to help with insulation issues. Makes for a slightly "cleaner" installation than pipes and tanks out everywhere.

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  5. #5
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