Another well pump question Ideas needed

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Tracy, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    We have 4 wells on the farm. One is for the house, one is a hand pump if electricity goes out, one is for the barn and the other is not being used at all right now.
    The well that is not being utilized I want for my shop. We do meat processing in the shop and I need running water. In the summer I can use the garden house form the house but winter the hose freezes plus this is not an ideal situation anyway.
    In the spring we will trench the line and get the well hooked up right but for this winter I need an alternative solution. This is my thought. I want to use a gas powered pump to pump the water from this well into a storage tank [300 gallon] in the shop. I am then thinking if we hook up a bladder tank to the storage tank this will suplly the pressure I need? I have a on demand hot water heater ordered. From the bladder pump, can I run 2 lines for water, one for cold water and the other for the on demand hot water tank?
    Is this a doable thing or am I missing something? Are there other ideas that I am missing? Trenching a line [doing it right] from the pump will be major work as there are water lines running from the house to an outdoor wood heater and this will require much hand digging and right now we are buried in a couple feet of snow.
     
  2. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    I may not be completely following you here, But what is going to pressure the water in bladder tank?
     

  3. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    The water that is in the 300 gallon storage tank?
     
  4. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I assume it doesn't freeze in your shop. Also it surely has electricity.??? If the well isn't a long distance from the shop, why not put an electric pump in the shop pumping into a bladder tank. This will pressurize any lines hooked to the tank. A cold water line can run to your heater. Before it enters the heater it could be T'd off to anywhere you want cold water. I would put the heater as near as possible to where the hot water will be used. Burying the line from the house would save you the cost of a pump. Are you sure the well is going to be ok when a pump is hooked to it??
     
  5. SteveD(TX)

    SteveD(TX) Well-Known Member

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    I may be mistaken, but I think a bladder tank requires a certain amount of pressure to fill up properly and quickly. I doubt if straight gravity feed from your 300 gallon storage tank will work to your satisfaction. At any rate, the recovery rate will be extremely slow.
     
  6. wy_white_wolf

    wy_white_wolf Just howling at the moon

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    If the 300 gallon tank had enough pressure to fill/charge the bladder tank, then it would work by itself without the bladder tank. You need a pressure/booster pump with check valve between them
     
  7. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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  8. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We used to use a windmill powered pump to fill our cistern every 3 or so days. from that there was an electric motored pump in the basement that pumped the gravity fed water from the cistern into a pressure tank. By piping a T from the pressure tank you can run one line to a water heater, other line would be cold water.

    But, you need an electric pressure pump to make the pressure in your scenerio. I'm not sure you are addressing that part? Unless your 300 gal water tank is about 40 feet above your water faucets, you need the electric pump to pressurize the bladder tank & system.

    --->Paul
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Your approach is too expensive and there is too much work to be done now to have to redo everything later. Do you have a small air compressor? If so can you fill the large tank with the garden hose(While the water is running nothing will freeze) then drain the hose? If both answers are yes I can tonight tell you how to setup you existing system with little expense. I am in a pinch for time and it will be dark (eastern standard) before I am back in the house. .
     
  10. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Yes to air compressor, it is a large one runs on 220. Looking forward to your input.
     
  11. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    The technique to pump water with the air compressor is as follows
    1) Using the garden hose, fill the 300 gallon tank. At this point I assume it is a sealed tank since you earlier mentioned you were wanting to attach the bladder tank to it.
    2) After filling the 300 gallon tank from the water hose attach the air compressor to the tank. The critical point here is that you must have an air regulator. This is a cheap item from Tractor Supply or similar source. It is imperative that you do not exceed the pressure that ordinarily would be used for the water that would typically be pressurized for the 300 gallon tank. For discussion, 20 PSI is adequate and that should be a safe working pressure for any tank designed for a well system. The 20 PSI will deliver the water from the 300 gallon tank until the water is exhausted. (The exhausting of the water is no different than if you were using the booster pump/shallow well pump at the site you posted) and when that happens with a water pump, the pump would self destruct if left unattended. At the time the water tank is empty, you will need to vent the tank and refill with water. I would not use an air system with an unattended water heater regardless of type. This method could create a situation to where the water heater has no water to the heating elements and you would have immediately meltdown of the heaters. If, and I emphasis IF in a big way, you were to connect this to a conventional water heater and you let the water heater heat the water then you manually turned the power off until you consumed the hot water and were positive that the water heater was refilled prior to reapplying the power you could deliver hot water. This will take discipline and must be adhered to! In so doing you can accomplish what you initially set out to do for the price of a regulator and a recycled conventional water heater. I may have been unclear in the above and if you need me to clarify just ask. :)
     
  12. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I was a little worried you were going to go this direction....

    A lot of 300 gallon tanks can't take 20lbs of pressure. I'd be _real real_ careful on this. Fiberglass shrapnel is not a fun thing. You understand the surface area of a 300 gallon tank......

    In principle you have a good idea. As you say the pressure regulator is of utmost importance.

    So is the composition & design of the tank. I'm not sure they have a tank 'designed for a well system'. I read it as a big old cheap storage tank.

    This is a good idea - IF the tank can take the pressure.

    --->Paul
     
  13. desdawg

    desdawg Well-Known Member

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    You can get a pump/small pressure tank (2 gallon) from Harbor Freight for around $100. It will run on 115 volts and meet all of your needs. I have one in the mountains and it pressures up my little park model mobile home just fine. You will need a foot valve on the water line from the tank so the pump doesn't lose its prime. From there as stated above tee off to the water heater and then pipe hot and cold like always.
     
  14. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Here is another link to a picture of what I have for a water tank.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=1268&item=3861462491&rd=1

    I dont know if it is made to take pressure or not.

    Let me elaborate a bit and hopefully you can give me more ideas. None of the wells on this property are great. Each will serve there purpose if that is all you use it for. i.e, if I use the water for the barn only it works fine but if you start pulling more water then watering livestock out of this well you will loose prime. Same goes with the house. I can do 2-3 loads of laundry in a day and normal household stuff but any more you run out of water. We did test the other well last summer and it seemed to work okay but knowing the way the other wells are I think the storage tank is the way to go.

    In our old house [was done before we bought it] the system was similar to what I want to do here. The well pumped into a stoarge tank to the basement. From the storage tank was what supplied the house with water. Once the tank dropped to a certain level the well pump kicked on and filled the tank back up.

    What I want to do is have the same set up. I get the concept of the air compressor but why cant you set up a permanent system but fill the tank with a hose for now and then in the spring trench the lines to pump into this tank?

    Cost is an issue but not the number one issue. I would rather do it right the first time and be done with it then to have to redo everything in the spring. I wish we would have had the time to do everything before the snow fell but we simply did not have enough time to get it done.
     
  15. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I just do not see that type of 300 gallon tank as being pressurize-able. They are real common for farm chemicals around here, and are storage only, you can not pressurize them. As I see it. The big openning on top rarely allows for much pressure buildup.

    So what you say you have:

    A low-yield well that needs water storage in a cistern (which is your 330 gallon tank).

    A need for pressurized water in your building the goes to both hot & cold piping.

    So, you will need to pump water from the well into storage (slowly?) to gather your needed water. Then for use, you need to pump water from the big storage tank into a pressurized tank which will distribute the water to your various piping.

    This is more expensive.

    Normally a person has one pump, and pumps water out of the well into a 20 - 80 gallon pressure tank, and water is distributed from this pressure tank. Only 1 pump needed, less pipe....

    Are you certain you need to store the 330 gallons of water? Just how much water will you be using at one time from this source? An 80 gallon pressure tank will hold 40 gallons or more, will your well not cycle this tank fast enough? How will you fill the 330 gallon tank if the well can't keep up with an 80 gallon tank???? If 330 gallons is available to refill the big tank, that amount of water should be available for a single pump/ 80 gal pressure tank as well.....

    I'm not sure I understand the need for a complex system you are creating. A cistern or water storage is needed for a low-flow spring that trickles water into it 24 hours a day; or for a wind powered/ other intermitent system that does not constantly supply water on demand but fills storage while it does pump. If your well can fill the 330 gallon tank with a gas powered pump, your well has _lots_ of water available at one time, and already is the storage area for you - no need for the extra tank. Now, it might take your well a long time to refill itself, and you could only draw out 330 gallons every day or 2 - but so what, if the water is available, it is already there sitting in storage in the well......

    Does any of that make sense?

    Here in Minnesota shallow wells are banned any more, & I am assuming you have a shallow well for a gas pump to work with it. Also, an open cistern or water storage tank is not allowed for water that goes for human consumption. So, there would be a whole lot of problems with your design _here_. :)

    The point is, if you can draw out 300 gallons of water from your well at one time, then there is no need to _have_ the 300 gallon water storage tank. You already have that water storage sitting in the well. Just hook up a shallow well pump, draw it out and allow that shallow well pump to pressurize a pressure tank, and have water.

    There is a difference between a well's draw down rate/ amount (water you have available to use at any one time), & it's refill rate (amount of time it takes the well to replace that water that is removed), and I guess I'd really, really want to know that before going to the expense of building the complicated system with the big storage tank. So far it sounds like there is no need for the big storage tank.

    Can you fill in any more details?

    If the well can supply you with 300 gallons of water at one time, and it takes 2 days for it to refill itself, so what, as you draw 20-100 gallons of water out every day, the well will refill itself slowly & you will never get to the bottom of the water....

    If the well can only supply 30 gallons or so at a time, & takes 4 hours for the well to refill, how will you ever get enough water out of the well to fill the 300 gallon tank with a gas engine anyhow????

    I'm missing something here on how this storage tank will be helpful in your situation - if it will work with the gas engine pump, then actually it is totally unneccessary it would seem...... Sorry for the long & convolted message here, but I'm hoping I hit on one paragraph that makes sense.... ;)

    --->Paul
     
  16. fordy

    fordy Well-Known Member

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    ..............Tracy , You can buy a 100 gallon pressure tank w\bladder for less than 300 . The actual volume is probably around 60 gallons when fully inflated but still it would be better than a 300 gallon , non pressurized tank .
    ..............Here is one idea that just occured to me .......If , you have one area in a barn that is secure and out of the weather you could ponder on the following.......Since all 4 wells are marginal in terms of the reservoir refilling capacity , You might want to plumb all (4) wells on 1 , 1 inch Pvc line and connect it into a single pressure tank . Then , you could set a small fuse panel on a post that is somewhat equally close to all (4) wells . From this fuse panel you could run power to all 4 wells , and turn them off and ON with the circuit breakers . Now , here is a neat idea also ......Use the output of the pressure switch(on the 1 single pressure tank) to turn the power ...ON...to the Breaker panel that feeds power to all 4 wells . So , then you could turn on , say 2 breakers and have 2 wells feeding into the single 1 inch pvc line and ....BOTH could be working together to fill up the pressure tank . Now , when the Pressure Tank fills UP , the pressure switch will Automatically switch off ....which will also turn OFF BOTH pumps at the SAME time . ,,, Now , if you need more water , simply flip OFF the 2 breakers that were on just prior , and turn ...ON...the Other pumps and continue pumping . This will allow the previous wells to start refilling for another pumping session ......This way you can get the maximum pumping capacity out of all 4 wells in the Shortest amount of time . Actually , a very simple solution it would seem . ...fordy... :eek: :)
     
  17. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    Thank you guys for helping me try to get this figured out.

    Fordy, the wells are all in diffrent parts of the land. We have a olb pump house that serves the barn and this is located way down at the bottom of a hill and would be impractical to get to all the time. The hand pump is in the front of the property, well for the house is totall at another end and so on so linking these all together would be MAJOR work.

    Rambler,

    We would not be able to fill a 300 gallon tank all at once. It would have to be done over time. My meat processing is done for pet food so the "human consumption" is not an issue.

    A smaller tank would work but then we would have to fill it more often. My thoughts were with a 300 gallon tank that we would fill it initially over time and then once 100-150 gallons or so was used we would refill it again. My guess is that I would probaly use 40-50 gallons of water [conting clean up] at one time.

    The problem with drawing directly from the well is that the water is needed intermently during processing and the lines would freeze if the water wasnt constantly used. We cant trench the lines below frost level till the ground thaws.

    I hope I am making sense? This is why I was thinking of the tank that I listed on my other post would work. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=46547&item=3859780419&rd=1
     
  18. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    For the current situation here is an alternative.
    Mount the 300 gallon storage tank higher than the conventional 40 gallon water heater using a ball valve between the 2 tanks.
    On the outlet side of the ball valve install a Tee in the line; one side to the ball valve, one connection to the water heater(At the water heater cold water connection install a 3rd tee), and remaining with one port temporarily unused.
    On the unused connection on the Tee install another Tee (called here our 2nd tee)
    On the 2nd tee connect 2 ball valves. One valve then connects to the air compressor and the other to atmosphere
    Fill the storage tank as best you can using whatever means you decide. A fill rate of 1/2 gallon per minute should not drain your well and should not freeze as the tank fills. Have you tried to throttle/limit the flow from the well to the tank previously? As long as you stay under the recovery rate the well should not loose its prime!
    Once you have water at what ever amount makes you happy in the 300 gallon tank disconnect the hose and using air from the compressor blow the hose empty to prevent freezing.
    On the tee at the cold water inlet to the water heater you will connect your cold water faucet . This will give you not cold water but tempered water which should suffice for your tasks.
    To Operate this RIg
    Let the water gravity flow into the water heater, you will have to open the faucets in order to get the water into the heater.
    Close the ball valve from the 300 gallon storage tank once the heater is full. You will know it is full when water comes out the faucets.
    Turn on the hot water heater power. This will heat water in the upper portion of the water heater tank.
    Once the water is hot enough, (feel the out pipe on the hot side of the water heater tank) TURN THE POWER OFF TO THE WATER HEATER.
    Put regulated (40 PSI or less) air pressure from the compressor onto the water heater using the installed ball valve.
    You should now have pressured hot and tempered cold 40 gallons of water at you disposal SAFELY ! :)
     
  19. Tracy

    Tracy Well-Known Member

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    I dont have a conventional hot water tank. I bought an electric on demand heater.
     
  20. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Get a conventional junk one that is not leaking for now, you may have to put an element in it put that is a minor expense. Usually the lower element burns out and you can just switch the upper element to the lower position for this setup. Do not attempt to use an inline waterheater on this arrangement because it will melt down immediately if you run out of water. You need the tank for 2 purposes, one for the heater and the other as a pressure vessel.