spring questions

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by punkrockpilot, Mar 4, 2004.

  1. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

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    Hi, I am going to box in a spring that is about 150' above where the cabin will be. I would like to put a water storage tank just below the spring - hoping there will be enough hydrostatic pressure so I can avoid a pressure pump. What size and type of pipe to use and what kind of pressures will I achieve? Also - what can I do to keep the tank from freezing during the winter? I will bury the pipe, but don't want to use any precious electricity to heat it. I am looking forward to everyones 2 cents and any other spring advice you may have.
    Greg
     
  2. CnySolar

    CnySolar Member

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    Is the spring 150' higher in elevation, or 150' in walking distance?

    Brian






    QUOTE=punkrockpilot]Hi, I am going to box in a spring that is about 150' above where the cabin will be. I would like to put a water storage tank just below the spring - hoping there will be enough hydrostatic pressure so I can avoid a pressure pump. What size and type of pipe to use and what kind of pressures will I achieve? Also - what can I do to keep the tank from freezing during the winter? I will bury the pipe, but don't want to use any precious electricity to heat it. I am looking forward to everyones 2 cents and any other spring advice you may have.
    Greg[/QUOTE]
     

  3. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

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  4. CnySolar

    CnySolar Member

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    If you put your tank close to the spring, you will have plenty of pressure. At 150', you will have 64.9 psi. You could put your tank anywhere below the spring as long as you keep it at least 90' in elevation from the cabin. Even at 90', you still have 38.9 psi no mater what size pipe you use. You would probably be fine with a 3/4" supply line from the tank to the cabin.

    At whatever elevation you locate your tank, take the total elevation from the bottom of the tank to the inlet of your cabin and divide that number by 2.31. That will give you your static pressure.

    I recommend burying your tank and lines to keep from freezing. At my cabin, I had a small tank that could not support any weight on top, so I burmed up around it and it only gets a little sheen of ice on the top layer and always flows in the winter.

    Brian
     
  5. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Is it possible to bury the tank? If the spring has a good flow of water the year around, you wouldn't need a very big tank. The pipe its self will create the pressure. These water towers in small towns are not higher than 150 feet and must create at least 50 pounds pressure or more. You really need to know what the pressure would really be though.
     
  6. SueD

    SueD Well-Known Member

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    First off... Be sure you have the water rights - and find out exactly what rights are conferred... Depending on where you live, this might not have been included in your deed. If you box it in, don't own the rights, and get caught - there will be fines and you'll have to remove any structures - big expense for you.

    OK... now that we're legal... some fairly far-out-there options:

    If you don't mind the expense of this one: Somewhere back in the archives, I believe of either Countryside or BHM, is an article on building an icehouse. The principle would apply (providing you don't also store huge blocks of ice in the building) to keep water from freezing in the tank. Straw and sawdust are cheap, and scrap lumber would save a bundle, but may not be as easy to come buy as you'd hope. The best advantage to this method is that it would also be a nearly perfect food storage building as well as keeping the water liquid.

    Depending on the size of the tank, and what it's made out of, burying could be the better option here. BUT - you have to make sure that the tank won't get ruptured, prevent cave-ins and still be able to conveniently get to it if you bury it. Again, built correctly, could be good for a root cellar type storage area.

    The pipe will have to go down beneath the frost line in your area... In mine, that's about 3 feet. So, you want the tank as high as you can get it, because that line is already going to be at a lower elevation than your home - at least that's what it sounds like.

    If you will be needing electric, but don't want to tie the water supply into the grid, there was a post at this forum some months ago about where to get cheap used solar/wind components...

    Sue
     
  7. JWH123

    JWH123 Well-Known Member

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    PunkRockPilot-

    I didn't think there was 150' of elevation in Louisiana! :haha:

    Anyhow, since I'm from Pennsylvania and don't know exactly how cold it gets and for how long, here's an idea which may not work if you get down pretty cold (maybe below 20 degrees?)

    Burying the tank and all the piping below your frost line is a good idea. However, depending on how much your spring flows, you may be able to avoid some trenching and digging.

    Here's what I'm thinking- Your spring is 150' up on the hill. As Cnysolar said, that would give you 65 PSI, which might be a bit high, especially if you have water hammer problems - water flowing several hundred feet through a pipe has a lot of momentum, and if you suddenly shut off the water (such as your washing machine solenoid), you create a huge spike in the pressure which may cause your pipes to rattle or burst.

    I'm going to assume you get a pretty good flow out of this spring, and that it flows down the hill toward your house, and not away from it. What about putting a larger pipe (maybe 2"?) part of the way down your hill, above ground, running near the natural watercourse for the spring. About 90 feet up from your house, is where you put the holding tank. This tank may be as simple as a 100-gallon open-top stock tank. Your 2" pipe flows into this tank, and you have a smaller pipe going from this tank down to your house (I might pick 1", depending on the actual length of pipe (friction losses) and not the vertical elevation) Your tank here has an overflow which is piped back to the natural watercourse.

    My thoughts here are that you don't need to lug your tank and dig a hole 150' up the hill, since you probably don't need 65 PSI pressure. You can probably do with 40 PSI. The water in the 2" pipe at the top of the hill is constantly flowing through the pipe to your tank, so no freezing. The water tank itself is constantly being filled from the 2" pipe up to the spring, so there's no freezing there either. Just the 3/4" or 1" pipe from the tank down to your house would need to be trenched, since the water will be usually sitting still in that pipe.

    So you would have an increase in cost for the 'high' pipe (I picked 2" pipe since it would be less likely to freeze than a 1" pipe even with water flowing through it), but you would have less trenching because the higher pipe could be exposed. Plus, you don't have to bury your tank.

    It all depends on how cold it really gets there, and if the flow from the spring would be enough to keep the 2" pipe and the tank stirred enough that it won't freeze.

    Oh, one more thing. I'll be busy doing something when it freezes, so I can't help you thaw it out.... :)

    Good luck!
    John
     
  8. punkrockpilot

    punkrockpilot Well-Known Member

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    Wow, that's alot to take in, the property is located near Yellville, AR. You have to drive down a road so steep it scares most people - and then cross a creek five times to get to the land. No, I lived in the area before and being iced in occasionally doesn't bother me one bit. The spring starts on the property and I will only being using a small portion of the water, it flows into a creek running thru the property. I dare anyone to come in and tell me I can't use the water! Good luck just finding me! Burying the tank would be difficult, the land is very rocky and steep. I really just need enough pressure to operate an Aquastar 125. There is no house on the property yet, there are the remains of a small cabin that burned down years ago. The people before me just made a concrete and rock dam at the bottom of the spring beside the cabin. I think they just scooped up what they needed. Also there is currently no power to the land, so I will be making my own power with solar and hydro. I was thinking of running the spring to a tank in a small shed painted black - it is southern exposure. I'm really excited about this land and have lots of plans - I will be asking lots of questions!
     
  9. mikell

    mikell Well-Known Member

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    Start with a large pipe and reduce the size as it gets closer to your home and it will increase the pressure more. Say 4" down to 1".

    mikell