Water Tower - in devlopment.
First a little background on me:
Where I live now is very rural IL. I plan on making a stand here. We have
a local mutual support group. I have no where else to go and we have
enough land: 1/2 acre veg garden, a mini orchard, grape arbor, livestock,
barns, pasture, hay field, etc.
I have well and septic and my only services running on to my property are
electric and telephone, and many days I wish I did not have the phone. So
going "off grid" for me is not that much of a stretch. I already have a
significant generator, I can run my house off of it less A/C or the electric
heater I primarily heat with wood anyway so that is not a big issue for
winter. So for short term (days) I can run the genny and have full services.
However, for prepping, it is obvious that the generator will have to be used
very little for conservation of (diesel) fuel. As many of us are planning not
to have power for years at the worst.
So, I have been thinking of building a water tower. I can use either my
generator/well pump or my hand pump to fill it. Yes the hand pump can be
used that way it will generate enough pressure. Albeit, it will wear your ass
out. I got the idea from a Church camp I went to as a kid, they were very
off grid, they had a water tower filled from the hand pump that was one of
the week end chores before you left to fill the tank for the next group.
Water Tower height
P= Pressure in PSI, h = height in feet.
I am a welder and part time machinist with a decent shop (will be posting
picture later as part of the reloading bench pictures) so fabrication of the
tower is only time and material. I was planning on using a ag tank (new)
for the tank, and building a 3 legged tower (with cross bracing) with a flat
platform to hold the tank. One leg will have ladder pegs on it and the fill
and discharge piping will be run on that leg for any needed maintenance.
My thoughts are that a 50 foot tower will get my ~20 psi not great but at
least you can get the toilets to flush and have some running water in the
house for dishes and the like. I will not plan on running the hot water
heater if the shtf.
What are your thoughts, what have I missed?
You might consider a solar powered pump as well:
Oh one thing more, I live in Central IL. So on my farm there is no more
than 1-2 foot elevation change. So using a hill is not an option. For those
of you with hills, putting the tank up there will have an advantage.
Your pressure could vary with the diameter of the pipe. Also, if you reduce the size in transit, you build pressure. The ancient Romans did this, and it's engineering still used today.
I work in water treatment and distribution. The pipes in my plant feed the city. At 24 inches, we get 47ish psi. At an outdoor spigot on someone's house on the other side of town, their house being fed by a 1.5 or 1.75 (depending on the era that they were hooked to the city supply), this translates into approx 60psi. This is several miles away. On a much more local system, like supplying one house from one tank, you'll see a greater increase. I couldn't say how much. Downsouth is in the same field I believe, and has been doing it much longer, he may know more.
Bigger -> smaller = increase in pressure.
I'm going by my water tower today, and I'll take some notes and throw some more info at you.
and their situations.
It is an option and the pump I am getting can be retrofitted with one. But it
is down the list on getting one due to cost and...
What happens if it gets shot (I am expecting violence if shtf), damaged (we
have had multiple lighten strike in the 17 years I have lived here), breaks,
etc. my well is not in a protected location. If the SHTF, you cannot order
parts or a repair man. I can weld and machine, electronics not so much.
Basic wiring I can do, past that not much.
A manual pump I can fix. The KISS Principle.
but not pressure.
Also your fricitonal losses are significantly greater the smaller your diameter
of your lines. Pressure loss is a function of the inverse of the square of the
radius of your line.
Learned that all in Engineering in the Navy and again as a civilian firefighter.
will build pressure.
Once you get to 12" and up water mains frictional losses are insignificant,
ever seen a hydrant get sucked out of the ground by collapsing 4 inch water
main? A fire truck can do it, I did it once :eek:, and never heard the end of
that one it... Only saving grace is that it was 100 year old mains that were
scheduled to be replaced the following year. I just helped it along.
I will be running 1, 1.25 or 1.5 inch PVC up and down to minimize frictional
losses, just have to run the math on cost and benefit.
My plan is to build the tower and store it out back and then erect it when
needed. My thoughts are to pour concrete piers next spring where they are
just below grade and clear the sod away to mount the tower on top of come
time, I will have some sort of fastening system. Likely hinged on two legs
and raise it using the tractor and pin the third leg.
don't you have to be concerned about it freezing in your location?
As far as the tank maybe a heating system under it.
a problem, from December thru Feburary or March. This past March was in
the 90's :eek: :rolleyes:
My plan was to drain the tank and lines for winter and tough it out hauling
water. The well is only 30 feet from the house.
Per the hand pump mfr. the pump cylinder will sit at ~36' down and drain at
48" below grade which is our frost line.
How many gallon talk are you talking about storing ? I work in the farm chem industry right here in Central IL and we use large plastic and stainless tanks around here to store water in . We even keep a large SS 5500 gal tank of water on hand all the time even in the winter , will it freeze ? maybe but not solid . We have a large cone bottom plastic tank 3000 gal I think thats on a stand if you would like me to shoot u a pic of it for you I would be more than glad to do it . That may help in your design .
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