Letter Re: The Water Solution

HJL,

I enjoyed the water article by EG. I own a farm and spend a great deal of time moving water around for irrigation purposes, and, yes, water is very heavy and difficult to move. I would like to give the folks some short hand for water. First, when burying water lines, go large. The smallest line I will install is two inches, when moving water over a couple hundred feet, because there is viscosity friction that builds up inside the the pipe wall the farther you go. It costs the same amount to dig the hole and the same amount to bury it; it just pays to go large whenever you can. The difference between 2-inch pipe and 1 1/2 inch is a 50% loss in volume; a 1-inch pipe can carry less than 25% that of a 2-inch pipe. Also, gravity system height does matter. Water builds pressure at .44 pound per one foot in elevation. So, if your local water tower is 100 feet high, you would have 44 pounds of pressure, which is not bad. I use gas and diesel pumps to move water, and one gallon of fuel will pump thousands of gallons great distances. If you can locate below any water source then you can be guaranteed great pressure. – MH in the west

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HJL,

The article “The Water Solution, by E.G. describes how to plumb water from a catchment system to your house water lines. Public Water Utilities will consider E.G.’s method unsafe because of the direct connection to a source of contamination (the water catchment system). Think of it this way. A person turns off the main electric breaker for their house and then takes an extension with a male plug on both ends, plugs one end into a house receipt and the other end into a running generator. That seems perfectly safe. They perform the steps in any other order, and an electric Utility Lineman or Homeowner can be electrocuted. The safest way would be to have a transfer switch installed. Line power or generator power, it’s impossible for both to flow at the same time. Taking water from a possible contaminated source (water catchment) and relying on remembering to turn off the main water value or on a check value to function correctly is a health hazard to all connected to the Public Water Utility. The correct way is to install a “Wye” with union fittings. Wye installed one way– you are connected to the Public Water and physically disconnected from the catchment system. Loosen the union fittings, swing the pipe to the other side of the Wye, and tighten the union fittings. You are now connected to the water catchment system and physically disconnected from the Public Water Supply. – M.G.

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HJL,

I’m a missionary in Papua New Guinea. My main job is setting up other missionaries who are building houses in bush locations among tribal groups to plant a church. One of the things I do, besides installing the Solar Electric Systems and wiring is setting up the pressurized water system. I’m familiar with the 12-volt Shurflo RV pump that E.G. mentioned in his article. One thing that I do when I install these systems, that helps the longevity of the pump, is installing a small pressure tank. This helps when you need a small amount of water for a longer period of time, like when you flush a toilet. Without this pressure tank the Shurflo pump has the tendency to constantly cycle on and off after you flush a toilet because the flow rate is right on the threshold pressure that turns the pump on and off, and therefore it doesn’t know if it should be on or off. The pressure tank solves this problem by storing a certain amount of water pressure in the tank, so that when you flush the toilet, the pump doesn’t need to turn on. This will also increase the life of your pump. Another thing I’ve noticed is that if you mount the pump on a supporting post under your home or anywhere physically on your home, it will vibrate the entire house, and the noise of the pump is amplified through the structure, which is really annoying, especially during those late-night potty breaks when everyone is trying to sleep. To solve this problem, we set a separate post in the ground, which is not attached to the main structure of the home, and mount the pump to this post, eliminating the annoying vibrations and noise during pump operation. Hope this helps. In His Grip, – J.S.

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