Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Cool, Clear Water

I do not think I can quite express my overwhelming joy and glee at what you are now seeing. That beautiful, clear water is freely flowing from my garden hose whenever I turn the knob! True, it's not flowing in the house yet, but like the monkey said when he got his tail caught in the door, it won't be long now. Mostly due to Allen's great efforts, we finally relocated the pump and tank and got everything wired and hooked up. The pump house itself is not finished but is providing enough shelter for the equipment for now.
We had to run about 220 feet of #8 wire in conduit to this new location. We are using a 1hp shallow well pump which draws 7 or 8 amps running but more when it initially starts up. I found several different recommendations for wire size on this due to length of the pull etc. but #12 seemed to be the most popular size. I did want to go one size up from that because this allows for greater energy efficiency. Just like water flows freer through a larger pipe, electricity flows easier through larger wire. I read a couple of studies on how much cheaper it is to run an appliance or whatever if you go one size bigger on the wire. On average, it was about $30-$40 a year savings, which may not seem like that much but to me, that adds up. Actually, the #8 is 2 sizes bigger but Allen insisted and we worked out a deal where he gets my leftover #12 wire (which I had procured at an earlier date for free), which will be a lot, in exchange for this wire here. The electrical box is an old leftover off a job, the rafters are 80 year old heart pine out of an old building downtown and the roof decking is plyform from way back when we poured the first foundation wall for the house. We did buy the PT 2x4's for the framing.

Here you can see the configuration of the pump and tank and how that is all hooked up. There will be a real floor in the house at some point. It did not take anywhere near the effort to prime the system this time. Of course, the water line was still holding water from our first efforts but it was much easier to get going and you can hear that it just runs better and sounds better. There is only one 90 degree turn in the pipe on the suction side.

Here you can see that, in order to keep the water lines as even and in line as possible, the equipment was located at different elevations. I was pleased to see the concrete walls came out as well as they did. I was afraid that with such tight (4") forms and no vibrator, we were going to have a bunch of honeycomb in the walls but we didn't. I bumped them really good but gently with a sledgehammer the whole time we were pouring. If you look close you can see the little PT blocks we embedded in the top of the walls for the framing to fasten to. That seemed to work well. Pulling wire that far was really a pain. We ran a strong string through the conduit as we were gluing it together but when we tried to pull all three wires through, the string broke. So, we pulled everything back out and sucked the string back through with a vacuum. We then pulled just the ground wire through (we had double length of it) and used it to pull the 2 hot wires and another length of ground wire. That worked pretty good but you still need one person at each end pushing and pulling.

So now I can water my garden just standing there instead of hauling water in buckets up from the creek. I watered everything I could reach today, even myself some. That spring water is COLD though! After about an hour of running water and making sure the pump and tank were going to work properly, I checked the spring level. It had dropped about 12-14 inches, which did cause me some concern. I have not seen it drop that much that fast. Anyway, I turned the water off and left for about 2 hours and when I came back the spring had completely recovered to it's previous level.


karl said...

those tomatoes are looking pretty good especially since you lugged all of their water to date. we have a few getting almost ripe.

pablo said...

Good news indeed (and especially because of the cheery tone that has found its way back into your posts).

Floridacracker said...

Hey that's great!
How's it taste?

We have enough clear iron in our water that we have to have a conditioner with an iron filter.

edifice rex said...

Hey karl! Everything is growing pretty good considering but the tomatoes would not ripen! I just now have gotten 2. I guess it's the lack of rain. The vines are loaded but they just won't turn.

Hey Pablo! Have I gotten not cheery? I'm sorry. Things have been a little trying lately. It's hotter than 700 hells down here, out of work, things breaking down etc. Well, that's no excuse but I can get cranky sometimes. I'll tell ya'll a funny story next time I post.

Hey FC! It tastes wonderful. I have tested for several things in the water but not iron or arsenic. Need to do that. I will have a 3 stage filter system on the water anyway.

pablo said...

So if you had iron in your water, would the result be ironic?

edifice rex said...

Ooooh, Pablo. Bad, bad, bad. ;)

Sal in Maine said...

I have to confess- I am loving reading thru your past posts as much for your info and writing as I am for Pablo's comments .