Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Dig A Little Deeper

Our big project lately has been relocating the pump and pressure tank. We shot grade along the pipe line until we found the spot that was at the highest point that the pump could pull to. This should have been done at the beginning and that's what you get when you just assume that something will work and not check out the facts. Allen dug out the area so that, keeping the pipe at it's current elevation, the pump can be set down in line with the pipe and not require a 90 degree turn to reach the inlet. It's best to only have 1 turn in the pipe on the suction side. Any more and you start dramatically reducing the amount of head the pump can pull. In the photo, the pump pad has been poured and I have formed up the pad for the pressure tank. That pad sits higher due to the fact that the outlet pipe on the pump is on the top, so having the pressure tank sit higher allows the piping to be run with as few turns as possible. I'll have photos later when everything is hooked up so that this will be clear in case I'm completely confusing you now. This setup also allows for the pump house to be somewhat earth sheltered and hopefully will retain some warmth from the ground during the winter. We are going to pour a 4" concrete wall all around (only about 3 feet high) and a concrete/dirt floor. Masonry or wood will top out the walls and I plan to use drop from my metal roof to roof this little house. I am trying to build this without buying any material other than Quikcrete. The pump house will have a light and at least one plug outlet too. It sits about halfway between the spring and house (about 180 feet from the house) so it's not that bad to have to walk down to, work on etc. and will be a good source to have power and water at later. I hope to build my chicken coop in this general area at a later date.
This is the little form for the pump. We dug a hole under where the pad will sit to anchor it to the ground, added a little rebar here and there and put in the anchor bolts for the pump. The floor in here will be mainly for aesthetics so that is why we did not pour that first. I can probably wreck the forms this afternoon and start forming the walls too so things are moving along fine. Until then I am working on the interior of the house and getting the ceiling ready to stain.


Anonymous said...

The pump/tank arrangement will work out pretty good, it sure beats having a well with footvalves to change, etc. I'd make the pumphouse tall enough to stand up in, you'll find it handy to store all kinds of stuff. If you insulate it some a 100 watt lightbulb should take care of most cold nights. They say that new PEX piping can take a freeze and not rupture(supposed to be better that the old polybutylene).Coming up all next week to work on porch roofs, may try to get in touch. If you have any Native American friends then get them to do a rain dance, thinks are hurting.

Take care.

pablo said...

When I build a pump house, I intend to make the walls out of glass brick. Just to be cool.

edifice rex said...

Hey Anon! Well, there is actually a footvalve in the spring (to keep from sucking up any frogs etc. but it also contains a check valve to prevent the water from flowing back into the spring once it has been sucked up. I was thinking that a light bulb would probably be enough to leave on some nights too. I have seen that new PEX stuff and they say it's great but I have not seen it in large diameters. (1 1/2" and so on) I'm sure they make it but bet it's expensive. Yeah, drop by if you get a chance! We never get visitors.
Hey Pablo! That would be very cool! I'm trying to come up with something kind of funky to do to this one.

karl said...

i see hand tools there. i thought i was the only one that still used them. yeah, anon is right, pex won't freeze and break it simply pushes off the fittings on both ends--still a problem though.
i don't know your spring volume but have you considered a ram pump to a big elevated storage tank? i always wanted to do that--a hippie pipe dream of mine. looking good, thanks for the update.gwxkvlcv

edifice rex said...

Hey karl! We have thought about a hydraulic ram and Allen did a lot of research on them but I don't know that he will ever build one. They seem to require pretty regular maintainence as lots of things can stop them from working so I don't know. The spring volume does not seem to be a problem even in this awful drought we are having especially for just 2 people.
Yeah, we use hand tools quite a bit; I'm on my second axe now and second sledge hammer handle too I think.