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SkyMan

Elevated Water Tank and Tower Design

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Headshot

Ummm, maybe a properly injected disclaimer should be injected into this sentence? :)

 

Something like:

 

There will be no need for a pressure pump with a water tower that is properly designed and high enough. Pressure and flow will be more than adequate for your purposes, if it is high enough.

So true. I put up a water tower two years ago. I used 1" high-pressure polyethylene lines (thick wall) with welded joints, so I will never have to worry about burst lines or lack of flow. The base of my water tank is 23 feet high, and presently serves a single-story home (this year, we are adding a second story). I always have plenty of flow due to the large pipes, but we don't have a lot of pressure. I always have plenty of water for a shower, but the water isn't under much pressure. Toilet flushes and the sink being used do not affect the flow to the shower.

 

Next year, we will put in a pool, at which time I will install a pressure tank and controller to the system downstream from the water tank. I haven't decided between a traditional controller and pump or a constant pressure controller and pump. The pressure tank is the same regardless of the system. A traditional controller and pump uses a controller with high/low settings and a constant-speed pump motor. These settings are adjustable, but most are set at 50/30 psi. At 30 psi, the pump kicks on and at 50 psi, it turns off. With a constant-pressure system, you have an adjustable controller that turns on the pump whenever it senses any deviation from the preset pressure and a variable-speed pump motor that tries to keep up with demand. This website explains the differences between the two systems quite well...

 

http://www.constantpressure.com/

 

The problem with having the elevated tank by itself, as I already mentioned, is having a lack of pressure (dependent on height). In order to achieve 50 psi based solely on height, your tower would have to be 112 feet high (to the base of the water tank). Nobody is going to build a tank that high.

 

The problem with only having a pressure system without an elevated water tank is that when the electricity goes out, so does the water. Therefore, if you opt out on the elevated tank, you MUST have an emergency generator (with an automated switch that turns the generator on anytime the power goes off and disconnects the home from the grid anytime the grid power is off) that is capable of providing whatever wattage your pump system requires. Anybody who has ever been all soaped up in the shower when the power goes off knows that this can be very inconvenient.

 

Since the power grid is NOT very reliable here, you must have some kind of backup generator system unless you are willing to go without water. The downside of having a generator hooked up like this is that there is maintenance and you have to run the generator periodically. You can't just let a tank of fuel sit there for long periods without use, or the fuel will go bad and really mess up the generator motor. Therefore, you need to run the generator until the tank is dry from time-to-time so bad fuel doesn't accumulate. And, of course, there is the fuel to deal with as well...both refueling and storage of fuel next to your home.

 

By having a tank and pressure system (I haven't decided which type is best) in series, I will get pressure and water reserve if the power goes out (of course, I will need a bypass on the pressure system, so the water can flow freely using the elevated tank alone) without the need for an emergency generator system. Everything is a trade-off. I chose the system that requires the least amount of work for me.

Edited by Headshot

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Paul

 

I use a 3/4 hp pressure pump connected to a small pressure tank through 3 filters, including a 5 micron sediment, 1 micron sediment and a 1 micron charcoal.

 

Live on the edge a little, Rick. Bypass all that nasty filtering. One little amoeba won't kill ya. Wait. I should rephrase that. :D

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easy44

Live on the edge a little, Rick. Bypass all that nasty filtering. One little amoeba won't kill ya. Wait. I should rephrase that. :D

You first!  LOL

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Knowdafish

So true. I put up a water tower two years ago. I used 1" high-pressure polyethylene lines (thick wall) with welded joints, so I will never have to worry about burst lines or lack of flow. The base of my water tank is 23 feet high, and presently serves a single-story home (this year, we are adding a second story). I always have plenty of flow due to the large pipes, but we don't have a lot of pressure. I always have plenty of water for a shower, but the water isn't under much pressure. Toilet flushes and the sink being used do not affect the flow to the shower.

 

Next year, we will put in a pool, at which time I will install a pressure tank and controller to the system downstream from the water tank. I haven't decided between a traditional controller and pump or a constant pressure controller and pump. The pressure tank is the same regardless of the system. A traditional controller and pump uses a controller with high/low settings and a constant-speed pump motor. These settings are adjustable, but most are set at 50/30 psi. At 30 psi, the pump kicks on and at 50 psi, it turns off. With a constant-pressure system, you have an adjustable controller that turns on the pump whenever it senses any deviation from the preset pressure and a variable-speed pump motor that tries to keep up with demand. This website explains the differences between the two systems quite well...

 

http://www.constantpressure.com/

 

The problem with having the elevated tank by itself, as I already mentioned, is having a lack of pressure (dependent on height). In order to achieve 50 psi based solely on height, your tower would have to be 112 feet high (to the base of the water tank). Nobody is going to build a tank that high.

 

The problem with only having a pressure system without an elevated water tank is that when the electricity goes out, so does the water. Therefore, if you opt out on the elevated tank, you MUST have an emergency generator (with an automated switch that turns the generator on anytime the power goes off and disconnects the home from the grid anytime the grid power is off) that is capable of providing whatever wattage your pump system requires. Anybody who has ever been all soaped up in the shower when the power goes off knows that this can be very inconvenient.

 

Since the power grid is NOT very reliable here, you must have some kind of backup generator system unless you are willing to go without water. The downside of having a generator hooked up like this is that there is maintenance and you have to run the generator periodically. You can't just let a tank of fuel sit there for long periods without use, or the fuel will go bad and really mess up the generator motor. Therefore, you need to run the generator until the tank is dry from time-to-time so bad fuel doesn't accumulate. And, of course, there is the fuel to deal with as well...both refueling and storage of fuel next to your home.

 

By having a tank and pressure system (I haven't decided which type is best) in series, I will get pressure and water reserve if the power goes out (of course, I will need a bypass on the pressure system, so the water can flow freely using the elevated tank alone) without the need for an emergency generator system. Everything is a trade-off. I chose the system that requires the least amount of work for me.

 

If you are concerned about having electricity in order to pump only water there are easier and less expensive ways to ensure you have water under pressure, even during a brownout, than going through the expensive of buying, maintaining, and fueling a generator. 

 

I would buy a 12 volt demand pump, a 12v deep cycle battery or two, and a battery charger. The batteries stay charged automatically via the charger. During a brownout the pump is powered by the battery(ies). It automatically comes on only when needed (demand pump). RV's have been using this type of system for more than 40 years, with great success. With two batteries of decent capacity, you would be able to pump water for days, no problem. 

 

Shurflo demand pump

 

Of course you could spend more, and add just one large solar panel to keep the batteries charged. 

Edited by Knowdafish

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Doromaner

If you are concerned about having electricity in order to pump only water there are easier and less expensive ways to ensure you have water under pressure, even during a brownout, than going through the expensive of buying, maintaining, and fueling a generator. 

 

I would buy a 12 volt demand pump, a 12v deep cycle battery or two, and a battery charger. The batteries stay charged automatically via the charger. During a brownout the pump is powered by the battery(ies). It automatically comes on only when needed (demand pump). RV's have been using this type of system for more than 40 years, with great success. With two batteries of decent capacity, you would be able to pump water for days, no problem. 

 

Shurflo demand pump

 

Of course you could spend more, and add just one large solar panel to keep the batteries charged. 

Do these 12v rv pumps still need a pressure tank?

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RickyL

I have a 30 foot camper. The pump has no pressure tank, not sure what pressure it pumps but its good. I run a 130 watt sharp solar panel with two trojan t-105 batteries. It is enough to power the radio, pump, lights, fan and laptop for 3 days straight and it was mostly cloudy. We'll see about 7 days really soon.

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fred42

 

If it is this expensive I will be using a pressure tank. I was figuring around 12-15k for the tower itself. Pvc pipe is cheap. Concrete is cheap. It is really the steel I am not sure about the price. 
  •  

 

 

16 mm rebar is 319.00 Pesos for a 6 meter length..

Average price for cement around 225 a bag.

Gravel and sand about 1.200 Per cubic meter.

 

We will probably need to build our tower 10 meters high.. I`ll let you know the cost when its done.

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Paul

 

We will probably need to build our tower 10 meters high.

 

So, that would provide about 15 PSI, if I am correct? 1 Bar = 14.5 PSI?

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fred42

So, that would provide about 15 PSI, if I am correct? 1 Bar = 14.5 PSI?

 

 

To be quite honest,I have no idea.. Obviously the pressure on the ground floor will be good.. The shower units on the second floor will each have a small pump fitted with a switch to provide a decent shower pressure.

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GoHuk

So, that would provide about 15 PSI, if I am correct? 1 Bar = 14.5 PSI?

 

Yup!  Barometric pressure at sea level is approx. 32 ft of water.  10 M = approx. 34 ft = 1 bar.

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Headshot

So, that would provide about 15 PSI, if I am correct? 1 Bar = 14.5 PSI?

 

One bar is one atmospheric pressure at sea level, which is 14.7 psi. You get one bar for every 33 feet (10 meters) of water (it is the same whether you are scuba diving and diving down or talking about water tower heights). It takes 112 feet to get 50 psi of pressure. You can get 30 psi with 67 feet.

 

The reality is that an individual is not going to get that kind of drop unless your source is high on a hill above you. Certainly, nobody is going to build a water tower that high. Therefore, you either use a shorter water tower and rely on flow rather than pressure (you will never get a hard shower and the tub will take a while to fill), or you put a pump and pressure tank in your system.

Edited by Headshot

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Knowdafish

Do these 12v rv pumps still need a pressure tank?

No, but they do make make them so the pump doesn't cycle on and off so much. 

 

http://legacy.shurflo.com/pages/Food_Service/beverage/accumulator_tanks/tanks.html

 

One is not necessary though, as these pumps can even run dry for extended periods of time with no damage. Replacement parts are available too, so they can be rebuilt indefinitely. I've seen these pumps still working great after being 20 years old. 

 

Typical R.V. pump, tank, accumulator, plumbing installation in an R.V. The same would easily work in a house. The switch for the pump could be left on all the time, as the pump will only come on when it's pressure switch tells it too (demand pump). Again, the accumulator/"pressure tank" is unnecessary. Most RV's don't have one. 

 

ShurfloTankPump.jpg

Edited by Knowdafish

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Doromaner

No, but they do make make them so the pump doesn't cycle on and off so much. 

 

http://legacy.shurflo.com/pages/Food_Service/beverage/accumulator_tanks/tanks.html

 

One is not necessary though, as these pumps can even run dry for extended periods of time with no damage. Replacement parts are available too, so they can be rebuilt indefinitely. I've seen these pumps still working great after being 20 years old. 

 

Typical R.V. pump, tank, accumulator, plumbing installation in an R.V. The same would easily work in a house. The switch for the pump could be left on all the time, as the pump will only come on when it's pressure switch tells it too (demand pump). Agaaccumulator/"pressure tank" is unnecessary. Most RV's don't have one. 

 

ShurfloTankPump.jpg

Yeah I did a little research on this since your last post and it seems like a very smart way to go. The Shurflo pump is around $75, you can buy a 12v 7ah battery for around $15, a 10 watt solar panel is around $75, and a small charge controller is around $15. All in all this is the best plan for me. I really appreciate the heads up on this one. Great Idea!

 

The battery can be found locally. The panel and charge controller can br shipped from China on Alibaba, but I think the pump will need to come from the US. I think with exception to the battery this simple system could last 20 years. Thanks again!

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Knowdafish

Yeah I did a little research on this since your last post and it seems like a very smart way to go. The Shurflo pump is around $75, you can buy a 12v 7ah battery for around $15, a 10 watt solar panel is around $75, and a small charge controller is around $15. All in all this is the best plan for me. I really appreciate the heads up on this one. Great Idea!

 

The battery can be found locally. The panel and charge controller can br shipped from China on Alibaba, but I think the pump will need to come from the US. I think with exception to the battery this simple system could last 20 years. Thanks again!

You're very welcome. I would use a larger battery though. A 7AH battery won't last long., as a Shurflo pump draws 4 amps an hour at unrestricted flow, and 7 amps with a restricted flow (like when a faucet is opened only partially). A 7AH battery might give you 45 minutes of water pumping time before the voltage drops too low for the pump to effectively work.  I would go for 100 AH battery (12 volts) or something close to it. An electric battery charger can be had locally too. It will keep the battery charged up as long as it's plugged in. This route will keep your costs down, and your reliability factor up.

 

A solar panel would be good too, but a 10 watt panel will not keep a decent sized battery charged as it does not put out a high enough voltage for the most part. A 100 watt panel would be the smallest I would go with if you want to use a solar panel, but this will dramatically increase the price of the system. Up to you which way you want to go. 

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Paul

Even though we have a water tower, along with a 750 liter storage tank (stainless steel), the water pressure here is not nearly as good as it was at my previous apartment. (There were two 1,500 liter water tanks on the roof of the three story building. They were about 12 meters up.) The pressure there was great. 

 

I think a demand water pump may be the ticket. The only draw back is, once it is powered, I am going to find leaks and more leaks, in the system. I think, maybe I will just wire it to a switch that can be switched on when needing pressure, and left off when it isn't really necessary. 

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