Need a little help to do this right the first time

Rngr275Rngr275 Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭✭✭
I have posted some questions about adding and Off Grid system in another part of the forum and that research and work contiunues. But we will be in the house before that is complete and installed and I want/need for everyone to be able to take a shower. Here is what is in the house now:

500gal cistern fed by and artesian well in the cellar. HAnd pump for sink.drink water on first floor. 300gal storage tank in the attic over the second floor. Current owner (Amish) uses a small gas engine to fill the 300gal attic tank from the 500gl cistern in the callar as needed. There is a small sink on the first floor which is gravity fed from the attic storga.

What I am thinking: BE able to use what ever system I install initially we the power system is installed. Say 2 month with only generator power available. Use a jet/centrifical pump, or a submersible (SQ probably sine I will benefit from it's soft start in the future PV power) to feed a large (or multilple large/small) pressure tanks with my generator. Only presureize/fill the system as necessary to take a shower every couple of days (4 of us). I also will need the steady pressure to use 1st a small portable camping type water heater until I either install a regular propane water heater for the whole house sometime this summer.

Cistern isybe 24" deep so a well type submersible will need to be on its side or use a "Fake" casing around it, which I have found a really clever place that makes such a thing (can pump down to ~ 2"). http://www.wellmanager.com/pump_chamber.htm

Like I said I am will to run my generator to charge the system for now but I will mant to connect it to the Off Grid system or grid system in the future. Off grid will roughly be 48V, 3-4K panels, 400-500 Ahr baterry storage, + generator to back fill.

But that said any less power draw system that I can use now and in the future will be greatly apprciated. As always looking for the best of 2 worlds... low energy and good performance.

Thanks Guys,
Mark
RLTW

Comments

  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need a little help to do this right the first time

    That Amish system sounds like my system. I have gravity spring water to my basement and use a shurflo pump to fill a storage tank in my attic. The storage tank provides gravity pressure to the fixtures in the house. I have about 4 psi at the showerhead, 5 psi at the sinks, and about 5.5 psi at the toilet. Everything works quite well. Obviously I have removed all flow restrictions from the faucets. My showerhead is the head from a watering can. We can get about 3 gallons per minute through it. We have no need for a pressurized system.

    BTW, I do not think such a low pressure system would work with a tankless water heater or a modern dishwasher or most modern washing machines (they would need higher pressure). Our washing machine is an old fashioned top loader with an agitator. It is slow to fill, but other than that it works very well.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need a little help to do this right the first time

    How about buying one or two large pressure tanks and a small Shurflo pump? Run the pump to pressurize the tanks and you'll have a pretty good supply of water at 30 psi or so. I use a similar system at the cabin: 60 gallon PT and a conventional pump that pulls from the lake. That way when you get the whole system in the PT will still be part of it (they are needed anyway). Then you can adapt as best suits your needs for steady use (with/without artesian well/cistern/attic tank).
  • Rngr275Rngr275 Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need a little help to do this right the first time

    Are you talking about the 2800 series in 115v. I notice that the GPM drops with the pressure you are building to (makes sense). Down to a couple GPM at 30-40PSI which means it will run longer. So do I calculate which is better Fill fast at a higher draw(amperage) or longer at lower draw?

    Would something like this work? Better/Worse? http://www.homedepot.com/Plumbing-Pumps-Well-Pumps-Systems-Convertible-Jet-Accessories/Wayne/h_d1/N-5yc1vZbqoiZ1lp/R-100030457/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&storeId=10051

    At least I'm in the same train of thought as you Coot... should that scare me? :D
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need a little help to do this right the first time
    Rngr275 wrote: »
    Are you talking about the 2800 series in 115v. I notice that the GPM drops with the pressure you are building to (makes sense). Down to a couple GPM at 30-40PSI which means it will run longer. So do I calculate which is better Fill fast at a higher draw(amperage) or longer at lower draw?

    Think of it like this: shower heads today only flow about 3 GPM, so even at the low end the Shurflo would be adequate if not perfect.

    Yes a full-size pump would work, but it will use a lot more electric and then what do you do with it afterward? It may not be suitable for your well, whatever that ends up being. If it is then you've got it made with one pump purchase.
    At least I'm in the same train of thought as you Coot... should that scare me? :D

    Not at all: "great minds think alike".
    Of course the other half of that is: "fools seldom differ". :p
  • Rngr275Rngr275 Solar Expert Posts: 101 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Need a little help to do this right the first time

    SO was that the correct pump I was looking at? 2800 series from Shurflo. I am leaning towards a large 80gal or so pressure tank which should hold ~ 20 and a little gallons. Can I pull the water down to a low pressure (max volume of water out of tank) before I start up the genny to fill the tank again. Just wondering how I should operate the system.

    I plan on using the cistern with the arestian fed spring as long as I can. So the big pump should work as long as I don't have to drill a well. Think that pump will be able to fill the holding tank in the attic?

    Just wondering if I might need another pump to fill the attic storage tank when it needs it (300g) would take a while at 3 gal/min. and push it from the cellar to attic on a 2 story.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Need a little help to do this right the first time

    Yes that was what I was thinking of: the 2800 115 VAC model: http://www.solar-electric.com/2088-594-154.html

    I often let our tank run out completely before refilling; it won't hurt it. The only thing is if you have something that is pressure-dependent to run. We have a tankless water heater which has a minimum operating pressure (something like 3 psi though) and other things like dishwashers don't do so well below 20 psi. But you'd be planning on refilling any way in that instance; run it with the gen and the pump available.

    Be sure to fill it before showers; nothing like having the pressure drop when you've got a head full of shampoo!

    These pumps are also available in a 12 Volt version: http://www.solar-electric.com/2088-443-144.html
    You could add an inexpensive battery (even automotive type) and charger and just run the gen when the battery gets low.
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