Pumping water from the lake to the cabin

SystemSystem Posts: 2,511 admin
I'm not sure I even know enough to ask questions.  I have a cabin on a clean lake and I just want to run a solar powered pump to get water from the lake to the sink in the cabin.  I do not want a holding tank, so I've been told I need a "demand pump."  I think I want a solar panel to keep a 12 volt battery charged, a battery, a pump, and about 100' of hose to get it to the cabin.  I usually get by with 20 gallons of water (hauled in buckets from the lake) each day, so my usage in minimal.  My questions: What kind of 12volt DC pump makes sense for this application? What kind of battery should I buy? What size solar panel will it take? Would something like PEX hose encased in my old 1¼" water line be a good idea?


  • System2System2 Posts: 6,290 admin
    Re: Pumping water from the lake to the cabin
    Sag Laker wrote:
    Would something like PEX hose encased in my old 1¼" water line be a good idea?
    This one, I can answer, and it's yes, Pex would be a great idea and should slide right through the old 1.25 inch pipe. You will probably be using a low flow pump, so 1/2 inch Pex should be great.
    As to what pump to use, I'll leave that to others. Myself, I have a regular 1/2 HP submersible pump chucked out about 180 feet in the lake where it's down deep and the water is cold. That far out, it's not subjected to the stirred up, dirty water that happens during storms.
    This pump however supplies far more water than you need and draws huge amps from the battery bank. You would be much better off with a low flow pump.
  • machinemanmachineman Solar Expert Posts: 129 ✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping water from the lake to the cabin

    If you want decent on demand GPM then your going to need a decent sized panel to drive the pump. Larger panels of course means more $$$. How high up is the cabin from the lake? I'm using a 65w panel that trickles <1gpm up 70ft to a large storage tank. Later this summer I will post up project details after I complete it. The storage tank has enough reserve so I don't need batterys for non-sun usage.

    The lowest power on demand pump I found for this need is the Shurflo 8000-541-236. If your elevation lift from the lake is small then you might be able to get a higher flow pump and still use a small cheaper panel.

    Off Grid Cabin, 24V 440ah 6V GC battery bank, Xantrex MPPT60-150 CC, Magnum MS4024 inverter-charger, >1200w Solar bank

  • icarusicarus Solar Expert Posts: 5,436 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Pumping water from the lake to the cabin

    I would suggest a medium sized pressure tank. A shurflo pump (I can't remember the number) will pump to 40+psi. That way you can pump water in good sun, but have water at night without undue battery drain. In lieu of a pressure tank, a gravity tank works great too. I use both. The advantage of the pressure tank is over the gravity is demand water heaters work better. (I use a gasoline pump to fill the large gravity tank once aday, and then use the pump to take pressurize the system. By pumping the water with gasoline, I can limit the size of my panel/battery bank.

  • mwilsonnmmwilsonnm Solar Expert Posts: 26
    Re: Pumping water from the lake to the cabin

    I recently set-up a system similar to what you want to do and I am very satisfied with the results. I have a large tank 60' from my cabin and I installed a Shurflo 2800 series pump that I purchased @ NAWS.These low-flow pumps give good pressure at the cabin and are easy to repair, if needed. Remember the pumps are designed to push, not pull the water. I also used1/2" pex encased in pvc conduit and the #10 wire is enclosed in conduit as well. You will need to figure out your power loss for a 100' run and use the appropriate sized wire to cut down on that loss. I also found the tech support at Shurflo.com to be great. Mark
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