submerged pump in storage tank setup

GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
I'm looking for some advice on how to setup my offgrid water system.

I will soon be building a pump house over my well. In it will be the 2500 gallon plastic storage tank and the pressure tank. My well pump is a sqflex that will keep the storage tank topped off and run directly from solar to keep from using battery power. The submersible pump in the tank running to the pressure tank will run off my xantrex 6048 inverter.

My main questions are about how to run pipe through the plastic tank and how to support the pipes going in and out. I have read that the tank will flex so the pipe needs to be flexable. Should I use a few inches of the rubber tube connected to a bulkhead or can I just run rigid pvc straight to it?

For the output it would be easiest to run pvc straight out the side through a new bulkhead but I'm worried about it leaking and ruining the tank. If I run it out the top it seems like a lot of loose pipe not secured or supported to anything solid. My only idea would be to run it down the outside of the tank and duct tape it to the side but that seems pretty ghetto.

Thanks for any ideas.

Comments

  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 9,014 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    I've got about 15,000 gallons of water in storage, in above ground tanks. They all have about a 2 foot section of "flex PVC" (it looks like spiral wrap white pipe - I don't know what your local vendor calls it). At the base of a tank, it's good for a couple of PSI, but not much more than 10 or 15 PSI. Or you could use PEX, which is flexible, but needs UV protection, and special tools & fittings) Another alternative is Poly Pipe. They make a potable water quality, good to about 80 PSI, and it tends to push out the barb fittings unless you add some hose clamps.
    And if you have any elevation, and can elevate your storage tank, and gravity feed your water, you can eliminate your night time pump running to keep the pressure tank up.
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  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    Not familiar with the type of storage tank you have, but first thought that comes to mind - - instead of making holes in the side of the tank that could them leak - - - why not drop the pipe in from above? Or is this some kind of flexible tank that collapses like a leaking water bed as the water is drained out?
  • ramlouiramloui Solar Expert Posts: 103 ✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    I think what you want is a through-wall fitting, otherwise known as a bulkhead adapter. Check out McMaster-Carr .

    Cheers!
    Off-grid cabin in northern Quebec: 6 x 250 W Conergy panels, FM80, 4 x 6V CR430 in series (24V nominal), Magnum MS4024-PAE
  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    The tank is a standard rigid plastic water tank but I think between full and empty the sides will flex in and out a little. I'm worried if I have rigid pipe connected to the bulkhead the massive amount of pressure pushing on that small point will damage the tank.

    PEX could work but I can't find it large enough. I need 1 1/4".

    I see a thing called a rubber coupling that could be used as a flex point. Will that handle at least 60 psi and can hose clamps hold it together at that pressure?
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup
    Generic wrote: »
    The tank is a standard rigid plastic water tank but I think between full and empty the sides will flex in and out a little. I'm worried if I have rigid pipe connected to the bulkhead the massive amount of pressure pushing on that small point will damage the tank.

    Then why not drop the pipe into the top of the tank, eliminating making holes below the water level? Not sure where that "massive amount of pressure" will come from, is it the slight flexing of the sides of the tank, or will the pipe not be supported, thus permitting it's full weight to transfer to the tank connection?
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 5,492 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup
    Generic wrote: »
    I'm looking for some advice on how to setup my offgrid water system.

    I will soon be building a pump house over my well. In it will be the 2500 gallon plastic storage tank and the pressure tank. My well pump is a sqflex that will keep the storage tank topped off and run directly from solar to keep from using battery power. The submersible pump in the tank running to the pressure tank will run off my xantrex 6048 inverter.

    My main questions are about how to run pipe through the plastic tank and how to support the pipes going in and out. I have read that the tank will flex so the pipe needs to be flexable. Should I use a few inches of the rubber tube connected to a bulkhead or can I just run rigid pvc straight to it?

    For the output it would be easiest to run pvc straight out the side through a new bulkhead but I'm worried about it leaking and ruining the tank. If I run it out the top it seems like a lot of loose pipe not secured or supported to anything solid. My only idea would be to run it down the outside of the tank and duct tape it to the side but that seems pretty ghetto.

    Thanks for any ideas.
    You should be worried about doing anything at the bottom of the tank. It is probably a Snyder tank (guessing) and you can put all the bulkhead fittings you want on the top of the tank. The fitting they installed at the bottom should be left alone if you want a warranty.

    I have done just about everything at the top of the tank. If there is a problem it is easy to fix. The top of the tank is where you do not have to worry. You can drop your submersible in on 1.25" flexible line on one side of the bulkhead and rigid on the output. You can do the opposite. You can use rigid on both sides. Just do this at the top of the tank and all will be copacetic. The only thing worse than a leak in the bottom bulkhead of a tank is not having water to fill the tank!

    At my home there is a 4" PVC rigid pipe bringing rainwater in to the top of the tanks from the roof. It has been there for 10 years or so and never had any problems with flexing.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
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  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    Ok thanks that makes sense. Any idea how to support the pipe going up the side and across the top of the tank? Do I need to bring it all the way up to the ceiling and drop it down from there?
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    Generic , could you let us know where you are ,As in for freezing reasons & if the tank is in the sun you will have green growth as well .I would be more concerned with vibration and pump flexing pipes over slight movement from expansion. You should use flex PVC and "Blue Glue" on these type of fittings , or at least I would . You can find that a any Pipe store that sells to Hot tub suppliers . If you dont have formed flat area on the bottom of the hank for installing a through hull fitting , then you might always have a weep . Remember one IMPERIAL Gallon is 10 pounds of weight , and supporting or make sure it's level is VERY important. I have tanks underground for no growth & my irrigation tanks above ground I use feeder fish to keep the growth down. Freezing is not a problem for the dug tank or the pipes .

    VT
  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    I'm in northern Nevada and yes it gets very cold here which is why I'm building a pump house to enclose the whole system in. It will have about r30 insulation on all sides except the floor which will just be r13. It will be framed 2x4 on a slab to hold the floor insulation. I don't want the heat seeping out through the cement.

    I'm pretty sure the thermal mass of the water tank will keep the inside above freezing.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup
    Generic wrote: »
    I'm in northern Nevada and yes it gets very cold here which is why I'm building a pump house to enclose the whole system in. It will have about r30 insulation on all sides except the floor which will just be r13. It will be framed 2x4 on a slab to hold the floor insulation. I don't want the heat seeping out through the cement.

    I'm pretty sure the thermal mass of the water tank will keep the inside above freezing.

    Will this be a floating slab, or will there be footings below the frost line? What size will the slab be? The reason I ask is because I'm not sure your plan to insulate under the slab is a good idea. Unless you have extreme drainage (stone & drain pipes) under the slab, your goal must be to make sure frost doesn't get under the slab. Insulating under the slab may allow the frost to get under the slab from the perimeter of the slab.

    If you have footings, insulate the footings and do not insulate under the slab.

    If you have a floating slab, insulate horizontally around the slab, a few inches under ground. How wide a perimeter? Depends on the frost depth in your area, and the size of the slab.

    The key concept is that frost enters the ground from above. Warmth comes from below. In the construction of outbuildings, insulation under the slab is used in buildings that are allowed to freeze.... this prevents frost from penetrating the earth directly through the slab.

    What I've mentioned so far pertains to your intended use... it's not necessarily the right approach for a slab in a room that is heated and cozy. In that case you may want to insulate under the slab to reduce the thermal mass of the slab. (but you must still insulate the footings or the ground around the perimeter)

    Some installers of radiant slabs insulate under the perimeter of their slabs, but not in the central area of he slab. This increases the thermal mass of the slab in that central area. Heat doesn't transmit downward very efficiently in a slab, and what little heat is 'lost' downward, is not lost... its still there... as long as you can keep it from conducting laterally out to the frozen ground outside the slab.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    Actually I'm just going to build the floor as pressure treated wood on packed gravel. The concrete is too expensive here and I don't really see a need for it. We don't get frost heave here since there is zero moisture in the ground. I'll make sure to have drainage away from the building on all sides to keep it dry.
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup
    Generic wrote: »
    Actually I'm just going to build the floor as pressure treated wood on packed gravel. The concrete is too expensive here and I don't really see a need for it. We don't get frost heave here since there is zero moisture in the ground. I'll make sure to have drainage away from the building on all sides to keep it dry.

    OK. Sorry for blathering on about concrete, I guess you fooled me back in post #10 when you wrote:
    Generic wrote: »
    It will be framed 2x4 on a slab to hold the floor insulation. I don't want the heat seeping out through the cement.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    And I thought the issue was heat loss, not frost heave. Sorry. Guess it's time to move on.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup
    Generic wrote: »
    Actually I'm just going to build the floor as pressure treated wood on packed gravel. The concrete is too expensive here and I don't really see a need for it. We don't get frost heave here since there is zero moisture in the ground. I'll make sure to have drainage away from the building on all sides to keep it dry.

    And the tank is how big and will weigh how much when full and exert how many psi on that 2x4 frame sitting on gravel?

    Water is pretty darn heavy (8 pounds per gallon US) and a 500 gallon tank tips in at 4,000 lbs. Depending on the actual volume and square area of the tank bottom this could spell disaster in a different way.
  • CDN_VTCDN_VT Solar Expert Posts: 492 ✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    This is why I ask in post 9, And now I would bury cheep plastic tank in 3 feet into soil. Forget the rest , Level is number one , insulate with straw bales 15" min thickness .

    So where is the sparkie part here ;)
    No worries , What is the real size of tank & shape , Square 500 has huge problems in cold.

    VT
  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    The tank is round 8 feet across and about 8 ft tall capacity 2500 gallons. So 20000 lbs over 54 square feet. 370lbs sqft. 2.57 psi

    At 16" OC each square inch supports 16 square inches. So 41 psi on the joists.
    Perpendicular compression strength of 2x4 is 400+psi. So I'm well under the limit.
  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    An easier way to calculate it would have been just take 0.433 psi per foot of water above a square inch, the same psi you get in pipes.

    The tank is more like 6.2 ft tall using 231 cubic inches a gallon.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    On my system, I have two underground 1,700 gallon Norwesco water tanks each a with a 220v 1/2 hp grundfos pump. The tanks have two manhole risers with the grade back filled just below the lids (one for the float attachment and one for the pump hanging off galvanized pipe with a pump seal).

    The tanks are fed by an underground pipeline from the well.

    When the pipe exits the riser it is plumbed 90 degrees and buried to the pump house wall and into a 500 gallon pressure tank controlled by a pressure switch. Two water lines exit the pump house on the other side to the ranch house and the other to a fire hydrant each line set up with ball valves.

    Never had a freeze problem at 0 degrees but one foot of the pipe and connector exiting the riser is wrapped with insulation.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF Custom House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
  • GenericGeneric Registered Users Posts: 27
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    I also thought about going below ground but I want the option of gravity feeding irrigation. Then I would have had to build a heated shed for the pressure tank anyway. A lot of people around here dig a culvert vertically into the ground and put the pressure tank in there. I know someone with that setup and a pipe froze down in there and it was almost impossible to fix, trying to hang upside down and reach down around the tank.

    Mangas do you have anything other than the pressure tank in your pump house? Is it heated in there?

    I think I'll put a 80w incandescent bulb on a thermostat set around 35 degrees.
  • MangasMangas Solar Expert Posts: 547 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: submerged pump in storage tank setup

    The 8' x 8' pump house is not heated. Grouted slump block with Q Bond exterior stucco, metal standing seam roof and metal door. The roof's frame is installed with bolts so it can be removed in the event the tank needed to be replaced.

    In the pump house are the 500 gallon pressure tank & check valve, gast air pump, weatherproof 220/110 breaker box for the underground storage tanks/pump house light/Gast air pump & timer, pressure tank water lines, fire pump and hoses. Never had a problem with freezing but when I expect below zero temps I throw a blanket over the tank. The water lines are wrapped in foam insulation as well as the two ball valve bodies.
    Ranch Off Grid System & Custom Home: 2 x pair stacked Schneider XW 5548+ Plus inverters (4), 2 x Schneider MPPT 80-600 Charge Controllers, 2 Xanbus AGS Generator Start and Air Extraction System Controllers, 64 Trojan L16 REB 6v 375 AH Flooded Cel Batteries w/Water Miser Caps, 44 x 185 Sharp Solar Panels, Cummins Onan RS20 KW Propane Water Cooled Genset, ICF Custom House Construction, all appliances, Central A/C, 2 x High Efficiency Variable Speed three ton Central A/C 220v compressors, 2 x Propane furnaces, 2 x Variable Speed Air Handlers, 2 x HD WiFi HVAC Zoned System Controllers
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