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Buildings and Renovations,Food

Off Grid Upgrade: The Quest for Running Water

18 Aug , 2017   Video

This project was started just after the roof ice ripped off the main water supply pipe.
Instead of replacing it and having the same problem again in a few years, I decided to take the water barrels off the roof and bring them inside and under the cabin.
Due to the lack of resources, I had to reuse all the existing parts. As I was fumbling around through the plumbing box of fittings, I figured I had enough stuff to upgrade the system and bring the water barrels under the cabin. One of the biggest advantages was running water could be utilized longer into the fall and cold months. When the barrels were on the roof, they were acceptable to cold nights where the temperature would drop down below freezing and pipes would crack.

I also had a decent RV water pump that could be plugged into the 1000 watt inverter on the battery bank. After 5 years, the system was coming together. It was a good feeling.

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Buildings and Renovations,Equipment,Food,Other,Plumbing

Pump Water from a Lake to a Cottage (And make your spouse happy with running water!)

8 Aug , 2013  

Had a few questions from viewers on how to get water. Went up this weekend and concentrated on filming footage of the water system.

We occasionally pump water from a freshwater lake to the cabin. Maybe once during each 3 days stay. The cabin/cottage is on a remote mountain lake and doesn’t have access to grid electricity.

The biggest obstacle was pumping the lake water up a 80 foot (24 meter) hill and into 110 gallon (250 litre) water barrel on the roof. The water then travels by gravity feed down through 1/2″ PEX pipe and to the kitchen tap.

Since I could not find a suitable electric pump, decided to go with a gas. Went through two pumps, the first, a 3.5 HP model had problems priming and pumping the water up the hill. It was returned to and picked up a 6.5 HP 3″ water pump. The pump was super powerful and pretty good on gas. Only needs to be refueled once a season (May – Nov). At 3/4 throttle, it will fill the water barrels in 4 minutes.

Went with a 1.5″ PVC pipe. The water flow of a 1.5″ to a 2″ is minimal. It was easier to find fittings for the common 1.5″ PVC pipe. Check with an irrigation or hardware dealer. The overall cost of the project was $293.00.

Would prefer to go with an electric pump, but it was difficult to find a pump that could pump at least 80 feet vertically, run off DC and is affordable. Personally, I would prefer a quieter system, but, for the last 3 years it has worked fine. Maybe when the pump dies, I’ll switch to a torpedo submersible DC pump ($300.00).

But the long and short of it is we now have running water in the kitchen. Much easier than hauling buckets of water up the hill. Plus the spouse is happy too!

The next projects is to install a small pump and a water filter.

Feel free to comment!

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