Backup for Well Water During Power Outages

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On Friday, November 28, 2014 5:04:39 PM UTC-5, Arthur Conan Doyle wrote:

I want that two cycle engine that runs without fuel. It sounds like a valuable solution to reducing energy usage.
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I'd like you to come to my house, I'll hand you the manual. You can point out to me where it mentions "fogging" the engine.
ETQ 1200, you might be able to find the manual online. Otherwise, you're full of crap, Sherlock.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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wrote:

I don't know how long it has been that the ground tab has not been used, bit it has been a long time. The generator was bought new around 1998 and the book showed the tab, but the engine actually had the switch mounted on it. Really odd that an owners manual that new would show one even if the engine did not have one.
I just pulled the manual for the generator. It says to stop the engine push the stop tab to the spark plug. Also the engine manual that came with it shows the stop tab and tells you to stop the engine by pushing it to the spark plug. the date shows up as 1995
For what it is worth, it is a 5 kw generator with a Tecumseh engine.
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On 11/28/2014 5:35 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Some day I'll make a text file for this, I've typed it so many times. You likely know all of this:
1) During power cuts, generators are high theft item. It's wise to chain it to a tree or some thing solid, if possible watch it in person with a large gun in hand.
2) Gasoline goes faster than you think, have more than you think you need, on hand.
3) Running after sundown pisses off your neighbors who don't have generators, and who want to put the baby down.
4) Run the unit outdoors, so you don't die of monoxide, as so many do.
Your unit probably has a low oil shut down. Please check the oil every time you run, and keep it on the full line. Generator oil capacity is about 20 ounces. If it's low, add three or four ounces (not the whole quart, like one I saw a while back).
Hope you never need this.
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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On 11/28/2014 5:35 PM, Ralph Mowery wrote:

Now, that sounds lazy and cheap.
Maybe consider yourself, instead of namecall electricians?
- . Christopher A. Young Learn about Jesus www.lds.org .
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Our "attic" is just a small 6'x24' room above our guest bath and laundry. It's below the insulation so it doesn't freeze in winter or cook in the summer. It has it's own 2x6 floor joists @ 16" OC that span about six feet. Weight wouldn't be much of issue. But, it's only about 4 feet high and the access hole is fairly small. I would probably have to install several smaller tanks instead of one larger one.
In any case, that's kind of a last resort option as it would involve running new pipes up to the attic. By the time I bought the tanks, modified the plumbing, and installed and plumbed drip pans in case a tank leaks, it's more trouble than it's worth.
Just one of those crazy ideas I was tossing around. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On 11/28/2014 05:12 PM, HerHusband wrote:

I'd probably use the lazy man method and keep a dozen (or two)water filled one gallon milk jugs in the basement. Use the water to flush the toilet only when necessary.
Not elegant but Ok for once or twice a year.
At least when the power goes out here, the water still works.
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philo wrote:

"If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown flush it down" :-)

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On 11/28/2014 05:35 PM, philo wrote:
[snip]

When we lived on the farm (and used a well), my mother would keep a 1-gallon slip (porcelain slip, my grandmother had her own business) jar of water by the toilet. These jars have big openings, so she could pour it in the bowl fast enough to make it flush. We went to a neighbor who had city water to refill the jars.
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On 11/29/2014 10:36 AM, Mark Lloyd wrote:

I have a bunch of gallon jugs in my basement that I fill from the over-flow tube from my humidifier. Not much goes to waste here.
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On 11/28/2014 5:35 PM, philo wrote: ...

That was the advantage of having the windmill...we've got some heat and a secondary gas range in the basement that let's us cook but with the well now on submersible in same predicament as OP.
I keep thinking should do something to get enough backup to do so but it's a real pain as we're laid out as there are two separate meters for the farmstead and the well and the house are on separate one so the cost for transfer switches is double plus the wiring interconnect is extensive owing to distances between locations.
All in all, now that we're no longer keeping cattle in large numbers, we've taken the expedient of just going to town for a day or so if it's going to be a long time--otherwise the extra jug or two and ahead of severe weather forecasts that look like could cause issues we'll stockpile some in large pots and a few gallon jugs, too...
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On 11/29/2014 01:15 PM, dpb wrote:

Check out my buddy here he's selling his farm
http://www.tdlelectronics.com/
Poor bastard is about ten years younger than me but completely ruined his lungs due to smoking, has to retire and possibly move to assisted living.
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On 11/29/2014 7:06 PM, philo wrote:

I think it's a good idea to have some water stored. One way or other.
Smoking killed my Dad, he was only 79. spent his last years in rough shape.
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On 11/29/2014 6:06 PM, philo wrote: ...

Looks like a heckuva an investment...I presume must have retailed renewables as either primary or secondary business. Doesn't look like a working farm barn... :)
I'd swap my 40H JLG for the 60-ft Genie, though... :) Can't quite get to the cupola top from the basket to finish up the final flashing and reinstall the weathervane/lightning rod after the reroof.
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On 11/29/2014 6:06 PM, philo wrote: ...

Was going to comment...not sure what the economics actually would be on the solar/wind generation; can't think the payback can be anything but long even out here where the wind blows a lot--yet today the weather station monitor at my side is reading '0'.
It looks like we're going to have to drill new well sooner rather than later--probably next spring or the year after at the latest. I've not yet investigated thoroughly but have thought if the solar pumps are yet capable of the depth/required volume just might consider that instead of the two transfer-switch or the large re-wire to get both meters on one transformer.
There are a lot that use them for pasture watering for cattle where they can be long runtime fairly low volume but the ones I know of for sure are at lesser water table depths than here -- like 100-ft +/- rather than 300 where we'll have to end up; at 180-190 now and while we don't irrigate all the irrigation around us has dropped the water table to where we've had to restrict output to prevent pumping air until can drop the pump. Unfortunately, the current hole is only 200' and too small casing to be able to simply deepen it.
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I don't really have the space for a 50 gallon tank. I think several 5-10 gallon containers would be more doable. Those would at least fit in the garage attic.

Thankfully, ours is a regular gravity feed system. No power needed.

All I was really hoping for is a single recharge of the 80 gallon pressure tank. If the power is out much longer than that, I would probably look for other options (motel, etc.).
The 1/2 HP pump doesn't need much power, but as you said the startup surge can be three times that, increasing the size of the inverter or generator needed.

Our pump is in a well house that has it's own power supply (not connected to the house). I already wired the pump with a plug I can unplug from the wall and plug into another power source. All I need is the other power source. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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The pump fills up the tank then shuts off when it reaches full pressure.
At that point, the pressurized tank supplies water to the house.
When the tank pressure drops to the minimum cutoff, the pump turns on and refills the tank.
If the power goes out when the tank is full, we have 80 gallons of water. If the power goes out when the tank is about the reach the minimum cutoff, we may only have 5-10 gallons.

That's kind of like ensuring the gas tank in your car is always full. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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If possible, adjust the pump to start at 50% full rather than 10-20%.
Hul

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Interesting idea, but it would make the pump run more frequently (shortening it's life). I don't know if there would be any other side effects.

We sort of have that situation now. Even when the tank is empty, we still have whatever water is in the 150+ 1" pipe running from the well to the house. The pressure tank sits 10-15 feet higher than the house, so it still flows (slowly) into the house. It's usually good for 4-5 toilet flushes even once the tank is empty.

The well and house are on two separate power supplies. Unless I want to move the generator back and forth, it wouldn't be very convenient. Not to mention having to rewire the house circuits.
I'm fine going without power for a day or two, but it's harder to do without water.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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Yep, good point. I should have said the tank had reached it's upper cutoff point ("full").

That's sounding more and more like the most reasonable and cost effective solution.

Nope, just a couple of small VW cars. As long as the snow plow can make it up the hill, we can make it out.

We rarely have more than one or two outages a year, and those are usually just a few hours at most. The ones this year were actually longer than we typically have. However, I think it was about the same time frame as you that our power went out for close to a week. We had no backup heat at that time, which made for a rough week. :)
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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