Backup for Well Water During Power Outages

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On Friday, November 28, 2014 10:00:58 AM UTC-8, HerHusband wrote:






















My backup consists of the ubiquitous 5 gal buckets. Power goes off I fill as many as I can right away and we go on 'conserve water' mode, no flushing the toilet every time, no clothes washing, etc. When the buckets get down near empty it is off to a neighbor or town to refill.
Harry K
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Not clear why this has to be the case? AT 45 PSI, you should be able to keep the tank 2/3 full of water. If that's not possible, you've got a flow rate problem and need more storage. Will take more energy to pump against higher pressure, but how much?
For big water storage, you can pressure it when needed with CO2. When there's no emergency, you won't want the CO2 tank going to waste. I suggest a fridge with a keg in it as a resting place. When the power goes out, just drink beer until it comes back on. Problem solved.
My favorite solution to a power outage is the well-deserved nap.
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I wonder, can a hand pump be fitted to a well along with the electric pump? I have no idea but I well remember a hand pump on our back entry, used to pump soft rain water from a cistern (city water was very hard).
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dadiOH
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On Saturday, November 29, 2014 7:04:20 AM UTC-5, dadiOH wrote:

In some cases, yes.. But the max lift for water is ~25 ft. So if the water level is lower than that, then you need either a jet pump or submersible.
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On Saturday, November 29, 2014 4:34:31 AM UTC-8, trader_4 wrote:

m

r


,

That is if you are using a suction type pump. There are lots of pumps that have the working part down in the water worked by what is known as "suctio n rods". Those are what were used by windmills back in the pre-electric po wer days. IIANM there are hand pumps working the same way. Now the 'stati c level' of the well comes into play as one wouldn't want to try to manuall y pump a 100' column of water.
Harry K
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On Saturday, November 29, 2014 4:04:20 AM UTC-8, dadiOH wrote:

Yes it can and is done but I have no idea if there is a depth limit on one.
Harry K
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how about a small 12v submersible?
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Harry K wrote: ...

if you don't need that many gallons per day you can use a much smaller pump run off battery backup. i'm pretty sure they have them available.
in terms of simple and least expensive when the power goes out here i have a few gallon jugs in the closet for flushing when needed. only used them a few times.
the last time the power went out i filled up some buckets from the faucet while the water had pressure and we used that water instead -- i never needed to get the gallon jugs out.
our water table is really high (2-3ft most of the year) so i could get by with a hand pump for almost everything except drinking/cooking water. i don't know how high the well water gets under natural pressure but i think it is down several hundred feet. shallow wells get salty and/or coal seam flavored water.
songbird
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What is the purpose of filling the buckets instead of letting the toilets and faucets get it directly from the supply plumbing? Either way you've got the same amount of water. Maybe I'm missing something.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Saturday, November 29, 2014 12:14:04 PM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

The only purpose I can see to filling buckets after the power goes off is if you're concerned that there are some dummies in the house that are going to use up the water and then you won't have any when you need to flush.
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On Sunday, November 30, 2014 4:25:33 AM UTC-8, trader_4 wrote:

Exactly or get up in the morning and find I have no water to make coffee :)
Harry K
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On Saturday, November 29, 2014 9:14:04 AM UTC-8, HerHusband wrote:

Water conservation so someone isn't wasting it is one reason. The other is that I KNOW when I am about to run out so I can make a trip to refill them before it is needed.
Harry K
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That was my idea with the attic mounted tanks. In normal use water would come in at the top and drain out at the bottom. When the power goes out, gravity would allow the water in the tank to drain down. It would be low pressure, but still usable for flushing toilets and filling pans. Since the tank is always being drained and refilled during normal operation (like a hot water tank) the water shouldn't get stagnant.
The big downside to that option is having to get tanks up into the attic and reworking the house plumbing.
In theory, I could relocate the storage tank out to the pumphouse, still placing it inline with the normal water flow. I would only have pressure till the normal pressure tank ran out, then it would just rely on gravity feed. Our pump house doesn't sit that much higher than the house, so the gravity pressure would be very minimal.
Essentially, it would be like the water tower in many towns, just without the height to give it pressure.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On 11/29/2014 12:26 PM, HerHusband wrote:

One of the challenges, filling from the top might not fill at all, unless you've got some way to vent the air from the top of the chamber.
It's complicated.
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Christopher A. Young
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I have two trash cans, lined with a couple of 39 gal. plastic leaf bags. I don't know how big the trash cans are - knee high and about as wide. I'd guess 30 gal. I top these off every month or so if not used. When needed I just dip in a pail and pour in the toilet bowl. No need to use tank.
Works for me for our few outages.
For drinking and cooking I have a separate water supply.
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when something closes the door from the inside.
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For the toilets, just get a portapotty. They take very little water to flush. If you put in a water storage tank, you can get an RV demand pump to pressure the water lines.
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Jim Rusling
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I can see that being an issue for a tank that only has an inlet.
However, with an inlet and an outlet, the water/air in the tank should exit the tank as new water is coming in from the top. For example hot water heaters don't have air vents and they fill and drain just fine. Or the way air is pushed out of a garden hose when you first hook it up.
Essentially, the water tank just becomes a fat section of pipe in the water line. :) Not too different in concept from adapting a 1/2" pipe up to 1" pipe, then back down to 1/2" again. The 1" section is the "tank".
In any case, I'm leaning towards 5 gallon water jugs I can just store in the pump house. We typically only have one or two outages a year, and the only thing we really need additional water for is flushing toilets. I just can't justify the expense, complications, and maintenance of generators, inverters, or large storage tanks. They would be only be needed for longer outages when the existing pressure tank runs out.
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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On Sunday, November 30, 2014 1:54:09 AM UTC-5, HerHusband wrote:

Water will exit, air, not so much.
For example hot water

They fill from the bottom and water exits from the top.
Or the way

That works because the velocity of the water through the pipe is high. If the 80 gallon tank was a hose, it would probably work there too. But it's not. It't a large vessel and air rises to the top, water stays on the bottom.
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Unfortunately, same here...
My dad died from smoking related cancers at 51 (same age I am now). My uncle died from lung cancer in his 30's. Step mom died from smoking related cancers in her 60's. My father-in-law just died from emphysema two years ago at 73 (the last 10+ years were very rough for him). Brother-in-law also died from emphysema at age 61. It amazes me people still take up smoking.
Anthony
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On 11/30/2014 01:03 AM, HerHusband wrote:

When my wife moved in here, I knew better than to give her the "smoking" lecture....but she knew in advance that she would have to smoke out-doors.
As it turned out, those -20F Wisconsin winters are a good thing. One one of those days I heard the back door slam and she yelled
"Fuck this shit, I'm quitting"
and she did!
It's a horrible addiction, they say it's harder to quit smoking than it is to quit heroine.
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