Sunday, May 29, 2016

Mounting the rain barrel water pump.

I've had a lot of rain the last few weeks.  My new under-deck barrels are now completely full.  I attached a clear tube to the outlet so I can see exactly how full they are. 
I have some very minor leaks.  If these barrels ever end up empty I'll seal them.  Anyway, now that I have water I can finally mount the pump and make use of it.

I started by screwing a board to the under side of my deck.  Then I screwed the pump to it as high as I could.  
I replaced my washing machine hoses last summer and kept the old ones.  They seemed perfect for this application.  I connected the output of the barrel system to the input on the pump.  I connected the second hose to the output of the pump and put the other end in the nearest barrel.  Then I plugged in the pump for a test.  It worked great, but there was just one problem.  I quickly realized that the pump was filling the barrel faster than it was draining back into the other barrels.  I had to scramble out from under the deck to unplug the pump.  Oops.
My next step was to rig up some PVC pipe.  The vertical pipe in the picture below has a male hose fitting at the bottom.  This is what the output of the pump connects to.  I kept it vertical so it would drain easily for winter.  At the top of the vertical pipe I put a 90* elbow with a shutoff valve.  Not visible in the picture is a 1/2" brass Pex fitting after the valve.  That is for future expansion.
I added a horizontal pipe to the tee fitting.  On the end of that I placed a hose bib.  I glued all of my PVC fittings since they'll be under pressure.  The pump has a built-in pressure switch which turns the pump off at 55 PSI.
I can attach a hose to this hose bib and move water wherever I need it. 
The final step was to plug in the pump and test it.  I attached a garden hose to the hose bib and much to my surprise, the pressure was better than I expected it to be.  I was able to spray water pretty far across my yard.  When I let go of the trigger and stopped spraying, the pump automatically shut off.  Everything worked exactly as I wanted it to. 

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