Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Relocating my rain barrel water pump (update #1).

I had the bright idea to relocate my rain barrel pump to my crawlspace. So far it hasn't gone as planned. The washer hoses I used to make connections wouldn't seal. I had to replace one. Then I discovered that one of the fittings on my pressure tank had cracked.
I decided to redo all of the piping. The picture below is what I came up with.
I took the pipe vertical instead of horizontal. The key thing that made this possible was a 3/4" elbow with a 1/2" pipe thread outlet. This kept my drain at the bottom. I installed the pressure relief valve further up and the PEX adapter at the top.
The picture below shows it in place in my crawlspace. Initially it worked great, but after a couple of days I noticed it dripping where the PVC pipe attached to the tank. I had to pull it out and screw it down a couple more turns. I'm hoping that will solve the issue.

Below is a picture of the old piping for reference.

Monday, April 17, 2017

I got plants in the ground -- Garden 2017

It's been nice out for the last week and a half so I started putting plants in the ground.
I hung bars of Irish Spring soap from posts to keep the deer away. The brown mat in the picture below is dried out hairy vetch. I put down seed last fall but not much of it grew. I suspect that my seed is too old.
The picture below is a bed full of bush beans. I directly planted these and so far they seem to be doing well.
I still have a lot of peppers and tomatoes that need to be transplanted. They'll probably get put in this weekend.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Relocating my rain barrel water pump.

I mounted the pump for my rain barrels to the under side of my deck last year.
Then I used the pressurized water from the pump to flush a toilet. I was fairly happy with the results. The biggest downside that I had was the noise.  The pump isn't that loud really, but what sound it does make is amplified through the deck. I figured that the solution is to move it to the crawlspace.

The first step was getting the water into the crawlspace. I didn't want to buy a massive hammer drill so I ran a pipe through one of the little ventilation windows.
PVC pipe running from the barrels to the house.
PVC pipe going through the ventilation screen. Most of the pipe is buried under an inch or two of dirt.
I put hose fittings on both ends of the PVC pipe. Inside the crawlspace I included a shutoff valve. I wasn't sure that this setup was going to work. It requires the pump to pull the water from several feet away, and it has to lift it up the pipe and through the window. The pump had to lift the water in its previous position, but it was much closer to the source.
I have the pump sitting on the floor for now.  Eventually I'd like to mount it to something more permanent. I connected a garden hose to it just to verify that it would work.
The pump was able to move the water from the barrels through the hose.
The next step was to connect the pump to the PEX tubing and pressure tank. I used the old washer machine hose that I had used previously. Sadly, it had slow leaks at both ends. I put the pump on a bucket to help deal with that.
I was able to pressurize the system to 46 psi or so. The pump is supposed to shut off at 55 psi. I got on the old Internet and looked up how to adjust the shutoff switch. It took a little playing around, but eventually I got the pump to shut off  around 53 psi. That was good enough for me.
Then I unplugged the pump, shut off the supply line, and drained the pressurized side. I need to get new washers for my supply hoses before hooking it up again. I can't have water leaking in my crawlspace.