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Water Cistern and pump questions


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#16 propane1 ONLINE  

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Posted February 14, 2015 - 05:46 AM

I think the one in the attic was to collect water and then you would have water at the taps from the weight of the water , is what we think it was used for. Noel
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#17 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted February 14, 2015 - 09:55 AM

I have never heard of a cistern. ? What is it and where in the house is it located, what was it used for?? My sons old house has a big tub in the attic, is this a cistern.? Just wondering, Noel.

 

A cistern is just the name for a large water holding vessel. They were very popular in my area way back before public water and machine drilled wells. 

My cistern is the back porch. It was dug the same depth as the basement so it's below ground which prevents freezing. The walls are poured concrete then sealed with probably some type of rubberized coating. There is a single stage flow jet pump and bladder tank with a pressure sensor that holds pressure. The dimensions of mine are probably 7 feet below ground, 8 to 10 feet wide and it goes width of house which is about 20 feet. There is actually a clay pipe that was poured into the porch floor that used to connect to the downspout. When we moved here when i was little, we actually had to use it as a main water supply due to alot of females in the house :smilewink:  and a pour drilled deep well. The cistern used to be hooked into main water lines with valves to bypass. If well went dry, turn a couple valves and turn on pump and we had water again. When I re-plumped house, I cut all that out and it's not not hooked to anything, but I could easily Tee it back into main lines if needed. 

 

 

To answer a couple of other questions....

I would like to have this as a back up to our well. Since moving in, we have ran the deep well dry twice. I understand why after talking to well driller, we just now stagger showers,. laundry etc. I have some 55 gal drums and a 300 gal tote I plan to collect water at barn for animal use, but this would be a good backup. I now the animals will drink out of an algae coated mosquito invested watering tub and be okay.

Another reason I would like to have cistern working, well really NEED, is the current well goes dry but even worse, it is very hard, like 100 plus grain hard and a total dissolved solids over 1200. It tastes like salt water. Between no supply and expensive softening/filtering systems, it's going to costs us big bucks. An estimate of new drilled well is pushing $5000, but maybe we will have good water and won't have to buy expensive softener system. Having the backup cistern would "buy" us some time until we can save up money to have new one drilled. We still have to fix up and sell out other house which is going to take any money we have saved up right now. I am actually still doing all the family laundry at old house and hauling both drinking water for us and for the animals. Once we sell that house....I'm screwed so got to figure out something with our water supply and quality without having to second mortgaging.  :(

 

Another option I really having to look at is we used to have a shallow drilled well point well on the property, 1& 1/2" pipe I think. We used to water animals and we used it for all our human drinking also, best tasting water ever. My dad was told by county to close it down, he just quit using it. The old hand pump is all rusted out, but I think I can run a PVC or PEX liner down pipe and use small 12 volt pump or even connect to new hand pump. Been too cold for me to work on it That would at least cover all my animal needs, it would not hold a lot of pumping with that small pipe.

 

thanks all!!!!! :thumbs:  :rocker2:  


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#18 jabelman OFFLINE  

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Posted February 14, 2015 - 01:12 PM

Just make sure it has a good cover. On old houses or abandoned ones they tend to get forgotten about and curios kids fall in them. I have seen some real scary ones surveying different properties. Any more they are a liability and you got to watch with home owners insurance

Edited by jabelman, February 14, 2015 - 01:20 PM.

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#19 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted February 14, 2015 - 05:10 PM

Just make sure it has a good cover. On old houses or abandoned ones they tend to get forgotten about and curios kids fall in them. I have seen some real scary ones surveying different properties. Any more they are a liability and you got to watch with home owners insurance

 

It does seal well. The cover is like a manhole cover and pretty heavy. The porch is alway been cover and no weather gets to it. Cover actually has very little rust for as old as it is. It's also in one corner of porch, the gas grill is usually sitting over it. 



#20 glgrumpy ONLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2015 - 02:26 AM

The "OLD" hand pump would need another pump with a freeze proof pump on it in winter would think. If you just add a small electric, not sure how you could have it drain back to safe no-freeze level? And, is there a foot valve on pipe, so you wouldn't have to pump all day to get it to catch?  Lift that high?   If water is that bad in area, why doesn't the city or county or whomever make everyone hook to City water or shared Big well?  I would think even with new well, the water would still be same crappy stuff and need the softeners and filters.  I have a well and have wholehouse filter, yet it doesn't get dirty at all really. Have softener too, but just on hot side. We have high lime content in it, but no special filter for it here.



#21 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2015 - 09:05 AM

Whomever "drilled" the shallow well point well must've have used it all year round. There is a concrete pit about 6' deep where the pump cylinder was located, below ground so it didn't freeze. The old pump cylinder literally rusted out the bottom so I have to somehow get the rest off the main pipe then I can insert a sleeve and upgrade to new power pump or hand pump. I will have a 1 way valve o keep water in pipe and also a very small drain so the upper pipe above grade will not freeze. I have a good setup as everything can be in the pit and below freeze level, just have to do some upgrades. Well is max 23-25' deep and water at about 12' and best tasting water I have ever had.

 

The water is not that bad in this area, just this house. I live .25 miles away by the crow flies, I have pumped it for 36 hours once, never ran out and have a cheap softener to just make it better, but it's not necessary. Even the two neighbors next door have decent water, just slight rust and hardness. their wells are only 40-42' deep and they are on a higher grade. There is not public water or I would bite the expensive bullet ( $5K for just hook up to main and a meter)

and have it hooked to the house.

The problem with this drilled well was they hit water at about 22', then the kept drilling. Back in '89, the county required them to drill 48-50' no matter where the water level was.The hit rock at 38', but had to keep drilling. So now the situation became they main lower pipe where all the weeps holes are located are now in a rock tube so it takes longer for tube to replenish and since in the rock, we have major calcium bleed. So that leaves us with the well getting pump dry under heavy use and it tastes like salt water. 

Well digger told me at Christmas if they would have stopped back at 38' on the first well when the hit the rock, water would have been fine and never ran out. He says the county has lifted its requirements,  if we drill a new one, he can now stop at water level drill to the rock level and be done, but to the cost of $5000.

 

So that leaves me in the current spot of trying to get a back up plan with cistern and also try to revive the old well point. We have been doing a lot of staggered showers and laundry which is working for supply, but still nasty hard water, having to haul drinking water from old house, but have to get it figured out before that house is sold. 



#22 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted February 15, 2015 - 11:03 AM

Hang some dynamite or C4 at 22' & blow the casing!


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#23 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 07:29 PM

Been tinkering with the cistern pump. There was a connection joint at the top of the pipe where it heads toward the wall, I was able to pull it apart, pour water down pipe, then tighten back up and turn on pump. I had all valves close to lines, reserve tank and when I releases the priming bolt on the top of pump, it blew off some pressure so that's a good sign. It would never pull any water from cistern though. 

 

Today I decided to pull lid on the porch and take a look see. Well, found the issue..... less water than I thought, lower than the suction pipe. I also discovered the pipe was severely rusted on bottom 3-4 feet so whole pipe will need replaced. It will need pumped out and cleaned, looks like a lot of dirt/gravel in the bottom, even some type of fungus looking thing on one of the walls. I hope it's not a tree root that,s found it's way through wall. That could kill my entire plan to refurbish this thing, especially since it's close to bottom. 

 

Here are some pics of lid and looking down in the whole, about 7-8 foot total depth, about 6' of water capacity as top 2 foot or so is block, not pour foundation and it has a drain tile at the top of pour section so it doesn't over fill.

 

20150310_170456.jpg

20150310_170522.jpg

20150310_170531.jpg

 

Here is the back of house, shows width of porch, it's about 6-7' wide so I have about 6x20 by maybe 6' deep of water storage.

 

2013-10-14_17-49-22_730.jpg


Edited by TAHOE, March 10, 2015 - 07:30 PM.

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#24 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 08:19 PM

Are all the filling connections disconnected?

Looks like you will be busy cleaning that up.

Edited by toomanytoys84, March 10, 2015 - 08:19 PM.


#25 MH81 ONLINE  

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Posted March 10, 2015 - 10:16 PM

Be certain to keep fresh air in there while working

#26 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 07:56 AM

Are all the filling connections disconnected?

Looks like you will be busy cleaning that up.

 

yea, for now. It fills off the downspout into a clay tile in the top of the porch. It used to have a Y pipe with a valve in it so you could either fill cistern or shoot water out into yard. My dad removed the valve many years ago so whatever water is in there is either seeping in somehow( I sure hope not)  or just really old and never evaporated.

My plan is design a first flush system out of PVC then start filling it again and using it just as a reserve water supply, mainly for garden, maybe wash cars, etc. I also obtained a rather large swimming pool so if we ever set it up, I will need some water to maintain that....oh I so hope I never set it up :thumbs:

 

I was going to buy a cheapo pump from HB, but I may just rent a trash pump since it looks so nasty down there, they are designed to handle it. Have it for a few hours, pump it dry then take it back.

 

Yep Alan, I will. I may see if I can borrow our meter from work as we have a lot of "closed container" work conditions that our guys have to work in so they have to monitor air.  When I popped lid, I did not notice any odd smells, no mold, rot,  sulfur, etc just smell of water in a tank.

 

Plan is to drain, clean out all the crud, the maybe seal the bottom and walls up a few feet. looks like they were sealed at one time with a tar or rubber, won't know until I get in there. This will never be drinking water so no major worry about being potable.

I just want to have a reserve....just in case!



#27 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 08:28 AM

That is how mine is set up. I let mine fill in the summer since I use the water a good bit washing cars and such.

We just put one of these at the cabin. http://m.ebay.com/it...1211?nav=SEARCH I don't know if that link will work. But it's a shallow well pressure pump for 99 bucks. We have a 200 gallon tank being fed by a spring. We hooked thus ip to the tank and man it moves some water.

For the price so far I am impressed. It's only filling up a toilet bowl and running a sink right now but it works good so far. For a 100 dollar bill it was a good solution.

Edited by toomanytoys84, March 11, 2015 - 08:29 AM.

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#28 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 11:23 AM

IMG_20150310_204100:nopm:.jpg

Here is the set up

#29 TAHOE OFFLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 11:38 AM

So the tank is the reserve and the pumps pulls from there?

 

Well guy had talked about putting a larger reserve tank on my well, but with the bad water quality, I would rather spend the money on a new one getting dug.



#30 toomanytoys84 ONLINE  

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Posted March 11, 2015 - 01:08 PM

So the tank is the reserve and the pumps pulls from there?

 

Well guy had talked about putting a larger reserve tank on my well, but with the bad water quality, I would rather spend the money on a new one getting dug.

Thats exactly how it works.

 

200 Gallon reserve tank, water is used from there, spring fills it back up.  The spring only produces out the pipe on a frozen day about a 1/2 gallon a minute.  RIght now it is spewing water. 

 

Currently, Water comes in from the spring, fills the tank, Tank gets full the valves are flipped around and it goes to a return line and discharges into the French drain around the building. 

 

We tried to make a loop in the pipes, and use that to control water level, but apparently our understanding of physics isn't up to par, because it works but only lets the tank get half full before discharging.

 

I haven't checked water pressure, the pump I linked there is adjustable from 30 to 70psi.  It said it was preset at 30, I may bump it up for the shower. 

 

This is NOT potable water.  Honestly right now its pretty well tan.  So we picked up 3 filters.  Coarse medium and fine, and are going to put them inline and see if we can't clean up the water.  Supposed to be able to run 16,000 gallons through each filter, so we can fill a 200 gallon tank quite a few times.


Edited by toomanytoys84, March 11, 2015 - 01:10 PM.

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