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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Water into a cabin from a spring

Our old cabin had running water which came from a spring. The cabin was in bad shape when we got it, so we replaced it. We never hooked the water back up. We are now looking to run water into it. Does anyone know what the best way to do this would be? There is a spring on the property about 150 yards above the cabin. I was thinking about getting a plastic holding tank which would fill from the spring, and then running pipe from the tank to the cabin. If anyone has any experience with a system similar to this, or any other suggestions, any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 01:44 AM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

The water system at our camp has a drum at spring that fills and has overflow. Pipe runs past camps when you want water I open valve to let water to cabin shut drains. water flows through pipe all the time keeps from freezing. shut valve, open drain go home. Don't leave water on when not at camp. Have good pressure but spring is 150' above camp. Good luck, P. S. put system in for easy draining

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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 09:25 AM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

try a Clemson ram pump they are easy to build, and plans can be found online I got my plans from the NWTF Magazine Turkey Country. We had it set up in a small stream and it was pumping aprox 1500 gallons on water per 24hrs.

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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 12:01 PM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

Our spring is also a couple hundred yards above our cabin. Spring house is piped down the hill into a buried cocrete tank (1000 gallon) with a pump on top if we want to fill some containers manually up there is. (We can drive to the pump and fill jugs for use elsewhere). The overflow from the tank runs down the hill and is free flowing from a pipe outside the cabin and dumps into the creek. In drought conditions we may not get water producing from the overflow and will use the pump.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 02:46 PM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

The original place we used before building our camp, was fed from a spring across the road and up the hill. Piped under the road to the little house.

Spring had two sections of 24" diameter terra cotta pipe on end, to build up a head of water pressure. A tank installed to do the same thing, would freeze. Water never froze much at the spring head, because it flowed out over the top terra cotta pipe.

Supply pipe to house was at bottom of the terra cotta, with a standpipe that screwed into an elbow on the supply pipe.

Part way up the standpipe (it extended out of the water) was a pair of SS filter screens where the water went into the supply pipe.

To shut off the flow from the spring to the house each winter, we just unscrewed the part of the standpipe with the filters, removed them and screwed the capped top piece of pipe back into the coupling, minus the filter assembly. Sounds complicated, took about five minutes.

The water would freeze a bit on top of the terra cotta, but the spring itself or the water inlet, never froze.

That water system was built in the 1940s. The people that now live in the house just replaced the 1" galvanized water line from the spring to the house, last summer.

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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 04:00 PM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

Something to keep in mind, you get about 1/2psi for every foot in depth in a tank. In other words if you have a tank with 6' of water in it, a spigot on the bottom of the tank will have 3psi. This is also the case for a change in elevation from the tank to camp - if the water level in the tank is 40' higher than camp, then you will have 20psi at camp (in theory). That is why water towers are always so high in the air, to minimize pumping. I said in theory, because pipe layout, installation methods, and even the pipe material itself will all work against you to effectively reduce pressure and flow.

What are you looking to do with the water? Washing dishes, simple bathing, and cooking I assume? In your situation you could run the pipe from a holding tank at the spring to a small holding tank at camp, or fill water jugs at the spring and carry them to the tank at camp. Then a simple 12V pump could be used to pressurize your camp, similar to an RV setup. 12V pumps are $100+/- depending on flow required and a small plug-in transformer is around $20. In our camp we have a pickle barrel on a 3' high base and it is filled from jugs we carry to camp. It provides enough pressure/flow for cooking, dishes, and washing off in the sink. And as others have stated, drains are a must for winter use. We have an access panel in the floor and inside of that are our drain lines to outside and the required valving to completely drain the system.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 06:05 PM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

We had a similar setup at our camp. With a holding tank up on the side of the hill and a pipe running out of it into the house, but no holding tank in the house. We just always left he water run to prevent it from freezing.
One thing you will want to do is to occasionally pour some bleach into the holding tank, to kill any bacteria in it.
The following link from Penn State has a lot of good info on springs http://pubs.cas.psu.edu/FreePubs/pdfs/agrs111.pdf

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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-18-2014, 11:05 PM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

Gravity flow system, tank fed by spring piped into camp, be sure you can turn it off and able to drain all water lines in the camp when not there.. just as others here describe..

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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 09:30 AM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

If you go onto youtube and search the following videos- <span style="font-weight: bold">WROL Spring development PT1 </span>by a guy named Engineer775 he does a great job of showing how to use a spring from beginning to end, including a ram pump. It's about 4 parts.

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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 09-19-2014, 03:04 PM
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Re: Water into a cabin from a spring

Our spring is probably 1000 yards or more up the valley above our camp. At the spring we made a small pool to direct the water into the 3/4 inch pipe through a PVC strainer we made. The water runs down the valley to a stainless tank (old milk tank) where it runs in the top. On the bottom there is another 3/4 line that runs down to the camp, probably 100 yards and 50 foot drop. The pipe ends at a dry creek bed behind the camp where we connect a garden hose when we're there to run into the camp faucet. When we're not there the water just runs down the ditch. When the tanks full it just overflows on the mountain side. In the winter months we have to let the faucet run slightly at all times or it will freeze. Have always had a dependable supply of water with this set up for at least 40 years.
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