Water pump

Submitted: Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 20:23
ThreadID: 106017 Views:2329 Replies:8 FollowUps:20
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Hi all
a mate of mine is building a camper trailer and would like to have two separate tanks and water pumps. Tank 1 and pump for drinking water only and Tank 2 and pump for shower,dish wash etc. The latter also has to be able to suck up water from a creek or dam to refill tank 2. What sort of pump would be suitable to say suck up water from a creek 3-4meters below the tank? Has anybody a system like that or similar?
Regards
Adrian
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Reply By: Allan B (Member, SunCoast) - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 20:42

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 20:42
Adrian, It's a good idea to have separate tanks for drinking water and washing water. There is also an additional advantage in that not all your eggs are in one basket in the event of a leak.
In order to "suck up water from a creek" you need a Positive Displacement Pump rather than a Centrifugal Pump which needs to be primed. The most convenient type of positive displacement is probably a Diaphragm Pump such as this.
Cheers
Allan

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AnswerID: 525426

Reply By: Brian 01 - Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 22:31

Thursday, Jan 30, 2014 at 22:31
It's unlikely that any of the smaller/cheaper pumps will self prime at those lift requirements, You might be better advised to go for small submersible that you can drop in the water to pump it up.
AnswerID: 525437

Reply By: rooster350 - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:09

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:09
We use a diaphram type pump or pressure pump for getting water out of a river or dam, it will push it at about up to 30m distance and a lift of up to about 8-10ft. We set the pump and its battery and 400mah solar panel beside the water and run a hose up to a tap near our camp...turn on the tap and the pump fires up and we have water. No carrying buckets, the solar panel keeps the 40ah battery charged up ...the pump has a around about a 4ah usage rate..cheers
AnswerID: 525509

Follow Up By: Member - Adrian L (QLD) - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:23

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:23
Thanks guys for your input.

rooster350
Your application is about what we looking for. What is the brand of the pump you are using? Flojet or SHURflo and if any of this two brands, what model?
If none of this two, what brand and model.
Sorry to be a pain

Regards

Adrian
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FollowupID: 807423

Reply By: rooster350 - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:31

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:31
I think it is a Flojet, but either one works the same and you do not need to spend a lot , a model that pumps about 4- to 5l a miniute is o.k ours fills a 9 litre bucket in a couple of minutes , we use the blue air hose from river to tap, same into the river with a filter of sorts on the end in the water...cheers
AnswerID: 525512

Reply By: Member - Boobook - Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:45

Friday, Jan 31, 2014 at 16:45
I have been doing this for a number of years now and learned what works and doesn't work with some pain and expense.

There are a number of components that are necessary. I hope I can explain it all.

1)The pump obviously. A 12V caravan pump is perfect. You will need a good one with a cutoff switch and 45 - 80psi and about 6 or more l/min is good. The higher the PSI the higher you can lift the water, but the higher the current draw. I have found 45PSI is the minimum to get any decent flow.
2)Hoses to where you need to water. You can use any garden hose. I have found that you need about 30 - 40m to get to where you would typically have a kitchen or camper. I have 2 of these flat roll up hoses
Use brass connectors. I also have a garden trigger jet.
3)A battery and solar panel. Your pump needs to be near the river and less than about 3m above it, therefore you need to put a battery next to the pump, I use the 7AH SLA batteries ( ebay, jaycar etc). You will also need a 10W panel to keep it going over a weekend. The pumps are 5 - 8 Amps while running. Use a 8-10m lead on the solar panel, its often shady near the river.
4)Below the pump you need a length of garden hose, about 4-5m is good. On the end you need 2 filters, one course one to filter out stones, and one fine one to filter out sand / dirt. Without these your pump will only last 3 - 4 trips. I put the pump on the river bank and chuck the hose and filter end into the river or wedge it under a rock if it's flowing quickly.

I connect mine up to a Companion HWS and have endless showers! Once I had 12 people back to back having showers in the high country.

It's not cheap and you have to experiment a bit but I love it and now I hate scrambling down the river bank to get water, especially after drinks, rain, at night or especially all of the above

Interesting observations.

-I had the hose freeze up on one ocassion.
-If you are quick there is enough hot water in the hose to have a shower some afternoons.
-Hoses and stuff can take up a lot of space. I got a small 1/2 OD hose for the section that goes into the river.
-It takes 10 mins to set up or tear up.
AnswerID: 525513

Follow Up By: Member - Adrian L (QLD) - Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 07:43

Saturday, Feb 01, 2014 at 07:43
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to give me very valuable info.
Regards
Adrian
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FollowupID: 807457

Reply By: Gavin M2 - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 01:31

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 01:31
Hi Adrian. Good question. One I have been pondering also, so I read the replies with interest.

Water is always the biggest limiting factor when free camping. I would like to be able to park beside a fresh water source (dam, river, etc) and replenish my three 80-litre tanks. I have been wondering about how to pump it (some good answers here) and if it was possible to purify it for drinking purposes (?)

I wonder what the advantages/disadvantages are between submersible and non-submersible pumps?

Gavin

AnswerID: 525611

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 06:14

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 06:14
Possibly the greatest advantages in favour of submersibles are the lack of a need to prime and the fact that a pump can have a much greater head height than it can have lift height.
This means that it will push water out of itself to a much greater height than that which it can draw water into itself. They are also generally of smaller size for their pumping capacity due to the lack of a priming chamber and high class sealing that is a necessity of self priming pumps.
You can also dispense with a foot valve.
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FollowupID: 807530

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 07:27

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 07:27
I found that a submersible pump is not really suitable,

-they have no way to filter the incoming water and will pick up a lot of dirt/sand
-all the 12v ones I found were high volume, low pressure and could not lift the water over a metre or two at best.
-How do you turn them on and off. They don't have a pressure switch.

That completly ruled them out for me.

On the issue of water quality, you can filter out chlorine, etc but not bacteria unless you use one of the newish filters like lifestraw.
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FollowupID: 807531

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 07:44

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 07:44
There are numerous submersible pumps available that have high quality filtration ability as well as pressure switches.
They can also pump to very acceptable heads.
Maybe you have only looked at the bilge pump style units.
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FollowupID: 807532

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 08:40

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 08:40
Brian I am always looking for improvements and a submersible pump would solve my issue of needing a section of semi rigid hose to go in the river. I'm not sure what types I looked at but no 12v ones were suitable.

Can you please point me to some 12V units. They would have to be able to pump at 60 psi or more, with 10lpm+, and pump a head of 20m or more, and have pressure cut off switches. I would be interested in that. Thanks in advance.

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FollowupID: 807534

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 08:58

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 08:58
I wasn't particularly talking about 12v as that was not the question, and missed it in your reply, but if you google submersible 12v filtration pump you will find some at varying prices. Many pumps just have a strainer and you can add whatever filter is suitable to the outlet of the pump.
I have used a standard submersible with a pressure pump above that, both controlled by the pressure switch to achieve both pressure and head requirements for a long lift.
They were 415v units but I see no reason other than battery constraints that would preclude this on 12v.
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FollowupID: 807535

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 10:34

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 10:34
I can find tons on 415V or even 240V. It's just that not many camp sites have 3 phase power these days. :-)

12V is as good as it gets when free camping.



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FollowupID: 807550

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 11:54

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 11:54
Hang on and I'll do the work for you.
Pump warehouse have 12v submersible filter pumps.
Amazon have them.
Ebay have them.
Thornycroft have them.
Energy matters have them.
Is that enough to start with?
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FollowupID: 807557

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 07:01

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 07:01
Thanks for all that work, however I can't find any suitable ones on any of those sites. They either have little head, are 24v ones that can only work on 12v at 2lpm or whatever. I Looked a year ago and again last night and just can not find any.

Can you please point me to a specific website of one or two that works as per what the OP and or myself described. I would love to get one if it exists.

Did you actually check those sites? I hope it's not too much trouble to go to the extra step of actually finding one or two.

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FollowupID: 807627

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 10:45

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 10:45
Of course I looked at them, not much better way to see what they had.

Take the first site that I listed as an example:
Grundfoss 12v submersible with strainer - 100l/m@5.5m head

Of course they are pricey, any decent capacity 12v pump will be, which is why I didn't query the original poster's intention to go with a 240v pump and inverter, as it is a far more viable option for both price and capacity at head.

I don't know what volume you want at what head or what you are willing to pay, so can't do much more for you.
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FollowupID: 807642

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 13:09

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 13:09
Hmm ..Big hat, no cattle. LOL

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Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 16:11

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 16:11
Pretty rude statement coming from someone who's not even smart enough to do his own research after having been handed all the relevant information on a platter.
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FollowupID: 807665

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 17:11

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 17:11
Brian I politely asked for some examples. You then brought up 415V then claim it is easy to search and you did my homework. The you give a vague model that not even google has heard of. Not one real example.

You are a complete waste of time.
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FollowupID: 807669

Follow Up By: Brian 01 - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 18:03

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 18:03
Your question re whether I had actually looked at the sites was hardly polite.
I gave you the name of the website.
How hard is it to go there, click on the tab for 12v submersible pumps to find exactly what was available.
My reference to 415v was about the fact that I had doubled pumps up to achieve pressure control and greater head.
I also stated that it was likely possible to do the same with 12v pumps.

Perhaps you should read what is written a little more carefully and do a bit of your own homework.
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FollowupID: 807678

Reply By: Tony F8 - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 07:30

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 07:30
Morning,
Would just like to add two items which have been left off.
1, one way flow valve, this will stop the pump emptying when shut off (goes on end of hose in water source.
2, in line filter, to stop debris entering the pump, shurflow, johnson, flowjet and flowking are all diaphram pumps, which do not debris very well.
I have used shurflow and flowking pumps for the last 10 years for the under bonnet heat exchanger, would not use anything under 11lpm for the shower, the amount of draw on the battery for 2 people to shower will not flatten your battery. The larger the pump, the longer the draw and greater head they will push.
Tony F8
AnswerID: 525614

Reply By: yarda - Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 16:56

Sunday, Feb 02, 2014 at 16:56
I use one of these for rapid lift of water when camping, and I use it at home to pump out the standpipe from under the pool.

Just beware there are cheaper units around but they don't pump anywhere near the head and they only have 50% duty cycles.

https://www.whitworths.com.au/main_itemdetail.asp?cat=133&item=67217&intAbsolutePage=&LinkedItem=67215&search123=

Current: 12V (6amp)
Head: 32ft (9.7m)
Flow rate: 500 gph (1920 lph)
Rating: Continuous
Outlet id hose: 3/4" (19mm)
Pressure: 14psi (0.96bar)
Body: POM
Length: 6.5" (165mm)
Diameter: 1.5" (38mm)
Cable Length: 13ft (4m)
Weight: 1.1lbs (500g)
Liquid: fresh & Sea Water / Diesel
Operating Temp
Diesel to (40°C)
Water to (80°C)
AnswerID: 525645

Follow Up By: Gavin M2 - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 12:35

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 12:35
Thanks Yarda. I've bookmarked that one for when I set my system up. It looks pretty good to my (uninitiated) eyes!

I wonder if you could extend the cable length all the way back to the caravan so you could plug in to 12V there rather than have to carry a heavy battery to the water. I'm assuming there would probably be too much voltage drop over a longer run though.

This one doesn't appear to have a pressure switch although probably not important for simply filling tanks.
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FollowupID: 807649

Follow Up By: Gavin M2 - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 13:38

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 13:38
Boobook posted above, "You will need a good one with a cutoff switch and 45 - 80psi and about 6 or more l/min is good. The higher the PSI the higher you can lift the water, but the higher the current draw. I have found 45PSI is the minimum to get any decent flow."

I note the PSI rating on this submersible is only 14psi. Have you found any issues with water flow?
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FollowupID: 807657

Follow Up By: Member - Boobook - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 14:48

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 14:48
Gavin, hopefully I can answer that.

The pump above is a relatively high flow ( 32liters per minute), and low pressure ( 14psi) pump.

There is a direct relationship between head and PSI. For example this pump is 14PSI which will lift water about 32 feet ( 9.7m). This sounds ok, and will be perfect for pumping from a river if you are only a few meters above it. However if you are 15 feet above the river, then the water pressure will be 7psi PSI - not much at all, and if you are 32 feet above the river no water will come out at all. In practice it will be even less because the pumps are rated with the alternator going ( 13.8V) and there are losses in the pipes.

14PSI is atmospheric pressure.

It would work much of the time if you are near river level. However had a 35PSI pump and water dribbled out at many camp sites. I now have 45psi and still think I should have gone to 60 plus.

That's just my experience.







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FollowupID: 807663

Follow Up By: yarda - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 22:11

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 22:11
The OP asked " What sort of pump would be suitable to say suck up water from a creek 3-4meters below the tank? Has anybody a system like that or similar?"

The pump I suggested is very suitable, for example at home when I use it the pump is over 2 meters below ground level pushing through 30 meters of 3/4 inch hose and if I hold the outlet over my head giving about 5 meters of head the flow is easily over 1000 lph. It is designed to run open flow, no pressure switches as its not a constant pressure supply pump.

Gavin, I extended the power cable with 10 meters of 15 amp sheathed twin core Narva cable, it works a treat. I run it with the engine off, if you had a longer cable, just have the engine running to overcome the voltage drop.

There is also some confusion being thrown around, psi absolute v/s psi guage, pressure head and pressure as a restriction of flow.
Remember pressure is just the restriction to flow, whether that restriction is gravity or wall friction from undersized pipes. If you used a smaller hose the effective head would be lower.

Small diaphragm pumps are meant to provide low flow rates through small diameter pipes in a local system, perfect for tank to camper "domestic" supply. To fill bulk tanks, yes they can be used but at a higher cost and vastly slower rate.
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FollowupID: 807703

Follow Up By: Gavin M2 - Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 22:18

Monday, Feb 03, 2014 at 22:18
Thanks again Yarda. That all makes sense.

I know I'm kinda piggy backing on the OP's question (sorry Adrian) but I'm learning a lot in this discussion - thanks everybody.

Gavin
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