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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Lake water pump up a large hill
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# Posted: 21 Jun 2022 16:33

Hey All. I am new to this forum and have been doing some research on pumps and I am trying to figure out what is our best solution for us. Last year we purchased a lake property where our RV/Campers are at the top of a hill about 50 ft up and 50 ft back from the lake. It looks like the previous owners had a pump like the 1 HP Stainless Steel Shallow Well Pump And Tank With Pressure Control Switch - 950 GPH, from Harbor freight. The pressure is not great once it gets up to the top of the hill and I have a couple questions.

1. Should I replace the pump with a different type?

2. Should I filter the water in any way before I use it for non-drinking purposes? or filter it at the intake?

3. We are in Wisconsin. I know I need to remove the pump during the freezing weather. Any suggestions for quick disconnects?



# Posted: 21 Jun 2022 20:52 - Edited by: gcrank1

How about you pump up to a big holding tank then use an rv type pump to the cabin plumbing?
Id use a filter at the inlet end to at least keep the big stuff out.

# Posted: 21 Jun 2022 21:36

Is your pressure tank up at the cabin, or down at the waterfront? Set the pressure tank up on top of the hill, with pressure switch that powers the motor down at the bottom.
As for filtering, we draw direct from the lake with no filtering other than a coarse screen to keep the tadpoles out. There's a bit of 'slime' buildup in the toilet tank over the season, but for regular use it's fine. We have the pickup suspended about 6 ft below surface, and a few feet above the bottom. I'm sure those details vary lake to lake though, depending on water quality and type of contaminants.

# Posted: 22 Jun 2022 01:05 - Edited by: spencerin

If it's the Drummond pump-and-tank combo, it should handle a 50' lift fine as the manual says flow stops at 115.5' max. I'd check to make sure there are no obstructions or leaks anywhere along the route from beginning to end, and check the pressure tank for proper functioning. Or, maybe it's just time to replace the combo. You could try a different type, like a submersible, but they have their own pros and cons. The nice thing about jet pump-and-tank combos is that they're cheaper, easier to access for servicing, and you have a lot of options to choose from. The Drummond is a good pump for its price, but it's also a lower-quality pump. You could also experiment by moving the combo 10' uphill from the water source and shorten how high it needs to pump water by 10' as a result, see if that helps. Pumps push much better than they pull, but the manual also says it can pull up to 26', so it should have no issue pulling 10' and pushing 40'.

It's common to have a large particulate filter at the intake to prevent anything from getting sucked in and damaging the pump or clogging up the system. Any additional filters are typically added to the main line after it enters the residence but before it branches off. Whether you want/need additional filters depends on how clear you want the water to be, if it's not already clear enough for you.

I'm sure you could search around Amazon and eBay and find something you could put together for quick disconnects. The first thing that came to mind was 1" sharkbites. They're not truly quick disconnects, but you can buy a squeeze-clamp type device that will allow you to disconnect them fairly quickly. Just make sure you have a decent grip.....

# Posted: 22 Jun 2022 07:34

I have a 1/2hp jet pump with no pressure tank filling a 275gal aisc tote 60ff uphill (actual measured head pressure) it will fill the tank in about 35min.

If your taking water off that pump like a faucet you need a pressure tank. Have you measured the pressure or volume?

# Posted: 22 Jun 2022 12:21

At 50' of elevation, you are losing about 21.6 psi of pressure (on paper, add system ineficiencies, it may be more). You may or may not be able to adjust the pressure on the pump for higher output. As others have said, fill a holding tank at the top, and use the RV pump for pressure. A quick look at HF and the 1 hp pump there is rated for 950 GPH @ 0' elevation, and max pressure of 50 psi with a 30 psi switch on. Just before it switches on, you are down to 8/9 psi up at your RV.

I see some others saying that you should have flow, and it sounds like you do, just no pressure. My cheap electric pump fills up my 1000L holding tank in 12 mins. But the pressure is terrible, I can almost stop it completely with my thumb over the hose. Pumps have a rating. As elevation increases, the flow will decrease.

As far as filtering. I would use a foot valve sock which will keep most of what you can see out. And a 1 micron absolute (make sure it's "absolute") filter on your input to keep out Giardia/Crypto. You have to look for high flow versions, or you will lose a lot of pressure and flow going through the filter. Put a cheap 5 or 25 micron filter in front of the 1 micron to help extend it's life. (1 micron's are about $20, 5's are about 3 for $10)

If you are concerned about bacteria (ie, E. coli), then you can add pool bleach to your holding tank. This will also help with any alge growth. I use pool bleach because there is no flowery smelling crap in it, and it's a bit higher concentration. There is online calculators to figure out how much you need.

Irrigation Guy
# Posted: 23 Jun 2022 06:56 - Edited by: Irrigation Guy

If you have reliable power there is no reason you can’t set this up with a pressure tank and have 50-60 lbs of pressure at your house. I would use a 1/2 hp 7gpm submersible pump in the lake with a flow inducer sleeve. At 60’ pumping level it will give you 9 gpm at 60psi. There are pictures on the web of how to construct a sleeve/cradle for the pump. As far as taking it apart for winter you could use cam lock fittings on the pipe and just use a wet location outlet on a post near the lake for the power supply. Set up a pressure tank and pressure switch at the cabin and you are good to go.

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