Author Topic: Backyard Water Tower help  (Read 5102 times)

Offline Nate

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Backyard Water Tower help
« on: December 08, 2012, 07:13:18 AM »
I have this potentially awesome idea of building a backyard water tower to provide pressure for a hose to water my garden.  Last year I carried watering cans from the rain barrel.  A hose with sprayer would be so much easier.  Does anyone know how high I would need to build the tower to provide enough pressure to run a garden hose with a sprayer?  I would be collecting rainwater off my barn roof.  The gutter would be about 10 or 12 feet off the ground.  I have just eyeballed the distance.  The garden is about 10 or 15 feet from the barn.  Thanks!

Nate

Offline lettuceman

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2012, 07:19:31 AM »
Water pressure is 0.44 psi per foot of rise.  Example 10 foot column is equal to 4.4 psi at the base of the column.

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 05:15:34 PM »
I have some garden beds in my front yard that aren't very close to any of my rain barrels or storage tanks, so I built a small platform (about 3 feet high) with a 55 gallon barrel on it.  I use a pump to fill the barrel once or twice a week, as needed, then use gravity pressure from the barrel to water the beds.  That 3 foot height (plus 4 feet or so in the barrel when it's full) is enough to provide good flow, but it doesn't provide enough pressure to work with a nozzle, so you'd need it to be quite a bit taller than my seven-foot height.  Most residential plumbing is around 50 psi (give or take - there's a lot of variation), so to get even half that pressure, you'd need a fifty-foot tower.

You can get low-pressure soaker hoses that work with very little elevation on a rain barrel.  Plus, you don't have to stand there watering, you can just turn a valve and come back later to turn it off.

http://www.mrdrip.com/rainbarrelsoakerhose.htm


Offline Nate

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2012, 06:46:46 PM »
My wife was just asking me over dinner if anyone has responded to my water tower thread.  Through our further discussion of the idea we came up with using a soaker hose.  Before bed I logged on to check my posts.  Funny how the universe comes together.  We are now leaning towards the soaker hose option.  That seems even easier than a sprayer.  Our garden is a huge part of our preps and we plan on expanding it this spring. With me starting nursing school in January, I need all the help I can get to make garden work easier and less time consuming throughout the growing season. 

I have 4 55 gallon barrels and we only used 2 this year.  If this tower and soaker hose thing works out I might hook up all 4.  Thanks for the input.

Nate

Offline backwoods_engineer

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2012, 07:23:19 PM »
Nate, if you want pressure, you need a pump.  You could have a small 12V bilge pump, powered by solar panel and battery, if you want to be "off grid" with it.

Offline Virginian

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #5 on: December 12, 2012, 07:00:10 AM »
I use the barrel system with soaker hoses.
Make sure the water is silt free and use fine screens to stop debris from clogging the soaker hose (been down that road)

Offline Nate

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2012, 04:48:38 AM »
I use the barrel system with soaker hoses.
Make sure the water is silt free and use fine screens to stop debris from clogging the soaker hose (been down that road)

Thanks for the advice.  It looks like the kit from Mr. Drip comes with a filter screen.  If we go this route I will make sure to use it.  Do you have your barrel elevated?  If so how high?

Offline Virginian

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #7 on: December 13, 2012, 08:00:06 AM »
Thanks for the advice.  It looks like the kit from Mr. Drip comes with a filter screen.  If we go this route I will make sure to use it.  Do you have your barrel elevated?  If so how high?

4' stand, I fill two 50 gal barrels from a retaining pond as needed.

Offline Perfesser

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2013, 07:41:26 PM »
I just saw last year that Lee Valley has drip irrigation systems designed for low pressure gravity feed.

Offline flippydidit

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Re: Backyard Water Tower help
« Reply #9 on: January 01, 2013, 09:57:36 PM »
Nate, I'm with Backwoods_Engineer on this.  Running a solar powered pump to a pressurization tank would probably meet your needs better.  It's also considerably cheaper and safer than a water tower.  Water towers need to be constructed very strong.  Water weighs a lot.