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Old 05-27-2006, 03:25 PM   #1
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plumbing fittings for water barrels?

Hi all,

I know I've seen a discussion on this but can't find it in the archives. I'm thinking about mounting two 33-gal blue food barrels over my rear wheel wells for fresh water storage. They'll sit on their sides, slightly tilted and in some type of padded wood cradles, then be attached with pipe hanger bands to the wall and floor (like how water heaters are wall-mounted for safety).

The barrels have one hole now, in the sealed lid, very near the edge (2" from it). The hole is about 3" and is threaded. I thought about using this as a drain hole, and looking for some PVC that would match the threads and be the drain pipe. At the top, then, I'd cut a hole and glue in a fill pipe that would go up through the countertop for filling.

Is there any reason you could see to reverse this? That is, custom-make the drain hole and use the threaded hole as a fill hole? If so, how do you reinforce the drain hole? Would you need to? It's 250 lbs of water, but I don't know how you get something into the tank as a backing--I'd like to have a threaded nut on each side, holding the pipe in place and reinforcing the plastic, but maybe this is unneccessary.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
Branden
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Old 05-29-2006, 11:42 AM   #2
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many caps for plastic drums have knock-outs in them for 3/4" NPT threads.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:21 AM   #3
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All drums I have seen hace 2 holes in the lid. 1 3/4" NPT and the other 3" with as mentioned, 3/4" NPT knockouts. I'm sure there is a specialty fitting to suit your needs, but if all else fails, try this:

Use 1/2" or 3/4" brass pipe threaded 3/4-1" down. Have the NPT cut to standard thread. Cut your hole in the barrel for your pipe.

Run a nut down on the pipe to the end and put a pan head washer over top and then a rubber washer, and stick in hole in the barrel. Again, I suggest using all brass.

Now the tuff part: It will be tedious and require lots of patience using a part grabber http://www.partsamerica.com/ProductDeta ... ber=410329 put the rubber, pan, and nut on from the inside.

It is doable, but if I had a choice I would find barrels with 2 holes.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:01 PM   #4
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Plumbing decisions

I've decided that 33 gallons is enough for most of my bus use, and I'll just carry the additional 2 drums for the week of Burning Man...meaning I won't be installing the drums under the bus (where there is space but would be much more work, with more serious safety implications). I'll be putting one over the driver's side rear wheel well, and you're right about the 2 holes. One is wide threaded, one pipe threaded, both plugs have knockouts for 3/4".

I could use one for the drain and the other for the fill, but would lose a couple gallons of storage as the fill isn't at the top of the tank--what about drilling a vent hole with a hose the sink (like a dishwasher) and then using both holes as a drain and a fill, such that when filling you would fill until water came into the sink? I think this would be the best use of the permanent fittings while still being able to fill the tank full.
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Old 07-11-2006, 05:08 PM   #5
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If you plan to use a 12v pump, you could always just stand the barrel upright and use a dip tube in one opening to the botom. For sure you would be maximizing capacity.
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Old 07-11-2006, 11:56 PM   #6
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My water system uses a 55 gallon drum and I utilized the 3/4 knock outs. I'm not worried about the lost capacity as I will rarely use all 55 gallons. That just gives room for settling. On top of that, the tank is removable for the winter or draining that last bit out as all the plumbing has unions and the air supply has a quick connect. One word of caution though...the knockouts on my plastic caps had a very small amount of thread. Can you say leaks? Even the larger thread on the cap itself leaked. That's why you'll see ample amounts of J-B Weld Water Weld putty on it. No leaks since.
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Old 07-12-2006, 05:45 AM   #7
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Re: Plumbing decisions

Quote:
Originally Posted by Branden
I've decided that 33 gallons is enough for most of my bus use, and I'll just carry the additional 2 drums for the week of Burning Man....
you going to the burn this year?

This will be my 3rd year.
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Old 08-03-2006, 01:55 AM   #8
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final decisions

Looks like with the cabinetry installed I can *just* fit one tank vertically under the counter. That will allow me to use the plugs as a hard-lined pumped drain (pvc running to bottom of tank from plug through pop-out) and a fill. Counter will have a lift-up door to access...


And yep, bring on the playa. I can't wait! Year 2 for me, year 3 for Camp...In Bed. We're from Seattle, if you head for Area 47 on the Esplanade at about 8:30, that's where the major Seattle theme camps are. The Space Virgins know skoolie Lucinda, the Camp...In Bed crew, and will know where we are. I'm expecting around 8:00 and Destiny... Will you have the lit Man again?
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Old 08-03-2006, 08:07 AM   #9
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right now i have so many projects going on i'm not sure if i'll build another man for the top of hte bus or not.

i really want to build a human centrefuge this year, but it looks like i won't have time.......perhaps next year!
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Old 08-03-2006, 10:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by the_experience03
My water system uses a 55 gallon drum and I utilized the 3/4 knock outs.....<snip></snip> One word of caution though...the knockouts on my plastic caps had a very small amount of thread. Can you say leaks? Even the larger thread on the cap itself leaked. That's why you'll see ample amounts of J-B Weld Water Weld putty on it. No leaks since.
I've pretty much decided on going the food barrel route as well, given that a new 55 gallon drum is <$50. My question is... has anyone used the 'open top' barrels where the lids clamp on with a ring. I was thinking this would let me get access to the top to put the fittings I want there, then silly-cone (or JB-Weld) the top in place before torquing down the ring. I was thinking of doing this for the grey and black tanks as well, where having access to the top could allow me to attach 3" fittings for the drains.

BestContainers.com has some specs on the drums here.
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