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Old 06-16-2018, 07:45 AM   #1
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Quick sanity check on elevated tanks

Hey everyone! Thanks for reading my dumb post here.

I'm using 55 gal drums for my tanks and when in the best place to mount them, the top of one of the tanks would be ~7 feet from the ground. That seems a smidgen high/inconvenient for a gravity feed.

Is there any reason I shouldn't use a hose attachment 2 feet lower to fill to the top of my tanks? And if I did that, would I need to use a separate attachment for city water only or could I keep it a single inlet and get enough pressure?

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Old 06-16-2018, 08:35 AM   #2
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Personally, if mounting water tanks high, I'd be concerned about center of gravity issues (full 55 gallon drums weigh around 400 lbs. each). The lower the better. I mounted a 55 gallon drum under my floor just behind the differential (using the diff as an impact guard of sorts).
If you're trying to use gravity as a means to pressure your system, at 7' don't bother. While it would drain at ground level (who uses water at ground level except for irrigation?), you only get .433 psi per foot of elevation. do the math and you only get a little over 3psi at the ground. My suggestion would be to mount your tanks low and use a pump to make things flow through the pipes. Fortunately, on a skoolie, you don't have to lift the water very high.
And yes, you can tie them together, you just have to make sure both vented separately to fill and empty with ease. Connect both at the bottom and vent both at the top. Fill the top one from the top and you're good to go.
Hope this helps.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:03 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sojourner View Post
Personally, if mounting water tanks high, I'd be concerned about center of gravity issues (full 55 gallon drums weigh around 400 lbs. each). The lower the better. I mounted a 55 gallon drum under my floor just behind the differential (using the diff as an impact guard of sorts).
If you're trying to use gravity as a means to pressure your system, at 7' don't bother. While it would drain at ground level (who uses water at ground level except for irrigation?), you only get .433 psi per foot of elevation. do the math and you only get a little over 3psi at the ground. My suggestion would be to mount your tanks low and use a pump to make things flow through the pipes. Fortunately, on a skoolie, you don't have to lift the water very high.
And yes, you can tie them together, you just have to make sure both vented separately to fill and empty with ease. Connect both at the bottom and vent both at the top. Fill the top one from the top and you're good to go.
Hope this helps.
Thanks for your thought response! I meant, would using the pressure of a city water connection through the two tanks work or is it always better to bypass the tanks with a city water connection?

I would also have a water pump when not connected.

I think I got my question answered though, thanks!
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czoesq View Post
Thanks for your thought response! I meant, would using the pressure of a city water connection through the two tanks work or is it always better to bypass the tanks with a city water connection?

I would also have a water pump when not connected.

I think I got my question answered though, thanks!

Always isolate the pump and tanks when connecting to an external line pressure. Easily done with a check valve.
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Old 06-18-2018, 08:54 AM   #5
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im working on my plumbing as we speak, and i am going with dual 12v pumps. im separating my tanks from the main water hookup, im thinking about putting a valve on it so all i have to do is open the valve to let the tanks fill up, then shut the valve when they are full.
i eventually plan on adding rain water collection as a future project.


and dont forget a pressure regulator for hooking up to water supplies.
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Old 08-02-2018, 08:51 PM   #6
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I worked on some schooners in Main and most used old whisky barrels sitting on deck. 1/2 or 3/4 inch black plastic water lines to ordinary faucets gave plenty of flow and pressure to the cabins. It worked well in the kitchen too, even had hot water from the wood stove with no pumps.
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Old 08-03-2018, 12:47 AM   #7
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Smile

Hey, it's good to see someone in the same b̶u̶s̶ boat. I too will be using 55-gallon drums for my water supply.

I plan on mounting them vertically, though, stacked 2×2 at the rear with additional stability provided by anchoring to the rearmost 3+ ribs. Does anyone have any thoughts about that?

Consider this a preliminary “sanity check”.
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