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Old 05-18-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
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Water Systems: 12v and foot pumps?

I am currently working on coming up with a plan for our water system. I plan on installing a 12v pump, but I am also considering a foot pump at the kitchen sink to help conserve power and water as needed. Has anyone installed both an electric pump AND a foot/hand pump system? I would think that to use one vs the other I would need to install a series of T's and shutoff valves to isolate each pump system, but that seems simple enough. I am also wondering if the foot pump can be used for hot water? I guess I would need two foot pumps at the sink, one for hot and one for cold? Would a hot water heater function properly when used in conjunction with a foot pump?

I am just thinking out loud here. Please share any insight you may have on either pumping system and the idea of using both together.

Thanks!
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:24 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteWhale View Post
I am currently working on coming up with a plan for our water system. I plan on installing a 12v pump, but I am also considering a foot pump at the kitchen sink to help conserve power and water as needed. Has anyone installed both an electric pump AND a foot/hand pump system? I would think that to use one vs the other I would need to install a series of T's and shutoff valves to isolate each pump system, but that seems simple enough. I am also wondering if the foot pump can be used for hot water? I guess I would need two foot pumps at the sink, one for hot and one for cold? Would a hot water heater function properly when used in conjunction with a foot pump?

I am just thinking out loud here. Please share any insight you may have on either pumping system and the idea of using both together.

Thanks!
Just my 2c, sounds like a lot off wasted effort, not trying to be a smart ass just sounds like a lot of extra plumbing & unnecessary work.
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Old 05-18-2016, 12:41 PM   #3
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water and pump are independent of one another, so that isn't an issue. Your water pump shouldn't consume that much electricity. It's peak usage would be during showers, or, priming the system for first use of the season.

I agree with Stu & Filo, the foot pump seems futile in this case. If you want an emergency back up, say, your pump kicks the bucket, I would just keep a spare. Foot pumps are going to make bathing a bit difficult, especially when someone has to pump while you bathe.
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Old 05-18-2016, 01:29 PM   #4
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As stated in my original post, the idea behind the foot pump is not just conserving electricity, but water as well. I know in a regular residential setting with an endless flow of water people tend to leave the faucet running much longer than needed for a given task. My thought is that a foot pump system would drastically redcue wasted water. Not NEEDING power to get water at the faucet is an added bonus. And yes the pump would likely be used for showering, I suppose...

Maybe water conservation is more of just a change of habbit we could adjust to even with an electric pump. But im fairly certain a foot pump would only make it more efficiet.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:10 PM   #5
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I agree, but I have a hand pump. That sounds bad. Point is someone can't leave the water running. There's a certain amount of inconvenience purposely built into a hand/foot powered pump and it serves the purpose of minimizing water usage.
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Old 05-18-2016, 04:41 PM   #6
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I'm doing the same thing. I will have a secondary circuit that will use a foot pump for the kitchen sink if for some reason we lose power, most of the time the electric pump will be the primary source, but if the batteries go down or I just don't feel like using it I have that option. We seem to have the same bus as well.
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:39 PM   #7
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I did end up getting an electric 12 v pump. It's pretty hard to siphon water out of the barrels after they get half empty. I'm still waiting for the hoses for my hand pump. It's actually just a new hand powered bilge pump. With a spring that could be rigged as a foot pump.
The point with this bilge pump is supposed to be capable of 720 gallons per hour. If it does a third of that I'll be happy. No I don't have to have somebody pump it while I'm in a shower. I don't have a shower in this rig.
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:03 PM   #8
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As far as the hot water part of your question?
If you checked the working temperature ratings the manufacturer and it is better than 140(160-180 better) then it will work with hot water but depending on the length of the piping from the heater to the pump and fixture you could spend more time pumping and water used waiting for it to warm up?
If conservation is the issue then buy the low flow faucet,water saver screen adapters for your existing faucet or just put your foot down? NO not on the pump trying to get hot water?
Without use or a recirculating pump even in/with the biggest and the best hot water heaters made the piping directly connected,anything downstream and inside some? Depending on placement of the top heating element/source the top 1/3 could lose temp. Even though heat rises without movement the temperature stays steady around the element but doesn't stratify in the tank or to the top of the tank. That is why in a normal house you have to run your shower,vanity,kitchen sink or whatever for a few minutes before you get tempered/hot water there.
I would hate to have to foot pump from my water heater to my kitchen sink? I would give up the second it's there then tell my kids that there washing dishes.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:21 PM   #9
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When I grew up, Mom & Dad had an automatic setup. We automatically got up, took our dishes to the sink, washed & dried them and put them away.
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Old 05-18-2016, 07:32 PM   #10
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My 15&16 have that down pat but now they want a vehicle to drive and all I have for them is the bus? My 15 is fearless until I tell him to get the bus out of the driveway and we will work on his driving permit log and my 16 says I ain't driving that thing?
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:01 PM   #11
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an automotive 12 v gasoline pump can pass for a mover pump newer ones have 36 psi stall. have you considered a sink hose end sprayer for a shower head?~~~ i riggged up a 5 gallon bucket and a hose end sprayer for a camping / deer lease shower. works great ! higher the hang the more the pressure. use one in my home claw foot tub too. m shower pan is a 55 gallon plastic drum cut down to 20 " and shower curtains hung on 3/4 emt tubing tucked inside the drum. aint got to be fancy, just has to work!
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:28 PM   #12
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I like your shower pan idea. Hadn't thought of that. I like using $10 items.

Good news for all of you. I may be taking showers soon.
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:31 AM   #13
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Thanks everyone for your responses! I am thinking if we decide to do a foot pump perhaps we should just do one for the cold rather than two pumps for hot and cold. both hot and cold could run off 12v pump like normal but also have the option for a quick squirt of cold from the foot pump as needed. I am not certain if the foot pump will work so well with hot. The ones i am looking at are the marine foot pumps on amazon for around $50. They look pretty decent but I dont see anything about them being rated for hot water. I know from residential plumbing that the hot is always the first to leak...
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:54 AM   #14
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i vote to pass on the foot pump.

seems like a separate system to do the same thing is a little over kill. the only time i need a little water is if i take a crap in the toilet. while a foot pump might be quieter in the middle of the night, i got no problem waking the crew up with the water pump. some things you got to get rid of.


keep it simple! fewer leaks, fewer problems, lower cost
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Old 05-19-2016, 08:02 AM   #15
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i vote to pass on the foot pump.

seems like a separate system to do the same thing is a little over kill. the only time i need a little water is if i take a crap in the toilet. while a foot pump might be quieter in the middle of the night, i got no problem waking the crew up with the water pump. some things you got to get rid of.


keep it simple! fewer leaks, fewer problems, lower cost

Agreed!!
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:03 PM   #16
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A foot pump plus a 12v pump seems entirely unnecessary to me. If you have a 12v pump then just use it. They don't use all that much electricity and there's no inherent water savings from using an electric pump vs a manual pump. It's all in how you use them. Don't leave the faucet open and running and you'll be golden. In addition, you can get a 12v pump for the same price as a foot pump, so there's not even an economical reason to choose a foot pump.

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the only time i need a little water is if i take a crap in the toilet. while a foot pump might be quieter in the middle of the night, i got no problem waking the crew up with the water pump.
If you install a water pressure tank you'll be able to use the water for a while before the pump turns on to re-pressurize the system. Such a tank will also reduce water pulsing caused by the pump.
I installed one very similar to this:

2 Gal. Pressurized Well Tank
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Old 05-19-2016, 12:43 PM   #17
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It's a back up system. If your electric pump goes out, and I've already had one go bad, it's nice to have something to move water that will avoid using hoses and jugs. It's the modern answer instead of having a water tank mounted on the ceiling for gravity feed.
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Old 05-19-2016, 03:05 PM   #18
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It's a back up system. If your electric pump goes out, and I've already had one go bad, it's nice to have something to move water that will avoid using hoses and jugs. It's the modern answer instead of having a water tank mounted on the ceiling for gravity feed.
Right. And as mentioned having a backup pump is a good idea, but in my opinion it might as well be an identical electric pump considering that there isn't an economic gain and it'd require additional plumbing.

As a side note, some pumps have quick-disconnect fittings for an easy swap out. The Flojet Triplex is one of them.



If the pumps were pre-wired with an electrical connector it'd be a real cinchy job!

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Old 05-19-2016, 04:23 PM   #19
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why not set it up with the faucets which have the time delay release? purely mechanical (non electronic) faucets are made that when you pull the handle the water runs for maybe 30 seconds or so (the spring is usually adjustable) then shuts off unless you shut it off before.. this way no messy plumbing setups and no foot pumps..
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Old 05-19-2016, 04:35 PM   #20
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Without house batteries at this point I don't put any extra load on the starter batteries. I use one of those jump start units that can stay plugged in and automatically topped off when I'm not using it for my 12 v needs, and it's good for a number of uses including a 12 v winch.

Hey, I broke down and got an electric pump. That's a step in the right direction. True I'm having to slowly come around on just about everything. In, say, about 5 short years you might even consider my bus habitable.

I was going for rustic but functional.
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