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I want to use unfiltered lake water for the outside spigot!

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by kenora, Dec 25, 2007.

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  1. kenora

    kenora Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
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    Loc:
    Kenora, Ontario, Canada
    My cottage (year round) currently has a line going out to the lake (its got a heat trace line in it), the water enters the crawlspace and then goes through a 5 micron filter and then the big blue thing before it is sent off the the rest of the house. The problem (issue) is that the outside spigot that I use to water the lawn takes water AFTER the water filter. I want to T into the pipe before the filter (somehow) so I can have an endless supply of water for the lawn or whatever. But that doesn't result in an early death for the water filter since I don't really need the fish poop filtered out for the lawn :)
    I really have no idea how this set-up works but there is one hose already hooked up at the T that goes to (and from?) the blue tank and there is another hose bib at the end of the pipe that goes out to the lake. Can I attach the one at the end of the lake supply hose (red handle) to the exterior hose bib or will that make water run the wrong way through the filter?

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  2. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
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    Loc:
    Fairbanks
    First off, I am not a plumber. That "blue thing" is a pressure regulator; without it your pump would come on/off every time you open/close a faucet. It has a rubber diaphragm in it, w/ air pressure on the top and water on the other. As the pump pushed water into it, the diaphragm expands up against the air until a "trip" pressure is hit, at which time your pump is shut off. As you use water, the diaphragm pushes against the water to maintain pressure for a while. Once the pressure drops to a "trip" level, the pump comes back on. The "off" pressure is usually about 60 psi, and the "on" pressure is about 40 psi, in my limited experience. The "trip" mechanism is the gray box w/ the pressure gauge next to it and electrical wires attached to it. As for the water going "the wrong way", I think you are correct. As soon as you open the spigot to water the lawn, the raw water pressure at the filter may be below what the diaphragm is providing and you'd drain your house. That is a GUESS. That said, I am sure someone here can tell you how to install a one-way valve between your filter and the raw water, if one is needed. If it were mine, I'd shut off the valves around the filter and plumb in a one-way, of course having to move the filter's present location a tad. BTW: The little pipe that runs up to your "gray box" can become clogged inside, and when that happens you will no longer have a pressure on/off switch, causing your pump to run like crazy. After going through a few of those episodes, I replaced the little riser pipe w/ a brass one; it has lasted for years now. If you are going to filter the fish poop, I hope you are also harvesting a few fish for dinner. Bass?
  3. kenora

    kenora Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2007
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    Loc:
    Kenora, Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for the reply...

    Just out of curiosity is there a chance there is a one way in there already...there is some kind of device or is it just a coupling? in between the left 1/4 turn valve (at the filter) and the pressure switch? If that is there how can I test it? And since I'm asking for a bunch of favors already I might as well keep going...you mentioned the pipe that goes up to the switch getting clogged, that hasn't occurred yet but I would like to prevent that from happening. It appears to be copper, should I replace it with something else or ream it out?

    Oh and fwiw the system pressure is set to 60 psi.

    The water in the toilet tanks gets pretty slimy so I imagine it gets slimed up too!

    And its mostly pickerel, small mouth and rock bass and about a gazilllllion jack.
  4. kevinmoelk

    kevinmoelk New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2006
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    Loc:
    Wapato WA, in the Yakima Valley of Central WA
    Hummm. since the pressure switch controls the pump to come on/off, I'd say try the spigot on the far right and see if the pressure drop on the gauge nearest the regulator. If the pressure drops then you know there is not a one way valve in place. If there is a one way valve then that spigot pressure will eventually drop off to zero since the pump won't kick back on. If that happens (spigot pressure goes to zero) then you'll end up with a big air bubble next time you open up a faucet in the house... which really shouldn't cause any trouble (I'm not a plumber, just thinking to myself here).

    That said, my feeling is that there IS NOT a one-way valve, and that using the spigot on the far right will do exactly what you want... unfiltered water under pressure.

    -Kevin
  5. BJN644

    BJN644 Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Maine
    By looking at your picture you would have to move your filter upstream, you do have a check valve installed on the left side of the filter so it appears the right spigot wouldn't work. You would have to move the filter to the left of the pressure switch, then you could use the spigot with the green hose attached for un-filtered water. The draw back would be you might have to drain sediment from your pressure tank. I should note that I am NOT a plumber.
  6. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
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    279
    Loc:
    Fairbanks
    A couple things, since I enlarged your picture and looked at it, and re-read my previous post and the other post since mine. First, excuse my jiggled English in the first post; one sentence is a little awkward, but I think you got the drift. It should have read "...It has a rubber diaphragm in it, w/ air pressure on the top and water on the bottom. As the pump pushes..." Second, upon expanding the picture, yes it sure does look like you have a one-way valve, which would preclude your using the far right spigot, as mentioned. You could re-wire and/or re-plumb, but that is starting to look a tad tricky and may not give ideal results (fish poop and algae in the pressure tank, switch pipe, etc). Perhaps it would be best to use a different pump altogether??? Either run another electrical line out to it, or splice into the existing one near the lake, and hook it up to a submersible pump suspended off of a float. Run the electrical to a post w/ a switch on it near the lake. Flip the switch and your hose is squirting water for the lawn. Flip it off when done. Do you water enough that that would be a hassle? Either that, or bag ALL this tinkering and just use the spigot upstream from the filter and replace the filter more often. Sorry, no free fertilizer for the lawn... Thirdly, re: "... you mentioned the pipe that goes up to the switch getting clogged.... It appears to be copper..." Copper is good, and it appears to be 1/2" or so. You should be fine. I was having trouble w/ galvanized pipe corroding, and since it was only 1/4" pipe, a little corrosion was ugly. Just watch for the pump to start running its guts out and remember that the pipe may be plugged. I farted around w/ my switch for a few hours before it dawned on me that the switch really was OK and somebody else was tweaked; learning curves... And finally, ohhh, those smallmouths! Talk about fighters! I miss catching them in Lake Erie. Good luck w/ the water deal.
  7. Ridgefire

    Ridgefire New Member

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    Dec 16, 2007
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    Not to sound too dumb but is the lake also supplying your drinking water? or is it just supplying things like the toliet and non drinking applications
  8. kenora

    kenora Member

    Joined:
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    42
    Loc:
    Kenora, Ontario, Canada
    Thanks everyone for all the suggestions and insight. I was hoping for an easy solution but it appears I will simply have filtered lawn water... filters aren't too bad if you buy a few at a time, $20 each or about $45 for 3. I currently change em every 90 days or so.

    There are about 20 folks on the lake (Alcock Lake just north of Kenora Ontario), about 50% use a little better system than this and use the water for everything. I'm a wimp and use it for everything except coffee and drinking water. We have an electric cooler with 5 gallon jugs of city water for that. I spoke to a water treatment company a few months ago who tell me I can get a system that looks like a water softener system (but uses a different material; not salt) with a UV filter installed for about $1000....

    At that price I will continue to throw these 5 micron sediment filters at it every few months though.

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  9. jklingel

    jklingel Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Fairbanks
    "I was hoping for an easy solution but it appears I will simply have filtered lawn water… filters aren’t too bad if you buy a few at a time, $20 each or about $45 for 3. I currently change em every 90 days or so."

    I think that in the grand scheme of things, buying filters adds very little to your housing expenditures, and leaves more time to fish. That is always of great value. Nice lake. Since we all were of such help, we'll see you in the spring when the ice is out and the smallmouths are starving. Since it is 10 below here, I assume that EVERYWHERE in Canada must have ice, no?
  10. Ridgefire

    Ridgefire New Member

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    I wouldnt call you a wimp for not drinking it.....I admit I have well water which is pretty much the same thing I guess
  11. kenora

    kenora Member

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    Loc:
    Kenora, Ontario, Canada
    Hahahaha...not cold everywhere though...

    I know that the Toronto area is usually pretty mild year round (about an hour ENE of Detroit), as is the west coast (Vancouverish just N of Seattle)...(I guess MILD is a matter of perspective )

    here is a picture taken about 4 days ago...the ice is about 2 ft thick with a bit of wet slop between the new snow and the ice due some warmish weather over the past few weeks...right now its -15c (about 5 f I think) and thats really warm for this time of the year. The water intake is about 10 ft this side of the end of the dock in 22 ft of water (the dock (including the part that attaches to the shore) is 30 ft long.

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  12. d.n.f.

    d.n.f. New Member

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    Nelson BC
    I had a 100 micron filter on the hose end of my water line (lots of sediment that clogs the garden sprayers). You can get 250, 500 micron, whatever you need. They are non-disposable (made of steel mesh or something) and clean out in two minutes (you can flush them in situ with a bucket below them). Go to some farmer supply joint with plumbing and they will have them. Filter is like $30 bucks and the housing is like $100.

    I had a spring filter and a summer filter cause the water was much clearer in the summer.

    Sorry but can not remember the name brand (old house).
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