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Retrofitting help/ideas needed to bring h2o in/out of a new light straw clay house  RSS feed

 
Shannon Freed
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Anyone know much about plumbing/ bringing water in and out of a building?(Note: I live in a cold climate where the ground freezes at 4 ft and can freeze as low as 6 ft)..

I built a light straw clay house last summer and (umm *blush*) forgot to dig under the foundation before installation to bring water in/out. I have ideas and experience taking grey water out through the wall, but everyone I have so far spoken with says that bringing the water under the foundation is a MUST. I am trying to avoid this because it requires digging under the foundation and already installed gravel subfloor. So... what do you all think of the following idea

Bring the water in through the wall on the west side, lay the pipe on the ground, build what amounts to a pump house around it using 2 inch foam insulation with a light straw clay wall around it, then take it 6 ft down from there? Comments or suggestions for other ways to do or reasons not to do this will be much appreciated.
 
Peter DeJay
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Location: Southern Oregon
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While bringing supply in under the house certainly is ideal, its not the only option. I would use PEX from as far down as possible at the well or whatever the point of origin is. I would want a continuous length ideally, so it runs uninterrupted from well to inside the house. Where it comes up out of the ground and goes into the house I would insulate with foam pipe insulation, then box it in with a surrounding of 3" polyiso to be safe.

PEX is purportedly crack proof, but for the main supply in I would go ahead and do what I could.

Have you ran the piping through the house yet? Plumbed fixtures, etc?
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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If you have 4-6 ft freeze depth, there isn't much you can do. Your pumphouse idea may work IF YOU HEAT IT.

Dig down 8-10 feet to create a thermal well inside the pump house and insulate the top 4-6 feet with 3" foam. That should tie the pumphouse to the core ground temp.

You may still have problems in cold spells or if you don't run water regularly.

Have a way to get supplemental heat in there just in case. The Amish around here put kerosene lamps in their pumphouses when they didn't build them well enough for the extra cold spells.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Shannon : Fortunately, We are going to have the gift of the Earths tilt on its Axis, and warmer days! We can work together and solve this !
I have used this technique twice, It worked both times, and the flow of water can be used to thaw out frozen pipes from the inside out !

You need to look into Hydraulic mining, which can be done with only a large sledge hammer, Small 'Trash Pump', 2'' pipe, a garden house,
and 50 gal-ish of water that you can re-capture and use again and again until the job is done. And when you are done the only waste is the
dirty water and a small pile of 'Tailings' consisting of your own native silt washed out of your 'mining operation'!

In the time it took me to type this I considered going to a larger diameter pipe. With a larger diameter pipe more water will be needed and
more flowing force needed! 'Think smallish diameter drill casing' (3''? ) and not black plastic pipe, for the minimum distance to create your
Tunnel ! Whatever you drive through the ground is going to stay there as a 'forever' part of your foundation.

While the tunnel you create does not necessarily need to be level, you will have to dig down to create the trench the pipe will rest in while
you are driving it under your Foundation Wall, so the shortest lengths of pipe you can find will be what you want to use , be sure to have a
short throwaway piece on both ends to protect your threads/fasteners and drive the pipe by hitting thick dense pieces of wood rather than
pounding directly on the pipe ! I would start a new Hydraulic mined Tunnel every time over trying to enlarge an existing tunnel, tried that,
BIG FAIL !

This will be more physically demanding that your last problem, but can be solved a lot faster after you have gather'd the materials together !

-Speaking of which, how about an up-date on your rocket stove, good and bad - or a link to wherever ! For the Good of the Craft ! Be safe,
keep warm ! PYRO Magically - Big Al ! '' don't lower the barrel, raise the Heat Riser !'' Your questions/comments are solicited and Welcome A.L.
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4154
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Shannon : I worry about the potential for disaster, in Digging down into the earth 8'-10' as was proposed by R.Scott Probably %0 years ago a local family
had water problems related to check vale and a low water table. They went to the local volunteer fire dept. and 'borrowed' a portable pump which they started
and lowered into their well. When the pump quit the first son went down in the well to try to restart it !

The running engine had used up all the oxygen and quit, the body count for that day was the father and two sons! Within a year there was a fire dept member
who died in a high speed into a tree 'accident' and the fire chief that killed himself !

Around here people will lend you a car or a hunting rifle, but not a generator or gasoline power'd pump ! All these years later and I still feel sad when i type this!

For the craft! Big AL !
 
Greta Fields
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I have plumbed about 30 houses and trailers. If you dig that deep hole, you might be able to install a tiny manual hand pump or valve with automatically6 lets the water drain back down into the hole when you are not using it. If you have continuous water running between the hole and the house, it will probably freeze with foam insulation and without an electric heat tape.
I Just started studying these pumps myself. My father was a waterworks man and he installed them around the yard so my mom had water from the garden. I just got a catalogue from Lehman Bros. ($3) showing all types of pumps, some of which are better designed to resist freezing than other types.
I have my own water system, but keep learning more about them.
Pex is easy to change out and relatively cheap.
My father insisted on valves at every6 juncture, and that is a must in my mind also You can get Pex valves too.
I would come help you , but I am in Ky. I saw your You Tube video and I was so glad that somebody is trying to help Lakota people. You can make those coconut fruit bars yourself. I think they are just agave for sugar, coconut crème or coconut milk frozen with fruit juice, and coconut.
 
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