can an above ground cistern setup work in the winter without freezing? what do you think of this setup idea. all rainwater is collected through underground pipes and sent to a sump tank underground and then pumped up to an above ground cistern. this cistern will supply water for watering plants and toilet flushing and washing machine. how to make a big cistern not freeze without any electricity or other form of heating?
A few questions to get started. Depending on where you live, sub 0 means totally different things. Is that F or C? What is your average temp in the coldest and cloudiest month?
I'm guessing you could use solar gain to protect a tank to about 5 degrees F below freezing but that's just a guess. Or maybe put it in a mock greenhouse.
Water towers can manage very cold temperatures but they rely on a combination of a lot of groundwater "warming" them up and deliberate changes in water level to break the ice in them as it forms.
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When I lived in chugiak, ak the expensive subdivision down the hill from me had a big above ground tank (maybe 20 feet diameter and 12 feet tall) in back of my property. It probably also provided the water pressure). They had about a foot or so of spray foam on the outside. I don't know if there wasany heat source, but most of the winter was 10 - 20 degrees F with at least a couple of weeks of -30 F.
It occurs to me that it might be partially dependant on the exchange rate for the tank. When I pump water in, its maybe 45 to 55 degrees depending on your deep ground temp. If I have fairly heavy and constant flow through the tank, I may well be able to heavily insulate the tank. If the water is going to set there with little flow through, there will be less heat coming into the tank, making the need for heat greater.
I wonder if a dark colored insulated tank would keep from freezing?
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