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-   -   Using basement sump water to cool the house (https://ecorenovator.org/forum/showthread.php?t=1559)

Daox 05-13-11 09:08 AM

Using basement sump water to cool the house
 
I've been talking with my uncle. He has a house and his sump pumps are running a LOT, year round. They run so much he burns through them in 1-2 years. He also runs redundant ones because of this to prevent flooding. Anyway, he has been thinking of what to do with the water. Initial thoughts were to use it for showering/flushing toilets/dishwasher. Later on, I thought maybe he could use that water (which is likely ~50-55F) to cool the house in the summer time. Just run the cool water through an a-coil in the ducting and voala, cooler air.

What do you guys think? I'm also looking for tips on what else could be done with the water.

davranyou 05-13-11 03:59 PM

I have similar sump pump water volumes; the potential for gray water flushing has crossed my mind a few times, but never as a "Mild HVAC cooling source" Hmmm...

RobertSmalls 05-13-11 05:22 PM

It sounds like a great idea.

Sump pumps can draw an awful lot of power, and keeping them running is a hassle. The need for sump pumps is one reason I'm leaning towards building a house without a basement.

Xringer 05-13-11 05:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 13479)
It sounds like a great idea.

Sump pumps can draw an awful lot of power, and keeping them running is a hassle. The need for sump pumps is one reason I'm leaning towards building a house without a basement.

You, my friend are leaning in the right direction!! :D

A sure way to avoid thousands of dollars in damages & many hundreds
of hours of labor, doing clean-ups and reflooring etc. etc..

I would NEVER move into a another house with a basement.
If I was forced to, at gunpoint, It would have to be on top of a mountain,
and in the middle tornado alley.
http://www.causticsodapodcast.com/wp...07/tornado.jpg

~~~

If I had a good source of water in my basement (it was well-like),
I would size a GSHP to it.. If it was small, I would heat my hotwater.
If it was larger, I would use it for space heating & cooling..

Daox 05-13-11 08:36 PM

Does anyone know how cold the refrigerant gets through a-coils? Does it get cold enough to produce condensation?

Xringer 05-13-11 08:56 PM

Hehehe.. I did not know what 'A' coils were. Then a little LED came on above my head.. :o

http://www.djsonline.com/images/dayton1.jpg
I believe that's a drip pan on the bottom of the 'A'...

Dewpoint?
http://pauland.net/tempdaycomp.png

Right now, if I put 45 deg F water in a glass, I'll need a coaster under it..

RobertSmalls 05-13-11 09:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 13483)
Does anyone know how cold the refrigerant gets through a-coils? Does it get cold enough to produce condensation?

http://www.captiveaire.com/CATALOGCO...chrometric.gif
The dewpoint in my house right now is 68°F! But that's because it's been 80-100% RH outside all day, and muggy for May. Also, ordinary people would have turned on the air conditioner, but instead I'm in conditioning for the hotter weather to come.

The point of this story is that you will get condensation at fairly unremarkable temperatures on a muggy enough day.

AC_Hacker 05-13-11 09:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 13483)
Does anyone know how cold the refrigerant gets through a-coils? Does it get cold enough to produce condensation?

It does get cold enough to produce condensation. for AC, it's usually just short of forming frost.

De-humidifiers do make frost, and they have a frost melting cycle designed in... that's how they extract water.

-AC_Hacker

MN Renovator 05-14-11 02:40 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 13479)
It sounds like a great idea.

Sump pumps can draw an awful lot of power, and keeping them running is a hassle. The need for sump pumps is one reason I'm leaning towards building a house without a basement.

It depends on where you live. My house was built 2 1/2 decades ago and the sump is as dry as the day the house was built, no signs of moisture in there at all. I bought a house that slopes down on all four sides and made sure the street drainage ditch didn't have a grate near my house to indicate a low point. I'm actually at the center between two and roughly the highest point and no flood plains anywhere near me. Of course there may be places where luck would stike negatively but a benefit of buying a used house for me was to see there is no sump pump and a dry sump for the entire duration, an advantage that doesn't exist when buying new, but proper location and good grading of the property that slopes away from the house on all sides usually does the trick.

AC_Hacker 05-14-11 08:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RobertSmalls (Post 13479)
The need for sump pumps is one reason I'm leaning towards building a house without a basement.

I certainly agree with MN Renovator.

In addition, is the issue of soil type.

I live in an area that is pretty flat for at least 1/2 mile in every direction.

My house is about 119 years old and has a basement with walls made from chunks of basalt rock mortared in with concrete. I doubt that any waterproofing was ever attempted.

The area I live in is infamous for its rainfall which averages 37.5 inches per year. So I'm in a borderline rainforest region.

In the event of a prolonged heavy rain, which would be maybe a week or two of continuous substantial rain, I do get some minor seepage into my basement, but in a day, it has all drained away.

The reason is the soil around me is largely sandy with some minor admixed clay.

And that makes all the difference.

So there are many factors that should be considered regarding the inclusion of a basement.

-AC_Hacker

Ryland 05-14-11 10:35 AM

Is the water coming from underground springs or something?
I like basements that have good drainage, mine has a pit that I think is for a sump pump but I just use it instead of a floor drain for the condensation from the furnace, even last summer when we had 7" of rain and the streets were flooded my basement was for the most part dry, we had about a quarter cup of water puddle up in one corner because there was standing water in the yard outside, but if you do proper drainage, foam insulation with vapor barrier slopping away from the house helps alot with water and keeping the foundation warm.
Any reason not to both use the water for grey water applications and for cooling your house? I forget who was selling them but there is a heat pump heat exchanger that goes directly to water.

Daox 05-15-11 09:16 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ryland (Post 13493)
Is the water coming from underground springs or something?

It might be, I'm not sure.

Daox 05-23-11 02:04 PM

Well, its finally starting to warm up around here and I'm thinking that a way to test this would be pretty nice. So, I'm thinking of putting together something to get a very simple proof of concept. I have an old car radiator laying around. I simply pump the water from the sump upstairs into and through the radiator and drain it back down to the sump. When the pump is activated, a fan will also be activated to draw warm air through the radiator. Now I just need a small pump capable of lifting water 10+ feet. I know there are plenty of pumps out there, but does anyone have any suggestions? I'm guessing ~5 gpm would be enough @ 10 ft of head.

Xringer 05-23-11 03:03 PM

I think you need to know if 5 gpm is going to drain the sump in a short period of time.

That's a lot of water. 300 gallons in an hour? (6) 50 gal barrels..
In 10 hours, that's going to be 3,000 gallons.

Anyways, I think the Chilled-Water AC we have at work, pre-cools the water down
to about 45 degrees. It's sent into big water-to-air exchangers in the ceilings and cold air comes down out of the ducts..
It works too well.. I have to wear a jacket sometimes.. In July & August!! :mad:

If you have an endless supply of cool water, I would not spend much
money on hardware to prove the idea will work.
Just build the actual unit.. :)

Daox 05-23-11 03:08 PM

The water will be cycled back to the sump to cool back down, so I won't run out.

I don't have central air. I normally just use a window A/C unit in the bedroom for sleeping. However, if this works, I could see making one for my house. However, I don't have nearly the water that my uncle does. So, I'd like to do the test.

For his house, we'd just have to find a good way to do it. I'm still thinking the a-coil method would work nicely.

Xringer 05-23-11 03:55 PM

"The water will be cycled back to the sump to cool back down, so I won't run out."


What you will have is a heat pump. It will be moving upstairs room heat into the sump water.

Unless there is a pretty large body of water in that sump, it's going to get warmed up..
How much it warms up, will depend on how hot it is that day and the exchange rate with the ground water..

If the water under the house is really moving (like an underground river),
things could work out very well.. :)

Normally, two wells are used with an open loop system.
http://www.triterra.us/images/geothermal_openloop.jpg


One way you might be able to get some raw temperature data, would be to add some hot water to the sump pit,
wait a few minutes, and then measure how fast the water was chilling out.. (While stirring it up some).
If it displays a rapid change back to normal ground water temps.. You could be in luck..

Weed Dog 05-25-11 12:01 AM

Re: Sump water for cooling
 
Are you designing it as a gravity drainback system? That is, when not in operation, will the radiator and return pipes drain all the water they contain back to the sump well? The pipe that supplies the radiator could be left “charged” by installing a backflow prevention valve, like the kind used in many sump pump installations.

The whole loop might remain charged if you succeed in purging air from the radiator and pipes...

If the radiator is situated at the high point in the loop, it may also become the reservoir for any air in the system, perhaps an undesirable state. Designing a “hump” in the supply pipe, not far from the radiator, and installing an air purge vent, might create a quieter system less prone to gurgling. Come to think of it, if you wanted the radiator to remain “charged”, while the return pipe is allowed to empty, you could design a second hump in the return pipe, at a height just above the top of the radiator, and install a valve to bleed air into the return pipe, when the pump stops.

Do you have any sense of the rate at which water flows through the radiator? It seems that data, plus the diameter and lengths of the piping, might influence the specs of the pump you are seeking...food for thought.

Weed Dog 06-16-11 10:19 AM

Sump Water for Cooling
 
Say, Daox, any developments in this project?

Daox 06-16-11 10:53 AM

Nope, I've been working on solar panel stuff lately.

Xringer 06-16-11 11:10 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kaylee (Post 14111)
Many houses have tiling installed only around a portion of the house.


Kaylee, What is "tiling"??

Piwoslaw 06-16-11 02:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xringer (Post 14117)
Kaylee, What is "tiling"??

I believe that in this case "tiling" may mean: Copy and paste from Sump Pump Questions.

Xringer 06-16-11 02:40 PM

yeah, a C&P post..
 
"The sump may be connected to drain tile that drains the footings of the house, under the entire basement, or just the area where the sump is located. Many houses have tiling installed only around a portion of the house. "

So, in some cases, tiling means pipes made of tiles..?.

http://www.buildipedia.com/images/ma...mp-pump-02.png

Humm, the footings on my foundation are much deeper than the bottom of my sump holes..
Maybe that pipe is for floor drains in other parts of the basement.?.

RichInIL 06-16-11 05:40 PM

"So, in some cases, tiling means pipes made of tiles..?"

Traditionally they were clay tiles that interlocked. Modern drain tile typically is perforated plastic piping (usually black pvc in my area). Farmers of fields with clayey subsoils commonly install tiling systems to improve field drainage.

ThomSjay 06-25-11 12:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RichInIL (Post 14124)
"So, in some cases, tiling means pipes made of tiles..?"

Traditionally they were clay tiles that interlocked. Modern drain tile typically is perforated plastic piping (usually black pvc in my area). Farmers of fields with clayey subsoils commonly install tiling systems to improve field drainage.

+1
My house was built in '51 and that's what it has. Last year, I asked my 15 year old to dig a trench beside the house so that I could install iso-board to the footings. When he got there, he lifted and tossed the tiles. I taught him as to why they were there, and then I reinstalled them.

Daox 07-19-11 06:28 PM

Well, I've decided to try this out. We've had a pretty warm week and it hasn't been cooling down at night nearly enough to keep it cool in the house. It is currently 85F/29C as I type this.

To get an idea of what I might be able to get out of the cooling system I took some measurements. The sump croc in my basement is roughly 20" in diameter by 18" deep. This holds roughly a maximum of 24 gallons or 200 lbs of water. That water is about 55F/13C. If my house is 80F/27C I have a 25F degree difference. I figure if I can run it through a radiator I can probably raise the temperature of the water by 20F. So, with 200 lbs of water and a 20F differential, I have about 4000 BTU of cooling. Of course, when the warmer water returns to the basement it will cool back down and at the same time also warm up the water in the sump. So, I'm not too sure how accurate that 4000 BTUs is, but its a start. A small window air conditioner will put out 5000 BTU/hr. So, I imagine this will be somewhat comparable to that... for about an hour.

So, moving forward, I purchased a pump today. I was looking at swiftech's line of pumps and decided to see what newegg had in stock. I logged on and found an "open box" MCP355 pump for $39 ($65 normally) and went ahead and purchased it. It should provide about 1 gpm flow rate to the radiator. Speaking of the radiator, I'll be using a radiator that I have laying around from a car. The water will be pumped up into the radiator and a fan behind the radiator will push the air through it and cool things down. The only thing I need yet is some inexpensive 3/8" tubing and possibly some fittings to convert from the tubing to the 1" radiator hose. Suggestions are welcome.

Daox 07-19-11 06:59 PM

For tubing, I was thinking of just getting some of that clear tubing, I think its made of PVC. I think that stuff is pretty cheap. Then, I'll just get some plastic/brass barbbed fittings to adapt up to the 1" radiator hose.

MN Renovator 07-19-11 07:04 PM

I recently bought tubing for replacing my condensate drain line on my air conditioner. I think it was clear vinyl tubing if I remember right, just under 5 bucks for a 20 foot coil of it. Difficult to straighten the stuff out, if you can buy stuff that isn't already in a coil or at least isn't too stiff it will make things a little easier as the stuff I got liked to get kinks in it when I was straightening it out. I've seen better stuff that is sold in bulk by the foot where you cut it yourself and that stuff seemed much better.

Good luck!

Daox 07-20-11 08:33 AM

I'm trying to figure out what else I'll need and I'm thinking a filter on the inlet would be a good idea. Any ideas on a super simple/cheap solution? I was thinking something like a sock rubber banded over the end of the tube, but I don't think that'll flow enough.

I'm also trying to find a way to keep the pump primed. I'm not sure this is necessary, their website doesn't say. However, seeing as the pump is for computer cooling, it is assumed to be in a closed loop. Any ideas here would be quite helpful as well.

Piwoslaw 07-20-11 09:23 AM

What kind of radiator are you going to use, automotive or maybe from an old A/C or mini-split unit? What size?

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 14712)
I'm trying to figure out what else I'll need and I'm thinking a filter on the inlet would be a good idea. Any ideas on a super simple/cheap solution? I was thinking something like a sock rubber banded over the end of the tube, but I don't think that'll flow enough.

How about this: Take a section of pipe/tube, with diameter ~2-5 times larger than the pump's intake diameter, put a t-shirt over the bottom, set it in the sump croc and put the pump's intake inside of that. The filtering area will be 4-25x larger, so no worries about flow restriction. In fact, the pump probably wouldn't notice a finer filter.

MN Renovator 07-20-11 09:40 AM

Piwoslaw's idea is probably the easiest and cheapest option, also possibly the best, but here was my original thought for something like this.

Look at places that sell water pumps, they will have metal filters or strainers, just find one with a really tight strainer grid and be sure the water isn't being pumped at the very bottom where it will pull up sludge and when you are getting started, check the screen often to be sure its not clogged and after awhile if it never needs cleaning then you won't have to check as often.

Here are some examples, I've seen a few of these stocked in the stores but I don't know if they have the full selection.
Puddle Skimmers + Water Pump Strainers | Water Pump Accessories | Water Pumps | Northern Tool + Equipment

Daox 07-20-11 09:43 AM

I like that filter idea. I have some spare PVC pipe laying around and if need be I can even drill some holes in it.

The radiator is an automotive style. It is off my 1993 Tercel. The size is roughly 16" x 24" I'd guess. I'll be making a stand for it out of wood. I'll also add some ducting for the fan that'll go behind it.

I'm thinking I will probably have to deal with some condensation (hopefully). I'll have to have some sort of trough or something to collect the condensed water.

Daox 07-20-11 09:55 AM

1 Attachment(s)
After a quick wiki read, it looks like I might have condenstation to deal with. This is an image from the wiki page on dewpoint. Lately the house temerature has been in the high 70F area and the humidity has also been in the 70s. This makes it look like just under 60F will produce condensation. If the system works real well, it looks like I might have some condensation.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1311173513

Daox 07-20-11 10:19 AM

As for the priming problem with the pump. Is it possible to just put a check valve on the inlet of the tubing so the pump always has water in it? Seems like a simple fix.

Daox 07-20-11 03:13 PM

Whilst waiting for my files to save while at work, I thought up an idea to easily tripple (or more) the cooling capacity of the system at almost zero cost. Simply put a 55 gallon drum on the return line coming from the radiator back to the sump. The 55 gallons will cool off to the temperature of the basement and essentially give me another ~9,000 BTUs of cooling. The great thing about this is it would be incredibly easy to add another barrel if the system still proves to be too small. At some point I'll just end up heating my basement up, but thats really not a problem nor do I think I'll really be using it that much.

S-F 07-20-11 05:58 PM

Have you thought about using a radiator in the basement on the return to the barrel? How about making the plumbing back to the barrel out of the kind of radiators found in hydronic baseboards? I have something like that for cooling my computers.

Daox 07-20-11 06:41 PM

2 Attachment(s)
That would be a great idea. Even some of those old cast iron radiators would probably work much better than a barrel. Alas, I have only polyethylene barrels, so thats what I'll use for now. I'll keep my eye out for something like that though.

I decided to go with two barrels for a total of somewhere around 130 gallons. This should give me about 21,000 BTU of cooling. I'm curious how long the barrels will take to cool back down though. I guess we'll wait and see.

I got the parts together a bit so far. I grabbed my barrels to see what kind of fittings I could use with them. Looks like I should be able to use some 1/2" NPT fittings.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1311205074



I also dug out my radiator. It measures 27" x 13" x 5/8" thick. I'm hoping since it helped cool a ~80hp engine it should be up to this task. I also grabbed some radiator hose for the main connections and plugged up the overflow nipple so it doesn't leak.

http://ecorenovator.org/forum/attach...1&d=1311205069



Tomorrow I'll try to go get the hose and fittings that I'll need. I'd ideally like to have this ready to go when the pump gets here so I can just plug it in and go. Its not supposed to be incredibly hot this weekend, but it won't be cool either. It would be a perfect time to test the setup.

Piwoslaw 07-21-11 12:31 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Daox (Post 14742)
I decided to go with two barrels for a total of somewhere around 130 gallons. This should give me about 21,000 BTU of cooling. I'm curious how long the barrels will take to cool back down though. I guess we'll wait and see.

It might take a while - barrels have a relatively low surface area-to-volume ratio, so you'd be storing heat without too much loss... Though not a problem if you have a few days between heat waves to let them cool off. Last autumn I left one of my 220 liter (58 US gal) rain barrels out until the first freeze and it took ~2-3 days just to get a thin layer of ice on the top.

You could set up a second loop (with the same pump to keep cost down) that goes to a radiator outside and cool the barrel/sump water at night. I doubt that WI has enough heat waves during the year to justify the extra complication, maybe farther south? On the other hand, you'd be one step closer to a system which could collect outdoor heat during the day and warm the house in the evening...

Daox 07-21-11 10:27 AM

I agree the barrels aren't ideal, but they're all I have at the moment. Perhaps I'll buy some extra tubing and have it just coiled up along the return line to try to loose some heat on the way to the barrels.

Daox 07-22-11 08:20 AM

Just got my tracking info the other day. Looks like I won't have the pump by this weekend.

However, I did remember something. I do have another car radiator. Its actually still in the car (parts car), but if this works out well it could definitely be used.

S-F 07-22-11 08:44 AM

Make sure you clean those radiators out really well lest the grime inside clogs up the pump. At least this is the sentiment among the PC water cooling enthusiasts.


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