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Old 05-28-09, 04:10 PM   #21
wyatt
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Are you saying that below 10 psi the valve wouldn't open? or is that just all the lower you tried?
By the way, 1 psi = 27.7 inches of water, so if 10 psi is required to open the valve, you would need about 23 feet of head to operate the system, which would mean even in the attic you would need a pressure boost for bathrooms directly below.

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Old 05-29-09, 10:43 AM   #22
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10 psi is all the lower I tried. It was getting late in the day so I called it quits. It would be interesting to go lower. I'll try that next week. (I'm still on four day weeks, Fridays off)
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Old 06-23-09, 10:59 AM   #23
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Here's the latest concept I've been pursuing. This week I'm trying to source the solenoid valves that will select city or rain water. The boss tells me that geothermal systems use electrically actuated valves like this, so I'm off to learn about that.



I tried using a simple venturi pump to suck water out of the reservoir and mix in with the city water, but the toilet requires such a low flow, that it just didn't work. So we'll have to use a pump.
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Old 09-03-09, 04:58 PM   #24
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Just found this thread.

I was voting for option 3 with the solenoid valves as I was reading.

I had thought about putting a tank somewhere and just charging it with rain water instead of well or city water.

I have not calculated the cost of this project.
Replumb toilets for rain/recovered water only.
Pump, tank, cistern large enough to last through the dry months.

The up side is having a water supply if there is a Hurricane.
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Old 09-24-09, 06:17 AM   #25
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Sorry for the delay.
No, there are no updates. I was laid off in July, so no work has progressed on this project.
The downside is the cost of the solenoid valves and the backflow preventer. You don't want to go cheap with these components. If memory serves me, (which is a big IF) these three items would run you well over a grand, total.

I miss my job. :-(
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Old 09-24-09, 07:31 AM   #26
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I was thinking of this thread the other day when I found the link below.

Rainwater Harvesting and Purification System


Sorry to hear about your job Terry.
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Old 09-28-09, 09:54 AM   #27
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Thanks, Daox. That's an interesting link.
The problem with roof washers is that they only work as designed in areas that get downpours in between periods of no rain. As the fella experienced, being in drizzly Oregon, they just require a heck of a lot of maintenance to keep them functioning. Even in moderate climates like here in the Midwest, they just don't work so well. It's better to just collect and filter it all.
There's a company out there called WISY that makes a filter that is an integral part of the downspout that filters all the water coming through, so it wastes much less rainwater. It's basically an inverted cone shaped screen that the water would stick to and get diverted to the outer wall of the downspout, and the debris would fall out the bottom. Viola, less maintenance. But again, pricey stuff, which is a concern when you're trying to engineer a commercial solution. We DIY'ers can cobble one together for a fraction of the cost for our own residence, though.
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Old 09-28-09, 10:43 AM   #28
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I would go with a pump with a pressure switch on it in the rain water tank, a pressure tank after that to maintain head so the pump is not kicking on and off in 3 second bursts and a check valve to stop back flow, city water would have the same kind of check valve, these two water sources would connect to a tee that connects to your non potable water supply for the house, it would be a good idea to have a pressure regulator/reducer on the city water to keep it under say 40psi, have the pump pressure switch set at 50-60psi and your rain water storage tank has a water sensor like wet basement alarms have to turn the pump on when there is water, turn it off when there is non, otherwise a float valve would work as well.
all off the shelf parts, no risk of back flow (check valves) it would only need one storage tank and a small pressure tank, should work for 20+ years without an issue.
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Old 10-03-09, 12:46 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryland View Post
...all off the shelf parts, no risk of back flow (check valves)...
Ah, you'd think so, wouldn't you?
Unfortunately, a simple check valve is not an approved backflow preventer. You'd get away with it in an unregulated area, but it wouldn't be the responsible thing to do.
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Old 10-04-09, 10:45 PM   #30
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so toss in a few more check valves, another pressure switch and a electronic controlled that turns the city water off as well.
or float valve in your rain water tank that keeps 5 gallons of water in the bottom from the city water, if it's above the 5 gallon mark the city water is off.
I just like the idea of a single tank and not having more city water then you need hanging out.

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