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Author Topic: Water System Components  (Read 1520 times)
Kenny
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« on: January 18, 2011, 10:03:05 AM »

I continue to purchase pieces and parts for my conversion. Now looking at the fresh water system. I'm not a hugh fan of specialized RV components and would rather install components that cost less and are more readily available. With that being said, has anyone designed their fresh water system similar to a residential well water system using a pump, pressure switch and a bladder type air tank? Is there a use for a water softener? As far as components go, box store items such as utility pump, air tank, 12 gallon 120volt 1500 watt water heater? Kenny
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papatony
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« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2011, 10:14:45 AM »

   Kenny I did my tanks from 55 gal. plastic tanks ( 1 fresh 1 for the gray and 1 for sewage. You have to be careful what was in them especially the fresh tank .  Mine had a light soap in them, flushed them out good , drinking water fine. Also a pressure sensitive pump with a remote switch in the kitchen. Proably less than 150.00 invested included all plumbing lines.
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Seayfam
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« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2011, 10:18:50 AM »

In my opinion there are two down sides to doing it that way.
1. If you are going to do any boondocking, your generator will be running a lot.
2. If you have to winterize your bus, It's going to be more difficult. RV systems are easy to drain and you don't need a lot of RV antifreeze to run through your system.

Just my thoughts
Gary
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« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2011, 10:34:21 AM »

I installed a pump/bladder tank combination unit, the type used for a garden pump or shallow well system. The unit cost less than $125, and pumps more than I need. It operates just like a home water system with constant pressures, and even flow. You do have to think about draining the system for winterization, so your plumbing has to be well thought out (pun intended).
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« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2011, 10:53:06 AM »

The RV oriented systems are smaller, lighter, usually use 12 volt power at low current rates (less than 10 amps), and are designed for the small requirement typical in an RV.  House type systems are usually larger, heavier, use 120volt power often at pretty high power rates (my house water pump is 1/2 hp and draws round about 6 amps, which is the equivalent of 60 amp at 12 volts.  I have seen 2 gallon bladder type air tanks designed for under-counter use, I have one for my osmosis water sytem at home, and they would translate to a bus pretty well. 

As far as hot water is concerned, I like to be able to be off-grid and not be using a generator for much, so I rely on a 10 gallon suburban RV water heater.  Basically my bus is used as an RV so RV stuff works pretty well in it.  My use is not as a semi-mobile house.

Brian
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robertglines1
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« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2011, 12:41:45 PM »

Kenny  your usage helps determine what type system you use. I could do with either. The only advantage to 12 volt  Is going down road water use. A cheap inverter would solve that voltage problem.I have considered 120 volt shallow well pump because I think it would be quieter. As far as water heater I use a 6 gal with a 2400watt. Have had 3 of us take showers in a row and it stayed hot. Do it your way. One suggestion when running your lines try to keep them slightly down hill because it makes winterising simpler.Also I insulate my hot water lines inside coach.  valves to isolate hot water heater are nice also;lets use of cold side of system in those times you are traveling and might have to re winterise,   Bob       PS a washer (not RV type) requires a 5 gpm flow.It would take a high dollar 12 volt pump to do that.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2011, 12:46:39 PM by robertglines1 » Logged

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Iceni John
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« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2011, 12:54:12 PM »

I've recently finished installing my two 110 gallon fresh water tanks, so now I'm doing the cold water distribution system.   I'll use some RV-specific items (such as two Shurflo 2088 pumps plumbed and wired in parallel, so I can easily run either or both as needed), some marine-grade fittings (such as the stainless-steel Whitecap 6033 deck fills that I use for each tank;  they're much nicer quality than typical plastic fills), some items that are suitable for either RVs or small cabins (such as the Watts 263A pressure regulator), and some items that are used in general plumbing.   For example, Lowes has 2-gal pressure accumulator tanks for only $39, much cheaper than Shurflo's stainless tank.   I won't use the usual 1/2" inlets because it will take too long to fill my tanks through them, so I bought good-quality brass swivel-hose 3/4" fittings and brass 3/4" check valves for my two city water entries (I'll have them on both sides of the bus).

Bear in mind that some RV stuff is miserably poor quality, and for the same price or less you can often get much better grade items elsewhere.   Pressure regulators are a good example  -  $15 gets you a cheapo 1/2" non-adjustable and non-rebuildable one from Camco or Shurflo that will only flow about 1 GPM at 45 PSI, or an adjustable and rebuildable Watts regulator for about $50 that will last for ever.   When cheapo regulators fail they sometimes stop flowing completely, and then you have no water at all!

I suggest you selectively choose whatever does the job best, whether it's intended for RVs, boating, domestic or industrial use.   I'm trying to do the best possible job now so I don't have to deal with plumbing problems in the future.

John
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« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2011, 01:15:01 PM »

Does anyone know of a drawing anywhere that shows the layout or plans pertaining the placement of the pump, water heater, tanks, check valves, etc, that is being discussed in this thread?
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Sean
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« Reply #8 on: January 18, 2011, 01:59:20 PM »

Does anyone know of a drawing anywhere that shows the layout or plans pertaining the placement of the pump, water heater, tanks, check valves, etc, ...


All my plans, including water distribution and tank placement, are here:
http://odyssey.smugmug.com/Architecture/Drawings

-Sean
http://OurOdyssey.BlogSpot.com
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2011, 07:28:17 PM »

Does anyone know of a drawing anywhere that shows the layout or plans pertaining the placement of the pump, water heater, tanks, check valves, etc, that is being discussed in this thread?


http://www.gumpydog.com/Bus/MC9_WIP/Plumbing/Fresh_Water_Distribution/fresh_water_distribution.htm
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Craig Shepard
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Kenny
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« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2011, 06:26:01 PM »

Tank you all for your responses. From your responses, RV components and/or box store components will both work. Of course theres pro and cons doing it either way.

I personally like the idea of the utility pump with a bladder tank. Cheap, simple and can find some sort of replacement almost anywhere. Same goes for the hot water heater.

As far as electrical power goes to run the stuff, I have eight 8D batteries, two 4000 watt Magnum Inverters, a 10kw generator and of course a shore connection.

Anything else I should watch out for. Thanks Kenny
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dougyes
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« Reply #11 on: January 20, 2011, 07:22:49 PM »

We used pex on all the pressure lines and even though the fittings cost a fortune, they are so fast to install and easily removable that it's worth the $. We made a panel with all the valves and the pressure gauge in one spot,
We used rubber fittings in key places on the drain lines. It gives the system some vibration flex and they are also easy to remove if necessary. Bay space is important for us, so we mounted the black tank on the floor (not in the bay) and put the toilet on top of it. Only the drain line goes through the bay. This saved a lot of room in the bay.
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