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Author Topic: Loss of House Water Supply  (Read 444 times)

cockpitbob

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Loss of House Water Supply
« on: November 06, 2017, 06:50:06 PM »
I thought I was doing OK with my preps, but there's one area I'm not happy with now.  My generator just makes life go on as normal when power goes out, but I don't have any way to deal with a loss of water without feeling a bit like I'm camping.

A water main just broke a couple miles from here and we may be without water for a while.  We've got 2-3 days bottled drinking water and I shut off the valves to the water heater, so I've got 30g there I can get through its drain, but...but...but...there's nothing for showers or to flush the toilets with :o

In my kit I even have one of those WaterBOB things you put in your bathtub and fill with 100g of water that will remain clean and drinkable for a long time, but you need warning to make use of that.  We also have a stream 1 mile from here where we can fill buckets for flushing.  We'll be OK, but I want my whimp-preps to be complete so we are totally comfortable when the bad stuff happens.

Oh, one more thing, I'm glad it's not below freezing outside.  Without water our house's forced hot water heat system doesn't work.  I never gave thought to how really dependent we are on our water utility.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:35:44 AM by cockpitbob »

Joe

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Re: Loss of Water
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2017, 12:36:57 AM »
Water is the most valuable but hardest to prep for, it takes up a lot of space to store it, gets heavy quick, and requires maintenance.

The best set up I have seen for water storage is plumbing a 275 gallon storage container in to the houses water system. Once the tank is full as you use water in the house it draws it through the tank just like a hot water heater. This allows the water to be constantly circulated. The down side is when the main goes down you will have no flow unless you plumb a pump (preferably 12 volt) it the system. Or drain into buckets.

We have 2 of these tanks at my moms place, I still need to plumb them into the system. Iím looking at plumbing into the sprinkler system so I can keep the tanks in the back yard and out of site.




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gil

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Re: Loss of Water
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2017, 05:33:58 AM »
And I thought you were going to talk about delivering babies...  :o

The stream is great, but you would need to have a mean of transporting that water back to your house, more than a couple buckets at a time... The stream could be contaminated too, so I'd definitely get a tank like Joe suggests...

Gil.

cockpitbob

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Re: Loss of Water
« Reply #3 on: November 07, 2017, 09:38:41 AM »
And I thought you were going to talk about delivering babies...  :o

The stream is great, but you would need to have a mean of transporting that water back to your house, more than a couple buckets at a time... The stream could be contaminated too, so I'd definitely get a tank like Joe suggests...

Gil.
Babies....yeah, when I read my own thread title of "Loss of Water" this morning that was the first thing I thought too.  I just changed it ::)

True about the stream.  But a mile isn't too bad with either the car or my ride-on mower towing the dump cart (or walking the cart if the fuel supply runs out).  For now it would be mainly for flushing toilets since this isn't a SHTF situation and I can go buy bottled drinking water after my 30g water heater is empty.

cockpitbob

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Re: Loss of Water
« Reply #4 on: November 07, 2017, 09:41:11 AM »
Water is the most valuable but hardest to prep for, it takes up a lot of space to store it, gets heavy quick, and requires maintenance.

The best set up I have seen for water storage is plumbing a 275 gallon storage container in to the houses water system. Once the tank is full as you use water in the house it draws it through the tank just like a hot water heater. This allows the water to be constantly circulated. The down side is when the main goes down you will have no flow unless you plumb a pump (preferably 12 volt) it the system. Or drain into buckets.

We have 2 of these tanks at my moms place, I still need to plumb them into the system. Iím looking at plumbing into the sprinkler system so I can keep the tanks in the back yard and out of site.



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Nice!  I worry about it handling the pressure of house water, but something like that has a lot of potential.  We don't plan on being in this house more than 5 more years, so this idea is for the next house.

Water was restored late last night, so life is back to normal.  I think my biggest take-away from this is the realization that my house's heating system is forced hot water and I don't think it will work without the house's water supply.  I need to research this.  In winter we can go a month without seeing temperatures above freezing.  If we lose water for an extended period I'd be heating my house with electric heaters and hair dryers.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 09:45:26 AM by cockpitbob »

gil

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Re: Loss of House Water Supply
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2017, 01:37:27 PM »
I just thought it was funny ;D One needs to be ready for anything, LOL.

Gil.

cockpitbob

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Re: Loss of House Water Supply
« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2017, 02:55:37 PM »
Update:  I've learned that my forced water heating system should run fine for a very long time(weeks or months) without house water.  I'll call it a semi-sealed system that works at a lower pressure (12psi) than the house water and only draws in new water if for some reason it loses some.  Apparently if you flush the system the water is supposed to look black.  That means it's been there a long time and no new oxygen has gotten in to help corrode things from the inside.

Knowing that the furnace will keep the house warm even if the town water is out for a week is a big comfort.  One reason I got the generator is around here people have been without power for over 2 weeks in winter and unless they had a wood stove their houses froze.

Quietguy

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Re: Loss of Water
« Reply #7 on: November 07, 2017, 06:36:21 PM »
Nice!  I worry about it handling the pressure of house water, but something like that has a lot of potential.  We don't plan on being in this house more than 5 more years, so this idea is for the next house.

One option is to not connect it in-line with the house supply, but put a 12 volt RV pump on the discharge outlet and back-feed it into the house system as needed.  Close the main supply valve from city water so you aren't trying to feed water to the whole neighborhood.  You can use a garden hose to make a temporary connection from the RV pump to a convenient hose bibb, with appropriate freeze protection as needed.  That should be good enough for sanitation purposes.

A non-permanent installation like that could be done in a day and the whole thing moved with you to your next location.  Or, leave it behind as a rain-water collection system for the garden.

Wally

NF822WNY

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Re: Loss of House Water Supply
« Reply #8 on: November 08, 2017, 12:12:48 AM »
Water, the key to life is often overlooked, but if you look close at your situation you may find some interesting and unusual water sources in a grid down situation.

1 hot water tank...40 gallons of water already in a container, with a valve at the bottom to allow controlled access.
2 toilet retention tank, 1 to 2 gallons of water
3 sump pump pit, ground water in the home
 
none are exactly appetizing but with a good filter, it doesn't really matter