Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Annie is hot and drained

I ran the hot water lines.

For now they are just terminated with extra length. Better than too short once we have the exact sink locations finalized.

Then moved on to the gray water system. We are doing a bottom feed, so input and output share a common tank port.
The drain goes out the back doors.
It has a master valve, and a removable hose bib. The bib is mounted to a union. Here the bib is attached to the drain.

The bib needs to be removable because it has to extend past the closed doors to allow a hose to fit. I have a dummy union end that protects the union's gasket when we are not draining Annie. The dummy end also has a plug.
For traveling, the bib is stored right nearby in the battery box.

Then I ran the drain pipes back to the sink areas, and tied everything down.

The drain lines will also be cut to size once the sinks are ready.
Otherwise, all that remains is to run a vent line from the tank to outside underneath the floor.

An advantage of a bottom feed system is that it acts as a natural trap to reduce gray tank stinkies from getting into the house. However, it means that as the tank fills, the water level in the sink drain lines follows. To help ensure that this doesn't allow sloshing back into the sinks on steep/rough roads, I'll be adding Hepvo valves at each sink drain.

Outside of the sink installation and adding a fresh water pump accumulator tank (location TBD), plumbing is done!!! And that means that, outside of building the control panel, with it's instrumentation and switches, the operating system work is just about done.

We are finally getting ready for the cabinetry, john, and finish carpentry. It is now time for me to start being afraid, very afraid, of the aesthetics committee's judgements.

Friday, March 4, 2016

Annie couldn't hold her water...Now with a hopefully depend-able fix

Well, the check-valve idea in the last post didn't work well.
Looks like the valve doesn't work well with minimal ambient air pressure differential.
That bit of air leakage meant that, in normal pumping operation, the pump would never build up enough back pressure to shut down.

So, I got rid of the whole check-valve section.
Now, filling from a pressurized city source only feeds the lower tank port, and using the pump to fill the tank from an unpressurized source only feeds the upper tank port.

All is tested and, so far, works leak free.

Here are the revised diagram and photo.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

How are we going to hold our water?

Depends on the source, I suppose. Up to now, it's been a completely tankless task. But that begins to change with this entry.

We will be installing our fresh water tank and plumbing it to a water pump and water inlet port (see the 21 Dec. '15 entry).

As you may remember from that entry, (or more likely don't remember since I didn't discuss its capabilities in depth), we are using a 4-way Anderson Brass valve. This valve allows one to
1. Fill the tank with city water, under city pressure.
2. Winterize using an  unpressurized source and Annies' water pump.
3. Run the cold line fixtures from the tank with the on board pump.
4. Run the cold line fixtures directly from city water, under city pressure.

Here is a pic of the various valve connection points:

The valve allows  two of the ports to be connected, depending on the function you want.
For example, to run fixtures from the tank, the tank is connected to the pump input:
I wanted to add another function for the times, out in the boonies, when we  might need to refill the tank from an unpressurized water source. (Of course we'd use an external in-line filter for that.)

So, I came up with a modification that should allow use to use the winterization mode to fill the tank.
In winterize mode, the pump's input is connected to the outside water port. If we want to fill the tank that way, we set the valve to winterize mode and set the external 2-way valve to have the pump output feed the tank's upper port via the check-valve (more about the check-valve later...once your eyes are thoroughly glazed).

Otherwise, we keep that 2-way valve set to normal mode.
In city fill mode, the pressurized source directly feeds the lower tank port, and via the check valve, the upper port as well. I want to be able to fill that way because it should be faster than only feeding through the lower port. The pump is turned off when we're filling from a pressurized city source, so its built-in check valve prevents any backflow into the pump.

When we use the tank as our water supply, the 4-way should function normally...with one exception.
If the tank water level falls below the upper port, I suspect there is a chance that the pump would just suck air through that port without my check-valve in place.

OK, so much for theory. Now on to actually installing the ***$$(**@ thing.

The tank has a 41 gallon capacity, and sits 17" high. It will live under the bed, and feed the bath and kitchen sinks, and the H2O heater. The top of the tank is above the level of the exterior fill port.

First I made up a frame to mount the tank.
Upper and lower section being glued. They will also have metal braces.

Mounting the frame and tank to the floor. It's bolted in, and the tank is also glued down with 3m 90.

The tank sit almost directly over the axle. 
I mounted the pump, and started experimenting with plumbing line placement.

Most of the lines are 1/2" PEX. The pump is connected with flex hose in the hope that it will help de-couple noise and vibration.

Detail of the fill port connections:

 And the hook-up at the tank:

The blue lines are the feeds to the eventual fixtures. That probably won't get its own writeup.
The  line at the lower right of the tank will go to the drain outlet (and valve). The drain will exit through the floor near the rear door.
The clear hose exiting the tank at the upper left is the vent hose. It vents at the external fill port.

In the next few days, I'll tie the lines down, temporarily plug up the ends and start testing for leaks.