Win a copy of A Food Forest in Your Garden this week in the Forest Garden forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Leigh Tate
  • r ranson
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Jay Angler
  • Nancy Reading

Rainwater harvest fill inlet from bottom of IBC?

 
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello permie friends...I have a SIPs panel roof that tucks just under the existing eave of my house and I want to harvest some rainwater from that gutter. Originally I had the placement of the IBC tote below the SIPs roof but decided I want to put the IBC on top of the roof and just gravity feed water to my sink below.

I understand that I can feed water through the bottom of the tote if my height is higher than the inlet, but wondering if you genius engineer types have a simple way to feed this IBC from the gutter at its current height without using pumps, etc? I also want to add a first flush, but this doesn't seem possible...I'm hoping someone proves me wrong.

My only other idea is to peel up some of the roof shingles and make a rain diverter to the side of the house and run a PVC line straight to the top of the IBC with a first flush.

2nd part of this question is if anyone has advice for running PEX from an IBC? I have all the connectors figured out using a hose to pex bib. The final destination will be to feed a sink in my art studio below.

I welcome any ideas, advice or snarky comments.

Cheers
Untitled_Artwork-(3).jpg
[Thumbnail for Untitled_Artwork-(3).jpg]
 
Posts: 160
Location: East Tennessee
27
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't think I'd put that on my roof, for one you will not be able to fill the tank from the bottom without a pump. And for two a 250 Gallon tank will be near 2000 pounds when filled. And the IBC tank I have is 250 Gallon.

You roof would need to be heavily reinforced, as you would do to a deck when installing a Hot Tub.

I'd build a stand for the tank beside the house but below the second roof.
 
gardener
Posts: 525
Location: Beavercreek, OR
172
dog bike woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Myco:

Welcome.

Short answer: yeah, no.  Not gonna work.

Long Answer - maybe I'm missing something, but you've got a good diagram here...
1) there isn't any pressure in this system, so bottom filling will just fill the tank to the height of your gutter ... and then the gutter will overflow.  Yeah, there are water powered pumps (ram pumps, the papa pump) that could conceivably lift water but you're looking at wasting 90% of the water to power the pump and you probably don't have enough head from the gutter to make it work anyway.
2) if you could fill the IBC ... that's a LOT of weight on a roof.  I'd bet that your roof isn't meant to carry that much weight (IBCs aren't fully standard but 250 gallons of water at 8.3 lbs/g =2075 lbs, which is something like 172 lbs/ft.  I don't know how many feet of snow that represents, but its safe to assume your roof ain't meant for that!)
3) its weird, but you don't get that much pressure from putting the tank up 8-10 ft.  Yes, its better than setting on the ground but its a LONG way from the usual 70 psi out of your pipes.  The formula is 2.3 feet =1 psi, so even 10 feet of head is a mere 4.3 psi.  A beefy stand on the ground can put the IBC up 4 feet without it feeling dangerous.

So ... now what?

A rain diverter ... could work!  you probably don't have to pull up any shingles, just slip some metal up under them.  There's a whole possible discussion of what a diverter could be.  BUT still the problem of storing on the roof...

PEX from an IBC ... I'd NOT use a bunch of reducers.  I'd prefer to tap the IBC directly and run the pex from that tap.  You can put a valve there if you want, but you leave the large paddle valve on the IBC available to drain (and clean) the IBC.
 
gardener
Posts: 3602
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
482
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It would take some energy input   but  I would put that heavy tank on the ground and feed your sink with a pump.
If you use a solar or manual powered pump, I would use a header tank.
A small solar powered fountain, religion plumbed to feed the header tank,  could run continuously during sunlit hours, with the over flow returning to the IBC.
This would keep the header tank topped off and the water aerated.
 
Michael Bowen
Posts: 5
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for your input everyone. This is why I love this community – so much to learn and avoid huge mistakes! Regarding the weight, the IBC would be sitting directly atop the outside bearing wall of the studio which is 4" poured concrete, but either way, I do think this whole project is going to be easier to set up with my original plans. See attached.

William, do you happen to know of any links to this type of setup? I do plan to use a solar-powered pump but I'm not familiar with religious plumbing, mostly secular

Elliott, so you are saying to leave the original paddle valve and just tap in with new plumbing anywhere on the sidewall of the PEX?
Untitled_Artwork-4.jpg
[Thumbnail for Untitled_Artwork-4.jpg]
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 3602
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
482
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Darn auto-correct!
It should read replumbed...
Anyway,  in your drawing you have the IBC  tank elevated about as high as the header tank I was envisioning.
You also have a battery,  which is kind of replaces the need for a header tank.

For a filter I recommend a half barrel or bucket full of sand sitting right on the tote.
In my set up the bucket is set into the top of the 55 gallon barrel.
 
Ben House
Posts: 160
Location: East Tennessee
27
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have one of these containers cribbed up on 6x6s about 3' off the ground. It's low pressure but I use it to water my garden and chickens. I did have a shurflo 12v pump to up the pressure for sprinklers. But they do not like freezing and I left it out one day.

As far as tapping into the tank, I went to the local tractor supply and bought the quick connect fitting for the nozzle. After that it was simple to take that into my local ace and redneck engineer a neck down arrangement that now has a spigot for a garden hose.
 
Eliot Mason
gardener
Posts: 525
Location: Beavercreek, OR
172
dog bike woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Regarding PEX - yes, I prefer to tap directly.  The drain valve is handy, and yeah I've got a $20 reducer that goes to hose thread I use in temporary situations ... but imagine this scenario:  You want to clean the tank, or drain it for the winter or whatever.  Your PEX is attached to the drain ... how are you going to remove the PEX?  I've never seen a union fitting in PEX.  So you have to cut the line.  That's easily done and easily repaired - but its also easily avoided.

And a question ... this is for your studio, which is attached to the main building.  I see power going into the main building... why use a battery to power a pump?
 
Michael Bowen
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eliot, good question! I do have plenty of power inside my studio and could easily plugin to run power there. I suppose I am just getting my feet wet with these off-grid systems to test so eventually when we do have some land off-grid I will have some experience setting up with solar etc.

William, so you just have a bucket full of sand that the PVC drains through first then into the tote?
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 3602
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
482
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Yeah,  it's very simple but it seems to work .
The water is coming  off a tarp angled to dump into the bucket.
IMG_20200805_184447.jpg
 Water barrel sand bucket filter
Water barrel sand bucket filter
 
Michael Bowen
Posts: 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Eliot, do you have any info for how to tap PEX directly into the sidewalk of the IBC? I can't seem to find any info how to do this and would rather not guess.
 
pollinator
Posts: 355
93
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

William Bronson wrote:water is coming  off a tarp angled to dump into the bucket.



What do you put at the bottom of the bucket to prevent the sand from coming out with the water into the rain barrel?
 
Michael Bowen
Posts: 5
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Annie Collins wrote:What do you put at the bottom of the bucket to prevent the sand from coming out with the water into the rain barrel?



Not sure what his design includes and this may be a bit overkill, but here's a good diagram I just found: biosand filter
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 3602
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
482
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Annie Collins wrote:

William Bronson wrote:water is coming  off a tarp angled to dump into the bucket.



What do you put at the bottom of the bucket to prevent the sand from coming out with the water into the rain barrel?



I kept the bucket intact except for 3 or 4 slits cut into the bottom edge.
This keeps the sand in place while letting water flow.
I first started doing this with my sub irrigated planters.
It holds back all but the finest soil particles.
Here's an example from a planter I built at my sisters place.
The water seeps to and from  between the potting soil the inverted bucket.
IMG_20200622_143851.jpg
Sub irrigated planter reservoir
Sub irrigated planter reservoir
 
Annie Collins
pollinator
Posts: 355
93
dog trees books bee medical herbs
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you, Michael, for the link.
And thank you, William, for the more detailed explanation.
 
Ben House
Posts: 160
Location: East Tennessee
27
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eliot Mason wrote:Regarding PEX - yes, I prefer to tap directly.  The drain valve is handy, and yeah I've got a $20 reducer that goes to hose thread I use in temporary situations ... but imagine this scenario:  You want to clean the tank, or drain it for the winter or whatever.  Your PEX is attached to the drain ... how are you going to remove the PEX?  I've never seen a union fitting in PEX.  So you have to cut the line.  That's easily done and easily repaired - but its also easily avoided.

And a question ... this is for your studio, which is attached to the main building.  I see power going into the main building... why use a battery to power a pump?




I use Gatorbite brass fittings, they are removable and reusable. My whole house has them and I've only had one fail, it froze when the temp got below zero for a few days. I've since underpinned my house and have had zero issues with the fittings.
 
William Bronson
gardener
Posts: 3602
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
482
forest garden trees urban
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I use cheap  methods to tap containers.
One uses a  barbed fitting and a piece of  hose.
Drill a hole just big enough to squeeze the hose into,  work the hose in, then force the barbed fitting into the hose.
Amazingly it doesn't leak.
If you do this with the fitting inside,  you can leave 4' of hose on the outside and control the outflow by securing the end of the hose to the top of the barrel it other container.
 
Eliot Mason
gardener
Posts: 525
Location: Beavercreek, OR
172
dog bike woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ben:  You have identified my pex bias!  Its true, I use crimp rings.  The GatorBite/SharkBite fittings are (nominally) removeable - I've had mixed results with them while others as yourself swear by them.  I've never had them leak, but I've had to cut out some when I couldn't get them to release.... maybe I'm doing something wrong : )
 
Ben House
Posts: 160
Location: East Tennessee
27
forest garden hunting woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Eliot Mason wrote:Ben:  You have identified my pex bias!  Its true, I use crimp rings.  The GatorBite/SharkBite fittings are (nominally) removeable - I've had mixed results with them while others as yourself swear by them.  I've never had them leak, but I've had to cut out some when I couldn't get them to release.... maybe I'm doing something wrong : )



I don't swear by them, though they are good. But everything fails sometime. I've never had trouble removing them, I don't use the tool that your supposed to though. I use a pair of channel lock adjustable pump pliers  set to be open the width of the pex. I slide the pliers down the pex and use them to press the locking ring. Sometimes you've gotta wiggle the pex.

The first time I saw pex I was building a house and a plumber was using an electric expanding tool to flare the pex and insert fittings.  I got my hands on some of the pex and we did some crazy stuff to it, involving gunpowder.. Its definitely tough.

 
Eliot Mason
gardener
Posts: 525
Location: Beavercreek, OR
172
dog bike woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Ben House wrote:I got my hands on some of the pex and we did some crazy stuff to it, involving gunpowder.. Its definitely tough.



LOL.  Thank you for making me laugh!  I'd love to read that chapter in your mempoirs...

Sometimes it does seem that the fancy testing labs, developing certifications and standards are really working too hard.  Just try blowing it up!  If it survives one stick, try two!
 
Posts: 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I know this is a late response but maybe you haven't completed the project yet.  I would put the IBC on the ground, let the rain fill it and flow out an overflow of some sort.  Bulkhead fittings can be found on Amazon for that tank, you drill a hole and place half the fitting inside the tank and the other half outside, tighten it up and you have a threaded fitting in the tank.  I just installed 2 of them on rain barrels for my in laws, $19 got me two brass fittings, 1" npt that you can easily reduce to a PEX fitting.  As for a pump for a sink, a 12v RV pump uses very little power (a 100w solar panel and marine battery are what I use on my Overlanding trailer and it works great).  They are ideal for sinks because they bring the line up to a certain pressure then stop, once the faucet is opened and the pressure drops the pump comes back on to continue delivering that water.  They run from $50-75 online.

If you already completed your project then awesome, hope it works great!
 
pollinator
Posts: 2369
Location: Bendigo , Australia
149
dog gear plumbing earthworks bee building homestead
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I agree with nearly all thoughts, but suggest a complete rethink was needed.
Hoiw did the project finish up?
 
You will always be treated with dignity. Now, strip naked, get on the probulator and hold this tiny ad:
Pre-order for "Tour of Wheaton Labs, the Movie!"
https://permies.com/w/tour
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic