Connect apartment to main house well?

Discussion in 'Pumps and Tanks Well Forum & Blog' started by DIY Ray, Mar 1, 2012.

  1. DIY Ray

    DIY Ray New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    I have an 8yr old house with a drilled well (185'/30gpm) and typical pressure tank & switch. We have a new freestanding garage-top apartment very near our well head and quite far from the pressure tank of the main house (125'). I assume we need to dedicate a pressure tank & switch to the new apartment and it seems sensible to connect to the well head for the new supply. I replaced the main house pressure tank and installed a water softener last year so I should be capable of hooking up the new supply to the apartment. What I need help with is how make the power connection and if I need any special valves in either line because both houses will use the same well simultaniously at times. Curious how the power works, if one tank needs to run the pump and say the other runs low and needs to turn on the pump, how will this work? Maybe I'm complicating things. I appreciate any and all help and instruction! Thank you
  2. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,381
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    You are complicating things! Just make sure there are no check valves anywhere above ground and tee in the apartment to the well line. You don't need another tank or switch.
  3. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    How is the new apartment going to be fed hot water? New water heater? If so thermal expansion needs to be controlled. This is typically done by installing an expansion tank. Well bladder tanks are not considered as thermal expansion control.
  4. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Maine
    You can't have two separate pressure switches both controlling the same pump, well, yes you probably could but it would require a whole lot of wiring and controls.
  5. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

    Messages:
    1,174
    Location:
    Alabama
    Why would you need to? Seriously,I dont work on the "things". I've replaced a pressure switch,primed them and removed them while on a job.....but thats about it. We usually leave it to the well drillers.

    Seems like with one pump all you would ever need is one pressure switch.
  6. Texas Wellman

    Texas Wellman In the Trades

    Messages:
    522
    Location:
    SE Texas-Coastal
    That's basically what he's saying.

    Explain the water heater expansion tank thing to me please. I've seen them but I don't understand the purpose.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    3,833
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Really? Is this a code versus common sense thing?
  8. Tom Sawyer

    Tom Sawyer In the Trades

    Messages:
    3,064
    Location:
    Maine
    LLigggy, it is a code thing. Yes indeed, a well tank will certainly work as an expansion tank but no plumbing code that I am aware of allows it to be substituted for a thermal expansion tank. Probably because the well tank is not tested and certified for that use and as we all know it's all about the testing and certification.....oh yes and the money too
  9. ballvalve

    ballvalve General Engineering Contractor

    Messages:
    3,261
    Location:
    northfork, california
    The three craftsman 75' garden hoses that I leave on all year round are my thermal expansion tank.

    As to the original question, 125' of pipe? Some guys can pee that far. Take softened water to the apartment with 1" pipe.
  10. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,381
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    I have never seen a house with a pump system that needed an expansion tank. But if you put a PRV after the pressure tank, the house would need an expansion tank the same as a house on a city line with a PRV.
  11. DIY Ray

    DIY Ray New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks, sorry for the delay been out of town. So if I understand, I can simply tee off from well head and the pressure to the apartment will be maintained by the main house switch. I have a hose hooked up to the main line at the well which I assume simulates how the apartment will receive water. I can feel the pump kick on when using the hose which will be like someone turning on the water in the apartment, right?

    I thought the pressure tank allowed an certain amount of stored water to stay under pressure so the pump does not run constantly whenever you turn on the water. If so would it be wise to add a pressure tank to the apartment?

    Thanks so much for your advice and patience.
  12. DIY Ray

    DIY Ray New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Still figuring out the details of how the apartment will be fed water. Likely directly from the well head. There will be a new water heater in the apartment. Thermal expansion is a new term for me, will have to study up on this. Anything advised is most appreciated.
  13. DIY Ray

    DIY Ray New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    good advice thanks, I'll have ditch this weekend from the apartment to the septic tank for the septic tie-in and won't be far from the main house water supply. Any major rules broken by running a water line in the same ditch as the septic line? Clean water and black water running side by side, seems wrong???
  14. valveman

    valveman Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    4,381
    Location:
    Lubbock, Texas
    Make sure there are no check valves anywhere above ground, and just tee the apartment into the well line anywhere you can. The pump should not come on until the pressure tank is empty, no mater where you are using water. But a 40 gallon pressure tank only holds about 12 gallons of water, so the pump will come on shortly after you open a faucet.

    Another pressure tank is not needed and will not work properly unless you install a CSV before the tee to the apartment. Without a CSV, the pressure tank closest to the well will fill first, and will overpressure before the farthest tank fills, so the pressure switch can shut off the pump.

    As long as there are no check valves anywhere above ground, I would not have a problem with the fresh water line being in the same ditch as the septic line. But there maybe some code violation that I am not aware of.

    And as long as there are no check valves, I don't see needing an expansion tank either.
  15. DIY Ray

    DIY Ray New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Location:
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks so much, everything makes sense to me now. l'll post some pics of the rough-in seeking critics!
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