DIY Winter water system

Discussion in 'Plumbing Forum, Professional & DIY Advice' started by gizmoplumb, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. gizmoplumb

    gizmoplumb New Member

    Messages:
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    I want to build a winter water system for my lake house and I'm hoping the good folks on this forum can help me out.

    The traditional approach is to pump the water from the lake to the dwelling (either jet pump or submersable) then heat the pipe all the way from the dwelling to the lake (above ground). The pipe would be heated via cable through the ice right down to the water.

    The problem with this approach is that (a) the pipe must be heated all winter and that costs some $. I realize the pipe could be burried but that's not practical in this case (b) the heated pipe would stop heating during a power outage (c) the dwelling itself needs some heat to make sure the water doesn't freeze inside. Since I use the lake house only occasionally during the winter, its would be nice to this cheaper.

    I read about a design that I thought was pretty good and looking to build one. Here's the design from the dwelling to the lake. The bleeder and to the left is inside, the rest is outside.

    dwellwing --> pressure tank --> check valve --> air bleeder --> pipe --> pipe heated as it enter the water --> submersable pump.

    The check valve is removed at the submersable pump. Only the portion of the pipe entering the water is heated (you'll see why in a sec). Inside the dwelling there is a check valve that keeps the water inside. When the check valve is closed the water returns to the lake via gravity. Since the check valve at the lake is remove there is nothing stopping it from doing that. The air bleeder lets air into the pipe, otherwise the vacum effect would prevent the water from returning to the lake. Since water would still be in the pipe near the later water/ice line, it would need to be heated.

    When the pressure gets low, the check valve opens and water is pumped up from the lake. The pressure increases and the valve shuts. The bleeder lets the air into the pipe and the water returns to the lake.

    Does this design make sense? If so, does anybody know what I would need to put together to build a check valve that opens when the pressure is low. What would this air bleeder need to look like? Does anyone see a flaw?
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