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Thread: New mountain cabin

  1. #1

    Default New mountain cabin

    Hi all,
    This seems to be a very active forum with lots of great advise. This spring my wife and I are going to build a new cabin. My problem is, the location has no water and no electricity. We will have to truck the water in and store it underground in tanks. For power we will be using a propane generator and batteries. This cabin will be located in the Blus Mnts. in Washington State and will be under three to six feet of snow all winter. The cabin will be vacant for weeks at a time so freezing water pipes are a major consideration.
    We would like to set up a pluming systen that is as close to a modern system as we can. we will store about 3,000 gallons of water to last all winter. We will not be able to truck in water in the winter because of snow. I would like to be able to have hot running water when we are at the cabin. I would also like to be able to drain the water from the cabin plumbing back into the water storage tanks when we leave and not have to worry about it freezing. There will be no heat in the cabin when we are away so a drain system will be criticle.
    My questions are:
    What is best way to get the water form the underground storage to the cabin?
    Do we need some kind of drainable pressure tank in the cabin?
    How do we drain the water from the cabin pluming system back into the underground storage tank when we leave?
    Are there any books dedicated to this subject?
    Any help I could get on this subject would be much appreciated...

    Thanks in advance,
    Last edited by nova202; 12-14-2006 at 01:58 PM.

  2. #2
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking sounds simple

    all you got to do is use Wirsbo Pex plumbing
    lines..... it will not freeze and break and their is less
    chance anyone comming along stealing the copper pipe...

    and make sure they have fall downward
    to the well or pressure tank.....

    draining down the water heater and the lines would be very
    easy that way....

    all you would have to do is turn off the power
    to the pump--well or whatever,
    open the faucet on the bottom of it and that would
    natrually just drain down....

    you would only have to throw out the water in the heater.

    of course the SNOW is a resource for water too.....

    all you would need is a large access port to the
    water tank and simply shovel it in....to fill it back up

  3. #3
    Commercial Plumber markts30's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Phoenix, AZ


    Consider a dual system...
    Potable water for drinking, preparing food, washing dishes and clothes and bathing and "grey water" for flushing and irrigation etc.
    Look up "greywater" for more info

  4. #4


    It may sound like a stupid question...but why underground storage tank? Why not have a well dug.... you're going to have to install virtually everything required in a well system any who....by the time you pay for tank(s) and all the expense and trouble for hauling 3,000 gallons of water you can afford a real good well or water purification system for all that snow when it melts. IMHO... of course, we just don't have many situations like that here in Alabama.

  5. #5

    Default digging a well

    The area does not have many wells. I know of some people that have gone 1,000 feet deep and have found very little water,

  6. #6


    Hmmmm that puts a kink in my idea... I'd be looking for a pile of snow to melt. Might be worth it to look for underground stream, artesian well, or a water witch. Just drilling a bunch of holes to look for water might be useless and time consuming.... It might be fun, interesting, and eye opening to research the geology of the area...might get lucky. Them government folks have alot of information most folks don't know about.

  7. #7
    In the Trades Bob NH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    New Hampshire


    Does it rain there? You can treat almost any kind of runoff or rainwater to make perfectly safe potable water. A good filter and a little chlorine bleach will do it. If you have a little elevation and some patience you don't even need electricity.

    I installed a system where they have 12,000 gallons of storage that collects rainwater in the spring, treats it, and uses it all summer in a community dining hall setup. It's approved by the state as a public water supply.

    If you have even a trickle of a stream or a spring that is wet most of the year, and 3000 gallons of storage, you can get enough water for a cabin.

  8. #8
    Master Plumber master plumber mark's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
    indianapolis indiana - land of the free, home of the brave....
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    Talking systerns of old....

    IN this midwest town we will occasionally run into a

    Systern in someones crawl space or in the back yard with a

    metal lid on it....they werre popular in the middle to late 1800s

    with a hand pump usually located in the basement near the laundry...

    It is usually lined with red brick , about 6 feet in diameter

    and goes down anywhere from 10 to 25 feet deep.....

    you DONT want to fall in one...
    especailly when messing around in the crawl space....

    now the water always came from the
    ....with a run off drain located near the top of the

    and it was natrually rain soft and pretty pure in those days...

    in your situation this would work very well indeed
    Last edited by master plumber mark; 12-15-2006 at 02:51 PM.


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