Cement Water Cistern Heater Question

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Dude_Hager

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Hello!

For some background, we started building right before covid hit. We have run into so many increased building costs we are doing as much of the work as we can, we just passed our rough-ins that we did ourselves and are now tackling this!

We are in a mountain area that has its water supplied by a water company with some very specific requirements. A 1500 gallon cement water cistern. We have the cistern installed but not its internal components (heater, pump, float valve & float)

Here is a diagram of the cistern:
https://www.mountainmutual.com/documents/regulations/Cistern Diagram.pdf

My question is about the heater, a heater is required at the lip of the manhole leading to the tank to ensure the float valve does not freeze.

I can not find this type of heater anywhere. Can someone point me in the correct direction?

Thanks so much for any help!
Any other pointers on any of the internal component installation would be welcome!
 

Dude_Hager

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How about Trying this call Mountain Mutual Water District 719 689 2527 ?

Thanks jeff!
They refer me to a professional for install. If I can not find the information on my own my next plan was to inquire with their suggested installer about a consultation fee. ;)
 

Reach4

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I don't know much about that. But I would offer some comments:
1. when using a heater, look at how to add insulation to keep heating needs low. XPS or EPS is good insulation that does not get waterlogged. Perhaps you could lay a sheet atop your tank before covering, plus insulate the access port as best you can.

A "bilge heater" sounds interesting. At least one says "waterproof", but I would not think of something with a fan would match my thoughts of waterproof.

2. I would think a good plastic float would be superior to copper. So I don't have a recommendation, but I would not prefer copper.
 
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Dude_Hager

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Reach that is very helpful!

I was wondering how often that heater would be on since it is cold up here! (over 9k ft) I will definitely insulate! The water company does allow 6-inch heavy plastic float instead of copper so I will definitely use that instead. Thanks so much for the advice!
 

Jeff H Young

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kind of weird they give you that sheet of paper but it doesn't spec anything out. ex: you need a pump that's all? put whatever you want? When I've needed a sewer ejector system I had the whole package put together by a pump sales company sized it all out my basin size one pump or 2 custom tailored to my needs . probably someone around there does that for water
 

Valveman

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Drop a well pump submersible in the cistern. Use a PK1A to control it. Deciding on what size pump you want is really the only consideration. For cheap use the Hallmark, 1HP, 33 GPM pump you can find for 140 bucks. It will pump a lot more water than you need. But the CSV in the PK1A kit will make that pump match whatever you are using. So, it will work great for one shower, but the pump is large enough to supply five houses if needed. And the CSV would make it do either or anything in between.

LOW YIELD WELL_SUB_PK1A.jpg
 

Jeff H Young

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That sounds like a big help for him Valveman! I don't work that much with pumps and never on a well but Cycle Stop Valve sounds like a great system from all I read. Now just needs to address the heater and be good to go!
 

Jeff H Young

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Using a submersible pump, if you bury the cistern deep enough you won't need a heater. Heaters usually don't help as everything will still freeze when the power goes off.
He is at 9000 ft elevation They are showing over 7 foot deep with a heater. No Idea what he needs as I'm in warm climate , and whether building depart requires the heater . Water district hand out could be just a suggestion . I was wondering why district cares about customer side of meter usually they are only concerned with protection Sanitary conditions .
 

Dude_Hager

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You all are great!

The building department actually has no requirements they do not even inspect the cistern. But the water company is the strict one here, they inspect and will not hook up unless their requirements are met. Our land is in the mountains but it is in an HOA and the water company exclusively supplies the HOA.

Just getting the insulated water supply line, meter pit, and cistern in the ground has been $$, and the water company has inspected it all so far. We got the land at a very good price but know I know why! Ha
 

Dude_Hager

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Valveman,

I just read all about the csv & PK1A, I am going with that for sure! What a great solution for pump cycling!
Would you recommend a submersible pump over a jet pump?
 

Jeff H Young

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Ive pretty much dealt with municipal water delivered at pressures that are never beloy 50 psi . So dont offer much I would like to know why 1500 gallon tank is the supplied water that erattic like some days you dont get any and next day a trickle?
 

Dude_Hager

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It is a very good question, the water company gets water from 3 wells and an aquifer that is shared with a nearby town.
I know they are currently updating their water transmission lines. 2/3s of them were installed in the 70s and are 3" schedule 40 PVC (a low pressure and volume capacity) pipe. Their website says they are replacing it because it has been plagued by frequent failures due to age and its inability to be resilient when exposed to annual freeze/thaw cycles in this climate. They state that they will deliver water for filling the cistern for free if there is a break in their piping.

I am guessing they have had frequent problems in the past and require such a big cistern so residents will have a supply of water in case something goes wrong.
 

Jeff H Young

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It is a very good question, the water company gets water from 3 wells and an aquifer that is shared with a nearby town.
I know they are currently updating their water transmission lines. 2/3s of them were installed in the 70s and are 3" schedule 40 PVC (a low pressure and volume capacity) pipe. Their website says they are replacing it because it has been plagued by frequent failures due to age and its inability to be resilient when exposed to annual freeze/thaw cycles in this climate. They state that they will deliver water for filling the cistern for free if there is a break in their piping.

I am guessing they have had frequent problems in the past and require such a big cistern so residents will have a supply of water in case something goes wrong.


Thanks Sounds like a good plan for a troubled system. I am a plumber but this stuff isnt what I see. I guess the pit stays clean .
 
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