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Rolly


Mar 8, 2003, 2:36 PM

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Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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This has been a productive week. The patio is about 50% bricked. Manolo is making good headway with the interior painting. Enrique has a good start on the plumbing hookup for the tanks and pumps on the roof and tying in to the lines to the kitchens and bathrooms.

The number 2 cabinet maker got 3/4 done with the kitchen cabinet installation that was promised for three weeks ago. He says he'll come back next week to finish. Despite the delays he is twice as fast as Jesus was -- or should I say he was only half as slow? But his workmanship is not as good as Jesus' work.

We have lined up another cabinet maker to finish the job (I hope). Poncho was our first choice to do the work in the beginning, but he has been too booked up. Unlike the other carpenters around here, Poncho makes a special point of taking only one job at a time, so when he gets to our work, there won't be any competing jobs. I've known Poncho for 6 or 7 years. I met him while I was still in LA when he was working for a rich car collector who owned a fleet of vintage Bentleys. Poncho was redoing the woodwork in the cars as well as a lot of detail work in the man's home. Anyway, I am starting to feel a little better about the cabinetry.

You probably read my wallpaper post. The ladies are really excited about the idea of wallpaper murals. I hope we don't end up over doing it.

No update next week. I'll be in Dallas for my semi-annual clothes and stuff buying spree. I can't buy clothes in my size in Lerdo, and the ink cartridges for my printers are not available in Mexico. And our local Radio Shack doesn’t have the TV splitters I need for the building project.

This week's picture story is at http://rollybrook.com/03-08-03.htm

Rolly Pirate


(This post was edited by Rolly on Mar 8, 2003, 4:05 PM)



Don


Mar 8, 2003, 7:41 PM

Post #2 of 15 (2600 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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Rolly, do you have any aljibes to store spare water or do you depend strictly upon the city to provide water on a consistant basis. Also, are the pressure pumps you have on the roofs to supply pressure from the tinacos to each unit? How do they function and stand up to the elements being on the roof? Is there a web site selling or promoting these pumps that might have all this info?


(This post was edited by Don on Mar 8, 2003, 7:42 PM)


ET

Mar 8, 2003, 8:55 PM

Post #3 of 15 (2586 views)

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Re: [Don] Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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Don writes:
Rolly, do you have any aljibes to store spare water or do you depend strictly upon the city to provide water on a consistant basis. Also, are the pressure pumps you have on the roofs to supply pressure from the tinacos to each unit?...


As a starting point, there was some discussion of Rolly's water system in an earlier message thread: http://mexconnected.com/...forum.cgi?post=20051


Rolly


Mar 9, 2003, 4:54 AM

Post #4 of 15 (2590 views)

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Re: [Don] Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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ET, thanks for the link to the previous discussion which pretty well details the water story.

Don asked Also, are the pressure pumps you have on the roofs to supply pressure from the tinacos to each unit? Yes. With the tanks on the roof, the pumps are actually optional, except you don't get a strong shower with a gravity system, and the washing machine is slow and does not do a good rinse job.

How do they function and stand up to the elements being on the roof? Just fine so far as I can tell. Pumps and water heaters both are commonly left outside here. I see the same thing in Manzanillo where they get lots of rain. We get almost no rain here, so the elements consist mostly of sunshine and a few dust storms off the desert. The pump and water heater at my house have stood in the open for three years and show no signs of harm.

Is there a web site selling or promoting these pumps that might have all this info? Not that I know of.

Rolly Pirate


Don


Mar 9, 2003, 7:31 AM

Post #5 of 15 (2570 views)

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Re: [ET] Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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Thanks ET. Most of the answers I was looking for was in the discussion that week and not on the actual website. I missed the discussion that week when I was out of the country for Thanksgiving and Christmas. One other question I have, that you may have the answer on is how is the pressure pump activated?


ET

Mar 9, 2003, 10:37 AM

Post #6 of 15 (2556 views)

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Re: [Don] Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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Don writes:
....how is the pressure pump activated


For the diaphragm and bladder type pressure tanks previously discussed, my understanding is that they use a pressure switch in the air-charged section of the tank. When water starts flowing out of the tank, either the diaphragm or bladder will contract increasing the air space and consequently reducing the air pressure; when the pressure falls below the set-point the pump is actuated.

It should be noted that in addition to the diaphragm and bladder types of pressure tanks, there's also "straight" pressure tanks in which either the pressurizing air is intermixed with the water, or the water itself is forced in into the tank under pressure. Additionally there seems to be combination pump/tank line boosters in which the pump actuates immediately upon flow and the tank is used more as a pulse damper/buffer (and probably deaerator), as well as tankless booster pumps. You'll need to consult with your local mechanical engineer or gadgeteer to see which one is best suited for your particular application.


Don


Mar 9, 2003, 5:04 PM

Post #7 of 15 (2544 views)

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Re: [ET] Building Project Update for 8 March 2003

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Thanks for the info. I will start checking in the area about availability and costs. I am interested in something of that type to increase water pressure in the home. We have been getting by for years with gravity pressure, but an increase in pressure would be nice.


Don


Mar 14, 2003, 10:03 PM

Post #8 of 15 (2493 views)

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Re: To Rolly or ET (Pressure Pumps) NEW

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I did some checking on the pressure pump. I was told by a contractor they could put in the pressure pump that would take the water from my aljibe, while my tinaco could be used as back up, using the gravity system, in case of a prolonged power failure. They said the system would hold 340 litros and could handle 4 to 5 bathrooms. They would purchase the equipment, supplies needed and install. They would have to change around some of the plumbing pipes and electrical lines. May have to put in an additional circuit breaker. They will do this for a maximum of $9,200 pesos. I believe the pump costs $7,600 pesos. They have to check our place with the possibility that the bid could be lower. My questions now are 1.) Does the price seem reasonable? 2.) We had our home built and is about 15 years old. Do you think there might be any problem with the present system being able to take the additional pressure? 3.) Does the use of this system increase electricity usage to a major degree?

I would appreciate any comments you may have.


(This post was edited by Don on Mar 14, 2003, 10:08 PM)


Esteban

Mar 15, 2003, 8:57 PM

Post #9 of 15 (2473 views)

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Re: [Don] To Rolly or ET (Pressure Pumps) NEW

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Having installed, maintained and designed rural water systems for many years I have a few suggestions. First, the diaphram pressure tank is FAR superior to a bladder type or a tank without either a diaphragm or a bladder. The whole concept of a pressure tank is built around the physical properties of water...ie you cannot, for all practical purposes, compress water. Therefore, you use air as a way to compress and decompress which in turn sets the pressure switch in action. A pressurized system in combination with a gravity system (in case of electrical or mechanical failure) is the best way to go. Many people who do construction or remodelling forget that water is the key to good health. So why would one want to sacrifice a good system for something substandard. If you have to budget, budget somewhere else because you can't live without it. A pressurized system allows you to use newer water treatment equipment, modern washers and on demand hot water heaters. My suggestion would be to put a pump at the aljibe to pump up to the tinaco and also one at the tinaco to pressurize the whole system. It's not a good idea for water to be sitting in either an aljibe or a tinaco for a long period of time. If the water is constantly changing, it will be much cleaner hence safer. Proper pipe sizing, pump and tank sizing and myriad of other design principles based on hydrodynamic princples will determine exactly what you need. If your copper pipe is installed properly you shouldn't have any problems with leakage. You should be able to run your system with the normal 20 lb. differential. In Mexico, they are still using the old 20-40 PSI settings but you'll find that the US has upped it, to accomodate newer appliances, to at least 30-50 PSI. Even 40-60 is nice especially if you like good strong showers and ample pressure if two showers are going at the same time while the man of the house is doing the dishes and washing clothes at the same time.


Don


Mar 16, 2003, 10:26 AM

Post #10 of 15 (2458 views)

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Re: [Esteban] To Rolly or ET (Pressure Pumps) NEW

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Esteban, thanks for your input. We presently have a pump at the aljibe that pumps water to the tinaco on demand. It was suggested to us, to put the pressure pump at the aljibe and delete the tinaco, or use the tinaco, which will then fill by street city water pressure only, as a backup in case of a prolonged power failure. We haven't decided yet, still going to get more recommendations and a physical check of our current system. I looked at our current system and it leads me to believe the conversions suggested, would be rather simple. But, I am far, far from being an expert. That is why I will look for further advise.


(This post was edited by Don on Mar 16, 2003, 10:27 AM)


ET

Mar 16, 2003, 1:15 PM

Post #11 of 15 (2453 views)

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Re: [Don] To Rolly or ET (Pressure Pumps) NEW

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Don,

Unfortunately, you're looking for reassurances that can't be provided to you remotely.

1. To check pricing, you have to get local bids. You also have to make sure that the bidders are quoting for comparable systems in design, materials, and installation practices.

2. There's no information on your existing system, as to whether it was built to the equivalent of the UPC, the materials used, or the quality of construction.

3. Electrical usage will be a factor of (a) water usage patterns, (b) how the system is designed, and (c) whether electricity consuming components, specifically pumps are correctly sized. Oversized pumps use unnecessary amounts of energy when activated; undersized pumps have to run longer (and as a result may fail earlier) and consequently have to use more energy. On a household scale, I can't see anything close to a reasonably designed pressure system using large amounts of energy, but there's a lot of things I can't visualize.

Some general thoughts include:

A. If it were my system, I'd make sure that each of the major block of components (ground reservoir), roof tank, pressure pump and tank, etc. had bypass plumbing in case they failed or required repairs. Check to make sure these bypass and component isolation valves actually work before you release the contractor - when you've got water running out of the tank and into the house isn't the time to find you're short a valve.

B. Make sure that the plumbing subsystems all have backflow prevention incorporated, both individually and collectively. Raising total system pressure should actually reduce the possibility of backflow and system contamination, but without knowing the design details it's impossible to say.

C. If you're using the system for anything resembling potable water, make sure to flush and then disinfect the entire system after installation work is completed and prior to bringing the system on line.

D. Naturally, if you're adding tanks to the roof, watch both your area (point) and total loading.


ET

Mar 16, 2003, 1:18 PM

Post #12 of 15 (2447 views)

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Re: [Esteban] To Rolly or ET (Pressure Pumps) NEW

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Esteban writes:
"....First, the diaphram pressure tank is FAR superior to a bladder type or a tank without either a diaphragm or a bladder....."


I'm curious. Why is this?


Esteban

Mar 16, 2003, 3:48 PM

Post #13 of 15 (2439 views)

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Re: [ET] To Rolly or ET (Pressure Pumps) NEW

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The bladder size compared to the diaphragm is so much larger and has much more of a chance of developing a pinhole. The diaphragm type tank is a much newer developement in the water pressure world and is used on the big off shore "fish factories". It's been proven to last longer. I remember when the bladder tanks came out and when the diaphragm tanks came out. I use d t o go to the trade shows and have seen the tanks cut in half showing the hows and whys. Sears used to continue to sell the bladder tank and I've been on several repair jobs to reset another tank, always a diaphragm one. Sears' tanks were cheaper and basically, you get what you pay for. You might also look at the fitting on the bottom of the tank. If it's plastic, don't buy it. The top of the line tanks have a METAL fitting on the bottom. As far as comparing a bladder and diaphragm tank to one which has neither, that's easy. The diaphragm and bladder are there to keep the water and air separated. Eventually, the pressureized air in the tank without either, absorbs the air and you have to recharge the tank with air. At least you don't have to worry about a bladder or diaphragm leaking (because if they do, you might as well throw away the tank and buy another) but with these tanks, you constantly have to put them on a maintence program to keep the proper amount of pressurized air in the tank. If you don't, you'll cause the pump to cycle more than it's supposed to and eventually it'll burn up. Just in case you wanted to know, my personal favorite pressure tank is made by Well-X-Trol. It's a quality tank.


(This post was edited by Esteban on Mar 16, 2003, 3:51 PM)


Rolly


Mar 18, 2003, 5:40 PM

Post #14 of 15 (2415 views)

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Re: [Don] Cost of pump

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Hola Don,

I've been off in Texas, but I'm back home and have checked on the pump pirce. We paid $3,000 pesos for a pump and a 20 gal pressure tank. We chose a small tank because we have a space problem on the pad were we are locating the water stuff.

Your quoted price of $7,600 seems a little out of line. Of course a large tank will cost more -- but that much more?

We bought from a dealer, not an installer.

Rolly Pirate


Esteban

Mar 19, 2003, 9:59 AM

Post #15 of 15 (2410 views)

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Re: [Rolly] Cost of pump

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You have to compare apples to apples to make a comparison. The quality of the tank, the size and the same goes for the pump. They all ain't the same. You also have to take into account exactly what is included with each purchase....ie check valves, pressure switch and a myriad of other extras that you'll need. Pressure tank sizes are determined by the gallons per minute of the pump and per pump specs. A larger tank gives you more "drawdown" which causes the pump to turn off and on less frequently which in turn prolongs the life of the pump. It's not just a guessing game.
 
 
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