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Thread: guest house water setup

  1. #1
    New member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011

    Default guest house water setup

    Just wanted a little advice on my guest house plans. My current setup is I have a separate garage that is two stories. The bottom floor is the garage that has in-floor radiant heating and keeps the garage at about 35 degrees in the winter. I do not have water or sewage to the building so I am going to use a composting toilet and I plan to put a water tank in the garage (about 350-500 gallon) to store water to pump upstairs to use throughout the guest house. It will not have washer/dryer, no toilet obviously, and no dishwasher. So the water will only be for showers and doing dishes. I plan to keep the tank topped off with water from outside tap (we have a well) in summer and it will see very little use in the winter if any. I will plumb grey water into another tank into the garage to use on garden and if I have a lot I will just empty grey water into our septic tank that the house uses. My question or hope for some advice, is what type of set-up do you all recommend to pump water upstairs to the house to keep water pressure at 20-30 (standard water pressure in a house) for the kitchen sink, hot water heater, bathroom sink, and shower? What size of tank do you think I will need? I calculated that guests would use about 30 gallons a day. I am thinking a 350 gallon plastic tank would work. Then a pump that is pressure regulated to keep pressure in water lines. What type of pump do you think I would need? Would I need a pressure tank?

  2. #2
    Moderator stid2677's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Fairbanks Area


    No expert by any means, but I have stayed in a few cabins that used RV type systems, on demand pump and a 12 volt converter.
    "I refuse to let the things I can't do stop me from doing the things I can"

  3. #3


    As stid stated the simplist for the water is a 12 volt R/V type pump then you would not need a pressure sys. You would want to mount the pump close to the tank so that the pump would not be using its power to pull the water and it would have more for lifting the water to the second floor. Depending on the lay out of your present septic system. It might be better to set up a holding tank that would take care of all of your waste water. If it was layed out so you could run a discharge hose to the septic tank when it needed to be dumped.The composting toilets are quite pricey . Also they have to be used in a certain way for them to keep working . With the holding tank would take care of several things at once.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Houston Alaska


    We put an "Infiltrator" gray water system in this year for our cabin. The system is half round segments that snap together in four foot lengths. Ends snap in to complete the system. We did not have to vent the system like our old 55 gal barrel system. We did run heat tape around the pipe from the cabin to barrel and insulated the pipe. So far so good. The system is 7 foot down and covered in blue board.

    We started with the 12 volt RV type system in the cabin and still use it in the bath house. The neighbor hood has switched over to ez tankless point of use propane water heaters now, less than $200.00. Lights with D cells when it senses the water moving.

    Regarding the lifting of water to the second floor. We lift water from a 55 gallon barrel to our first floor during the summer. With the 12 volt RV pump and a small pressure tank we lifted water about 8 feet without a problem. We switched over to an AC pump that does not need a pressure tank this summer. This system works well but I need to put a one way valve in line to keep from loosing the pump prime.

    During the winter we have a 30 gallon tank inside to pump from. Guests who live on city water will run out of water quickly because they do not have carry it.

    Good Luck


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