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Thread: BLEED Back Water SYSTEM....? Good? or Bad? Problems???

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    Default BLEED Back Water SYSTEM....? Good? or Bad? Problems???

    Bleed back water system problems.....if any??? What is the disadvantage to a Bleed back water system.....??? How many holes and what size holes works best? After 10 years of hauling water from the creek, I now have a well & most of the waterline installed. Starting to think about the pump system. Note: The Pit-less is down 13 feet, and all of the waterline is at-least 8 feet deep, with 2" of Blue Board. The waterline is 1" K-type copper, and 115 feet long. However the building may be unheated some winters. So the question is: Any disadvantage to bleed back system......? Thank you.

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    Hey Hopeak the problem with bleed back is air constantly in your system. It causes spittin and sputtering and hammering but unless you have hydronic heating I dont think it causes serious problems. It might be hard on fixtures. I'm not really sure why you think you need to do this though. Are you expecting waterline frost issues? I don't think you will have freezing issues if the water line is as you said in your post. If you expect to be gone for extended periods you could have freeze problems if areas over your water line are under a driveway or other wise have no snow cover. We've have frost to 14' in recent years here on the KP but my water line is 7 feet and never froze...but we use water daily.

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    I was just interested in learning, they say old people like me should try to stay mentally involved. If I leave for the winter, I'll just lift the pump off the pit-less and let everything drain back. I had a lodge in King Salmon, so I am clear on the winterizing process. Thanks for the info.

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    My well has a bleed hole drilled in the foot valve and a vent at the top end. It bleeds down every time I turn it off. I'm careful to bleed off the air and develop some head pressure before I open the ball valve when I start it so the pump won't torque too badly. I've done it like this for many years with no problems, but I don't use a pressurized system. My well is either on or off. On-demand pumps and gravity do the rest.

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    I'll just lift the pump off the pit-less and let everything drain back. I had a lodge in King Salmon, so I am clear on the winterizing process. Thanks for the info.
    Yeah pulling the string up will drain it fast if you have a valve in place to open near the PT. Sounds like you know the drill.

    My well is either on or off. On-demand pumps and gravity do the rest.
    MrPid your pump runs all the time? I don't think I'm familiar with this.

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    I doubt you would need to mess with it at all at that depth. My line and pitless are both at 6’ here in Palmer and well below any frost. I pulled the cap and looked at the frost in the steel casing a bunch of times and it never got below 4 foot. I believe frost gets deeper at the casing than any other place along the line from the steel conducting the heat out. When I pack snow around the casing with my plow frost never gets past 3 foot. I get inversion from my house sitting about 700 foot up Lazy Mountain and -19 is as cold as I remember here, but unless you have permafrost or the pipe is under a road I don’t think it would ever freeze at 8 foot down.

    I have a valve ten foot outside the foundation that I can turn with a tool struck down a standpipe and a waste valve on a “T” just inside the basement wall so I can drain the house and the last ten foot of line to it if I winterize. I set the stand pipe up so I can hook a welder to it and the pipe back at the well to thaw the 1” copper pipe if it ever did freeze, trick I learned as a kid in northern Arizona’s cold but oddly enough have never needed here in Alaska. Down there we never used a pitless and most of the lines on our place were just 2 foot down, 5 wells and thirsty cattle made for some miserable mornings before school when I was a kid.
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    Quote Originally Posted by mics_54 View Post
    MrPid your pump runs all the time? I don't think I'm familiar with this.
    I think he is pumping into a holding tank in the house then using a demand system to pressure the house.

    I did that at a house in Arizona that had a 800 foot water table to pump from. It was too hard on the submersible pump to hold 40 psi at the top. I added a 500 gallon tank with a float switch to keep it full and a shallow well pressure system to pressure the house at 60psi. Got better showers, pumps that would last, and smaller power bills to boot.
    Andy
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    Correct about the holding tank.

    I've never figured out how I could bleed a pressurized water system without having several drain points. That may work on a once-a-year winterizing but we do it every weekend. Gravity feed makes for easy draining.

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    In our old cabin, I drilled a 3/16" hole in the poly pipe just above the water level in the well pipe so the line would drain back into the well. We had an above ground line into the house so needed to drain the line after filling the holding tank everytime. One downside to this is that you loose some of the capacity of the pump due to pumping water out that hole all the time. Our line into the house was short and no back pressure so it worked fine.

    Since it pumped into a gravity tank that was vented I never had to worry about bleeding air out when pumping. It worked good but was kind of labor intensive as I had to make sure the line was drained out everytime and at -20 some residual water would always freeze in the pipe and make the ball valves stick.

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    Mr. PID, have you every considered a "snifter" valve (i think thats what it's called.) Basically you use a galvanized air tank (no bladder) with a check valve on its inlet and the snifter valve lets the line vent upstream of the tank back into the well. When you start the pump, the air ahead of the water bleeds out, then the valve shuts when water gets there.

    I've never done this or done much research but a friend said it worked well.

    Our system now is two large amtrol well tanks that we pump into with the well pump a couple of times a week (off a generator). The large volume well tanks give us about 150 gallons of pressurized water just like downtown. The more bladder tanks you install, the more days you can go without pumping. We run the pump for about 15-20 minutes twice a week. We have low point drains in the system that we can drain the whole system when we leave and are not sure the house will stay warm enough.

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    I hadn't heard of anything like that before. It sounds interesting. Thanks.

    I enjoy seeing and hearing about all the cool solutions people come up with for cabin living. Necessity is the mother of invention and Alaskans are pretty darned creative.

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    I would think that a check valve on the "high" end of a waterline could be easily installed so as to allow air into the line when back flowing so the water can flow out of the low end. I think this is the idea of the "snifter". Water can't gravity flow easily unless the line is open on both ends. I think also the "snifter" is probably meant to allow air out of the line but closes if water reaches it. This are common on boiler systems but I don't think they are meant for large volumes of air. They usually bleed air off a closed loop so that air doesnt get trapped in the various componants of the boiler system. Perhaps there is a valve specifically manufactured for backbleed but I'm not aware of one.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dkwarthog View Post
    have you every considered a "snifter" valve (i think thats what it's called.) Basically you use a galvanized air tank (no bladder) with a check valve on its inlet and the snifter valve lets the line vent upstream of the tank back into the well. When you start the pump, the air ahead of the water bleeds out, then the valve shuts when water gets there.
    This is the route I went. There is a small rubber bleed back valve installed down the well casing, and the check valve is all the way up near the pressure tank. The snifter valve (looks just like a car tire valve) lets the air out when the pressure switch kicks the pump on to fill the pressure tank with water. When the pump shuts off the water all drains back down the water line (installed a slight smooth grade to the well case). - Nothing held in the line to freeze. I installed all my pex supply lines to drain out the bottom of a supply manifold fitted with a garden hose. The galvanized (bladderless) presure tank, and electic hot water tank also have to be drained out the bottom via a garden hose connection. I installed a clean out tee down at the bottom of my main soil stack lower than my pressure tank and manifold so I could drain the system. Anchorage well and pump was very helpful in designing the system and supplying the well pump accessories.

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    When is enough enough? I ask myself that question a lot these days. Personally, I don't want my cabin to have all the systems and luxuries that we have in city homes. My wife enjoys warning a pot of water on the stove to do dishes. It slows the pace of the day, and that's what the cabin is all about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    When is enough enough? I ask myself that question a lot these days. Personally, I don't want my cabin to have all the systems and luxuries that we have in city homes. My wife enjoys warning a pot of water on the stove to do dishes. It slows the pace of the day, and that's what the cabin is all about.
    The point is that you have a "CITY" Home. Live in a dry 11'X23' one room cabin for ten years, and you will enjoy the "LUXURY" of not having a honey bucket & the luxury of "NOT" hauling water 1/2 mile in a backpack at -28* below. At 63 I am ready for the luxury of ONE spigot and ONE toilet.

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    Fair enough. Having a well is 95% of the battle. Convenient, on-demand water is a luxury. Distributing it is gravy.

    My wife and my first house in Anchorage would probably have made your dry cabin look like a palace. But we didn't need much.

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