12V DC water pump

Discussion in 'Off Grid Living' started by Hillbilly549, Jun 9, 2019.

  1. Hillbilly549

    Hillbilly549 Monkey

    Has anyone used one to pump potable water into your off grid cabin for use? Was asking my plumber about tankless propane water heaters that don't require 120v. He helped me with that information and through in that I could get a 12v DC water pump as well. There definitely seems to be some options out there and I figured I could also put together a small/scaled solar setup just for the pump and its battery source.
    damoc, chelloveck and HK_User like this.
  2. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    I only use surflo and Delavan 12v RV pumps.
    They will pump up to 40 to 70psi.
    Oh and you definitely want a pressure tank to prevent the pump from rapidly cycling on and off, which kills them.
    The smaller ones that say they only pump a half gallon per minute will really only do about 1L per minute under pressure.
    So if you want to maintain flow at a certain pressure you will need a few pumps.
    Pumping rated flow they do draw about 5 amps trying to push 1L per minute at 70psi.
  3. Merkun

    Merkun furious dreamer

    All pump manufactures will provide graphs and or tables that will tell exactly what the performance will be at any given pressure and power. Once you know what your demand will be, sizing the pumps (or pumps) is a piece of cake. And yes, a pressure tank is an almost necessary "accessory". Some pumps will tolerate all sorts of start/stop abuse, but the odds are you don't want to afford them. There are also variable speed drive arrangements that can eliminate a pressure tank neatly. Not nearly as economical as the tank.
  4. damoc

    damoc Monkey+++

    Ive used small inexpensive 12 volt for many different applications here are a couple this first link starts about 4:20 with regard to the pump

    this next one I talk about the possibilities of these small pumps for off grid or ranch application
    this one starts about 2:00.

    This final one is about quick easy water storage for preppers and starts about 3:30
    Here I use these small pumps to pump from spring tank when i was having to haul water to my off grid homestead it starts about :20

    I don't have a video of this but i used to have one of these pumps pumping into my trailer/caravan from nearby creek.

    Many possibilities you could pump from a cistern,pond or nearby creek direct into your homestead just turn on the power with switch. The water will or can drain back into the pump and source if freezing is a problem. It draws very little power and can be run directly from small solar panel setups. Inexpensive. If you need to pump back into and use existing plumbing you may need a different higher pressure pump these bilge pumps are low pressure only. If you need to pump from a low depth say below 10 foot these small pumps will not be much good they do not have the head pressure.
  5. I've been running 12 volt shurflo pumps for almost 2 decades. If your looking for a propane water heater, you can get an ecotemp on demand, with a pump, for less than $200 bucks on amazon. You can plumb it into your whole system. Or use it as a portable set up. It comes with quick connections for a garden hose. And also has the shower head wand.
    Shurflo is the best pump in my opinion. I recently replaced one that pumped at least 650 gallons of clean water per month, for 8 years. So if my math is correct..that's 650 gallons X 96 months. So 62,400 gallons. Not bad if you ask me.
  6. Hillbilly549

    Hillbilly549 Monkey

    I'll only be feeding a kitchen sink, one lavatory and a shower head. Pulling initially from a creek that will be about 60 ft from the cabin and probably 10-15 ft below the fixtures. Do you have a pressure tank? That seems to be the comment that's coming up the most.
  7. No. Never put one in. I know some people think it helps to keep the pump from cycling. But once the tank loses pressure, the pump has to turn on to re pressurize the tank anyway. You can adjust the pump to cycle on and off at whatever pressure is right for your needs.
    I put the pump(s) on a switch. I don't leave them on all the time. Why waste energy when your not using the water? There may be an advantage to having a pressure tank, but since I don't have one, I can't say what that advantage would be.
    I basically have the same water needs as you. Kitchen/bathroom sink, and a shower. But I also have a Thetford toilet on a separate pump and switch. But also have separate water reservoir for the toilet. That way the kids and or grand kids can't run me out of water by just flushing the toilet!
    Also as a side note. I wired in led lights above the kitchen sink and stove that are on the same switch as the water pump. That way we won't accidently leave the the pump on, when its not needed. Plus the LEDs make it nice and bright for doing dishes and or cooking.
    oldawg likes this.
  8. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Pilot lights are priceless battery savers.
    Lancer, oldawg and Cruisin Sloth like this.
  9. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

    I have a couple of 12/24 VDC deep well pumps I use as a backup for extended power outages. That and a 200 gal potable water bladder in an insulated box in the attic gives us almost normal water pressure. These pumps are great with a couple of used fork truck batteries, and a 250 w charging system, but - you must have a storage tank of some sort since their absolute flow rate is rather pitiful: maybe a liter/min or so.
    My entire setup is now permanent since I got tired of redoing the CharlieFoxtrot every time a hurricane comes through.
  10. sourdough145

    sourdough145 Tinker and thumb smasher...

    Not off grid but up in the hills... We have a deep well on 220 v but no generator big enough to run it. When power fails only water is in pressure tank. Decided that won't do so installed a 1550gal storage tank and a 12 on demand water pump tied into the main water system. Check valves assure no back flow and pump still starts and runs when pressure drops to 25lbs (power out). Surprised at how much water is stored in pressure tank as pump provides max 35psi. Tanks are nice as it allows pressure to stay good long enough to use faucet and flush without noticing a pressure drop. Even pumps to second floor nicely. 1550 gal backup is a good feeling! Didn't need that big a tank but what the heck it was on sale what could I do?
  11. techsar

    techsar Monkey+++

    This only true if the pump cannot keep up with the demand. Otherwise the pump will cycle rapidly.

    To address the OP, no...I use a 1 hp Myers pump @ 220 VAC...and yes, it's solar powered
  12. Tully Mars

    Tully Mars Metal weldin' monkey

    As a couple of others have said- SHURFLO
    They last and you can rebuild them when they do get weak.
  13. BTPost

    BTPost Stumpy Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    We use a (Stinky Danforth) Danforth 12 Vdc Vane Pump to pressurize our Cabin Domestic Water System... There is a Post in the Off-Grid forum that Documents our System, complete with Pictures, of the entire System...
  14. Hillbilly549

    Hillbilly549 Monkey

    Not real expensive either. Could keep a spare for when a rebuild is needed on the one in use.
    Tully Mars, Gator 45/70 and oldman11 like this.
  15. Hillbilly549

    Hillbilly549 Monkey

    I'm looking for the thread but having trouble locating it.
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  16. I actually have 3 pumps. All the same. I keep one in stock. That way if any one fails, I can swap it out in about 5 minutes. Then just reorder another to keep in stock. I guess I should look into ordering a rebuild kit. Also need to mention that the one I recently replaced didn't actually stop pumping or start leaking. I just noticed it was slowing down a bit.
  17. Cruisin Sloth

    Cruisin Sloth Special & Slow

    Link or more info plz
    Gator 45/70 likes this.
  18. Lancer

    Lancer TANSTAFL! Site Supporter+++

  19. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    Been using a Shur-Flo 4048 for about 5 years. Last year the screws worked loose and the pump head separated from the DC motor. The the threaded holes in the motor casing were stripped out.

    Had a spare, replaced it, took the broken pump home and drilled out the stripped holes in the motor casing. Got some longer screws with Nylon stop nuts and re-attached the pump head. Works fine.

    You may want to remember to place the pump near the water source. I have mine a few feet from my storage tank (a 330 gal IBC tote). It then pumps the water through about 200 feet of 3/4 tubing to my travel trailer. Pressure is good but not great, plenty for a shower though. Pumps are better at pushing than pulling, generally speaking.
  20. Hillbilly549

    Hillbilly549 Monkey

    I'll be drawing from a stream for a while and plan to have it set up and sheltered right next to it.
    Tully Mars and Altoidfishfins like this.
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