Installing water tank

I had some fun installing a water tank on the top of my property this weekend.
The water is being pumped from another tank(brown) that catch the rainwater from the roof to the top tank(green).

This water will be used for the vegetable garden using natural gravitation feed.

All the piping is done.
I still have to install my controller circuit and electricity so that it will be fully automatic. At the moment I have to extend the lead to the pump to plug it in.
I am planing to use a XH-M203 circuit for the water level controller, but will be adding a solid state relay (I don’t think the board relay will handle to start up current of the pump motor - 3.2A normal use)


Nice! Do you have a bigger tank then somewhere collecting rainwater?

They are both 2500L tanks. You can see the brown rainwater tank with the leaf eater from my gutters in the first picture.
The angles and space make the larger 5000L tanks a bit too large to fit.
Luckily we normally get on avg. 32mm rainfall throughout the year, so it constantly refills :slight_smile:

I have a similar set up. At the moment i manually control the pump to fill up the top tank. I like your idea how to automate this but i am a bit nervous about the reliability of such a system. Do you think there is a risk that one day the pump does not switch off when the tank is full? Do you intend to install an overflow/return pipe back to the feeder tank?

I don’t intend to do a return back pipe. However I do intent to do lots of tests to check how reliable it does switch off. There are ways do add a extra overrides.
For instance my pump takes less than 30min to drain the bottom tank so I could add a cut-off time as a backup.
I also have 6x water level sensors while I only need 2 or 3. So each can have a backup sensor installed as well.

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If you put a ball valve in the top tank (inside the top outlet) and the pump has a pressure valve you are fine… :wink:
A float switch in the bottom tank will make everything automated bar a timeswitch/SONOFF for “during solar hours” pumping.


I initially thought of going just this route, but it is a 12-14m height difference and I was worried that the pressure in the pipe on that height might influence the pressure valve’s usage. So I opted for the water level controller instead.

The pressure head should handle 3-4 bar so 30-40m. :vb-wink:

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In the end I went with an Eduan Float Valve in the top tank and using the pressure sensor on the pump to stop when the top tank is full and it works very well.
I initially tested it with a cheap ball valve from the local hardware shop, but the water throughput was appalling. The Eduan valve is a huge improvement.

I still need to do a fixed power installation and add my float control to the bottom tank to only start the pump if there is water to pump. At the moment it is still manual with a lead cable.

And the veggies love the rain water


The veggies look great!

I too have two water tanks, one for catching the house’s water, and the other for the garage’s water. Both are 5000L tanks and are only used for the garden and the veggie patch.

Would also love to automate it someway, as currently all is done by hand.

I do however have a 700W pump permanently mounted and connected to the lower one of the two, and have also done the necessary pipe work so that with the turn of a lever, it can feed into my existing irrigation system as well.

I have also laid pipe to connect them together, so if the one with the pump starts to get empty, I open another tap and the other gravity feeds it until about 3/4 full.

And yes, municipal water can never ever compare to what rainwater does for grass and plants!

Now that it is winter and cooler, I can irrigate during the day meaning my pump is "PV powered. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Now if there is one more thing I could wish for, it would be a borehole! Then with some adjustments in and around the house we could almost be completely off grid.

No, just don’t.

We use rainwater to for the washing machine. Cpt water is damn expensive and all the boreholes people drilled, is going to cause subsidence on day … that is if the sea water does not enter the system.

The only reason I want it, is because 3 times during the past 2 weeks we had water outages in the area due to some works being carried out somewhere. No warning about it, nothing, zilch, nada!

So we do keep spare water of about 50L in the house for drinking, but my gas geysers mean absolutely nothing if there is no water.

So I am contemplating a 1000L Jojo on the roof with a small pressure pump to feed municipal water in a crude way (though the windows) to my gas geysers

Because to get unfiltered rainwater from my outside tanks into the house will be too much of a mission in terms of pipe work to the 2nd floor and not sure how much the geysers will appreciate dirty water?

My neighbor actually has a borehole and the feed to his house runs parallel to our border fence. So I was also thinking to ask him if I can T into that feed and fill my roof top tank and just stop the flow with a simple ball valve. So it will always be full as we will only use that water when our supply is off.

We have the same issue with sudden outages. No warning. And if I had known how my wife gets during a water outage I would not have married her… it is that serious.

So I have a 1000-liter rainwater tank that is plumbed with the relevant valves straight into the house. It turns out that the distance to my main geyser (where traditionally you have the main feed coming in) is within easy reach.

It is used only during outages, and part of the house is not covered (because of the way the piping was done back in the 70s when it was built… some of the bathrooms get their cold water directly from the high-pressure side instead of the low-pressure side behind the regulator).

I have a 375W pressure pump. I was worried it would be insufficient, especially to get water up to the second floor. It actually works amazingly well even for showering in the upstairs bathrooms, but it is a LITTLE on the slow side if you have multiple taps open. The small pressure pump was selected simply because I already had it and didn’t want to spend more money on a new pump. Otherwise I’d have gone for at least twice the power.

Once you have lived through #DayZero, views on water change drastically. :wink:

What about some solenoid valves switched through some sonof relays and then connected to home automation? That would be the cheapest way to automate it but doubt the valves will be cheap.

I need to do something similar but want to get a tank that can handle 3 bar pressure and allow the water to flow through so it doesn’t get stagnant and then also have a valve that switches to a pump when the water is off so i can feed house from this holding tank.

Man, speak of the bl**dy devil. My keyboard was barely cold or the water went out… :slight_smile:

Plonkster now that you mention this, I think you have solved my issue. My intended location of the 1000L tank, will be approximately 3-4 meters from where my electric geyser is. I should just feed it into the geyser with a separate tap when the time comes with its own little pressure pump and then I can still use it when there is a water outage.

I even have a small db right at the geyser which would take care of electrical COC issues for the pump.

Gas geysers then remain for times when Eksdom is gone but municipal water not.

Have not lived through it personally, but I had firsthand reports seeing as my folks live within stones through from you.

I thus know how tough it was at times. I had arranged for them to have a 5000L rainwater tank installed just to make sure they would be able to flush toilets etc!

But even though our water is cheap, you will never find us wasting it. This really rubs me up the wrong way.

Just add 'n good filter between the water tank and your connection and it should filter out most big particles. The geyser should be fine then

Something like this