Low External Water Supply Pressure

Submitted: Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 08:54
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Low pressure water supply

Suggested remedy when you only have low pressure external water supply

We have the pressure-reducing town water inlet fitted as original equipment by BT.
We also have a tap fitted to our drawbar.

Recently, we camped at a property, where they had their own bore water supply. We connected to this supply for our shower, but found that the low supply pressure was insufficient to flow through the pressure reducer. We have also encountered similar problems in older caravan parks, where you are the last one on the end of a long water pipe.

We spoke to the plumber at BT (can’t remember his name), who suggested that we could connect a low pressure supply to the tap on the drawbar without problems to the BT’s plumbing system. The problem with this however is that when water is supplied in reverse to the standard BT tap, the water flows on top of the washer, and effectively closes it off so we get no water through. (Normally the water flows from under the washer, so it pushes the washer off its seat for normal flow.)

Two possible solutions,
1) Glue the washer shaft to the tap spindle so that it is fixed to the spindle and moves up and down with it. (not recommended)
2) Remove the washer when you are connected to the low pressure supply. (remember to put it back when you disconnect the low pressure supply)

I chose an alternative and purchased the new style ‘anti drip’ ball cock tap. These are becoming popular in the water-starved east, as they don’t drip and only require a 90 degree movement from off to full on.
The advantage for the BT is that there is no washer to foul-up the low pressure supply flow to the BT.

I bought mine from Bunnings for about $7.00. Had a bit of a search for a mating ½” male to female flange brass fitting, but found one and connected it to the standard BT fittings from the original tap. The new tap flange requires new mounting as it is naturally different from holes on the original tap mounts.

Time for the changeover about ½ hour. Steve, please don’t shoot me because it works well!

Neil
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Reply By: Bushtracker - Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 18:58

Wednesday, Jan 19, 2005 at 18:58
Hello Neil,
I congratulate you on your resourcefulness and inventiveness, you are a real Bushtracker! Good job! You are pushing the envelope, and I must admit I had not tackled the idea of too low of pressure in that scenario. But tinkering around like that is what I enjoy the most… However, it does bring up the following point that others should be aware of in the choices of design in their van:

On the issue of a town water inlet, it is really a health issue, there is not one on my van, and it is not part of our standard package for the following reason......
1) The time it takes to fill the tanks on a weekly basis, is not much more hassle than hooking up to the tap with a pressure reducer town water inlet system... You have to have the pressure reducer so as not to harm the plumbing system, and turn off your pumps. By the time you organize all of that, you might as well have filled your own tanks...
2) If a hose blows off due to a pressure spike or if the pressure reducer were to fail when you are away, you could flood the van..
3) The water in your tanks goes off if you do not use it... So you have to add the time of draining your tanks, and then closing the drain bungs or pumping them out, and filling them back up when you leave... You might as well have kept them fresh by turning over the water each week and filling them...

In my view, this whole pressure water town inlet thing is more for people living full time in a park, not for people that are traveling and passing through, that really would be better off keeping the water fresh in their tanks by using them and turning it over.... It is really a better and healthier way to live, turning over the water in your tanks on a weekly basis in a park, rather than having it go bad... I am getting a new van in the next few months, and rather than growing anaerobic bacteria or fungus in my water tanks while not being used, I will turn over the water in the tanks and fill them on a weekly basis. There were a number of health problems on yachts the same way, traced down to tanks left with old water in them growing unwanted things…

I do not have a town water inlet and fill six tanks in about the time of a cup of coffee with regular pressure… I push a ½” hose down the inlet and fill them one at a time, turning on the next one and turning off the full one, filling them one by one… Now this is just a lifestyle opinion, and I am sure some will disagree, but I will still not have a town water inlet in my new van; in the interests of good health…

Kind Regards, stg at Bushtracker
AnswerID: 565711

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