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Alternative supply lines

moneypitfeedermoneypitfeeder Posts: 235Member
This is a bit off the topic of gas heating, but thought it might be the best place to ask. Here goes, I have a cabin in the middle of no-where, no electricity or running water. We have a small propane tank up there that was used to supply the gas lights, refrigerator, and oven. The supply lines were 1/4 flex copper from a manifold to each point of use. Since its not located close to anything it was a prime target, and over the winter all our copper was stolen. Granted for the small amount actually needed to run to the components it won't cost a ton to replace in copper, but its more the irritation factor of having to replace it at all much less at the start of every spring if this becomes a trend. I know that black iron can be used, but its 45-60 min to the closest hardware store, and if I didn't get my measurements dead to rights the first time, could make for a lot of trips to town. Are there any other newer options that might fit the bill? Thanks!
steam newbie

Comments

  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 4,281Member
    Contact your local

    propane dealer and have them do it for you that way it is done correctly and they will cut and thread the black pipe and provide support and fittings required.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    Alternative gas Lines:

    Ridgid pipe is good or you could have your gas supplier use TracPipe CSST. No one will steal that stuff. And it won't rust. Some here don't like it but there are hundreds and hundreds of miles of the stuff installed across the USA. If you get the Counterstrike, it has a black covering. The plain has a yellow plastic kacket.
  • Tim McElwainTim McElwain Posts: 4,281Member
    CSST as Ice stated is a good alternative

    but not something to be attempted by a non trained individual. Your local propane provider could also handle that for you I am sure.
  • moneypitfeedermoneypitfeeder Posts: 235Member
    No local guys

    Where the cabin is there are no local guys that service it. You can't get a service truck up there. This is a small tank like you exchange at a gas station. This was originally a "hunter's shack". But its quiet, and there is spring fed water (down a 50 ft cliff) that we can haul up in buckets. I can get sniffers from work to take up and test the installation, but it's pretty much up to us to do it. Sounds like black iron might be the way to go.
    steam newbie
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,090Member
    where is it?

    Sounds like fun to me. I can cut and thread down to 1/4" and up to 4" by hand. below 2" is preferred though.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • moneypitfeedermoneypitfeeder Posts: 235Member
    Its located in

    Upstate New York. about 45 - 60 min north-ish of Syracuse. Its still too early for me to want to go up there. (its black fly season I believe) We don't generally go up to camp till late July thru September. The closest "town" is Williamstown NY. I'll attach a photo of the "kitchen" there's really only 2 other rooms to it. I looked for the pics of the stream below the cabin, (really the best view) and I must have deleted them.
    steam newbie
  • moneypitfeedermoneypitfeeder Posts: 235Member
    where's waldo?

    I just realized most would wonder why there is a sink with no running water, well, it drains outside to a sump pit, and you can wash dishes in it if you boil the water on the stove!
    steam newbie
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,090Member
    you say you have a stream?

    http://www.rampumps.com/ now you can have running water with no electricity.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Jean-David BeyerJean-David Beyer Posts: 2,642Member
    Other means of getting running water from a stream.

    Sometimes it may not be necessary to use even an hydraulic ram. (I am told they translated that into Russian with a computer, and translated it back and got water sheep.)



    I have spent some time in a little hamlet in the French Alps. There are streams. This place is so small that it has no bank, no gas station, not even a crossroads. Technically it has no government at all, but is part of another place about an hour away by bus. The bus runs twice a day 4 days a week, unless service has changed since 1992. The road is paved that far, but after that it is just dirt and even that ends about another mile further up the mountain.



    The owner of the hotel (as he calls it) runs black plastic pipe up the stream far enough that it picks up a little higher than the highest taps in his hotel. If your stream is high enough, all you need do is go high enough on the stream to pick up the water. In that part of France, it is assumed that the stream is clean enough to drink from. He does no water treatment. I have never gotten sick, and I guess no one else does either, but it is by no means higher than where tourists go. I imagine there is no way a US inspector would approve of this.
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,090Member
    I have a client

    That has their cottage supplied by a spring. It is simply a plastic pipe run up hill. The place has been in the family for many decades so the water was never required to be tested. I know if I drank it I would get sick. I have seen the spring. But they use it for showers and toilets and they are happy. I bring coffee with me and do not eat until I leave and get to potable water. UV treatment would be a good idea and I am sure a photo voltaic system with a battery or 2 would do the trick. I suggest the ram as I can not guess how much of the stream he has access to or if it goes above the cottage. I often reply to people who never get sick from water I would not drink that the people of Mexico drink the water every day.
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • Charlie from wmassCharlie from wmass Posts: 4,090Member
    That's 3 1/2 hours from my shop

    a bit out of the way for me but how much of a rush are you in?
    Cost is what you spend , value is what you get.

    cell # 413-841-6726
    https://heatinghelp.com/find-a-contractor/detail/charles-garrity-plumbing-and-heating
  • moneypitfeedermoneypitfeeder Posts: 235Member
    really low tech!

    Yeah we are very low tech up there. there is a stream, which we have thought about using a pump to bring water up the incline, but the way we traditionally bring water up is by placing a bucket underneath the overhang of the cliff (under all the lichen and moss) and letting the "drips" fill the bucket. The water that seeps out of the the cliff is the cleanest and most pure water I have ever tasted, and I figure the moss filtering can't hurt. At the very bottom of the bucket I may get a small amount of sediment, but that's all. I am very sensitive to food/ environmental changes, and I have never once had a problem from the water. I've thought maybe I should have it tested (the water) but my husband tells me that salmon will not spawn in polluted waters. and that the brook trout will not be as abundant as well. So, we've always drank from the spring,(which feeds the steam) or the stream itself. I am really not sure when we'll get back up there, so any work that we need done or will do is in the future, its about a 6 hour drive for us to get there,( hence why we don't want to spend our entire vacation fixing gas lines)
    steam newbie
  • BobCBobC Posts: 5,001Member
    Worked for us

    I was on a microwave repeater site on top of a 3500ft mountain in Korea in the late 60's, there were 5 GI's along with Korean guards and technicians. We had a generator to power the equipment and the lights but no running water, There was no road, everything had to be carried up the mountain by Korean laborers (40 lbs each man) and that included jerry cans of water for cooking and drinking.



    A hundred feet below the peak there was a mountain stream that had the cleanest water you ever drank, we used that for our drinking water without any problems. The jerry cans were used for our shower - a 5 gallon bucket with a spigot at the bottom that was hung on a spike



    We did have Rose Hall on the edge of the site near our fuel reserves.



    Bob
    Smith G8-3 with EZ Gas @ 90,000 BTU, Single pipe steam
    Vaporstat with a 12oz cut-out and 4oz cut-in
    3PSI gauge
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    Off The Grid

    Yup, you are as far off the grid as you can almost get. Where you are, you are in another world. No AHJ's poking around to see what you are up to. Therefore, I suggest you find someplace that will sell you CSST. It isn't rocket science to install it. That is a professional complaint about it along with No-Hub pipe. You can dismantle it with a pair of pliers or a 5/16th nut driver. You can pipe the whole thing with ease. Suppliers are not supposed to sell it to you if you haven't been certified. Someone will. To add to your comfort, get a battery powered water pump with a solar collector to keep the batteries up. Then, you can buy a gas powered tankless heater that runs off 2 "D" batteries. That lights the burner and the burner will light with as low as .4 PSI flowing. We have one to heat water in your barn and to wash horses. They are for camp use and off grid use. They run off a 20# Grill Tank.

    Nice camp.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,843Member
    Ram Wham, thank you Ma'am.....

    I suppose that if you are the beneficiary of the elevated water it sounds like a heart beat, but if I were walking through the forest and heard this thing pumping, I'd think "What the...."



    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u2nGlnMNXrw



    Hear before you buy...



    As for alternative tubes, I would NOT suggest csst, unless you can drive numerous Earth ground rods, AND install a lightning arrest system, separately grounded.



    Even if you go black iron, ground it well because the flex connectors you will be using will be subject to the same possible swiss cheesing effect that lightning has on these things.



    You'd hate to set the forest on fire, wouldn't you...

    or lose your cabin... and possibly life.



    I believe that type L copper is an accepted material in certain codes. I'd silver solder all joints. It WILL be more expensive, but so is time...



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    Alternative Lines:

    Mark, I would agree with you normally but the problem started for this guy when some copper thieves broke in and stole his copper gas lines. From what I read, he has no electricity, hence, nothing to ground. The casita has been in the family since the Pleistocene era. It hasn't been hit by any excess aerial energy yet so I would take a chance that it isn't going to happen now. The CSST is a suggestion on my part because most Copper thieves aren't interested in .010" thick CSST Tubing where they will need to split the yellow plastic covering off it. It also seemed that the whole thing is run off of a couple of 20# grill tanks. Really off the grid.

    In the middle of the last century, I went to camp in Northern New Hampshire. We only had Kerosene lamps for lights, There was a big (36"?) section of VC pipe stuck in the ground and filled with rocks that we peed in. Serious business was done over a hole in a building that moved every year. That Casita sort of reminds me of that NH camp. I'll bet that that little bitty house out back is like the one in NH too. You just probably don't need to move it every year unless you have a lot of guests.

    He needs to get one of those battery operated gas tankless heaters like I have. They are the nuts for off the grid use.
  • Mark EathertonMark Eatherton Posts: 5,843Member
    Simple solution to copper theft...

    Paint the pipes black. They will NEVER be the wiser. Have the outside connections done with real black pipe, and they will not touch it.



    I remember Dan relating a story about an installation somewhere long ago, that before the installers could make the final connections on an upper floor, the thieves were already in the basement cutting the copper risers out of the system...



    Their solution, paint the pipes black. The thieves left it alone.



    ME
    It's not so much a case of "You got what you paid for", as it is a matter of "You DIDN'T get what you DIDN'T pay for, and you're NOT going to get what you thought you were in the way of comfort". Borrowed from Heatboy.
  • icesailoricesailor Posts: 7,265Member
    Artistic Alternatives:

    That might work.

    Most of the copper thieves I have seen wouldn't be fooled by some paint. I worry about the damage they might do while removing their prize. My suggestion of CSST is that it is easy to install, easily recognized as not being copper, and no one is going to steal it. Moneypitfeeder sounds like a guy who is going to do it himself. He could have replaced the copper tube himself with a good flaring tool and a bender. For the next thief. A 1/2" die stock, a vice stand and a cutter and reamer is a lot to cart in to the wilds of the out back. CSST sounds to me like a good choice. I know that some of you all hate CSST with a passion. I hear about all these religious installs that become holy after lightning, that one stray lightning cloud will render every foot of CSST useless. I haven't seen any personally. I saw a piece of CSST at the PHCC-MA trade show a few years ago. I saw a house that was hit by lightning once where the strike came through the ground, through the PVC well casing, through the service and sprayed copper bits all over the cellar. On its way through the house to where it blew through the roof to go back to the cloud it came from.

    If the casita hasn't been hit by now, I doubt it is a high potential to be hit. The last house I had where I work was hit twice in 6 weeks. After I put a protection system on, it was never hit again but everyone around me was.

    People that break into houses to steal copper, are a funny lot. If they think you are trying to make it difficult for them, or fool them, they might just wreck the house.  I had a customer that just sold their house. They had another one a few years ago. They had an electrical problem. No one told me about it. They were loosing their neutral. I turned the water on and noticed something wrong. To shorten the story, some handyman was trying to figure out why an electric heater wouldn't shut off through the thermostat. He couldn't figure it out. So he burned the house down.

    Don't underestimate the evil of crooks. For what it is worth
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