Water Line Reel


The Water Line Reel

No, this is not the name of a dance. That is a reel of 2,500′ of water line that arrived after Thanksgiving. My intention was to install it this fall but that is not going to happen.

When our tractor broke just before Thanksgiving it put us in a bit of a bind. The little blue New Holland rental tractor was not even capable of getting the reel of water line off of the delivery truck – instead we had to unload the pipe by rolling the reel down the sand pile. Once it was on the ground I tried lifting with the little tractor and almost flipped the rental. The reel didn’t budge. There was no way the New Holland could carry the line up the mountain.

By the time we got our bigger tractor back after Christmas the weather was cold enough that putting in the line is no longer an option. The ground is now hard and the plastic pipe is so stiff we can’t roll it out properly to get the continuous downhill slope we need.

The new water line is a project that is going to have to wait until spring. Life happens.

Outdoors: 10°F/-5°F Cloudy, Windy
Tiny Cottage: 68°F/66°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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6 Responses to Water Line Reel

  1. David B says:

    Is this to tap a spring further up the mountain for the pigs or for the butcher shop?

    • Yes, this larger diameter pipe will give us more water flow and reserve capacity.

      • Garth Allan says:

        Do you have to bury the line? I’m trying to figure a way to get water to my pigs more efficiently, but cheap. I live in Manitoba and the frost line is forcing me to go eight feet under. It’s turning out to be more expensive than the pigs themselves!
        Do you know of a better solution?

        • We are planning to bury the line. Whether you need to and how deep depends on a bunch of factors:

          1) How much snow depth you get – more snow means less frost depth because the snow insulates the soil. Since we’re up in the mountains we get snow early and deep which means we don’t get very deep frosts. However, every once in a great while (20 years?) we have very little snow in December, like this year, and we get deeper frost. However we still don’t get a very deep frost compared with people south of us who plan on 3′. We get more like three to four inches of frost depth. If I want deeper frost, like on a logging road, I have to purposefully keep it clear of snow to drive the frost deeper.

          2) How early you get snow – a late snow year can result in deeper frosts.

          3) How cold it gets – of course.

          4) How insulating your soil is – Some soil types insulate better than others. Loose soil is better at insulating than compacted soil. Keep rocks out of the fill as they conduct the cold down to the depths (actually conduct the heat up). You can block the frost quite easily by putting insulation above the water line extending off to the side. This creates a ‘frost umbrella’ that allows the planet’s warmth to rise up around the water line keeping it from freezing. Works great.

          5) How fast the water is moving – static water lines that you turn on and off are a lot more prone to freezing. I have kept 600′ long 1″ water lines on top of the snow going right through the winter with fast moving water from a 45°F spring. When we built our cottage I purposefully designed a drip valve into the plumbing so that I can take advantage of this to prevent our water lines from freezing.

          Eight feet almost sounds like perma-frost. Using these tricks you might be able to avoid burying the line so deeply. Keep in mind that the Earth below is a source of heat, the water is a source of heat and moving water is less likely to freeze.

          I use polyethylene (PEX or black plastic) pipe because it can handle being frozen and thawed over and over, decade after decade. It also insulates. Metal pipe conducts and cracks so I avoid it.

  2. Michael Molloy says:

    I kinda have a silly question. Im having trouble finding a full reel of 2″ water line. Can you give a me a number of someone to get a hold of. I also need 2500 feet oof it on a continuous reel. Thank you in advance

    Michael Molloy

    • We got our pipe from a plumbing supply place in Berlin, Vermont called E. J. Prescott at 802-223-2385. They also have stores in other locations. Their web site is http://ejprescott.com/. If you call the Berlin office, speak with Tom. He is the sales guy we’ve dealt with over the years. Let him know I sent you. I get nothing from that but he’ll like knowing how you found him.

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