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Solutions to common rainwater harvesting problems

Posted by Barry Nutley on 19 August 2009 at 2:30 pm

This months blog offers solution to some of the possible problems people with rainwater harvesting systems may encounter. Some may appear obvious, but...

1) Toilet cisterns do not refill after flushing.

i. Possible power failure to pump. Check power supply is OK.
ii. Pressure switch failure. Reset pressure switch.

2) Pump keeps turning on/off without toilets being flushed.

i. Pressure drop in pipework. Check for signs of leakage.
ii. Toilet cistern valves are leaking. Repair/replace valves.

3) The system does not appear to be collecting water.

i. Hopper may be blocked. Unblock.
ii. Check filters for blockage. Unblock.
iii. Check float switch is not tangled. Untangle.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and there can be other issues not covered here. But as you can see, most problems are solved relatively easily, with a little thought. Finally, I thought I'd share this with you:

A TV advertising campaign in Brazil is encouraging people to urinate while having a shower to save water that would be used by flushing the toilet.

Photo by foxypar4

About the author: Barry Nutley is co-founder and director of Viridis Energie Consultants

About the author: Barry Nutley is co-founder and director of Viridis Energie Consultants

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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2 comments - read them below or add one

Cathy Debenham

Cathy DebenhamComment left on: 3 November 2014 at 11:39 am

Hi Debbie I'm afraid I'm not an expert on rainwater harvesting, but it sounds to me like bad installation. You certainly shouldn't be having any of the problems you mention. 

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debbie4471Comment left on: 3 November 2014 at 10:24 am

We have recently built our own 4 bedroom detached property and installed a rainwater harvestor.  However we have only been in property since August and have had problems with toilet blocking and brown water coming up through shower and sinks and also make a lot of noise   Is this bad installation or just something you have to put up with?

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