22 January 2018
Adapt your rainwater tank
You can connect a pump to your rainwater collection tank when you need to operate a sprinkler or wash your car, but there are times when all you want is to simply fill a watering-can.
Here is a simple solution that will allow you to use virtually all the water in the tank, with no risk. All it is, is simply replacing one of the drainage plugs with a connector and other components and you can feed water directly via a garden hose into a watering-can.
40-20mm nylon reducing bush; two 20mm nylon nipples; one 20mm PVC ball valve; one 19mm (¾) female hose connector; thread tape.
- The components laid out in order of connection – from the 40-20mm nylon reducing bush on the left to the first 20mm nozzle, then the ball valve, second nozzle and finally the 19mm (¾) hose connector on the right.
- To stop water leaking out between the threads, wind a few turns of thread tape around each component’s thread clockwise as shown here. Note that the first part of the thread is left untapped so that it can get a good grip on the part into which it is being turned. The thread is wound on against the direction of rotation when tightening the connection (counter-clockwise when viewed from the open end) to prevent the tape from bunching up. Put as much tape as you feel is necessary. Get it wrong and you will probably have to drain the tank, remove the hose-connector assembly, and re-thread the offending leaking connection.
- One of the 20mm nozzles turned on to the ball-valve housing.
- This is the drain plug that we were replacing with the ball-valve assembly.
- To screw the drain plug in, we made up this simple tool. The two 10mm dowels are about 10mm apart and exert a turning force on the central ridge on the plug.
- As the tank was already full of water, we didn’t want to waste any, so instead on removing the plug, we turned it in until some water was seeping out at reasonable rate.
- At that point, we screwed the whole hose-connector assembly into the drain fitting. As the bushing met the plug, we turned it as well, dislodging it into the tank and simultaneously sealing the drain.
- Ready to roll – with watering-can ready for water.
- This is what we would have had to connect up if we had not adapted the tank with the tap fitting.
- One eager tortoise waiting for a little cool bathe – before we connected the hose fitting described above.
These materials are available at Selected Mica Stores. To find out which is your closest Mica and whether or not they stock the items required, please go to www.mica.co.za, find your store and call them. If your local Mica does not stock exactly what you need they will be able to order it for you or suggest an alternative product or a reputable source.
• TIME: 30 minutes – 1 hour – if that
• COST: R50-R75
• Skill: 1
• Assistant: No