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Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

Suggestions for a gravity water system using 5 gallon water jugs.

Asked by Jonathan_hodgkins (673points) March 16th, 2010

I work for a walk-a-thon & we get hundreds of 5 gallon water jugs donated for our walkers. For years we’ve been using a pump system, but it’s inefficient and not quick enough. I’m looking for a something gravity fed, like an inexpensive valve that could be transferred from jug to jug.

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5 Answers

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Quick enough for what? Showers? Misting? Setting out cups of water?

We’re pretty bright, we are (mostly), but we aren’t mind-readers.

Jonathan_hodgkins's avatar

About 40,000 walkers participate in this local Walk-a-thon. Meaning that the pumps aren’t quick enough for volunteers filling cups. A gravity fed system would be quicker and in turn, more efficient.

lilikoi's avatar

That is a lot of wasted plastic.

Is drawing water directly from a spigot not an option?

Why don’t you just get one of these, and instead of using the lid, flip the jug into the top of it. It would have to be at least 5 gal capacity – you’d probably want it to be slightly bigger and the diameter of the cooler would have to be small enough that the jug doesn’t fall in but big enough that it balances.

Getting water straight from a hose bibb would be much more efficient, still. No intermediate plastic waste, no lifting and flipping heavy 5 gal jugs. And they are reusable meaning you can use them again next year.

CyanoticWasp's avatar

Give everyone a peeled cucumber. It’s mostly water anyway, easily transportable, and any unused ones will compost readily.

jahono's avatar

The type of valve you need will depend on the fitting on the jug, i.e. if it has a threaded lid you’ll want a threaded valve (or spiggot/tap). If it has no thread you’ll need it secured some other way, or as mentioned above, tip the thing into another vessel.

Gravity fed literally just implies turning the jug upside-down, or which ever orientation is required to have the valve at the bottom, and thus the water level above the valve.

Becuase you need the water to flow quickly you’ll also have to puncture the top of the plastic container to let air in. (top of container being the opposite end to the end with the tap obviously).

The size of the pipe within your tap will also restrict the flow: larger = faster flow.

Lastly – the fastest way to fill a cup is to scoop it full!

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