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Water In A Studio Without Plumbing: Ideas Needed

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#21 Pres


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:30 AM

PA frost is 48" where as it is normally 36". Wonder why so many places are bursting pipes!

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#22 Benzine


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Posted 05 March 2014 - 07:57 AM

PA frost is 48" where as it is normally 36". Wonder why so many places are bursting pipes!

No doubt there Pres. Our frost depth, is right around that as well. Normally it's around twelve inches.

My friend, who lives in Maine, says their frost depth, isn't anywhere near our's, and he's a stones throw from Canada.
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#23 Tarheeler



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Posted 06 March 2014 - 09:26 AM

My wife and I plan to use a storage tank and a system of strainers to recycle the water we use. We'll have to fill the tank initially with a hose, but after that just an occasional top-off and cleaning of the strainers should be all that it needs. We'll use either a hand pump or small electric one (the 12v one is a great idea) to bring the water back in.

It'll basically be a homemade cink with a large storage tank.

#24 dolly



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Posted 16 March 2014 - 09:44 PM

wow i have a hair salon in my garden my husband ran a pipe out from our water had our plumber in and he connected a shower unit and have a small tank outside dug into the ground , and a pump, which pumps the water into our drain, and that didn't cost the earth to have done, my husband just hoses it out now and again, cos i won't lie it does get a build up of soap and gunk. but otherwise pretty good, we lagged the pipes and just buried them slightly in the ground,  what a fab studio that would make, but business comes first ....

#25 Viking Potter

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 09:54 PM

I have the same issue and I solved it by getting...... a rain barrel.  Sam's Club has them locally.  They are 60 gallons, have a garden hose faucet on the bottom and fill at the top.  I have mine sitting on a cabinet and I fill it various ways including melt water from buckets of snow that I collect and filter.  As for a pump, there are lots of pumps that hook up to garden hoses that you can get in either 12 volt or 115 volt and you can pump water into your rain barrel or out, or both.   I am thinking of building a recirculating water system that would run from 2 or three plastic barrels and utilize a solid trap under a sink. 

#26 nairda


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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:06 AM

My studio (separate bldg from my house) has no water and it works very well.  There's a utility sink in our basement, about 25' away that I use for final hand cleaning/glaze mixing water. I  wet mix glazes outdoors to eliminate dust inside basement or studio.  


In the studio I use a 3.5 gallon plastic beverage dispenser that sits up on wooden blocks the same size as the dispenser base so it's stable.  Dispenser has flip up/down lever to turn the water on/off so it's easy to use with slip covered fingers.  There's a 12-cup plastic catch basin on the table under the tap.   I use a 'clean water only'  3 gallon bucket to refill the dispenser.  


I glaze about 50-60 pieces at a time and have glaze buckets on dollies.  When glazing, I spread a fabric dropcloth on the floor that catches all the drops/splops. When it gets really dirty it gets hosed off outside and line dried.


Decades ago I had to haul every drop of potable water I used in daily life in gallon buckets which prompted efficient water use habits.  While it works for me, it's probably not efficient if you are making 100 pots a day, every day. I'm in my studio almost every day, but have a leisurely production schedule and only mix 5 gallon bucket sized containers of glaze.  My studio stays much cleaner without running water, probably because it makes me mindful of not being sloppy with clay/glazes.

#27 Stephen



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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:33 AM

well if you are making 100 pots a day, every day, and they sell for an average of $30 that's 1.1 million dollars in pottery and one can afford whatever water system they want  :D 

#28 Idaho Potter

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 09:51 PM

I concerned about you using household drains to cleanup studio messes.  The sedimentary residue from clay, glaze, and other stuff will eventually block your drains and could cost you a lot of money to repair.  That stuff sets up like concrete.  Cink's are expensive.  However, you can make something similar using laundry tubs with standpipes under your stainless sink.  I've been using mine for over thirty years, never had plumbing problems, and when I moved to Boise, brought the whole thing with me and set it up in my new studio nine years ago.  I use twin tubs, so once a year, I bail out water from one side--let it go dry, and scoop out the sediment into the trash.  Then I do the other side.  If you are interested, I could probably come up with some drawings.  Basically it is based on a deep sink with a standpipe that was designed for cleaning up plaster from molds, etc.  Works like a charm, and cost is low--laundry tubs, some PVC pipes, and enough room under the tubs for a P-trap.  (my stainless sink is set high, and I cut the legs off the tubs to lower them but keep space for the P-trap)



#29 stonefly



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Posted 20 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

I'm surprised that so many pack water!  I have a dry studio too, about a block away from my house.  I haul 5 gal buckets from home.  I just dip from the buckets, warm the water on the woodstove and pitch the slops into the sagebrush behind the shed.  (Which is a giant snow/ice/mud pile right now..)  Really dirty stuff comes home to hose off outside or (winter) wash in my mudroom sink.  I never thought of a pump with a recirculating system.  I have wondered about building a rack with a basin in it and creating a settling and "clear-ish reclaim" bucket under.  You could have buckets with spigots above the basin - one clean and one reclaimed for washing in a gravity fed sink-like system.  For now I just pack and dip.

#30 earthfan


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Posted 29 May 2014 - 09:50 AM

I don't use a lot of water until I start glazing. My cold water tap is in the yard outside and before I start potting I fill up a number of soft drink bottles with water and spread them around the studio. I have a bucket of water for washing my hands and I use spray bottles a lot to dampen and as a substitute for running water.

#31 Mark C.

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Posted 29 May 2014 - 01:03 PM

I could not have a production pottery studio without water-I would catch it or pump it or drill for it but I need it.

If I was a hobbyist I could fake it without and use a bucket but I'm not.

If you glaze fire each week water is needed to make glazes.


Mark Cortright

#32 MMB


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Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:19 PM

I dont use this for my studio but because we run off a well I havent been wanting to take hundreds of gallons of water for my aquaponics. So Ive used 55 gallon drums as rain barrels which you can find for very cheap and add a bulk head fitting on the bottom. Recently, I took an extra cut IBC tote and placed it near a gutter. The gutter catches an 8 by 8 area worth of tin roof and during the last storm I got 150 gallons worth of water. Totes can be found as cheap as 50 bucks in most areas. You could very easily set one up in an area that is advantageous and have a lot of water at your disposal after a rain. I hooked up a hose so I utilize the gravity and pressure but Harbor Freight sells good water (fountain) pumps at very good prices. Pretty sure a small one inside the bottom of a tote with the outlet directed horizontally to where you need it, through a bulk head fitting that is, and have it linked to a lightswitch as your on/off could work well. Pumps are rated for the GPH and Head lift. Im sure pushing horizonally will give a little bit better performance than pushing out and up the tank then down again.



#33 applekate



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Posted 30 May 2014 - 12:23 PM

Thanks All!

I ended up using an RV pump and it works great. Another option for those with lots of money starting a studio with no water is the Cink. It includes the sink and a pump, etc.


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