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Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
#501127 01/23/19 10:32 PM
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I want to install aeration this summer at my pond. The pond is about 1000 feet away from electricity. Attached is an aerial. I have a quote to install an electric system and a quote to install a solar system. I would prefer to have the electric system but don't want to run a new electric service from the buildings to the pond. Would it be possible to run an air line the 1000 feet from the buildings to the pond? If so what size would it need to be and what would the approximate cost be?

Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501131 01/24/19 07:11 AM
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Run the air line, it will be way cheaper and it works. I run 6 diffusers using two 1/2hp pumps, 1 1/2" rolled tubbing, to pond and then reduce to 1" pvc around the pond. Add a ball valve to control air to each diffuser along with weighted air line and your done. About 1,800' to my pond and then a couple more 100 to 200' to my diffusers. I have my pumps in a building far away from the house to reduce pump noise around the house. One more thing, based on your request being in Iowa, you may need to bury your line to keep the moisture in the line from freezing up in the winter months. Their are others here that might jump in for more or better information for you.


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501132 01/24/19 07:18 AM
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I always heard things like "you can run air 1,000' feet" or "cheaper to run air than electricity" so that's what I did at my place in Summer 2017. I ran a 1.5" airline ~750'. Then I started learning big lessons. Winter 2017/2018 condensation collected in a dip in the airline, froze up and totally shut down my aeration. Blew up two pumps in the process.

So, lesson learned. Last Summer we dug up about half the airline an rerouted it in a way that put the entire airline on grade (downhill) all the way to the valve box. I am lucky that my pump sits ~40-50' higher than the lake. Out of the valve box we made sure the weighted lines were on grade all the way into the water. Winter 2018/2019 I must have a dip in the airline somewhere near the shore in water to shallow to prevent the airline from freezing because the lines are freezing up again and my aeration has been choked off. This year is much better than last. We haven't been totally shut down, but airflow has been substantially reduced and I am not able to keep a hole open every single day.

So to make a long story short. If you can't 100% guarantee that you will not have a single dip in your airline over the 1000' run then I would run power. If you have one single section that is off and collects condensation you will have a fight on your hands.


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501133 01/24/19 07:22 AM
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I agree, It should be less expensive to run air tubing than wire and you'll need to be careful with grade as WBuffettJr stated or bury the line below the frost line. Burying the line below the frost line will also help to prevent any joints from pulling apart due to thermal expansion. How big/deep is the pond? That will help determine the sizing of your aeration system components. I like the idea of the black poly rolled tubing Tracy suggests. If you use a big enough tubing, you can run electric wire thru it in the future if you decide you want electric at the pond without additional retrenching. Just curious, what size wire and what voltage was quoted to run electric the 1000 feet to the pond to keep from having too much voltage drop?

Last edited by Bill D.; 01/24/19 07:50 AM. Reason: after thought


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501136 01/24/19 07:45 AM
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Bill D., as I am pretty much a dumb arse when it comes to running elec to the pond, I called the local elec coop, they wanted $10,000 to run the same distance as the poly pipe.


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Tracy
Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501139 01/24/19 09:32 AM
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The problem with burying the airline deep enough in freezing country is having enough grade.

If your pump is sitting well above your pond then it's doable. If you do not have some God given fall to get to your water then you have a problem.

I'm fairly certain avoiding the frost line means going at least 36" deep and probably closer to 48" deep in Iowa. So you come out of the pump and go straight to 48" deep then the airline has to FALL from there. They say the minimum fall for gravity flow pipe (sewer) is 1/4" per foot. Over a 1,000' run that would require 20' of fall!! Obviously that is not possible so you can see you will have far less fall than the generally accepted minimum for sewer. Let's say you only fall the airline 5' over the 1,000' run. You started 4' deep and have gone down another 5' over the 1,000' run so now you are 9' deep at the waters edge. How do you get back up into the water without creating a nasty P Trap that fills with condensation and then freezes once it rises above the frost line?

I am lucky that I have a fairly steep path to my water to work with and I still have had nothing but trouble. I wish I had run power!!

EDIT: If Winter 2019/2020 gives me condensation issues again I WILL be pulling a power wire thru the airline.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 01/24/19 09:35 AM.

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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501141 01/24/19 09:53 AM
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If you can't maintain a downard slope and end up with a "dip" in the line, you might want to add a condensate valve at the low point to let the water out. Best to have some way to access it for service as they plug up at some point. Not selling McMaster Carr stuff, but an example is their part number 41645K47. Or a pin hole would work with minor loss of air. Condensate freezing issues are a difficult problem in cold climates. I calculate you would need 10 gauge copper to run 230 volt single phase 1/2HP over 1,000 feet, with loss of ~10 volts, if that helps at all. Best of luck!


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501151 01/24/19 02:06 PM
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Hobbyman - the float activated drain valves is definitely an interesting solution. I have never used one of those before. When you say they get plugged up is it from "trash" or do you mean from possibly freezing? For my remote setting I prefer the pin hole only because there's no moving parts but it could also become plugged. It seems like either solution still creates the issue of dealing with the condensate that is flushed. The float activated device definitely has my attention tho.

Last edited by wbuffetjr; 01/24/19 02:06 PM.

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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
wbuffetjr #501163 01/24/19 08:42 PM
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Thank you for all the insight and helpful advice. The pond is about an acre and a half. The deepest part of the pond is 14 feet deep. The electrician that looked at it for me said that it wasn't feasible to run a line from my breaker box because of the voltage drop. He said I would need to run a second primary service to the pond. I stopped pursuing it at that point. The pond is about 40 to 50 feet below the elevation of the buildings. It might make the run a little longer than 1000 feet but I should be able to slope downhill all the way to the pond. The quote I have for the electric aeration system is for a 3/4 HP Sentinel Aeration System with three double disk diffusers. It includes 3/8 inch weighted tubing. For the single pipe to have a greater area than the three pipes combined it looks like I should use a 1 1/2 inch pipe from the pump to the manifold. What type of pipe should I use? Does someone have a name of a manufacturer or link to the type of pipe that should be used?

Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501165 01/24/19 08:52 PM
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for airline only any cheap flexible roll of thin wall poly pipe will do 1" or 1.25" or 1.5" If you dig it deep and bury so it doesn't get snagged by any other piece of mechanical equipment and if you minimize the number of fittings and joints it will be just fine.

Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
wbuffetjr #501169 01/24/19 09:06 PM
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We use them in more industrial settings, so the plugging might be from oil type compressors or some process fluids. I think with "dry" air pumps the plugging potential would be lower, but solids / bio-gunk seem to get everywhere eventually. I think part of my issue is water freezing in a low spot, although I also have power issues, so i'm thinking of trying one of these if I can figure out a way to access it. I'm no expert in pond aeration - just trying to apply some things we use for other applications, and following along with others are figuring out.


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501180 01/25/19 07:20 AM
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Hobbyman - 10-4 I am in the same boat!!

Hawkeyes - You probably don't have very rocky soil there in Iowa. If you do, IMO it is worth a little extra money to get the heavier pipe. Our soil is very rocky and the really thin stuff is VERY easy to kink and/or crush with a rock. I think I used 1.5" schedule 80. Downside is a 500' roll of schedule 80 is a bear to handle! Definitely a two man job!


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501183 01/25/19 07:48 AM
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I believe most are speaking of underground electrical. I had our electric co-op run overhead service down to my pond here in Texas.They charged $2.00 a foot and tied into my breaker box for about $2,000 total.I only had to bury about 50 foot of wire to get to my pump station. Just a thought to check into overhead pricing.


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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501266 01/28/19 12:58 PM
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There is not one mention wind or solar at the pond? Why?

I'm looking at this with the FREEZE preventive add on... about 20% of the $10,000 mentioned to just run the power and then no increased power bills!

My guess is on Iowa you have 'plenty' of wind and if the sun don't shine you have bigger problems then your pond.... wink

http://www.stoneycreekequip.com/form/windmill.htm

http://www.stoneycreekequip.com/form/aeration_solar.htm

Last edited by Stressless; 01/28/19 02:36 PM.

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Re: Solar vs 1000 feet of airhose
hawkeyes #501268 01/28/19 04:40 PM
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My place is at 10,000' and we have some very powerful winds. I have two windmills at our place and I would take a solar rig over either one of them. Just my experience.


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