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  1. #1

    Watering a Race Track

    Hi.

    I have been studying for a while for my project and generally get the ideas of flow rates, head/psi, friction losses and such. Still I would like to get some feedback before I go do my project wrongly.

    I have a dirt race track that is about 6400 square feet of soft dirt (see www.outbackrc.com for pictures, etc). I water it to keep down the dust and sometimes to help with traction. I use a 225-foot (150-foot from house to track, 75-foot within the track) run of 3/4" garden hose from my house, which is on a private well. There is a very gentle slope down from the house to the race track. Let's say the pressure and flow is not as desired. It takes 15 minutes to moderately water the track. I estimate about 50 gallons is being used in this 15 minutes. To an extent, I am using more water than necessary to keep the first spots wet by the time I get to the final spot on the track -- i.e., if I could mist the track in 2 minutes, I could use less water to get through the ensuing 5-7 minute race.

    There are many possible solution. Through a combination of considerations, I propose a system whereby a number co-located of 55-gallon barrels are slow-filled with water from the house. Manual filling is acceptable, but some kind of sensing switch that auto-fills (tops-off) the barrel(s) would be nice. So, QUESTION 1: What product would accomplish this topping off action, ideally not using electricity.

    Now that the barrels are full, the water must be strayed out onto the track. I am guessing a final outflow of 15 gpm at 50 psi might work(the farther I can spray, the less hose length I need, as the person can just stand back and angle up)). I am rejecting the use of sprinklers because the fierce winds can cause planned patterns to be blown to somewhere else. I think I need a person/people adjusting the placement of the water by 'eye'. So I might have 1, 2, maybe 3 hose lines of say 75-feet each coming from the barrels. These could also be 3/4-inch garden hose, for example, although lighter hose is easier to handle. I could see also using only 50-foot hose of a larger diameter if it could throw water around to achieve the desired effect. A stationary water gun that could spray the entire track from a fixed position would be great, but I guess not likely. So, by looking around at what is out on the market, by seeing that an electric pump might require 11 amps of 120v though my 175-feet of 12ga extension cord (which is already in use by other users), I thought maybe a used ~5hp gas-powered pump with 2-inch inlet/discharge might be plenty good enough. QUESTION 2: is that a fair design -- ~5hp gas-powered driving 2-3 3/4-inch garden hoses through some 2-inch to multiple-garden-hose adapter.

    Overall, is there a better system design? long-term low cost is good. Reducing the time to water the track is extremely desirable (going from 15 minutes to 3 minutes, for example). The track is shaped like a 1/4 of a circle with a 90-foot radius with likely water source near the circle's center, at the edge of the track.

    [PS: if I put any unecessary stipulations in the design, feel free to break down the problem a little differently, such as if using an electric pump is really, really better, then go with that, etc.]

  2. #2
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    The big trick Bob is to run a two inch or so pipe from the well to the track instead of that 10 gpm or less garden hose. That should take care of the whole thing unless your pump and well can't keep up with what your doing at the track.

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  3. #3
    quote:Originally posted by speedbump

    The big trick Bob is to run a two inch or so pipe from the well to the track instead of that 10 gpm or less garden hose. That should take care of the whole thing unless your pump and well can't keep up with what your doing at the track.

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    Hi. And thanks.

    That is a different angle. I am not sure if I am in for the costs (permit, trenching, labor, & parts) of that one. I imagine the house well pump could keep up. Let me go ask my well&septic guys what I would be in for.

  4. #4
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    I can't imagine needing a permit to dig a small trench and put a two inch pipe in it. Oh, that's right your in Illinois, the State that houses Chicago. The most corrupt City in America (Maybe next to what used to be called Detroit) that explains it.[)]

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  5. #5
    quote:Originally posted by speedbump

    I can't imagine needing a permit to dig a small trench and put a two inch pipe in it. Oh, that's right your in Illinois, the State that houses Chicago. The most corrupt City in America (Maybe next to what used to be called Detroit) that explains it.[)]

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    Yep. If you would have any suggestions for the permittless, able-to-be-whipped-together-in-a-week-or-two soultion (the pump and barrel), I would like to know about that also. At least I could then price it up and compare and choose. I like the barrel&pump idea because it is a little more flexible in where I put it, plus I can get rid of it someday. Do you think the requirements for the barrel&pump approach could be met? I am still waiting for a callback from my well&septic guy to see what that would take.

    Thanks.

  6. #6
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    I don't like the barrel and pump approach. A gas pump can empty one in about 5 seconds. That's not good for the pump to keep losing prime and pumping dry.

    I would just run the larger pipe.

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  7. #7
    quote:Originally posted by speedbump

    I don't like the barrel and pump approach. A gas pump can empty one in about 5 seconds. That's not good for the pump to keep losing prime and pumping dry.

    I would just run the larger pipe.

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    OK. I will think more like that. I know my house has a pressure tank. I take it that the 2-inch pipe would not have a pressure tank. Just curious.

    Hey, what if I put the 2-inch pipe right near the well-head and ran 2-inch hose over to the track (say that's about a 250 to 300-foot run) -- would that be the same (I am also trying to avoid a trench that cuts through my buried electric, tree roots and septic field).

  8. #8
    BTW, there was a secret side-effect I was going to gain with some kind of holding tank -- I was going to try mixing in stuff like TrackMoist detergent. So that would be a loss that I did not mnetion before.

  9. #9
    Pump guy speedbump's Avatar
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    Sure, pipe hose, makes no difference it's the size and friction loss properties that matter. You can go to my diagrams area and check the friction loss for your distance at your proposed gallons per minute.

    No tank is necessary, you can use the one you already have. Just have a valve at the end.

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  10. #10
    quote:Originally posted by speedbump

    Sure, pipe hose, makes no difference it's the size and friction loss properties that matter. You can go to my diagrams area and check the friction loss for your distance at your proposed gallons per minute.

    No tank is necessary, you can use the one you already have. Just have a valve at the end.

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    Thanks again. I have someone coming out today to see how to implement any piping, etc.

    BTW, just by chance, someone from another racetrack called me last night and explained the system they have used. They buried 2-inch pipe with spigots at 3 locations, then (without having a well) they would take a 1000-gallon water wagon and fill it up from a pond (using a gas-powered pump), then roll it over to the track, and connect the pump to the 2-inch buried pipe system. They would then turn on the pump and have 3 hoses working at once. They said it was very fast.

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