Thursday, July 30, 2009

Infrastructure , this one was expensive!

rough-in on shower pan

The shower finished
on demand Tank-less propane water heater
shallow well pump and pressure tank.

this was the easy part for me , when possible most line company's will let you build your service on the ground , saves time!

Just thought I would share what you have to do , when your paying as you go , and doing the labor yourself , I can sometimes make this look easy , But when you go for it things don't always go your way !

So cheers to all the Do It Yourself people ! how do you know if you don't try ?

and that's the way it is !
See ya tomorrow .bb


  1. Great series of postings. This is EXACTLY what I am aiming toward. so of course I have a ton of questions:
    => Do you have a well, or do you have water delivered, or rainwater collection?
    => Did you think about going off-grid for the cabin?
    => Can you show some interior shots?
    => Have you had a problem with security when you are not there (break-ins or theft?).
    => Did you work with a realtor?

    Lots more, if you will induldge my curiosity...


  2. Hello Buzzardcheater,
    The p.o.a. has a very good well and is shared buy property owners,There are lots of water wells in this area. A well is coming soon to my place , already been witched and know about how deep the good water is. When i built the home i went as efficient as possible, wood heat , evaporative cooling, just got a hold of a propane stove yea!, propane on demand water heater ,and yes I'm set up to go renewable with a 24 volt/2400 watt inverter and 6 @ 125 watt pv panels ,I'm thinking I'll get about 1.25 kilowatts per day witch should run almost everything 3 of us will need ,lighting, tv , modem , computers and small appliances /small hand tools. will use generator for water pumping and laundry until i add some more panels to the system. That's all I'm going to spend on this one ,the 2nd on the upper pad will be completely "Off Grid" and "Green" .

    Back in the past there where some whom thought they wanted something that belonged to someone else, but things have change with more full timer out here and GUNS ! no more problems
    that simple !
    The realtor I used is Kelly Willams
    @ check listing in The D.M.R.


  3. Cool. Thanks for the answers. Couple more if you are willing:
    => How are you handling black water? I'd guess you are running grey water out somehow into the grass?
    => How long after you bought the property did you put up the cabin?
    => How far was the run for power and phone? (equates to $$, no doubt)

    Thanks again, and keep 'em coming.

  4. Since I live on the side of a mountain water runs downhill. thus no pounding of black-water from sink. tip: emulsify your grease with dawn liquid soap and like magic back to grey water, I have a 1200 gallon pump only septic tank for toilet. Poor soil conditions mean soil replacement for the drain field, still working on other systems but for now I'm good with a pump-out once a year

    I would rather have the well!

    Going to composting toilet on #2

    Yes all grey water is diverted to the trees

    There is not much grass as most folks no it .

    Utilities were a real big deal 1100ft about $3900.00 in 2005

  5. Many thanks for the quick, straight-up answers! Anxious to see the next sets of pics showing the evolution of your very nice place.



  6. hey, how does that small pressure tank with pump workout? Does your Pump cycle alot? or does it allow you to take a shower for a while before turning on?

  7. what are your thoughts of using a larger pressure tank for less cycling?

  8. Hello Marc,

    shallow well pumps with built in pressure tanks range from 1/2 hp with 5 gal pressure tanks to 3.0 hp with 30 gallon tanks or larger, I have a top of the line Craftsman 1.5 hp with 19 gallon tank. this unit works great for our conservative water usage. recharge is about 2 minutes @ 4O PSI

    I picked this up on e-bay for 160.00 delivered There are about $320.00 retail

    Most folks I know use a 1/2 hp with 5 gallon tank.they cycle often but do not draw a lot of is some important.

    info :a single phase 1 hp electric motor @ 120 volts AC = 760 watts continuous. (120 volts / 760 = 6.333 amps continuous). 1/2 hp would be (380 watts / 120 volts = 3.15 amps continuous) 1.5 hp = (1140 watts / 120 volts = 9.5 amps continuous) (ohms law)

    (watts / voltage = amps) (volts x amps = watts) (watts / amps = voltage) these formulas are relevant and do not change with AC or DC current, you will need these simple formulas when you configure you electrical system by taking your total watts usage per day , then decide if you want a 24 volt system or a 12 volt system, select an inverter that exceeds you usage by 20% ,followed by the ability to recharge the battery system with solar panels and wind ,you must have enough power to recharge you bank ,plus extra to run devices during the daylight hours and still charge your bank. of course propane for cooking , heating , water heating .or go jw style with solar water and cooking

    back to pumps

    The larger systems make for the usage of more devices at one time such as watering plants , washing machine , shower ,and a sink of dishes at the same time ,

    I believe you should think of a system with no less than 1 hp and a 15 to 20 gallon tank. this should take care off all your needs.

    The water you haul or rain catch is a blessing in the high desert and the way you use it depends on how off grid you want to be.
    You will be using your renewable electricity or battery bank to power the pump your system will tolerate a smaller water pressure system by being conservative with you usage.

    Larger tanks will take much longer to recharge and if your not using the system like a city M.U.D ,then you really need to think less is more.

    hope this helps , and yes my pump may cycle once during a shower sometimes not at all.