Good Afternoon! I hope this post finds you well, healthy, happy, and not obsessed about prepping. Also, I hope you are clear-headed and enjoying each and every day. Which means that you have probably not been spending time worrying about things you have no control over, have known they were coming anyways, and not consuming your time with social media…especially websites that are a hybrid of prepping and social media…complete waste of time when compared to more productive time spent.
As you remember back on June 21st COVID hit our household…wife and I both came down with it. Yuck! Then on June 23rd I posted an article “Intensify” I had been working on for a while…had to finish it up while in the early stages of COVID. I hope you read that article…I gave a stark assessment of where our country was and where it was headed. But most of all I told you to get to work. I hope you did…you gonna need to have. Then on the 4th of July I posted an article that has been evolving for years now. I wrote the original version some years ago and each year on Independence Day I post it again with edits, corrections, and an expansion of ideas of what has happened to America and thoughts to ponder. I hope you read that article as well…it will give you pause to think about how our Founding Fathers would be treated today.
Right about then, 7/4, I started to feel good enough to work half days…normally the 12 hours from 4am – 4pm. Some days I knocked off early and called it quits about 2pm due to heat…yeah, hard to find good help these days!
My first post-COVID project was to finish a project I started earlier this summer. Oh, wait…let me explain something else first. I made a conscious decision to not post anything for a month. I made that decision for two reasons; 1) I wanted to focus my mental time on exactly what was happening in the world and give my brain time to percolate it, 2) I needed most of my daytime to get some really serious stuff done in a timely manner. Both were accomplished, sorry for the absence and more so for not telling you at the time. Back to my first post-COVID project that took the majority of my time in July…
In late spring my wife and I had a serious conversation about what was happening in the world, where did those things fall within the probability/severity scale, what our #1 mitigation priority should be, and to get on “fixing” that situation as quickly as possible.
Yeah, it was not a fun conversation and it pointed out how serious the trouble is in our country and world is right now. Kind of a downer but that conversation had to take place. So the answer was a stable and affordable “water supply” for our place.
Remember, we live off-grid, off the beaten path, and kinda like a soft homestead situation. Maybe I should invent a new descriptive word for it…”glamsteading”…BINGO! Homesteading but with all the modern conveniences, shopping for our food, enjoying vehicles, watching TV, and air conditioning, but being off-grid.
When we bought our place we were thrilled that it already had a well on it, although we didn’t know the condition of the well at the time. Thankfully it was fine as we found out after a $600 inspection by a local competent and trusted well drilling company. Whew!!! Big worry lifted off our shoulders.
Shortly thereafter I started talking to a local plumbing supply house that specialized in wells…commercial, agricultural, residential, and off-grid. He gave me some great tips based on our situation such as:
- Use 1” Yellow Bimodal MDPE (Medium Density Polyethylene) Gas Pipe.
- Use a good quality 1/2hp 120v pump.
- Since the wellhead was 750’ from the house just use a 3500w gas/propane generator once a week to fill the water storage tank (also 750’ from the wellhead).
- Do it myself.
Man, great advice. The 1” pipe allowed me to accomplish a couple things; 1) no fittings, just a single piece of pipe running the 190’ to the pump, 2) I could run it up and down the well myself with a little engineering and our UTV, 3) the pump supplied the appropriate amount of water and the 120v 1/2hp configuration was substantially less expensive than any other option. It worked great for the first 2-1/2 years…then our water usage went up substantially and the price of gasoline went into the stratosphere. But most of all…we were dependent on acquiring gasoline or propane to run the generator.
Now to be fair to myself…in the back of my mind I had planned on doing a mini stand-alone solar system to power the well operation, I just hadn’t gotten to it yet. Well, “yet” turned into now…we saw the extreme danger in being dependent on gasoline/propane for our water. I designed a minimal solar system for the operation. I actually had the charge controller and solar panels on hand. I knew the inverter I wanted but I needed batteries. A friend of mine owns a local solar store so I met with him over lunch for pricing on batteries. He opened my eyes to an option that I though was beyond my reach…a DC pump and solar power. He explained it in detail and assured me I could handle the install myself. And, lunch was delicious.
So for two-weeks I prepped, ran wire, built an array stand, installed four solar panels, ran more wire, etc. Then four days of pulling the old pump, plumbing the new pump, running wire, and putting the new pump down the hole. Then test, test, and test. And yes, I had to pull it back up once to redo a bad wire splice. Then everything worked as planned and we had the added benefit of a float switch to run the well automatically when the storage tank hit 50% capacity. Then I had to cover the signal wire from tank to pump controller and put another 18” of dirt on top of the water line from the well to the tank. Yeah…150 buckets of dirt from a 60hp Kubota front loader over 3-days. No, the Kubota is not mine…belongs to a neighbor who gladly lent it to me. Great neighbors!!
Then hard rains hit and our retention pond system took a beating…had to upgrade and fix that situation. Another 10 days of backbreaking work in miserable heat and humidity. But the side benefit is we now have better built ponds, about 80,000 gals of surface water storage, and a much more secure 900’ driveway.
Mix in there some work helping out neighbors, working on our community roads, plus gardening, and you get an idea what has been going on with me. Oh, and I mowed the grass three times…but that is another story all together.
So here is what is coming:
- I am going to post some recent feedback gathered from my 6/27 article.
- I am going to respond to some questions that I have been asked.
- I am going to produce a SitRep…very different from my previous ones.
- I am going to post some “Tips & Traps” that have been rolling around in my head.
- I am going to post a couple articles that will hopefully jog you into you considering you own situation.
- And then…well, whatever I feel like doing.
So hang in there…I am renewed, refreshed, coming from a different perspective, and reading to rock it forward.
Come on back regularly and see what is happening!
note: if you still would like to send me feedback you can do so here…<click here>
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- It’s official…We have COVID !
- 4th of July – Independence Day 2022
- Email Issue Resolved & Feedback Requested
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The 2 step (2 pumps) system of water gathering has been a mainstay for some time
Solar DC direct to DC pump to a non-pressurized tank with the float switch is a perfect solution to gather the water
then a second pump drawing from the storage tank to a pressure tank with a second pump (AC or DC) without having to lift the water again is perfect
way to go
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Thank you Doug!
I thought the system best. I am not crazy about the well to pressurized tank set-up that a lot of people have. I want water stored in a non-pressurized tank just in case. My well pump pushes my water out of the well for 700′ to the tank…only 12′ additional head (height above wellhead). My pressure tank sits in my utility room attached to the house, 15′ below the tank level, powered by a 120v jet pump powered by the house AC service (solar system). And I think you will like this…I have a 330gal water tank in the utility room as well as a backup water supply. If my main water source quits, I turn two valves and 330 gals at my disposal till I get things straightened out.
You are well versed (i.e. educated) in these areas, any other thoughts or ideas???
Thanks for the affirmation 🙂
AH, intrigued by the 12volt pump system.. want specs, controller, etc. after you have run it through the paces of course. Wow a real game changer, exactly what we expect from you. I remember way back when you were raving on the UV5R, antennas, mics, etc! Thats how I got started listening to you.
I pray you and loved ones are well, or mending that way.
Dark sky’s are on the horizon, better batten the doors to the barn and load some extra fire wood in the kitchen stove bin.
Are you on a good strong HF station now? Hit me up on email if you are.
In my summer hang out in Idaho
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Ah, no “12v pump system” ! 🙂 It’s DC Voltage Range: 90-400 and AC Voltage Range: 90-265.
And yes, of course, I would enjoy running through it on a post. Great information to be shared and a great product/system at work.
Yeah, the UV5R radios rock!!! Anyone who invested in them love them…and really are glad they bought when they did…more features available then than now.
I don’t even have my HF up and running as of now. It’s kinda down the list of priorities…but still on the list.
Hang in there brother…good people out there for the bad times that are coming and for those that are here already.