Wednesday, September 12, 2012

New Water Plan, Furnace, etc.

The money sure has been flying out of my pockets lately. Everytime I turn around it's more moola gone. Usually I find some good used tires to put on the old GMC. I have been searching, but the 16 inch used tires or take offs are getting harder to come by all the time, now that most the new pickups have seventeen inch rubber these days. I  let my old tires go just a little too far. I had one that was separated, just looking to blow up one day, so I thought I'd just bite the bullet and get a new set. Sometimes I just gotta do what I gotta do. I don't have to worry too much about this truck for awhile now, but I just changed one today on the Dodge that blew up on me last night. They are getting pretty worn out too.
I finally got the furnace up and running yesterday. I am quite pleased with the power consumption of it. When I did my calculations  to figure out if the furnace would be feasible for my solar powered house, I did my figuring using 600 watt consumption, which I thought should be the worse case scenerio. Looking at he watt meter that my furnace is plugged into while she is running with blower going and all, 359 watts. Excellent. That was instant happiness for me. It is better than I expected. As I watched the watts change as the furnace was going through it's cycle, the highes reading I observed was just over 500 watts just as the blower motor was starting up, then it quickly reduced to 359. My 1/2 hp  water pump uses 900+ as it's running and I'm not sure what it is at startup yet.
I got started on my wood stove chimney a few days ago, but kinda got sidetracked on different things since then. The weather has been a bit windy, and a little rainy at times and it just made more sense to do other things. I am waiting for a shipment before the chimney can be completed anyway. I do have 3 full sections of chimney pipe on there since this photo.  I have it capped off to keep the rain and critters out. I should have had the inspector come out and inspect the chimney when it was like this, just to get a good facial expression picture for the blog. lol. I wish this was as tall as it needed to be, I'd be done by now.
I have a few piles of split wood all over the acerage. Every once in awhile I grab the axe and do some splitting. I purchased a 5 pound spitting axe about the time I quit my job. I was initially planning on buying a gas wood splitter, but I totally don't even want one. Not for now anyway, I'm going to see if I can keep up splitting  by hand, or if the novelty will wear off. For now it is actually quite an entertaining thing to do. And good exercise for a man. When you think about it though, if you need to burn gas to split wood, you might as well just burn gas to heat with. I like splitting wood, but I found that with the 5 pounder, some of the big wood was quite a challenge. Could be technique I suppose. I have since bought myself an 8 pounder but hav'nt tried it out yet. I've been looking for a good deal on one for awhile and finally found one on sale.

For the time being, the water that supplies the house comes from the two smaller tanks on the little trailer. I have a hose coming from the tank that ties directly to the hose in the bottom of the cistern which then goes right into pump in the basement of the house. I've had these two larger tanks kicking around for about a year now. Each one of those bigger tanks would hold four times one of the smaller tanks. That is about 1200 gallons or more. I have been doing alot of thinking lately about the cistern. I was planning on dumping a concrete floor into the cistern, but now I think I'm going to experiment with something else instead. My new plan is to take one of those bigger plastic tanks,       and.......
.........put it down there. Even with a concrete floor, water could seep away, or ground water could seep in, which I guess would'nt be the end of the world, but I just think the whole water situation would be alot nicer and cleaner this way. The cistern is 8 foot diameter and the big blue tank is 7 foot 2 inch or something like that. If it works, that would be good. If it fails, I guess I will have to go with the original plan. I spent most of the day today just cleaning up the big tanks. One last contained slimy green slough water and the other had signs of oats. I loaded them both on the trailer and went to the car wash. It costed me 35 bucks to clean them up. I could'nt get them cleaned right out because the vavle is up 2 or 3 inches from the bottom. So I brought them home and pumped them clean while spraying  with the garden hose and giving them a good rinse. They're looking pretty good now. Then it was back to town to the water station. I put 4500 liters into one to see if it actually holds water. That 4500 liters is by far more than I will normally use in a month.

 So that's the plan for now. I'm not in a real panic to get things done, because it always seems to slow me down when I am. And also things don't get done right. It takes me a long time to do things, because I am constantly researching things. Trying to find good deals on batteries, solar panels etc. Things take me a long time to do because of the learning process of everything I do as well. One good example is chimney. I can go to one place and spend 3 times the money for the whole chimney system. But is it that much better? I don't know, but one thing I did find, is that this cheap stuff I did end up buying, is good for the same temperature etc as the expensive stuff.  So I still don't know, but it took awhile deciding. You get a different answer from everyone you ask.

   Another thing that slows my building process down a bit, is the stock market. I treat that sorta like a job, even though I am most certainly not gauranteed an income with it.  I am going to post about that one day soon. I am not worried that I won't be in my house before winter because I know that I will be. I could move into it right now if I really wanted to, but I will try and get some more done and out of the way first.


This is a personal blog, mainly for my own use. I am building a house with my own two hands, but I am learning alot of things as I go. I do not claim to know what I am doing, or if anything I do is even close to being done correctly or safely. So please, if you are planning on using any of my ideas or methods for your own use, please get professional advice before actually following through with your actions. I will not be held responsible for any injuries or damages of any kind caused by information or comments from this blog.


  1. I'm glad that your furnace is now smoothly running. It means that you installed it properly and heat is now equally generated around your house. Since the winter days are drawing near, there will be a huge demand for heating conditions from the furnace, and it may cause overheating when left ignored. So, it’s very important for you to monitor the wattage consumption regularly in order to regulate its power. How’s your new house so far?

    Jamaal Milner

  2. The new house is pretty good so far Jamaal, although I'm not in it quite yet. Hopefully the furnace won't be running much in the winter as the the woodstove should be doing alot of the work.

  3. We need to get going on our wood supply while the weather holds. It is so much easier to store it dry than wait for it to dry under the wood shed roof. We have a few logs floating in standby. We do team splitting. I hold the axe like an adz and Wayne swings the sledge hammer for the power stroke. But we love finding logs that don't need any splitting. Lazy bums we are. - Margy

    1. Ya I still have to get some more wood ready for winter. I have absolutely no idea how much I will go through this winter. I'll have alot more knowledge on it after this winter though. The team work splitting sounds like a good way to go Margy.

  4. Is the furnace still running smoothly? Now that winter is about to begin, I think your furnace would have to start working double time to keep all you guys warm! But, it is good that you also have a wood stove chimney to keep your house warm. I’m sure your furnace is relieved knowing that it can take a rest on some days. Haha. Anyway, how are things going there now?

    @Alyssa Flynn

    1. Alyssa, the furnace is running like a dream. -28 celcius or-19 Farenheit last night and a good part of today, my battey bank is handling the furnace like a champ. I have been using about the top 10% capacity on my battery bank when I check it in the mornings. I don't have the wood stove in operation just yet and when I leave the house for the day, I let the two space heaters take over for the furnace while I am away.

  5. I’m glad to hear that you don’t have problems with your furnace today. I can’t stress enough the importance of having a fully functional furnace. Living without it is unimaginable! Of course, it’s not exempted from damages (which I think you know very well). Well, nothing can make an equipment last long than routine checkups. :D

    Darryl Lorio