When I mention I live off grid, many people suggest that it must be tough living without running water and electricity. Huh? I have both running water and electricity.
In the following video, I decided to give a tour of our new and improved water system. We have pressurized running water between 30 and 50 psi consistently. At the end, I show our bathroom faucets including our very old up-cycled claw foot tub. I did a blog post about this a few years back. I also expand a little on our Kenmore Washing machine and our kitchen sink, but the videos and posts my wife did on those two features of the home is more exquisite than my post here.
Running water in an off grid home should be an essential. The reason many people avoid adding a well / running water is because of the cost to drill a well. That cost is also a scary unknown. The water could be 50 feet down or 600 ft down at 20 -30 dollars a foot; that price can be really frightening and if you don’t have the cash on hand that gamble could lead to a lean on your property or worse.
When we purchased our 10 acres, it had a well already on it. Not a great well, but a consistent one at least. The well pulses with 10 – 15 gallons a minute for three minutes and then shuts off for almost 9 minutes and repeats. This process comes to a little over a gallon a minute from the math and time tables I completed years ago when deciding to place a cistern tank to improve water performance on the property. The well is 90 ft down x $20 a foot that is $1800. That’s a great price for water. Do the math on hauling water for 6 months; add fuel prices to get a rig to haul it, the containers to hold it, and the man hours lost to hauling it at $10 an hour. Time to think about a well or at least start a well fund to pay for it.
When we arrived on our dirt for the first time, our first priority before a home was running water. The cistern was installed first before we even set the foundation. However, we did not actually get running water in the home until several months later when we pressurized the system.
Water is life. And without it, gardens and orchards die as well as animals and people who rely on it. Two year ago, I added a secondary pump to our cistern that was powerful enough to run the sprinklers for the orchard and garden. Since then, we have finally been able to yield substantial fruits and vegetables to supplement our food and healthy lifestyle. Water is so important and a well/cistern has improved our quality of life on the property. As funds begin to develop, we hope to continue improving our irrigation system to produce more than we need to hopefully sell or give away. However, our green thumbs still need much work to master pH levels, soil quality, and a more direct watering system. It takes time to save, learn, build, and implement.