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Buildings and Renovations,Other,Plumbing

Build a Basic Grey Water Filter System- Part 1

12 Dec , 2014  

Drilling-holes-in-greywater-bucket The grey water filter system was hatched from a late night fix of a blocked, groundwater pipe. The main drain pipe, which has been in use for 30 years, was 3″ in diameter and made from PVC. It’s job was to move ground water from the front of the cabin (uphill) and empty to the back (downhill). Found out It was plugged up with dirt and ice from a cold snap. The plug had occurred at the section where the ABS greywater/sink pipe intersects with the PVC ground water pipe. Lucky for me, the 3″ PVC pipe was not cracked and the Y connector had just wiggled loose. The only set back was that the ABS drain pipe was firmly connected to the Y connector of the PVC pipe. It made it next to impossible to remove the Y connector, clean the joint and re-apply the PVC glue. So, I decided to re-root the ABS and plumb in a separate direction. The best bet was to run it parallel with the 3″ PVC, through the back wall, underground for 20 feet, to a small 5 gallon water bucket. The bucket would be filled with gravel and the soapy water would flow into it and slow disperse into the ground. The gravel should function as a basic filter system. In time, the plan is to upgrade this basic system. It was just something whipped up in a few hours and get us through the winter.

What is Greywater?
According to Wikipedia: Greywater or sullage is defined as wastewater generated from wash hand basins, showers and baths, which can be recycled on-site for uses such as toilet flushing, landscape irrigation and constructed wetlands. Greywater often includes discharge from laundry, dishwashers and kitchen sinks. It differs from the discharge of toilets which is designated sewage or blackwater to indicate it contains human waste.

Greywater-Filter-with-rocks Greywater-Filter!

Plumbing,Power generation,Solar Power Projects

Changing the Angle of a Solar Panel with Whatever was Handy

5 Nov , 2014  

change-angle-2 Decided to take the Friday off before the October 24th weekend and get some extra work in at the Cedar Workshop test facility (aka cabin). The plan was also to knock off a few of the items off the “To-Do’s list.

In this video, I show the simply way of changing the angle of a solar panel with common plumbing pipe. Should come up with something more precise, but this crude system has been in use for the last 3 years and it’s been working well.

While I was adjusting the angle, noticed the backing material  Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 8.03.45 AM used on the solar panel was starting to peel off. Used some wonderful tape called Tuck Tape. It is awesome and does well to keep water out. The only negative is it will leave a red colour residue on the item.

Here’s some copy taken from Home Depots website: Tuck Tape is made of UV resistant poly propylene film and is coated with high shear, high tack solvent based acrylic adhesive. Applications include sealing of joints and seams of housewrap, insulation materials and foam underlayments for laminate flooring. Tape has to be pressed firmly on surface and should be applied on clean, dry surfaces.


Background music credit: Runaways, by Silent Partner, YouTube Audio Library

Screen Shot 2014-10-29 at 8.08.21 AM

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Buildings and Renovations,Plumbing

Roof Ice Rips Off Water Supply Pipe

28 May , 2014  

Had another interesting surprise on the same weekend as the broken wind turbine tower. The 8 inch thick ice on the roof melted to a point that it let go and slid off. In its travels down the roof, it managed to rip off the water line. The water line carries water pumped from the lake into two, 55 gallon water tanks on the roof. This water is used for cooking and washing.
Even though the water line was secured to the blue barrels with a block of wood and hefty deck screws, the weight of the ice just ripped it off. Luckily, no one was standing under the roof when the ice came off.

Watch the previous video “Pump Water from a Lake to a Cabin or Cottage” to see how the system was originally set up

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Buildings and Renovations,Equipment,Food,Other,Plumbing

Pump Water from a Lake to a Cottage (And make your spouse happy with running water!)

8 Aug , 2013  

Had a few questions from viewers on how to get water. Went up this weekend and concentrated on filming footage of the water system.

We occasionally pump water from a freshwater lake to the cabin. Maybe once during each 3 days stay. The cabin/cottage is on a remote mountain lake and doesn’t have access to grid electricity.

The biggest obstacle was pumping the lake water up a 80 foot (24 meter) hill and into 110 gallon (250 litre) water barrel on the roof. The water then travels by gravity feed down through 1/2″ PEX pipe and to the kitchen tap.

Since I could not find a suitable electric pump, decided to go with a gas. Went through two pumps, the first, a 3.5 HP model had problems priming and pumping the water up the hill. It was returned to and picked up a 6.5 HP 3″ water pump. The pump was super powerful and pretty good on gas. Only needs to be refueled once a season (May – Nov). At 3/4 throttle, it will fill the water barrels in 4 minutes.

Went with a 1.5″ PVC pipe. The water flow of a 1.5″ to a 2″ is minimal. It was easier to find fittings for the common 1.5″ PVC pipe. Check with an irrigation or hardware dealer. The overall cost of the project was $293.00.

Would prefer to go with an electric pump, but it was difficult to find a pump that could pump at least 80 feet vertically, run off DC and is affordable. Personally, I would prefer a quieter system, but, for the last 3 years it has worked fine. Maybe when the pump dies, I’ll switch to a torpedo submersible DC pump ($300.00).

But the long and short of it is we now have running water in the kitchen. Much easier than hauling buckets of water up the hill. Plus the spouse is happy too!

The next projects is to install a small pump and a water filter.

Feel free to comment!

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Appliances,Buildings and Renovations,Plumbing,Woodworking

4 Day Mini Laundry, Washer and Dryer Project

19 Jun , 2013  

IMG_4730 This project takes place on the home front. Had to work through the weekend and get the space ready for the new stacking washer and dryer unit.

Since the 10 year Kenmore washer packed it in and we live 90 percent on the second floor of our home, we decided to move the laundry units upstairs. After good reviews by Consumer Reports, we went with a Samsung Washer and Dryer. They were to arrive on the Wednesday, so it left me 4 days to get the mini laundry room finished.

Earlier in the month, the bathtub, old drywall, subfloor and rotten 2″ x 4″ were removed and the framing was completed by myself. Decided to contract out the plumbing and wire to a professional. I don’t have the time or the skills and I have a few good friends in assorted trades and it was time to call in some favours. So, after the electrical and plumbing contractor left, I had exactly 4 days to get the room ready. The “to do” list was: finish framing new walls, plumb washer (contractor), wire for dryer/washer (contractor), install dryer vent through ceiling and side of house, mount drywall, tape and mud seams, sand, a coat of primer, paint (if time), washer pan and install vinyl plank flooring.

It was not a fun project, but, not all projects are.


IMG_4712 IMG_4710 IMG_4708 DSC01750 DSC01747 IMG_4701

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