Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Gonna Be A Black Out Tonight!

So you've moved to the country to get away from the crush. Got yourself some land, a well, and septic. You've got some food saved up and you are ready, come what may! Oops, there goes the electricity. " Its ok, we don't need that! Oh well, let's all get a drink of water" ... what? No water?! Oh boy, your well is electric, now what will you do?

Does this sound familiar, or is this so cheesy that you don't think it happens? Well, it didn't happen to us, but I was worried a couple times. We do have a bunch of water saved up, but the ever present question was there. Is It Enough? I wasn't really worried about lights or heat, we have heated the house in the past via the fireplace (not fun, but it can be done). No, the water is what worries me. Not only for our drinking and washing, but for the dogs and the chickens, also.

Well, a friend of a relative had bought a house a while back that came with a portable generator. This guy never used it, heck didn't even know if it had any gas in it, but he wanted to get rid of it. SCORE!

We are now the proud owners of a, who knows how old, 5.25 kW DeVilBiss, portable generator. It is badly in need of a tune-up, but at least it runs and puts out electricity.

So, now we have a 1 1/2 gallons or so of gas that is not mixed up for a 2-stroke. So for the next few pays, I think we will be getting a 5 gal gas can and filling it up for a few pays. I was thinking of a few methods of rotating the fuel and making sure that we have fresh stuff all the time, just in case.

On top of this, I now have to re-wire the well pump so that I can plug it in during an emergency. Fun stuff. Hey, you do what you gotta do, but a bit of time now to make things easier later. Works for me.

I think tomorrow, I will go over the basics of how to choose the proper generator for your home and family (assuming that you don't find a cheapie or free one). Don't hold me to that, but that post will be coming.


HermitJim said...

Have you put an old fashioned hand pump on the well, just in case? What about solar pump? I know you have thought about all of these things...just curious.

Glad you have scored with the genny...always a good thing to have around!

FarmerGeek said...

Hermit, those are both excellent thoughts, and someday I would love to have the hand pump, just in case. But for the most part, they seem to run close to a thousand bucks for the pump (plus misc adapters/fittings). I like the solar idea, but... I don't know about you, but for the most part it seems that my power tends to go out at night. That means that I have to hope for a relatively clear day the next day to charge it. And then with the batteries (if you use them to store some while waiting for a sunny day) you have to be careful with storage/humidity/etc. I hate having to go clean corrosion off of my battery terminals in the trucks after bad weather, and I would hate it if I screwed myself and it didn't charge because of something like that.

Now if you live somewhere were there is less humidity and rain/snow, that might be the way to go, but it seems here, for me, the hand pump will be coming when there is "spare" money, and the generator will do for now. Thanks for reading and commenting!!!

Chris W said...

After the power outage this summer, I've talked to a few electrician friends and plan to re-wire my well pump to plug-in. Whenever we have another outage, I can just run a cord to the generator and have water.

I've done a bit of reading on hand pumps, and figured out that you can't have both in the same well, they simply aren't drilled/piped wide enough to handle both pipes. I thought about it myself, but I would have to pull the 95 foot deepwell pump, then reinstall a hand op one...no thanks, lol.

Good score on the generator! If you don't do it yourself or know anyone local, my neighbor works on small engines year round as a side job.

FarmerGeek said...

Chris, Thanks for the offer about the neighbor, but I do a lot of that work as well. Of course, if I have trouble...

But as to your statement that you can't have both the hand pump and the electric pump on the same well... there are a few places that offer kits to do just that.



Its just these kits/pumps are so expensive!

I drive my tractor in pearls... said...

Absolutely the thought of electricity/water going out on the property has crossed our minds. Its a big thought because where we live, Ice takes out trees and lines EVERY YEAR. And "rural" areas are the last to be put back on line. We would have to be an idiot not to put something like this at the top of our list here. Of course, there are plenty of those around!

Our plan is to have a generator to keep the freezer/fridge going and maybe to keep the cells and laptops charged.

The heat will come from a wood burning stove, but we can stay in the basement which keeps a constant temp from 67 to 72 degrees year round and a solar panel and battery for the water pump.

We think with this basic set up, we can weather just about anything.

As far as cooking - we make sure we have enough gas to grill or we may have to dutch oven it over a fire - fun for the kids - not so much for the adults - but you get to make smores when the cooking is done, so it is all good ;)

Enjoying your blog Farmer!


FarmerGeek said...

Thanks for stopping. Sounds like you have a really good setup! I like it... and hopefully we will have our house set up this year. (Just got the house last August, so we are still working on it!) Hope to see you around!

Now, I like Dutch Oven cooking, but hey, I know I'm strange!

Chris W said...

WOW those kits are a bit pricey! I didn't know they existed though, thanks for the info. I'd have to really research that thing if I wanted to get one. The well pump here is in a tiny room off the side of the laundry room that's barely 4x4x4,(outside the basement walls and covered by a concrete slab) so I wonder what the length and stroke dimensions are of the pump handle, and if it would fit and function in that small space. It still may be something to look into in the future.