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.
6 thoughts on “Tour our Off Grid Water System”
Good morning… I just watched your new video, and once again, I’m so amazed at how you live off grid. I hope someday we can come to visit you and see this in person. We love you guy’s and hope you’re having a wonderful summer.
Aunt Patty-Dawn and Bruce. ❤
Water is very crucial isn’t it? We don’t ever plan on putting in a well. Our goal is to have a total of about 10,000 gallons in holding tanks. We would fill them with the spring runoff and then the tanks will gravity feed to the cabin.
Break Free, unfortunately we do not have springs or the ability to do a gravity fed system. Each property is unique especially when it comes to water. I have another post I will be doing in the near future about the mistakes I made designing our water system 7 years ago, which led to the video in this post. We were blessed to get this property with a well on it, even if it is a low producing one. We use the cistern to improve the performance.
I am also curious about the price of your water system and your design.
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We will definitely post the progress and price of our water system once we start it. Yes every property is unique in what can or cannot be done.
Wish we could do gravity feed. Less things to fail in the system.
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So very true!