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#166811 - 02/10/09 03:05 AM My SHTF yesterday afternoon!!
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
I spend the weekends working on my house and this weekend was no different. Sunday was coming to an end for friends that had come up to help and before they left I wanted to check for leaks. I had just finished installing my on demand hot water system and filter (for the unit) and was ready to test. The well/pump house is about 60ft away so I wanted someone near the heater to check for any leaks in case there was a major problem.

So, I walk out and start priming the system and before it even builds pressure I hear "TURN IT OFF" so I do and run to the laundry room... the filter unit gasket wasn't seated properly. After 20 minutes and everyone coming to the conclusion the unit had a defect I realized that the gasket was in the wrong place (around the threads at bottom and NOT at the top). When I looked at the unit at home depot the employee took it apart to show me what filters fit and dropped the gasket as I remember him saying "don't want to lose this"... well as it turns out he put it on in the wrong place! EEK. Luckily the system didn't prime and only lightly pressurized the lines and shot out a little existing water.

Great I thought no other leaks though!

Head back out to the pump house to pressurize the system and at this time it's only my lady checking and others have gone back to their projects. I get it primed and it starts building, 20, 25psi, I yell at her and she says no leaks. Then about 10 seconds later my father screams SHUT IT OFF SHUT IT OFF the ceiling is leaking!!!!

I instantly turn it off, open up the spigot right outside the pump house and run to the back yard and open that spigot too (lowest in system) by the time I get inside the house their are rugs, buckets and more catching the rain storm in the living room.

As it turns out the bathroom upstairs hot water was not turned off completely (no sink or vanity). I removed it, and before I disconnected any pipes I turned everything off. When we checked it was very tight and we had to 'muscle it' to get it to turn off more. So basically the hot water that goes to the sink upstairs shot all over the place!!

So now we have water between the floors and a little drywall/texture wet upstairs.

Propane heat upstairs and crank up the wood stove. And of coarse it's Sunday evening now and I wasn't planning staying the night, let alone my 3rd night in a row w/instant meals, no warm water/shower, and now no running water at all. (To late to continue checking for leaks and we didn't plumb in a on/off valve for the hot water heater (lesson learned on that one to keep cold water running).

So I decided I would stay later and decide if I was going to head home later that night.

My friends, my lady and my father took off around 5-6pm and I continued doing misc tasks around the house. When they left I turned off the propane heater that was upstairs in that bedroom.

By now my house was in the high 70s and I was miserable it was DUMPING rain and sleet, and by 8pm it was snowing pretty good. Luckily right after the pipe broke and we got it all settled I chopped some wood and brought it in, enough to get me through the entire night and part of the next morning for sure.

I kept the fire going while doing as little as possible inside due to the heat, by 9pm it was 81* in my house, my wood stove sure worked great!

Whatever I had for lunch didn't agree with my stomach and I needed to use the restroom... great no running water, and NONE of my 5g jugs were full of water. I fell into the trap of "oh we have running water we don't need any stored" (I new we did, and have the capacity to store 200g in 5g jugs I just hadn't filled them yet *WOOPS*... always be prepared!) I new I had one flush in the tank and used that and then decided I better get some more water (I would need it later!).

I went outside and got my LARGE dust pan and scooped snow into 2 5g buckets and put them near the fire I then precoded to melt water in my ~1g kettle on the stove and cup and put them in the buckets. Basically I worked from snow bucket to water bucket. I also used my 5g paint mixer to speed up the process. Later in the night I needed to use the restroom again and got numerous flushes this time! I added a 3rd bucket later too, and just let it sit as now I had 5g of water available and 2 buckets underway. Less work for me since it was a raging 100+ degrees around the fire and I was getting hot again.

I later decided to spend the night as it was getting late and snowing worse.

In the morning I woke up to 3 5g buckets full at various stages of water... enough to last a LONG TIME for toilet duty smile I was prepared again!

I looked outside and saw approx 1' of fresh powder. At least I was prepared for the weather with enough food and fire wood, since we don't live here 100% full-time yet the food was just cup o noodles and soups but it was enough to last me at least a week if I needed. I should also note that I had 3 cases of drinking water I just didn't feel like wasting the $ for toilet water and needed something to do that could take me outside smile (I also had an untested spigot to turn off the ENTIRE HOUSE water supply, I could have then filled up from the pump house however since I was alone, it's PITCH BLACK, and snowing I didn't feel like turning on the water and running around checking if there were any leaks or spigot problems.)

I cranked the fire back up in the morning (still in the mid 70s in the house and in the high 20s outside). And then went out to shovel my deck... I had a new snow shovel / non-wheel barrow (sled?) thing I wanted to test and WOW did it make fast work.

I was able to clear the deck in <30 minutes, and also spent some time clearing the build up by the plow down on the road / entrance to my driveway... nothing like walking 500+ft through fresh powder in the morning. I spent ~1hr shoveling/plowing by hand.. made me think I need to get my plow mounted on my ATV! It was hard work but I enjoyed it, like chopping wood it's very enjoyable to me.

It started snowing as I started packing up again today, I had duties to take care of in the valley or I would have stayed until later again. The house was around 80* again when I finally left. My front porch was cleared, deck was cleared, and my driveway was accessible. We are expecting another foot or so within the next couple days as two more storm fronts come in and I want to be able to make it in next weekend smile

In the end even though I was technically prepared I learned some things about melting snow 'efficiently', and always having extra water on hand even if it's not drinking quality it may come in handy!

I have pictures I`ll post soon too.
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#166814 - 02/10/09 03:45 AM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Todd W]
Am_Fear_Liath_Mor Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/03/07
Posts: 3077
Quote:
As it turns out the bathroom upstairs hot water was not turned off completely (no sink or vanity). I removed it, and before I disconnected any pipes I turned everything off. When we checked it was very tight and we had to 'muscle it' to get it to turn off more. So basically the hot water that goes to the sink upstairs shot all over the place!!





They cost less than a $1 a piece!! whistle

Remember also if your doing any electrical wiring always make sure your always doubly insulated, i.e. turn of the mains supply switch AND remove the fuse for the ring main your working on and don't rely on anyone else no matter how trustworthy, to do this for you!! Always insulate any bare mains wiring which isn't connected with electrical tape.


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#166815 - 02/10/09 03:49 AM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Am_Fear_Liath_Mor]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
And just like my valve that could have not been tight enough, or sealed enough, or had a bad thread, etc... :P But I know what you mean wink

I try to do my electrical work standing in a puddle in a rain storm that way it zapsme good smile
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#166816 - 02/10/09 03:50 AM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Todd W]
Desperado Offline
Veteran

Registered: 11/01/08
Posts: 1530
Loc: DFW, Texas
I assume you viewed the old movie "The Money Pit" prior to investing in your project, right?

We were remodeling when that flick came out at the VHS movie store. Dad would not let us rent it.
_________________________
I do the things that I must, and really regret, are unfortunately necessary.

RIP OBG

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#166826 - 02/10/09 12:57 PM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Todd W]
bsmith Offline
day hiker
Addict

Registered: 02/15/07
Posts: 577
Loc: ventura county, ca
Originally Posted By: ToddW
As it turns out the bathroom upstairs hot water was not turned off completely (no sink or vanity).

seriously consider: ball valve angle stops. 1/4 quarter turn and they are off.

also consider: stainless steel, braided, supply lines.

if you're not gonna be there all the time - and even if you are - these are inexpensive insurance.
_________________________
“Everyone should have a horse. It is a great way to store meat without refrigeration. Just don’t ever get on one.”
- ponder's dad

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#166828 - 02/10/09 01:22 PM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: bsmith]
Mike_in_NKY Offline
Member

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 121
Loc: KY
+1 on the suggestion from bsmith!

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#166831 - 02/10/09 02:36 PM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Desperado]
Dan_McI Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 12/10/07
Posts: 844
Loc: NYC
Originally Posted By: Desperado
I assume you viewed the old movie "The Money Pit" prior to investing in your project, right?

We were remodeling when that flick came out at the VHS movie store. Dad would not let us rent it.


My house is going to be finished sometime this month. I've made darn sure we couldn't watch this while it was going on. Soon, that will be over too.

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#166833 - 02/10/09 03:30 PM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: bsmith]
Todd W Offline
Product Tester
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/14/04
Posts: 1928
Loc: Mountains of CA
Originally Posted By: bsmith
Originally Posted By: ToddW
As it turns out the bathroom upstairs hot water was not turned off completely (no sink or vanity).

seriously consider: ball valve angle stops. 1/4 quarter turn and they are off.

also consider: stainless steel, braided, supply lines.

if you're not gonna be there all the time - and even if you are - these are inexpensive insurance.


Yup, that's what we used down stairs. IT's what I plan to use upstairs once we get working up there. My fault for not DOUBLE checking it was off. Considering I turned it off and removed it I thought I was A-OK... now I have to double check myself!
_________________________
Self Sufficient Home - Our journey to self sufficiency.

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#166834 - 02/10/09 03:35 PM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Todd W]
Blast Offline
INTERCEPTOR
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 07/15/02
Posts: 3558
Loc: Spring, Texas
Thank you for being our teacher. I'm taking notes on your lessons!

-Blast
_________________________
Blogging the Borderlands
Wild Edibles Blog
I miss OBG.

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#166837 - 02/10/09 04:29 PM Re: My SHTF yesterday afternoon!! [Re: Blast]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Gaining knowledge is a wonderful thing.

Sue

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