February 14, 2003
If this is El Niño weather, I'll take La Niña instead. The past month has found temperatures well below normal. The good news is the cold weather has brought brilliant sunshine for the past number of days. Floor temperatures over the sand bed hit 86°F early Friday morningthe highest temperature yet to be recorded. Not only did the temperature get warm in the sand bed, but if anyone was watching the temperature on Thursday afternoon, it reached 80°F in the house! This was partially my fault. The weather prophets called for cloudy skies, so I made the mistake of throwing a few logs on the fire early in the morning. This kept the temperature in the house in the low 70's until magically the clouds departed and the sun came streaming through the windows. This is for sure one of the draw backs with uncontrolled heat, but with temperatures in the teens outside, opening a few windows will help "control" the temperature. At some point though, it will get too warm and I'll have to start diverting heat to the shunt loop buried underground. As I have said before, it's one big experiment.
This week found me busy constructing the first interior wall. In order to build out the rest of the bathroom, I figured it might be a good idea to find a permanent home for the water supply pressure tank. This required that I frame out part of the utility room so that I have a reference point to start running water pipes, etc.
Now that I have a toilet, I have noticed that the well water is quite regularly brown! It appears that the problem (so I have been told by the plumber and well driller) is that I haven't run the well long enough to put a coating on the well casing to prevent it from oxidizing. I don't know if I buy this or not. The water does clear up after the well is run for extended periods of time, but the rust keeps coming back every time the well sits idle for a while.
I guess the question is, how long and how many times do I have to run the water to prevent this from happening? I hate the thought of wasting all that water and using electricity to boot to clean out the well every so often. I do plan on installing a whole house water filter, but by the looks of the water, I might be changing the filter quite often. Maybe I'll flush it out next week and see what happens, although I have my doubts. (If anyone out there has experience with this problem, feel free to write me: firstname.lastname@example.org -- I could use a few ideas.)
Another option that I am considering is to change plans and use the cistern as our primary water source. Originally, I had thought of using rainwater for washing clothes and watering the garden, but now I'm giving serious consideration to using it as the primary source for our water supply. It will require an UV filter to kill of any bacteria, but otherwise it should be fit for drinking.( If we were to run out of rainwater, I could then run the well for a while and refill the tank with well water.) I'll have to give this some more thought.
Besides plumbing issues, my plate is pretty full this Spring. Lots to do, that's for sure. Here's what's "on tap":
- Frame out the bathroom, install plumbing for shower, etc.
- Shave, sand and install 32 cedar posts to support the interior cordwood walls.
- Install electrical conduit and receptacles to all exterior wall areas and have them inspected prior to building cordwood walls.
- Woodlot Management - Harvest trees for next winter's fuel supply.
- Build a fenced-in enclosure for vegetable garden
- Prepare for 2nd phase of cordwood construction. Acquire paper bales, etc.
- Install LP tank
- Install domestic hot water system: solar storage tank, Aquastar 125S, etc.
Whew! My head is already spinning. Enough for now!
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