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Offgrid Living Posts

Rainbarrel Tutorial: How to make a rain barrel

Additional Resources : https://www.bhg.com/gardening/design/projects/how-to-make-rain-barrel/

Easy to assemble rainbarrel using Garden Water Saver products (www.gardenwatersaver.com) Complete rain barrel construction kit: https://gardenwatersaver.com/product/rain-barrel-kit-3×4/

Step 1: Drill three of four holes in the barrel.  One of these is for the bibet to connect your garden house to the barrel and the other fittings will allow you to add more barrels in the future.  One of the barrels must have an overflow fitting near the top of the barrel.  If you plan on using 3/4 inch fittings use a 1 inch hole saw to cut the holes.  If you have an adjustable hole saw make it a little smaller than 1 inch.

Step 2:  Place plumbers goop on a 3/4 inch nipple. Using a 3/4 inch galvanized metal nipple and some locking pliers, thread nipple into the barrel. the hole for the fitting.  Place Plumbers goop or some other adhesive on the thread.

Step 3: Now the real fun part.  Cut the down spout at the proper height.  You should place the rainbarrel on one or two concrete blocks and then determine the proper height.  After cutting the down spout attach the necessary elbows and extensions to have the down spout reach the barrel.  I still am trying to create a non ABS or PVC way to divert the first couple of gallons after each rainfall (this will keep the sediment from clogging up the screen).  Attach a 4 inch by 2 inch ABS plastic converter to the end of the down spout and attach a fine mesh screen over the converter (you can use a paint sprayer filter which you can get at a hardware store). 

Step 4: If you are adding more barrels do this now.  Attach a garden hose Y fitting on the 3/4 inch nipples.  Position the barrels on top of the concrete blocks and cut the right length of garden hose to connect the barrels (with male fittings attached to both ends). 

Step 5: The final product.  You must attach an overflow line on the first barrel (the one on the far right in this picture).  This must be placed near the top of the barrel and it should be attached to some form of hose or tube to discharge any overflow.   Please note that you must remove one of the two bung fittings on the top of the barrel and cover it with a small screen.  I used the paint sprayer filter with a rubber-band to hold it in place.

Further reading & source: http://www.rwh.in/howto.html

Last updated on 23-May-2022.

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Offgrid Living

Living off the land means you survive only by the resources that can be harvested from the land you own. So, think food, water & power.

Offgrid Living – The Nicholson House: We are living off the grid! This 1200 sq. foot house was built in 1997. Concrete floor with open floor plan 2 Bedrooms, 1 bath, carport, with 200 sq. foot workshop Propane for hotwater and stove. Appliances included Solar for electric Rain water harvesting with two 1500 gallon tanks. Case-study: http://rwh.in/offgrid.htm

Coming up the driveway
Coming up the drive way
Front porch-"D" doing what she does best.
Front porch-“D” doing what she does best.

Off-the-grid or off-grid is a characteristic of buildings and a lifestyle designed in an independent manner without reliance on one or more public utilities.

The porch goes all the way around the house as the next four pictures show.
This one is the front of the house.
The porch goes all the way around the house as the next four pictures show.
This one is the front of the house.
Front Porch – Another View
Side Porch – 1
Side Porch – 2

Side Porch
Side view of yard and carport/workshop.

Off-the-grid living allows for buildings and people to be self-sufficient, which is advantageous in isolated locations where normal utilities cannot reach and is attractive to those who want to reduce environmental impact and cost of living.

The carport is constructed with 2 x 4 metal studs and insulated. Rainwater is also harvested from this roof.
The carport is constructed with 2 x 4 metal studs and insulated. Rainwater is also harvested from this roof.

The term “off-the-grid” traditionally refers to not being connected to the electrical grid, but can also include other utilities like water, gas, and sewer systems, and can scale from residential homes to small communities. The term off-the-grid (OTG) can refer to living in a self-sufficient manner without reliance on one or more public utilities. People who adopt this lifestyle are called off-gridders.

Side of house that faces the driveway. Pictured is "Henry" who was left behind and loves to hang there. He was too scared to be captured by the old owners, so they had to leave him behind. He can't be touched but does follow us around as we walk the property. He eats our food and by barking at the coyotes keeps them away. He gets along with our two dogs and instead of sleeping in the dog house that was left behind he sleeps on the hay in front of it.
Side of house that faces the driveway. Pictured is “Henry” who was left behind and loves to hang there. He was too scared to be captured by the old owners, so they had to leave him behind. He can’t be touched but does follow us around as we walk the property. He eats our food and by barking at the coyotes keeps them away. He gets along with our two dogs and instead of sleeping in the dog house that was left behind he sleeps on the hay in front of it.
Kitchen and dining area.
Kitchen and dining area. Generally, an off-grid building must be able to supply energy and potable water for itself, as well as manage food, waste and wastewater.
Living Room with wood stove. This little stove is all the heat that is needed for an Arizona winter. It takes the chill out of the air, and with the strawbale construction the heat is retained nicely.
Living Room with wood stove. This little stove is all the heat that is needed for an Arizona winter. It takes the chill out of the air, and with the strawbale construction the heat is retained nicely.
Front door on right, hallway toward bedrooms on left.
Front door on right, hallway toward bedrooms on left.
Bathroom
Bathroom
Hallway from bath. Portia on her favorite windowsill. The windowsills are two feet deep.
Hallway from bath. Portia on her favorite windowsill. The windowsills are two feet deep.
	Main bedroom-the hang out for Sundance and Cheyanne.
Approx. 13x13

Main bedroom-the hang out for Sundance and Cheyanne.
Approx. 13×13.
The second bedroom is our computer room. Approx. 11x13.
The second bedroom is our computer room. Approx. 11×13.
Two tanks that collect the water from the roof of the house and carport.
Two tanks that collect the water from the roof of the house and carport.
Solar panel that supplies the electricity for the house. Batteries store power for night time and cloudy days. The solar panel tracks (moves) with the sun.
Solar panel that supplies the electricity for the house. Batteries store power for night time and cloudy days. The solar panel tracks (moves) with the sun.

Further readings
(1) Case-study: http://rwh.in/offgrid.htm
(2) Documentary: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-59174870
(3) Reference: https://gokcecapital.com/off-grid-living/
(4) Offgrid living by Masai family https://youtu.be/TEBelPUM8tA

Last updated on 06-Jan-2023.