Friday, December 21, 2012

December Do Over

Whoa, December has been a whirlwind! We pretty much missed out on the first 2 weeks off the month. My Daughter became pretty sick with Pneumonia. We made an emergency trip to the ER on December 5th, and then both spent a week on the couch, as I came down with the Flu as well! If it werent for my husband I don't know what we would have done....

He ALSO managed to get the Hot water hooked up to the Cookstove. A couple more days of hard work, and a couple more dollars in supplies, and he had it up and running around the 10th of December!

It went off without a hitch, and worked PERFECT for the first 2 days, UNTIL a pipe burst in the Bathroom.... still sick and lethargic, I woke around 9 am on the 12th,, to a pipe in the front bathroom, gushing water.. Imagine a hose on high (without no spray nozzle),, yeah, it was insane.. I am so happy I heard it, as our bedroom is a ways away ... It must have only been going on for a couple minutes, enought to empty about 20 gallons of water in our bathroom, hallway, and onto a bit of our carpet in the bedroom.  Could December really get any worse??
Robb came home fixed the pipe, and insisted it had nothing to do with the hot water system we just hooked up. Now, he is a Maintenance Man, and a damn good one, so I took his word, let him fix the pipe, and forgot about it.. Until...................
I woke up at about Midnight the following night.. To the sound of what sounded like a waterfall in our laundry room.. ANOTHER BURST PIPE!?!?!?!?!?!  Robb jumped out of bed, and proceeded to throw around the F*** word  a couple times,, turned the water off,, and proceeded to vaccum up the water in the hallway, put towels and fans on the carpet.. I lay in bed, completely annoyed (haha) and frustrated.. and figured midnight was not the best time to have a conversation about why another pipe coincidentally burst in the Laundry room....

The next morning, while googling whatever I could think of, to see if I could help figure out why our pipes keep bursting,,,Robb called me from work, to tell me we needed and Expansion Tank..
When we hooked up the cooktove to the hotwater tanke, we also added some check valves, these prevent the hot water from backingup into the cold water line, which is great and a good safety measure, But because of the size of the tank ( we have a 40 gallon tank,, pretty small) the hot water was building up pressure and that pressure needed somewhere to go,, so it chose any which way it could when the pressure built up! The expansion tank has resolved the problem.. But not before creating YET another mess.. RObb had to tear off the wall in the laundry room,,, clean up the water mess,,, replumb the pipes in copper ( we had some pretty cheap pipe in there) and then hook up the expansion tank.

I must say, I didnt think any of this Off the Grid stuff would be perfect... and when the Hot water system worked perfect at first,, I had my doubts..hahaahaha..
We arent quitters though and know there will be more challenges along the way.,,and since the expansion tank, the hot water system works AMAZING!! Start a fire, watch the temp, and you have PLENTY of hot water do live just as we did before.
I will admit if I am gone all day,, I do turn the hot water off,,, as I am still suffering from some broken pipe PTSD..... not quite over that yet,,lol

Since then, My Little Miss Norah has gone to her last check up and is Pneumonia Free! I am better! We have a totally awesome HOt water system, and I am finally working on Holiday deocorating,  baking and crafts....

I guess a December Do over wont be necessary after all....:)
Happy Holiday from The Cool Homestead!


  1. Well we live and learn,all part of the process of life,lol.Glad your feeling better and Miss Norah too.Isn't it great to have a handyman around the house?

    1. It sure is nice having a handyman around,, indeed!!!

  2. Yes, this off grid lifestyle is quite challenging. Wait until you really get fired up and head for completely non-electric LOL

    Just found your blog - it'll be fun to follow along with your journey to off-grid!

    1. haha, yes it should be interesting! we have 240 watt panels and will have 8-10 batteries, so we are hoping once we get our kwh down( we are at about 8-9 kwh now,, still have some to go),, it will be like nothing has changed :) enough to run computer, lights, radio,and fridge :)
      we cook, heat our entire home, and heat water with wood, have no washer or dryer.. so all the big things are pretty much gone already!
      I will be interesting to see how much power the panels put out and how careful we will have to be about computer and all the extras,, our hope is to live pretty much the same as we are now, with maybe being even a little more concious .. we should have them up by this spring,, they are just sitting in our shed now :o

    2. Freedom acres.. I tried to find your blog, but it says it has been removed?? would love to see what you are doing and follow!

  3. I wanted to return the blog visit and thank you for your comment on mine and for following. I'm happy to return the favor.

    Very interesting with your water heater. Our wood cookstove had an accompanying water jacket that can be purchased, though at this time we hadn't considered that. We're making good use of the stove's 5 gallon reservoir though for hot water. One of these summers we plan to make a solar water heater to connect to our water heater tank.

    1. Hello! Yes the reservoir is awesome,, honestly even though we have hot water,, i still find myself walking over to the cookstove to use that for dishes,,hehe.. its great for clothes too!!...
      I can tell you that so far this hot water from wood deal is seriously amazing,,,no shortage of hot water at all,, and we can almost shower back to back,, and even after a full night and a burnt out fire,, the water is still warm!!!
      so if you ever decide to do it, and want to pick my husbands brain, let us know!!
      your cookstove is beautiful btw :)