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Why, you ask? First I think solar is great! But you can’t generate solar power very well in the middle of winter very well. Even on the sunniest winter day. (This is fully true, some arrays have the best output in the very cold sun) I purchased it because I am concerned about a big snow storm knocking out power for a few days. In my current house of nine years we have never gone more than eight hours without power. I think we are due for a longer outage. If that were to happen the food in the refrigerator would go bad. I know I have blogged in the past about a solar generators. But this application is for more than 12 hours.

I purchased it online for $100 with shipping. You can get them a little cheaper but I like the analog voltmeter and the 12 VDC charger. Started on the second pull. I first pull was not a very good one. I ran it for three hours to break it in. I needed a small load during break in and I was making dinner in the slow cooker. There you have it. The perfect 300 Watt load. It is a 2 stroke, but it does not smoke like most two strokes. It is a fifty state legal model. The peak power is 1000 Watts, 8.3 amps. This should run everything I need but not all at once. Just remember, almost all off-grid homes have a backup generator.


Well, ha ha, the point is down 24 feet.  I hooked up the pump and I can barely get any water. When I check the depth of the water it is at close to 20 feet. The point of the 4 foot well screen is at 24 feet. So then I understand why can’t get any water. The water is too far down. From my earlier research I found that normally the water table is around 12-15 feet. The problem is that we have not had more than an inch of rain in the last 60 days. We are down almost 5 inches since July.

What does this mean? It means that I think I should have plenty of water if we were not in a moderate drought. I may sink another well point next to the current one just so I have enough well screen for the pump. But, I will not be watering with it anytime soon. 😦

Total cost sits at $200 including the pump. Not a huge sum of money but without any water I am not getting any return on investment. Hopefully, my well adventure will end on the positive side.

I have been testing turning off the fridge at night for 8 hours. The theory is that being off for 8 hours will reduce its electricity usage. This thought process would be incorrect. Since the fridge cycles on and off whenever it wants, all this does is force it to cycle longer when the timer turns it on. Instead of 30 minute cycles you get a long 2 hour and 45 minute cycle. It save you nothing, at least that you can tell with a kill-a-watt meter. I still use the same 2 kWhrs as I did before I started the test.

Why did the fridge turn on at 3am? Why not 6am? Well it normally does turn on at 6am, but I woke up and wanted something to drink @3am. I usually drink milk that early, helps me go back to sleep. Well, the milk was cool but not very cold. That was the end of the experiment. The last thing I want is for food to go bad.

The only way I can see this saving electricity is that the food inside warms up. Think about how a programmable thermostat works. (Heating) You set it to let the temperature go down to say 60 degrees at night becuase you are under the covers of your cozy bed. During the 8 hours while it is lower then the normal setting you are losing less heat to the outside becuase of the delta T being lower. The reverse is happening inside the fridge, the temperature is going up. Sure you may save a little electricity, 25 cu ft. fridge vs. 25,000 cu ft.  house. But not enough to notice. The house will lose more % wise in 8 hours then a fridge. The fridge is sealed much better. Soooo, don’t try this at home.

This entire setup was less than $20. The brass fittings costing the most, I could not find PVC.

I tested the jetting process today. I got down about 16 feet. It feels like I am into some gravel. Since I was testing I did not rally want to spend more than an hour messing with it.

I did find out I need to drill a small hole in the tee fitting. This will let the air out and keep the rubber coupling from shooting off the end of the pipe. I plan on working some more tomorrow. Remember, I already have my pump.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. That has been the saying for many a years.I decided to reuse some old boards from my recently replaced deck.

Picnic time!

I just need to sand and stain. I am in no hurry for that. It will still function just fine without stain.