Off Grid House

Discussion in 'Survival and Sustainability' started by M.A. Survivalist, Feb 21, 2020.

  1. M.A. Survivalist

    M.A. Survivalist Newly Registered

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    Right now Im working on renovating a house which as of right now does not have any electricity or running water so it is off grid. When I am ready I will call the utility companies to get the water and electricity supplied but as the house is not being lived in right now I have no need for such utilities and I don't have to pay the minimal monthly bill.

    I do have a generator and I want to get a transfer switch installed so I can hook the generator to the house's electrical system. As soon as I get some new carpeting installed and I get a new bed I plan to stay in the house overnight to see how it is, without any of the utilities. They say its a good exercise to shut off the water and electricity to your house for 24 hours to get a taste of what it is to be truly off grid. I can use the house that Im renovating to do just that.
     
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  2. Blaster3

    Blaster3 Well-Known Member

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    24 hours
    :roflol:

    try 10 days minimum, i usually recommend at least 30 days...

    it's not offgrid if you have public utilities...

    btw, an 'offgrid' home with carpet :rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2020
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  3. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    Were you planning to do without electricity or were you considering solar etc. ?

    My experience being "off-grid" was going for a week without power after a storm. The one thing that we dealt with most was the lack of water. We have a well and it was really a pain to spend so much time having to fill jugs with water every day. I think I was most surprised by how much we used each day. Since you have a generator, you should be in pretty good shape. I got one for the sole purpose of running the well pump, though we've never needed it since then.
     
  4. M.A. Survivalist

    M.A. Survivalist Newly Registered

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    Eventually I am going to call the electric company and have the house get electricity from the grid but Im not going to do that just yet as the house is still being renovated. With my generator on site and I want to get a transfer switch installed so I can hook it up to the house's electrical system, it can come in very handy in case of blackouts. I did once experience going for about two weeks without electricity back in 2012 when Hurricane Sandy hit. One of the biggest things we dealt with was staying warm since without electricity we had no heat. We burned lots of firewood and I chopped lots of wood myself during that time.
     
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  5. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    I'm hoping to build a home in the next couple of years. It will have solar and if it is totally off grid it will have wind generation also. If utilities are easily available, that's the way to go. You don't have to worry about battery charging, burning off excess electricity, buying and maintaining batteries, and it's a much more simple system. Just get net metering and choose a plan with your provider to carry over excess energy credit to be used the following month. Be sure to put shading on the South side of your house, unless you live on the bottom of the Earth. If you get to pick your roof, make sure there is a lot of room for solar on the South side of your roof and set the pitch as closely to your latitude as possible. I'm at 32 degrees latitude, so I would need between a 7/12 and an 8/12 roof pitch.

    I like the idea of putting all solar and wind generation on or near my shop. That way I can just build an energy efficient home and feed normal power into it.

    I agree with the carpet comment. You can sweep carpet, but vacuuming uses a lot of electricity and carpet stores pollen, germs, etc...... Use area rugs and take them outside to beat them every once in a while.

    They make Automatic Transfer Switches and manual transfer switches. If you travel a lot and you want your freezers to keep your food while you're away an ATS is nice.
     
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  6. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    We have a fireplace, but it did a poor job of heating the house. Besides, the mess of carrying all that dirty firewood in and stacking it was a bit more than I could take. We ended up using a kerosene heater for heat and boiling water. We had some charcoal, so I used that in the fireplace for cooking.

    I like the idea of being off-grid, but I'm not sure I'd want to use a generator for more than a few days. One of my neighbors put in an automatic system that's connected to a 500 gal. propane tank. It's a nice system and a bit quieter, but the cost is scary. Using solar sounds like a great idea, but I'm sure it has some downsides--not sure how reliable it would be as an emergency back up system.
     
  7. Texan

    Texan Well-Known Member

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    A fireplace is a pretty waste of wood. Most of the heat goes out the chimney. A wood burning stove is about 90% efficient and can heat your whole house. They are also easier to cook off of. Make sure you can get wood where you live.
     
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  8. Adfundum

    Adfundum Moderator Staff Member Donor

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    You're right about the fireplace. I used to have a small wood stove in my old house. It was in the basement and the chimney went up two stories from there. That gave me an incredible draft, and the fires burned hot. When I was building the chimney, I used a double flue and added flue dampers on each side to control the draft. The wood had to be split into narrow pieces to fit into the little stove, and with the dampers opened all the way, the wood burned up in no time. But it did put out lots of heat for it's size. Because it was in the basement, I could bring the wood in without leaving that nasty mess on the carpets. Alas...I'm no longer willing to spend my time cutting, splitting and hauling wood. It used to be much easier years ago.
     
  9. M.A. Survivalist

    M.A. Survivalist Newly Registered

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    Solar sounds good depending on where you live and if your house gets lots of sunlight. If you've got too many trees in the area that block out the sun that can be a problem. From what I know the main downsides of solar power is 1) you need good sunlight so trees and clouds can be a problem and 2) solar power is still very inefficient, it still provides less power than it should as the technology is still being developed. That, and also the fact solar panels can be expensive.
    Its also good to have a backup battery which you can get with some solar power packages sold by certain companies.
     
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  10. scarlet witch

    scarlet witch Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    30 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! that' sooo....

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Spooky

    Spooky Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Off grid doesn't mean no water or electricity. You can still have both and be off grid. Use solar power and you are off grid or dig a well. Off grid means you have zero connection, remotely, to anyone else.
     
  12. Chrizton

    Chrizton Well-Known Member

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    You can take it out an pound the dirt out over a clothesline I guess. Carpet would be a decent insulator for the floors in the winter time.
     

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