Please see: Microhouse off-grid water
[…] **Also see the post off grid water for micro homes** […]
Brian, are you totally dependent on rainwater for your garden?
Really appreciate your experience. We’re building a small house in East Texas (by Emory) and are researching our best options. If we get stumped at some point, I would love to be able to ask a question or 2. :) Thanks again, Jay & Kim
I’ve really enjoyed reading about your design process and problem solving. I have a couple of questions about your water system. Does the second pump need to be on in order to get water from the tank to shower before/during use? Does the water pillow have enough rigidity to allow water to fill without back pressure pushing it out? Thanks in advance and I look forward to hearing back from you.
Yes, pump -inside- (the one pulling from 40 gal onboard) needs to be on to pressurize water. Pump -outside- is only for filling onboard tank from cistern outside the house. The water bladder/cistern has no rigidity to it, no issues with pressure on that, it just collects water and sits there.
Thanks for the quick response. As far as the pump is concerned, do you leave it on or only activate it before water use (I.e. washing dishes or showering)?
The RV pump is always on, kicks on when water is in use / water pressure drops.
This is excellent information. Have you used anything like this with a passive solar water heater? I would guess the passive solar goes in after everything else; between the filter and the sink/shower. My concern would of course be with getting hot water of more than a dribble after pushing it through the filter and heater…
Brian, couldn’t you filter the water before it goes into the onboard tank. That way, you wouldn’t have the filter as an obstruction for a tankless hot water heater since the system would be drawing directly from those 40 gallons of water that’s already clean? Great article. Thanks for any further insight.
Yes, that could certainly work as well. I just prefer to filter the water (which sits in a big plastic tank) as I use it. Note that with normal RV water systems I believe you still need to treat the holding tanks every once in a while. With this system I don’t have to worry about that as much. In practice I’ve found a small 4 gal electric water heater is much more practical for hot water- and can even run off grid (takes about 10 min to heat up even in winter).
Brian: I’d love to pick your brain about how we might adapt your experience to rooftop runoff capture and reuse project close by my home. I’ve been working with folks at the J.O. Wilson Elementary School to redirect rainfall from their roof that once was discharged to the sewer, and capture it in a 1000 gallon cistern that overflows into a 375 gallon IBC tote. We have been pumping this water through a drip irrigation system about 90′ long that irrigates 9 raised beds. We have had problems with the submersible pumps we have used, which fail, and also are hard to run with a timer, as they continue to flow with a siphon even when shut off. Any chance I could trade you beers for a little design charette over at 7th and K, NE? Jamal
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