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Thread: Water in a dry cabin

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    Member Boone's Avatar
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    Default Water in a dry cabin

    I Have a 700sq ft cabin without power. I'm interested in keeping it simple - no desire for solar or generator. The cabin is used only 2-3 days at a time and is road accessible.

    For those reading who may be in a similar situation, I'd love to learn more about how you store water. I've read about elaborate gravity-fed tanks in lofts (too much work for short visit times) and simply bringing 5 gallon bottles of water and using water dispensers.

    I'm looking for something simple and not in affected by freezing temperatures.

    Any ideas?

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    Next summer, dig a pit if applicable with a trolly to raise and lower stuff you do not wish to freeze. I saw a long time ago a home living off grid that had a hole dug and built over it and used a dumb waiter sort of thing to raise and lower stuff. It acted as a refer. Probably not the answer you were looking for. Root cellar has long been the way to keep things from freezing.

    George

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    Road system access? Simple. Buy some 5 gallon containers and dedicate them for carrying water. My family of three could easily go for a weekend and not need more than 10 gallons including taking a shower on Saturday night. If you need more for showers and other chores, melt snow. We still use a Rubbermaid jobsite water cooler mounted in a wall rack. Fill it, use it, refill it as needed. For showers we have a transparent plastic fish tote from AIH with a shower head and ball valve mounted in the bottom. It's hung above a shower stall on a couple of 2x4s. We heat water as needed and transfer it with a simple electric transfer pump. I've had a 100 gallon storage tank in the loft and a Paloma water heater ready to install for at least 10 years. The current system is so simple and efficient we've never hooked up the sophisticated stuff. We have a well now but in the early days we toted water using 5 gallon containers in boats, snowmachines, and airplanes. If we had surplus? We'd let it freeze. It doesn't take much to thaw it out when you get back and warm the cabin. We also kept a Katadyn filter around in case we needed to collect river or lake water in a pinch. We never have.

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    Oh, and before we did the overhead shower tank we used a solar shower bag. In summer we used the sun if we remembered in time but it's easy to heat some water on the stove and fill the bag, too. And another little hint. If you leave 5 gallon jugs to freeze it's a good idea to take a nalgene or two of water with you. Heat one on the stove, pour the hot water into the frozen jug, wait a minute and pour out more water than you poured in. Repeat as necessary to make as much water as you need at that moment.

    And... the plastic 16oz Miller beer bottles won't burst if they freeze so you can leave beer at the cabin in the winter. I love those plastic screw top bottles!

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    Unless you can change the laws of physics I am guessing your water storage WILL BE "affected by freezing temperatures."

    Not sure why you think gravity fed tanks are elaborate. I would say they are anything but that. I have a gravity fed water tank and I use 5 gallon containers to fill it. It took me maybe a half hour of labor to set up.

    If you have a loft or a second story to your cabin and the space to put a small to med size water storage tank you are all set. A ball valve, a few feet of pex line and a hack saw and one hour later your elaborate water system will be done.

    Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
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    I should have clarifited: the interior of the loft is sheet rocked. I can place a storage container in the closet. Would you connect the pex to a traditional faucet or would you simply run the pex into the kitchen "area?"

    Also, how long do you think it would take to thaw 5 gallons of water if left until the next visit?

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    I just ran the pex directly to my sink. I figured I could always add a traditional faucet later, but I am happy with how it is and probably won't ever add a "real" faucet.

    As for 5 gallons thawing, I dunno exactly. I would say it would take the good part of a day up to a day and a half. Best bet would be to bring a few fresh 5 gallon containers with you to use while some thaw out. Remember not to leave anything completely full if it will freeze though. Leave a few 5 gallon containers 1/3 full to freeze and thaw out later and bring a few new ones each time. You'll get a rotation going and it will become second nature.

    I just brought inside three 50 gallon barrels full of fresh snow. They usually take about 2 to 2.5 days to completely melt.
    “There's a humorous side to every situation. The challenge is to find it.”
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    Boone, a gravity fed tank in the loft need not be elaborate, and need not be hidden away in the closet. Mine fits under a small desk, and gets filled effortlessly with a 12V pump. Just be sure to drain the hoses when you leave, since the pex line won't burst but the valve fittings attached to it can burst when frozen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    And... the plastic 16oz Miller beer bottles won't burst if they freeze so you can leave beer at the cabin in the winter. I love those plastic screw top bottles!
    Agree with Mr. Pid about the bottles, but as one quickly approaching the end of life, some things have come into much clearer perspective: Life's way too short to drink cheap beer, better to dig an insulated root cellar and store a really decent microbrew!
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphina View Post
    ... and need not be hidden away in the closet. Mine fits under a small desk, and gets filled effortlessly with a 12V pump.
    I have limited space so I've become almost Asian about utilizing small areas for storage!

    I agree, I wouldn't subject true friends to MGD, LOL. A work party, however? Yes, after the work was complete (don't ask).

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    Beer snob. There's an oxymoron if I ever saw one. :-). Beer quenches thirst. When a man wants a real drink? Beer isn't on the menu.

    Try carrying your fruity hefeweizen in the back of your snowgo seat for 50 or 60 miles. You'll have a mess. I'll have a Miller!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    ... fruity hefeweizen in the back of your snowgo seat for 50 or 60 miles. You'll have a mess. I'll have a Miller!
    Fruit in beer is for teenage girls.

    I'll use a flask for bourbon on the snowgo. . .I love winter in Alaska.

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    You better believe I'll be a beer snob right up to the end, and I wouldn't have it any other way! I'm not foolish though, beer sits quietly in the cellar, while bourbon goes along on the bouncing transportation. (What use is a better plastic bottle if your Miller "beer" is a foamy mess in the evening?) Putting down all fruity beers just means that either you haven't had the opportunity to try proper monastic-style beers and simply don't know what you're missing, or else your taste buds are already blown. (BTW, the fruity taste in good beer mostly comes from chemical esters, byproducts of fermentation, rather than from fruit.) Proper beer is every bit as subtle as fine wine. As for quenching thirst, water and tea do quite nicely, thank you.

    Speaking of water, uh, that WAS the topic, right?
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    Fruit in beer is for teenage girls.

    I'll use a flask for bourbon on the snowgo. . .I love winter in Alaska.
    A flask..... lightweight!

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    Speaking of water, uh, that WAS the topic, right? <--- Singing a different tune over here huh? LOL.

    I think I am going to have to try this thing with the Miller Cans, a back up emergency stash, if you will.

    I am a beer snob like all the rest of you, but in the end it don't really matter what you are drinking as long as you've done a little bit a hard work to earn it. And as long as the beer is cold.
    “There's a humorous side to every situation. The challenge is to find it.”
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    Quote Originally Posted by billhicksmostfunny View Post
    Speaking of water, uh, that WAS the topic, right? <--- Singing a different tune over here huh? LOL.
    Sorry, I don't know what that comment means. I was simply trying to move us back to the OP's topic.
    Inspiration is simply the momentary cessation of stupidity.

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    I think we need an Alaska Remote Adult Beverage forum. what do you think?

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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    I think we need an Alaska Remote Adult Beverage forum. what do you think?
    I think the "Adult" part might present a certain challenge.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
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    Quote Originally Posted by tabmarine View Post
    I think we need an Alaska Remote Adult Beverage forum. what do you think?
    I can't believe there isn't one yet! Anyone do any home brewing in the cabins?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Boone View Post
    I can't believe there isn't one yet! Anyone do any home brewing in the cabins?
    Oh yea. It's definitely more convenient to have running water, but living in a dry cabin is never going to stop a homebrewer.
    ...he who knows nothing is nearer to truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods & errors. ~Thomas Jefferson
    I would rather have a mind opened by wonder than one closed by belief. ~Gerry Spence
    The last thing Alaska needs is another bigot. ~member Catch It
    #Resist

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    Ok leave the "Adult" out. I think it would be great if we could share our experiences making the nectars of the Gods in the
    remote cabine arena.

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