Monthly Archives: December 2015

Inside Work & Mobile Water Pump (12/12/2015)

We headed up to the ranch early Saturday morning, knowing that they had a dusting of snow the night before.  The ranch roads were a little wet (muddy), but nothing major.  When we arrived on the property we had a great dusting of snow, and it was already melting (into the water tank of course)

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Was just so nice to see. That was pretty much it for the snow, by Sunday there wasn’t a trace of snow.  Although, yesterday the property probably got close to 3″ with a good system moving across N. Arizona.

The wood stove definitely is working well, and came in handy Saturday night and Sunday morning.  I think it was about 20 degrees Sunday morning.  The major let down of the weekend, my Renogy solar charge controller, which takes voltage from the solar panels and charges the batteries, has taken a dump.  The batteries were not charging, and also draining too quickly.  Turns out the unit is probably defective and a short in there somewhere, causing havoc.  This meant….hold on everyone, bad news coming….that our programmable coffee maker was out of order Sunday morning. uuuggghhhh!!!!!!   We had to do it the old caveman way…light a fire outside!  Keeping with this theme though, the Renogy company was AWESOME!  They are sending me out a replacement free of charge, based on my Amazon order.  I have already purchased an upgraded replacement model, but it will be great to have a spare around, and one we can use in the future somewhere else.  Thank you Renogy!

In case you don’t know, this is what our charge controller looks like:

My new one (arrives tomorrow)
[solar charge controller]Esky Intelligent LCD 30A 12V/24V 360W/720W PWM Solar Panel Regulator Adapter Charge Controller
My new one has an LCD display that shows a lot more information about what I have coming in and going out.  Can’t wait.

Ok…enough geek stuff.  On to the inside.  Last week we got the stove working, and chimney mounted!  All good there.  This week we first added some framing inside on the walls so we could insulate and try and keep it warmer.

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We are adding R-30, 9″ thich” insulation on the West wall (opposite of Sheralee in this picture) to help with the summer West setting sun.

Sheralee then finished off the upper pieces with corrugated metal.
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It looks really good!!!  I love cutting the little logs for ‘Frodo’.

My other goal this week was to make a mobile pump box, including a deep cycle battery and our other water pump.

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As you might recall, our other little pump didn’t survive the freezing temps…something went wrong with that little guy, so I decided to make a box we can move around that will contain our other pump setup.  The box is insulated and has a hose spigot on each side for input and output.

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Sheralee tested it Sunday afternoon for compost, and man it worked out well.  We have a couple little modifications on it, and it is pretty heavy with that battery in there, but we will be getting some sort of permanent cart for it and off we go.  We can move it anywhere.

That was about it, besides watching some Sunday football in by the wood stove.  On our way out we were treated to an incredible sunset.
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Just beautiful!  Of course the top picture is mine, and Sheralee clearly topped my poorly taken picture! haha

Since Christmas is upon us, we are not sure when we are getting up to the ranch again, before or after the new year…not sure yet.  I know for us, we already miss it, but it is going to be down to 8 degrees tonight…soooooooo…who knows. ha.  If we don’t make it up there this weekend, and post again next week, this will be our final post for the year.  What a year it has been….the progress we have made is unreal, and our future is ahead of us.  Very exciting year so far, and next year will be even better!!


Wood Stove Part Deux (12/05/2015)

After a long holiday break, and reworking our entire layout….based around some issues with our first wood stove install, we headed back to the property to remedy our issues and start anew.

Our first stove install did not quite go as planned, well it did, but our plan was flawed.  In our container there was a vent (a 14″x14″ squire hole) added to the very back end.  This was going to be used as a bathroom vent, but we thought about, actually Sheralee thought about it, and it seemed perfect for our wood stove chimney access.  This way we could go straight up at the end of the container.  This added big benefits…first we get a stove pipe inside of the container, as before we just went out the back of the stove through the outside wall.  Second, the location of the chimney is now at the end of our deck outside, which is the best scenario for us.

Now, on to the installation.  Remember, this is what it was like before.
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We had the stove pipe going out the back of Frodo, directly through the wall.  Now we changed that.  We headed up early Saturday morning and stopped at HD in Kingman.  We had ordered two more 36″ chimney sections to go with the one we currently have.

Upon arrival, we first dismantled the above fixture and dismantled the through-wall installation we had done.  Once that was finished we had to see if the thimble would fit in the opening we wanted to use, and move forward in that.

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We had to grind out some of the support bars that were in the opening, but the thimble fit great!!!  The top portion fit, from the roof down, and we were well on our way.  After we did this, we had to prep the wall, framing, insulation, cement backer board, and corrugated metal wall.

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Once we got the framing installed, and all that comes with it, we had to install the inside stove pipe.  Well, this was very tricky, and I think both of us are still in awe that we got it sized just right.  We bought a telescoping stove pipe that would adjust to the correct height for us.  Well, so much easier said than actually done.  Somehow though, we did it!!  We were high-fiving for sure.

We then worked on the adding two sections on the top side so we could have a fire for the night.  And yes…the following pictures are post chimney and with a nice cozy fire that night.

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We heated up some homemade turkey chili, at by the fire, and enjoyed some wine with our dinner.

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Sunday morning, with a nice muggy 19 degrees outside, we started the chimney permanent structure.  I first had to add the final support beam of the deck,which I tied into the support posts of the utility shed below.

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I then mounted two 4×4 posts vertically which will support the chimney bracing.
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We then added the cap, and had to test it out of course!  We sat in a warm container watching some sunday NFL.  woohoo….great day!

I forgot to take an outside big picture,  until late, so this one was as we were packing up to leave.

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Now we have heat, and it feels great.  I think it is going to be around 13 degrees next Sunday morning, so comes at a great time!  We have also reworked out internal layout, and that is exciting.  Sheralee works out the details, and I figure out where to put the framing.  Simple, right? hahaha

Also, found out our compost water pump bit the big one.  Just no more action on that little guy, so I am working on a ‘mobile’ pumping solution.  Should be fun!