Permaculture for when the SHTF

frustratedearthmother

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@SSLM - welcome to the forum! My concern would be water also. Our well is over 500ft deep, but I think the water level is at around 350. I do have a generator that will pull the pump - but in a SHTF situation I'd rather have something that didn't take fuel. Still kicking that one around...

Thanks for the ideas!
 

SSLM

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@frustratedearthmother Thanks!

The simple pump looks like a fantastic idea but I don't remember what depth it can go to. There is a lot of info on their site and they are very responsive to answer questions. The thing with the simple pump is that it is also portable. If you move, you take it with you which appeals to me.

The little solar system is more work and would be more work to take with you but is "do-able". I suppose if you use it and sold the property it could raise your value a bit to have that backup system as an added bonus.
 

SSLM

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Oh...just saw the depth on the simplepump site:

CAN PUMP FROM MUCH FURTHER DOWN
Our low-effort pumping also means we can pump from further down, FAR beyond the reach of any other hand pump. As far as 325 feet water level.
 

Mini Horses

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Something so "free" (the sunshine) sure is expensive to catch, isn't it? :) Thanks for the research info, I'm dreaming of solar, like many on here.

Like FEM, my well is 510 feet down but, don't feel I would get water at 325...ok, maybe in the pipe it could be up that high but, these pumps really, really pull electric. When I checked with the power company they said I would need a consistent 8000 gen to handle it. Bought a little larger but, gas can be sparse in such conditions. If gas were NOT easy to get, I would go with using the gen for the well and, a smaller solar unit for the frig/freezer, etc. Sure makes you think, doesn't it?

OH, Welcome to the forum!
 

SSLM

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Thanks for the welcome.

Yes, I've been contemplating the well pump electricity for quite some time. Those solar units I put a link for will run the regular well pump. So far that company is the only one that I've found that puts together a kit that will.

The one I linked is their most expensive of the units that will run the pump. But I figured if I was going to go to all the trouble to set one up, I might as well start with the largest system.

As I understand it, it is when the pump initially turns on that it draws the most electricity. Then to keep it running is not an issue - just the initial start. That little solar system will run quite a few things including the well pump.

A friend of mine bought that system after we found it. I was waiting for him to set his up to see how it works for him before making a purchase. I know us...we'd get it and it may all still be sitting here a year later in the boxes. So I was hoping he'd get his all set up and the bugs worked out, then advise us and maybe even help :) He's also taking much longer to get it set up and hasn't finished it yet.
 

frustratedearthmother

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We have a generator that pulls our well pump just fine... I think it's a 5K but I'd have to check. Used it for nearly two weeks after hurricane Ike. But, of course, in a SHTF long-term scenario fuel would be an issue. I want to investigate solar also, but what we do have in lieu of...for now...is a bank of marine batteries and an inverter. We could charge the batteries with the generator if necessary and the batteries will power a few things for a few days. It's not been put to the test at this time, so I really don't know how much it'll support. I have used it for the freezer when we had a power outage for a few hours. Worked just fine for that.
 

Mini Horses

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While I asked for a separate plug for the well pump...so I could just power that alone, if need...didn't happen and I didn't check it/notice it until way too late to complain to electrician. That means it's wired into the panel. I have a device from power co-op that connects behind meter which allows you to plug your generator into it outside, cuts line power in/out while it's plugged into. So, I can run anything in the house so long as I watch to not overload --- cut breakers off for things high pull, like water heater, etc., & on to use --- my "kinda" answer to a $5-8K auto generator system. LOL My portable is a Generac...and heavy to move, even with wheels!!

I'd like to have a solar unit but, really would like to "try one" first. Since I know NOTHING about a "system", only vague things, it does concern me for operation & maintenance. The solar gen is contained and I feel like I could put it in the sun and feel ok :lol: although I'm sure there is a tiny bit more to it than that, not much.

My solar fence hot boxes work great!! I want something that simple. Propane gen comes to mind. I mean, a big tank would allow easy storage and a good amount of useage. But solar -- free sun.:idunno
 

ChickenMomma91

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We're in town so for water we have to look into storage tanks and a rain catchment system. We'd already discussed rain catchment to help with the garden. We also know that our local power company would throw a fit if we tried to go solar since that's less money for them and may possibly cost them money if our meter goes backwards. we do rely heavily on our deep freeze though, I really need to clean out my pantry to make room for incoming harvest canning
 

sumi

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@ChickenMomma91 A rainwater catchment system is well worth the investment! We had a few tanks under our gutters in S.A. and the locals laughed at us at first, because it didn't rain there often, but we always had water for the garden and those times when a pipe went and our mains was off for awhile. You'd be amazed how much you can collect after even a light rain.
 
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