CountryPlans Design/Build Forum

General => Owner-Builder Projects => Topic started by: hpinson on February 07, 2011, 11:50:41 AM

Title: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 07, 2011, 11:50:41 AM
Hello!

We have finally closed on some land in Western New Mexico and plan on building a small cottage there over the next few years, as funds allow.

After searching through this forum, we came across Mark Chenail's dogtrot visualizations:

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=2173.0

My wife, daughter, and I, being new builders, are attracted to the simplicity of this structure.  The hip roof looks less intimidating than the steeply pitched roofs that are used in some other designs.  No complicated stairs are needed. We like the single story and open wheelchair friendly layout, which means that as we age we will be able to use it for longer. While we are located at an elevation of 7800', summers can be quite hot, and the dogtrot really seems to encourage cross ventilation. Access to the property in winter is spotty, depending on conditions, and we don't plan on spending a lot of time there December through March.

I began to visualize using Chief Architect Home Designer Suite 10 yesterday.  I have to say that CAHDS 10 is a great bit of visualization software for $99. It is very intuitive. The following were done in less than four hours with no prior experience with this software.

Here is a possible rough layout, based on a 20x36 footprint:

(https://www.indepthl.com/depot/dogtrot-plan-020711.jpg)

And a 3D rendering with, and without a roof:

(https://www.indepthl.com/depot/dogtrot-outside-020711.jpg)

(https://www.indepthl.com/depot/dogtrot-inside-020711.jpg)

Any comments on my initial ideas would be appreciated.

A few years ago I bought the Big Enchilada plan set from Mr. Rabbe, but those no longer seem appropriate for what we are trying to do.

Would I be well served by the 20x30 1-Story Cottage Plans? Could they be reasonably modified, given what's above, into plans that might be acceptable to permitting agencies? Or would I need custom plans drawn up?


Thanks!

-- Harlow
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Squirl on February 07, 2011, 12:29:22 PM
Congratulations on the land!
The design looks great.  I will let others comment on the adaptability of plans, because I don't know.
I assume that you will be having a full basement?  The reason I ask is that in my plans, I went with a post and pier design and forgot to put in an area for utilities. (hot water tank, furnace, water pressure tank, electric panel)

I like the wood stove location.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on February 07, 2011, 01:07:26 PM

Would I be well served by the 20x30 1-Story Cottage Plans? Could they be reasonably modified, given what's above, into plans that might be acceptable to permitting agencies? Or would I need custom plans drawn up?

You could use John's 20x30 plan as a basis to modify. Key things to remember when modifying is that making a plan wider means re engineering. Increasing length is usually just building more of the same, making it longer. Johns 20x30 uses no load bearing interior walls so the floor plan is yours to play with. I don't think a hip roof is included though. ??? However, the easy way to get that would be from a truss company. They would engineer the roof and supply drawings that would satisfy your building permit department.

My understanding is that NM is fairly even handed when it comes to building requirements, although counties and cities are free to add to the requirements or restrictions. Maybe you already have done some research, if not the general requirements for obtaining a building permit can be found online...
http://www.rld.state.nm.us/cid/PDFs/Guides/BLDG%20RES%20GUIDE%20110310.pdf (http://www.rld.state.nm.us/cid/PDFs/Guides/BLDG%20RES%20GUIDE%20110310.pdf)
Johns plans should be fine for submitting. I've used my own plans in the past which as similar to what John draws up. They simply pencilled in a couple of notes on a couple details and passed them.


Everything falls under the CID...
http://www.rld.state.nm.us/cid/permitting.htm (http://www.rld.state.nm.us/cid/permitting.htm)

You will find ResCheck (http://www.energycodes.gov/rescheck/) a help with the design and permit process. It will calculate a pass/fail on the energy efficiency of the structure. When I was planning the CID told me they wanted the print out from ResCheck along with the plan submission.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on February 07, 2011, 01:20:10 PM
Squirl makes a good point on the utilities.


I notice you have offset the wood stove chimney a little. Be sure to allow enough offset to make it easy to install the chimney flashing/boot as well as the roof ridge. I got a little too close to the hip on our gazebo chimney. It made flashing a bit more work. I would have been more concerned if it had been the cabin.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 07, 2011, 01:46:26 PM
>> Don.

I certainly have latitude to move the stove over a few feet to avoid the situation that you describe.

20' foot wide should be good with John's plans. The 36' is longer, so given your remarks, that should work (adding length not width).

Thanks for the references for permitting, I will browse.

>> Squirl

No basement... slab, perimeter foundation, or concrete posts, and I'm not at all sure yet which route to take.

The Pressure tank location is a work in progress.  I will be sorting out the well this spring, and at that point should have enough of an idea to locate it inside of this design. The cold temperatures in the area are definitly something I have to consider.

Likewise with the electrical panel.  Electricity will come in from the kitchen side, and power exists to a pole. I've yet to exactly site the building so have some work to do in that area.

What I am thinking is that the stove is the primary heat source.  Wood or gas-fired propane I'm not sure yet.  In my own house I have a gas-fired stove unit, which is quite nice, and does a great job.

Hot water would be via a tankless system, which is mounted on the kitchen wall that is not visible in the rendering.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on February 07, 2011, 04:48:21 PM
We've lived in RR since '85.

Broadmoor & Nicklaus area
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Squirl on February 08, 2011, 05:32:53 AM
Ah, I’m glad that I brought this up.  I don't know the permitting requirements in NM, so hopefully this won't apply.  In my area an "automatic" heating source is required to get a permit/pass code.  I have seen many vented gas and pellet stoves meet this requirement, but not wood.  Also check your locality. I have seen some require a heat source per bedroom.  I'm not sure if that is memorialized in the ICC or if it is just practice.  I'm just trying to give you the heads up. I have had to redesign my plans a few times to account for these.

If you do have these requirements and you are grid tied, it can be very cheap to overcome.  Many people just install baseboard electric heaters to pass code with no intention of using them.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: dmanley on February 08, 2011, 06:15:26 AM
My only comment would be do you really want the bathroom on the opposite end of the house from the bedrooms?  Middle of the night trips could be a little toe banging.  Other than that, I like the plan.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 08, 2011, 07:59:51 AM
>> Squirl

I'll have to check what the heating requirement is for Rio Arriba County. This is Northern New Mexico, and a lot of people heat with wood here, though Santa Fe style over-regulation is creeping into permitting requirements I would imagine (certainly is in the area of wastewater disposal). I'd prefer wood, because I seem to have lots of that, and won't be in the cabin in the dead of winter. A medium size wood stove should heat this whole space with no problem, with perhaps some additional venting between rooms, or an open ceiling arrangement.  Propane is ok too though.  I really like my little Hearthstone Tuscon direct vent, though would want something a bit bigger, like their Maidstone model.

http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/gas-stoves/stove-details?product_id=8

I'm hoping to insulate the 2x6 framing well.  Blown in insulation would be great, but I don't yet know if that is available in this fairly remote neck of the woods.

I know that if you refer back to Mark's layouts, the living room and each bedroom has a heater of some sort.

I wonder if these small propane direct vent heaters would meet any requirement for heating per bedroom.

http://www.dickinsonmarine.com/propane.php

>> dmanley

I think I'm ok with the bathroom location.  I also see a pretty big construction advantage in that it shares a plumbed wall with the kitchen. It's certainly no worse than many places I've lived. A reaarangement of the sofa and chair layout would help too. Did you have a specific suggestion to improve?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: dmanley on February 08, 2011, 08:14:25 AM
That was just the first thought I had when I saw the plan.  Furniture arrangement will help, plus this layout keeps your plumbing all in the same area.  Look forward to seeing future photos.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: dug on February 08, 2011, 08:24:15 AM
Love the hip roof! Classic NM architecture.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: John Raabe on February 08, 2011, 08:52:27 AM
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi1009.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Faf219%2Fcountryplans%2Fdogtrot.jpg&hash=fc0f91d61245209d7d9577ee04e0bf787f931dd6)

The above image has some suggestions. While a pretty good layout, it runs into the curse of the dog-trot design. IE: the connection area is really a big hallway.

The 20' wide single story plans (http://www.jshow.com/y2k/listings/46.html) have all three foundation plan options (pier, crawlspace and slab) and can be extended for your layout. The included truss diagrams can be engineered to local loads and delivered to the top of the walls. The truss company may be able to give you a coffered ceiling over the great room and still keep the hip roof.

For code required heat you can do electric wall heaters inexpensively. Direct vent propane can work as well but is more costly to install. See which cost more per delivered BTU based on your local fuel costs.

Opps, last thing I noticed. You need each bedroom to have a window large enough to meet egress requirements.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on February 08, 2011, 09:18:18 AM
Harlow, NM uses the IRC 2006 code version. The following link is to the VA version, it is mostly the same.

VA 2006 IRC (https://www2.iccsafe.org/states/Virginia/Residential/Res-Frameset.html)

We have a code thread (http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=6224.msg81129#msg81129)....

It can be overwhelming but there is a lot of great info, the same info the inspectors use to determine if the plans will pass and then later to see if your work will pass.

Things like the window sizes needed for emergency egress is well documented. I refer to it a lot.

The online books are not printable, nor can the text be copied and pasted into another program. However, if you use Firefox and have the DownThemAll plug in, the entire book can be downloaded to your computer. There's still no printing, etc but it makes it very handy to have your own copy.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on February 08, 2011, 09:21:40 AM
John's note on the larger slider window deserves some thought. We love out 6 foot wide, 4 foot tall slider as well as the 5 ft x 4 ft one on the other side of the cabin. We situated the cabin to take advantage of the predominantly north or south winds on our ridge.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: duncanshannon on February 09, 2011, 08:17:22 AM
Hi - can you tell us more about using CAHDS 10? I want to buy some software but $500 reallyhurts. What things can't you do with the $99version?

Can you upgrade the files/plans down the road if you upgrade the sw to the 500$ version?

The drawings you made seem great...
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: duncanshannon on February 09, 2011, 08:21:43 AM
"You could use John's 20x30 plan as a basis to modify. Key things to remember when modifying is that making a plan wider means re engineering.".

Is that for *any* width past 20 (on the 20x30 plans) i was thinking I joists could span to 24' and was wondering if that sort of mod would require other re-eng.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 09, 2011, 08:23:57 AM
Adding 2 feet of length is a great idea John.  20x38.  Should clear up the issue you and dmanley point out. Still only 760 square feet.

Don, for sure about the larger windows and the slider. I've not yet figured  out how to modify windows in CAHDS 10, so these are the defaults for now.  There is probably a model that I have not found yet for just such a slider window. The libraries that come with the software are pretty good, and many models can be modified. I think the room windows would be more along the lines of what Mark had visualized rather than my rendering.  Large shuttered French style windows I would call them.  They should be large enough for egress from each room.

John, the idea of a small window placed high in the bunk room is brilliant.  I was thinking that this room would be stuffy. This dogtrot design is all about cross ventilation.

At the moment I'm tending towards an insulated slab foundation. Rodent control and Hanta virus are issues in the area. The fewer entrances for rodents, the better. I also really like the look and feel of polished concrete floors. Finding a contractor who can do that, well, or at all, in this area may be a real barrier.

I'll be ordering the 20x30 plans shortly.

----

I had some comments on purchasing this land, which might be of use to folks here.

I think we got a very good price, 46 acres with existing well, electricity, and phone for 75K.  For several reasons we had considerable bargaining power.

Asking price was 105K. The land had been on the market since about 2004 I believe.

First, check the assessed tax valuation on the land with your county. Does the asking price bear any relation? It this case, assessed value and asking price were the same.

This land has several derelict structures: a snow-collapsed garage, a snow-collapsed pole barn, and a 1980's mobile home in very bad shape.  Frankly I think these structures scared off potential buyers.  They will all need demolition. Because they were so poorly constructed, I don't think demolition will be too difficult or costly. I can either do it myself, or hire someone with a backhoe and dump truck to knock them down and haul away the debris. Probably 4-5K if I have it done.

Second, the boundaries were vague.  This property had never had a proper survey, and right away it was apparent that the boundaries as described in the deed were wrong.  One issue was that an abutting property owner had built their garage on this deeded property.  I believe such issues frightened buyers away.

We addressed these major issues in our offer.  We required a fully insurable title be transferred as a Warranty Deed. And we required a survey with the seller resolving all boundary issues.  We made an initial offer of 63K with the seller paying for the survey and us a well test, to which the seller countered with 74K and contingents, to which we both agreed.  The title company would not issue the Warranty Deed until the survey was complete and boundary issues resolved.  Needless to say, it was an expensive survey, but in the end well worth it.  The abutter gained a few acres which we gave up by Quitclaim at no cost to them, and they also gained a nice survey of their own property at no cost to them. This was an agreeable way to settle any potential boundary dispute, and we came away a the fully insurable title and legally defendable boundaries.

The well was another issue.  I was able to locate drilling records with the State Engineer. It had been drilled in 1988, and was very low flow (1/2 GPM) but apparently reliable at that.  I brought in a local well contractor to bail the well and measure output flow, and as of October 2010, the well is still producing the same.  I also checked for various contaminants-- coli, e-coli, TDS, metals, and petroleum.  We are at the edge of the San Juan oil patch, and hydraulic fracturing is on the increase, at a depth of about 3000-8000 feet.  The water tested good except for high coli, e-coli, which is common for an old well that is sitting, and the lead count was higher than normal which I am unable to explain (treatable via various methods).  The water table is demonstrably about 170 feet in this area, so even if this well gives up the ghost, I am fairly confident that a replacement can be developed if needed, and probably one with a higher output.

So in all, the property had a lot of problems, all that I feel that we dealt with.  It took a very long time to work through all this-- seven months from offer to closing. It also helped that the property was part of an estate, and the executor was eager to get rid of it. And happily, the real estate broker was an asset throughout the process.

I guess the take home message is that decent land can be had at a reasonable price if you are patient and willing to seek out viable land that has problems, and take on and correct those problems before the sale.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: John Raabe on February 09, 2011, 08:26:08 AM
Duncanshannon:

For a longer simple span on the width you can usually just have the lumber supplier resize the engineered joists per their tables. You would then spec that note on the plans. The actual span is between the insides of the sill plates.

Hpison:

With your CA program you should be able to edit windows by selecting the standard unit and opening it (on the right click menu perhaps?)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Squirl on February 09, 2011, 08:45:44 AM
BTW, most farmers I have seen built on posts to prevent rodents.  They put rat shields at the top of each post.  The concept is rats can climb up the post, but the slopped overhang prevents them from getting in the structure. It is a very old method.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on June 02, 2011, 05:17:42 AM
I guess I'll start my build thread.

Lots of cleanup to do before we can build much. There are several collapsed buildings that need to be demolished and a lot of trash around, and we seem to be spending out time this summer just hauling junk to the dump.

In the meantime we made a fire pit. Important things first, and we will get a lot of enjoyment out if this.  I bought the 36" steel ring kit from Higley Metals: http://www.higleymetals.com/Fire_Pits.php   I'm happy with it, it is made out of good thick steel. 

Here's the pit:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Feoe%2Ffirepit1.jpg&hash=0d57016a404c8a04222a4a26b84c70270cb9f4a5)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Feoe%2Ffirepit2.jpg&hash=8aa88ff507d6215b4dfa0dfc302322cb2b09a748)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Feoe%2Ffirepit3.jpg&hash=a5637e87bd0e86c34de283b25efcb542b7a87a9c)

The view is towards the National Forest which is to our north.  Next up is some sort of sun shelter or well restoration.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: muldoon on June 02, 2011, 06:22:17 AM
Very pretty background, and it looks like you have a helper ready to assist with the toughest of jobs. 
Nice firepit, I have one that's not entirely unlike it. 
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on June 07, 2011, 03:12:17 PM
Now you just need safe weather/fire conditions to be able to use it.    :(
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 07, 2011, 07:19:13 AM
Don... did you get the big rain/hailstorm last weekend? Hopefully things will start to calm down and get a little wetter now.  You must be darned worried about what is going on in the Jemez.  The Young Ranch at Dixon burned, and I understand the Dixon Ranch owners home too.  And the cabins at Cochiti Mesa. It is both frightening and sad. It can all go in a heartbeat.

So, on to my build progress:

My next step is to revive the old well on the property.  It is 305' deep, with 180' static head, and output is a trickle at 0.5GPM, but reliable.  I'm about 800 feet from AC power, so solar is viable given the cost of copper cable.  It was tricky to find a pump system that would not stress the well.  I looked at many. Grundfos and Lorentz are out of this world expensive. Sunrotor looked good at first, but ended up being cost prohibitive because of the 300' of 4GA copper wire which needed to run from controller to pump.  

I ended up settling on the Simple Pump (motorized) and small direct PV solar rig which fits the application, and is competitive in price.  A single 210 Watt / 12V panel will run it, and it has the advantage of being hand pumpable as well. I will be pumping to a 500 gallon tank for now.  No battery storage will be involved. Just a simple PV direct pumping system and a switch in the tank to turn the pump off when the tank is full.  Wire runs are short and gauges are reasonable/ affordable.

I went ahead and purchased. It will be a few weeks before it arrives and I can install.

Simple Pump is available here: http://www.simplepump.com

I bought mine from a distributor, Ron Castle of SunshineWorks in Tennessee.

http://sunshineworks.com

Ron has been super helpful, especially with the solar rigging, and I would recommend working with him highly.

Lots of pictures of the install process are here:

http://sunshineworks.com/solar-powered-well-pump-installation-photos.htm
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on July 07, 2011, 03:58:12 PM
Don... did you get the big rain/hailstorm last weekend? Hopefully things will start to calm down and get a little wetter now.  You must be darned worried about what is going on in the Jemez.  

Not even a quarter inch. A little of the slow release water, but again, not much.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 24, 2011, 10:14:37 AM
The Simple Pump and solar driver rig is arriving in fits and starts. 

My install plan is to:

1. Install the simple pump for hand pumping
2. Install the DC solar panels and motor rig
3. Install a storage tank and tank-full sensor switch

Installation of the pump is straightforward and the documentation on the installation procedure is quite good.

While waiting for the rest of the gear to arrive, I've been planning the PV-dreict solar electrical layout (components as suggested by the sales rep). The rep has suggested breakers at the solar panel combiner box and additionally at a load center. I'm trying to understand why he is suggesting this redundancy. Would not one DC breaker, at the combiner box, suffice?

(https://ruratec.com/media/pump-solar-electrical.png)


Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on July 28, 2011, 03:57:11 PM
Breakers at both locations allows easy disconnecting from either end if/when any work is being performed.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 03, 2011, 10:53:03 AM
Part 1: Restoring an Old Low-Flow Well

Our New Mexico property has an old well which we wanted to restore to use. It was drilled in 1988, and from the beginning has had very low flow, perhaps half a gallon a minute.  The well is 305 feet deep in the shallow aquifer that sits on top of a shale deposit.  The well water level, or static head, fluctuates between 170 and 180 feet, as measured over the last year.  When calculated, the water column in the 4" casing is around 80 gallons.

The well has sat unused since 1998 when the property was abandoned.  When we first visited the property in late 2009, the well cap was off and the 4" casing was open to the elements.

As we became interested in making an offer on the property, we requested a well analysis. This was a pre-requisite to making an offer on the property. The owners agreed, and we hired a local well contractor to pull the pump and do an estimate on recharge rate. At the same time, we would take samples for analysis to a reputable local water lab.  Our offer was contingent on these results and a good bargaining chip in this dry part of the world.

Before analysis, we did some research which gave us reasonable assurance that even if this well had problems, we could drill another well on the property, and if placed right, potentially could have a much higher yield than the existing well.  But at $25 a foot over an estimated 300 foot depth, and an additional 100 foot uphill pump, there was incentive is seeing if the existing well, located uphill from a potential building site, could be restored to use.

Word of mouth gave us the name of a local well contractor who we hired to help us analyze the well.

On a bright and warm day in October, we met at the site.  The contract was well equipped with a crane truck capable of the heavy task of lifting drop-pipe.

Here is his rig:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F01.JPG&hash=c67787f9f81bbc8855d6d47b61e26372116ac0f5)

Here is the crane used to lift and drop pipe and pump:

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/02.JPG)

How drop-pipe hooks to the crane:

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/03.JPG)

And pulls up the drop-pipe from the well:

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/04.JPG)

Here comes the old Gould's pump. We had no idea if it was operational, but assumed it was not after sitting for 12 years.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F05.JPG&hash=40854db00cbf334ed16abd08a6596e18dd3ff0b3)

The pump was 3/4 HP AC and rated at pumping 15 GPM.  It was wired with 12 gauge electrical cable over a distance of almost 600 feet, power drop to pump.  We were amazed that it did not burn out or ruin the well by continually sucking it dry.  The pump circuit had a Coyote Pump Protector device on it that probably helped.

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/06.JPG)

Finally all 290 feet of drop pipe and cable was pulled.  The electrical cable was in good condition and we will surely reuse it elsewhere.  The Schedule 80 PVC was in excellent condition after 22 years immersed, and we will also reuse that.

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/07.JPG)

Our next step was to determine recharge.  The well was bailed and measured for how long it would take to refill to a certain level.  We determined 1/2 gallons per minute, not different from output when it was new.

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/08.JPG)

Next came water sampling.  This could prove difficult as the well had been open to air when we found it (bacterial contamination was almost certain), and there was no telling what the bailer may have introduced.  We took samples from the bailer and carefully filled the bottles provided by the water lab.

There is hydraulic fracturing going on in our vicinity, with wells up and down gradient within a mile that have recently been 'Fracced" at the 8000 foot and 5000 foot deep levels.  Contamination of ground water by hydraulic fracturing was a concern. though not likely for a 300 foot well. Regardless, we would have the lab check for various petrochemicals.  We chose a lab familiar with this sort of testing.

I ordered what I though would be a fairly comprehensive test, at a cost of about $300.  We tested for total dissolved solids, conductivity, organics (bacteria like Coliform), inorganics (metals like lead, arsenic, sodium, and specifically for known petrochemical-related compounds.

The samples must be kept cold in an ice pack and analyzed within 24 hours of taking.  So it was off to the lab, a two hour drive, and a hand delivery.

About a week later comprehensive results came back and it was for the most part good news.

As we suspected, the water had high levels of Coli and E-Coli bacteria.  These could be eliminated by "shocking" with a dose of chorine bleach.  This is a fairly simple procedure and results are often good, unless there is some deep source of contamination.

Unexpectedly, the sample results had a moderately high lead level. This was inexplicable. The experienced contractor had never heard of lead contamination locally, and such contamination of groundwater is overall rare. Our best guess was that either the corroded bronze pipe fittings, or the pump had lead content, which had leached out into the stagnant well over 12 years idle.  A little research showed that indeed, older bronze fittings and pumps had lead content (solder).  My understanding is that bronze drop-pipe fittings are now banned in California because of potential for lead contamination.  Hopefully the problem could be solved by removing the lead sources and giving the well a good flush.  Worst case the lead could be removed via reverse osmosis, but that is a water-wasteful process.

All other testing returned normal.  We were relatively confident that a strategy of slow-pumping into a large storage tank, and some minor water quality remediation (shocking and a sanitary well-cap seal) that the well could be made usable.

To be continued.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 03, 2011, 04:39:09 PM
I think it might be helpful to detail exactly what water tests I used. It seems a reasonably complete test panel.  I live in oil and gas country, thus the petroleum related tests. 

Cross referenced to referrals.

Cost was: $368

Analysis was for:

Cation Anion Balance
--------------------
Flouride
Chloride
Nitrogen, Nitrite
Bromide
Phosphorus, Orthophosphate
Sulfate


EPA 200.8 Dissolved Metals
--------------------------
Arsenic

EPA Method 8021B: Disolved Metals
---------------------------------
Calcium
Lead
Magnesium
Potasium
Sodium


EPA Method 8015B: Diesel Range
------------------------------
Deisel Range Organics
Motor Oil Range Organics


EPA Method 8015B: Gasoline Range
--------------------------------
Gasoline Range Organics


EPA Method 8021B: Volatiles
---------------------------
Methyl tert-butyl ether (MTBE)
Benzene
Toluene
Xylenes, Total
1,2,3-Trimethylbenzine
1,3,5-Trimethylbenzine
4-Bromofluorobenzene


SM 9223B: Total Coliform
------------------------
Total Coliform
E. Coli

Alkalinity
----------
Alkalinity, Total
Carbonate
Bicarbonate

EPA 120.1: Specific Conductance
-------------------------------
Specific Conductance

SM2540C Mod: Total Dissolved Solids
-----------------------------------
Total Dissolved Solids


Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 03, 2011, 06:10:40 PM
Part II: Restoring an Old Low-Flow Well - Hand Pump

Our application is to provide water for what will be at least for a few years, a camp.  Having enough water to drink and do concrete work as we build is important.  The water source should suffice for obtaining a building permit, and that is defined by the county for us as enough water for a working septic system (tank and leachfield).

We were at this point convinced that we had a viable well.

Our first decision was to choose a power source: to use direct AC over a long distance or something else.   While we have power to out property, it is a long way from utility drop to the bottom of the well-- almost 600 feet. That would require the use of small gauge copper cable, and that has gotten enormously expensive lately.  We would also need to rent a Ditch Witch to trench  for the cable, or hire out this work.

Another option was solar.  A single 210 watt panel located next to the well head, providing 12 or 24 volts of direct PV power to a top mounted DC pump, could be a good short-term solution. We liked the idea of an easy first solar project, to get our feet wet.  We also liked the idea of pumping to a big tank, with lots of water being available for fire protection.

Cost is an issue right now for us.  Direct solar PV from panel to a pump at the bottom of the well would require 300 feet of 4 gauge electrical cable.  The excellent soft start Grundfos SQFlex direct PV deep-well pumps have become out of this world expensive at 2-3K for a unit.

After much research, I ordered a SimplePump.

http://simplepump.com

The unit is an ingenious hand pump. The hand lever can be replaced by a DC motor. This pump is seeing action throughout the US, and in developing countries, as a reliable and affordable direct PV solar pumping solution.


The SimplePump is good for low-flow well applications. Our well recharges at half a gallon per minute, which is about the rate  the SimplePump pumps at.  The Grundfos (and similar units) need extra controllers or restrictive orifices to throttle back pumping to this low rate.  A fast pump rate can over-pump and destroy a well.

The SimplePump works by lifting, per hand stroke, water up a 1" PVC tube, using the up and down levered action of a 'sucker rod', and preventing backflow by valves.  100 strokes of the pump lever lift the water about 100 feet.  Once water is at the surface, it will only backflow six feet, due to a bleed off hole, which prevents water from freezing in the top few feet of the pump.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2Fsp.jpg&hash=3a956a00531de1421df0e285670b2bb6f50f9f49)

After initially pumping water to the surface, takes about 10 strokes of the SimplePump lever to start water flowing. My 10 year old daughter can do it. 

A proprietary 12 Volt DC Motor unit can be fitted to the SimplePump.

We ordered the SimplePump, motor unit, solar panel, and hardware from Sunshineworks in Tennessee. 

http://sunshineworks.com/

Proprietor Ron Castle was very helpful in expediting our needs.  He put together a package that included a 210 watt 12VDC solar panel, breakers, lightning arrestor, linear current booster, tank cutoff relay, and tank switch.  He provided support during the install process, which was drawn out because of equipment damaged in shipping by Fedex.

Here is a picture of some of the sucker rods that Fedex broke:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F09.JPG&hash=1dc7b11da56cb130011d860fe22aed42c525834e)

Installation involves dropping 1" PVC pipe and sucker rod to intake depth, in our case about 280 feet.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F10.JPG&hash=280e79b68356653125708bf8630c58771abf6a9c)

Easy at first! But soon the drop pipe starts to get heavy.  We did not have a crane, but were saved by quick thinking on my friend Glenn's part, a Prussic knot.  Who needs a crane?

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F12.JPG&hash=88102093b0038fe93305c6892a18aa0a1cf43d28)

Here's a video of how a 200 pound-plus chain of drop pipe can be lowered gently and safely into a well with just a little bit of paracord and two people:

http://www.ruratec.com/media/well-pics/simple-pump-drop-pipe-install.mp4

A PVC T handle and a little U shaped stop act as a safety device preventing the pipe from dropping down the well and being lost.

I think 300 feet of 1" drop pipe is about the limit for this rig to drop safely.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F13.JPG&hash=12bfe5c76baa7cc022341e82a3256f1e9b2b0bc4)

Finally, the pump head is installed to the top section of drop-pipe.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F16.JPG&hash=f4075d51a16e2508e8ffca33d03e20ef8855d0ef)

And, with a little priming, and an initial 180 strokes... water!  After that it only takes about 10 strokes.  Priming should not be necessary again.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F16.JPG&hash=f4075d51a16e2508e8ffca33d03e20ef8855d0ef)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F17.JPG&hash=e4b945666c85957e48a816726518f6d3559008b0)

Next up... Solar PV direct pumping.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on October 04, 2011, 01:38:12 AM
Love the pump man!

Good work on the water analysis as well.

I have a well that is a low producer up at the ranch it is a three gallons per minute and a one or two gallon per minute flow restrictor on it.  When we move up there seems several ways to go from there.  A 2,000 gallon buried ply tank is one way I am thinking about going.  You can wire a float shut off to that and come off the tank with another pump and the pressure system.  We have a spring we can try to develop into domestic use.  Or dig another well at another location.  We might end up using all three before it is all over.  I am not crazy about spending the money on another well and have it be a 'dry hole'. 

A solar powered pump pumping into a holding tank with a flow restrictor might be a way to go when you get ready to build.         
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 04, 2011, 05:09:47 AM
Exactly.  Probably the only difference with what you describe is we will do a 500 gallon above ground tank for now. That will keep the water fresher for out current low weekend usage, but will have to be drained once cold weather approaches.  Long term I'd like to do what MountainDon did, bury a larger tank, for year round use.  1000 gallons seemed the sweet spot, lest we be pumping all the time.

I've not aquired the tank yet. I will wait until spring.

Here's the state of things as of last weekend. I would have mounted the panel closer, but the well sits on a sandstone ledge, and I had to go 15 feet diagonal to get to a place where I could mount the panel without blasting a hole.  6 GA UFB wire is now buried 18" deep  between panel and pump.  Fortunatly the old AC feed was trenched to the well, and I dug that out to lay the cable.  Otherwise the cable would have had to go in conduit on the surface I guess. 30' of 6GA UFB cost about $80 plus shipping and I had to buy it online because no-one seemed to stock it locally.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2F19.JPG&hash=9d902ea621db94f35573ac390e0ea04dc062ceb1)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 18, 2011, 06:17:04 AM
I'm starting to wire up the Direct PV DC motor rig for pumping the well. 

The Panel is a Sun Electronics A-210-FAC3 rated at 210 Watts, 12V.

http://www.sunelec.com/evergreen-solar-panel-210-watts-1830-vmp-a-p-544.html

The panel is grounded via 6GA bare copper attached from panel to a grounding bar laid horizontally and sunk 24" (which was a bear to trench).  I could not sink the grounding rod vertically because of ledge, but my understanding is that this alternative method is code compliant.  The panel grounding lug connection is worth a look:

http://www.solar-electric.com/gbdbtsopagrl.html

A 4"x4" post is sunk into concrete next to the panel, on which is mounted a Midnight Solar MNPV3 Combiner box, which accepts the + and - feeds from the 210 watt 12 volt panel, and is capable of taking input from a second panel if needed in the future.  The box came with two 20A breakers, and I am using only one.  The connection between panel is really clean because of the integrated MC4 connectors.

http://www.midnitesolar.com/productPhoto.php?product_ID=278&productCatName=PV%20Combiners&productCat_ID=9

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.midnitesolar.com%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2Fphotos%2Fpv3_withClips1_Lg.jpg&hash=7e872fb73940a5827fb4d79fef7f5e532b2086c7)

A Delta LA 302-DC Lightening Arrestor is attached to the side knockout of the combiner and placed inline.  Hookup of the arrestor was easy; green to ground bus, black to - PV bus, and red to + PV bus above the breaker.  After talking with the folks at Midnight Engineering, I found out about their new line of lightning arrestors, which seem a good deal more effective than the Delta, in that they clamp at a more protective voltage.

http://www.midnitesolar.com/products.php?menuItem=products&productCat_ID=23&productCatName=SPD

The MNSPD-300 would seem a good choice for this application. Cost is about twice the Delta.  I may replace the Delta at some point, as I believe by location is prone to lightening strikes.

http://www.midnitesolar.com/pdfs/lightningArrestor_cassie.pdf

Tech support at Midnight Solar was outstanding.

All of this feeds into 6GA UFB cable (+, -, ground) which is laid directly in a trench dug 18" deep, with a run of about 18' from panel to pump (see above picture).  The run requires such large cable to prevent more than a few percent current loss.  I would have liked to go a bit deeper with the trench, but sandstone ledge prevented it. Wire is 7 stranded, per recommendation. It will hold up better than single strand apparently. Gauge was selected using one of many online calculators for determining DC voltage drop and appropriate wire gauge size:

http://www.freesunpower.com/wire_calc.php

I probably could have gone with 8GA.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 18, 2011, 06:26:31 AM
Here's a question about wire gauge.

In this setup, I run from 8GA connectors from the panel (4'), to a few inches of 12GA in the combiner box, 6GA (18') for the run to the pump motor, then 2' of 12GA at the Linear Current Booster/ Tank Switch Relay to the DC pump.  My understanding was that in the best of circumstances you work from small gauge (6 in this case) to large gauge (12 in this case).  Are there any ramifications of mixing gauge as in this setup? I don't see as I have any choice given the design of the devices and what gauge they use and will accept.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on October 18, 2011, 09:26:57 AM
Should make no difference. Just use as short a length of the smaller wire as you can. In DC the current flows in one direction so it really doesn't matter where the large and small diater wires are in the circuit. At least that is the way I see it.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 18, 2011, 09:54:57 AM
That's good because there is no way the tank switch relay is going to accept 6GA. I guess the principal for DC transmission must be that over distance you prevent some smaller percentage line loss the larger the gauge cable.   It's easy to overlook the cost of the fat copper in a solar gear purchase.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Billl on October 20, 2011, 12:23:46 PM
Hey - nice job on the hand pump.  I thought it might be difficult to find one that could lift that much head.

I do a lot of well installations and maintenance and was impressed to see you new pump staged on top of the table. Good to keep that stuff out of the dirt and "beef byproducts" that might be lying around.  Likewise was surprised to see the riser and wire from the old pump lying on the ground.

Couple of things to consider...
1) If you ever have to pull your new pump, stage the parts on a big poly sheet and disinfect with liquid bleach solution (sodium hypolchlorite) before putting it back in the well (never use POTASSIUM hypochlorite, after it's done partially oxidizing the bacteria the potassium acts as a nutrient, calcium hypoclorite easily makes jelly in the well) .

2) It's OK and easy to disinfect the bailer and cable before putting it down the well.

3) If you ever have to pull your pump again, consider a down-hole video. You can see corrosion, mechanical issues (like weld/thread failure or offsets because of geologic fault movement), bio-fouling, and the condition and construction of the well screen.  You can also figure out if the well is still at as-build depth or is filling with sand. 

4) Look for several products that make shock and routine disinfection of wells more effective.  Talk with the tech/sales guys at Johnson Screens for example:  http://www.johnsonscreens.com/sites/default/files/8/702/Chemical%20Rehabilitation%20for%20Water%20Systems.pdf (http://www.johnsonscreens.com/sites/default/files/8/702/Chemical%20Rehabilitation%20for%20Water%20Systems.pdf)

5) Do routine sampling for bacteria (applies to all private well owners). First do before and after samples when you shock treat the well, then sample on a decreasing frequency to annually. I don't want to send bad vibes to the land of monster muleys, but it's my impression that once you have bugs, you'll almost never be able to get rid of them because they get into the gravel pack and ground formation and on to the well casing and without really aggressive work you can't get the disinfectants everywhere.  If you can't get rid of the bugs, it's probably easiest to do a point-of-use treatment. Get micron sized-filter system for drinking water and don't worry too much about the rest of your uses (who cares if the water in the toilet has E-Coli?).  Maybe retest for lead now that your suspected culprit is out of the well.

Zap me a note if  you want more and I'm sorry that I didn't catch this thread earlier.
BillL
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 13, 2011, 07:34:43 PM
Hi Bill. Missed your reply... for some reason notifications are not working for me. Good information.

I almost certainly will have to pull it at some point. The mechanism in the SimplepPump that allows hand pumping from such depths has some seals and o rings at the bottom end that need to be replaced every five years or so.  One concern is that the sucker rods, once screwed together, don't easily come apart, and you ruin some of them when pulling and disassembling. I've yet to pull more than one or two, but I'm suspecting detroyed sucker rods and rod failure will make this a fairly costly pump to maintain. You only learn these things through experience though. The alternative was the Grundfos SQ-FLEX which was beyond my budget when you include the cost of the copper. However, it may have been a wiser choice.  I'm not badmouthing the simplepump... it is one amazing little piece of technology, and must be transformative in developing countries. I understand they are deploying quite a few in Afghanastan and Iraq, and that the military is a big customer.

One thing we did do was disinfect each section of drop pipe with a strong liquid bleach solution, just as you described. That orange bucket is full of bleach!

I'm not using the well for a few months now because of winter, and I should probably give it a second shock soon for good measure. Thanks for the reference to the shock chemicals, though I'm not sure I can use the acid treatments with the pump in place. Need to read through all that more carefully when I'm awake. 

I have been looking at various filter options should the bacteria persist.  The lead problem seems to have vanished.  Again, I suspect the old pump and the bronze drop-pipe fittings. I see that California has outlawed these for the very reason.

The well had low output when drilled (0.5 GPM) and seems about the same 23 years later. The SimplePump goes at about that rate.

I'm hoping to use that nice 12GA copper somewhere else!

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 16, 2012, 02:21:54 PM
The Norwesco 550 Gallon water tank arrived today.  Got it for $325 + $129 shipping from Tank Depot, which seems a good price.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Ftank-norwesco550.jpg&hash=80f815366df55a38448f86b6b4394fb9b07b42af)

But, a problem... A small pinhole puncture on the bottom edge, probably from a forklift. Of course, I did not catch this at the truck drop-off inspection.  :-\

Outside view of puncture:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Ftank-outside-puncture.jpg&hash=cfa944e6e7aa5d38f8a39d999522413ca412f2b7)

Inside tank view of puncture:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Ftank-inside-puncture.jpg&hash=f20b2bbf178423d791e5f0d7eced0744f54370c5)

Good news is that Tank Depot is stepping up to the plate and arranging a repair with a local vendor. Apparently, with the right plastic welder tool, this can easily be fixed.  This is good because I'm not eager to go through a claims process with the trucking company.

Fortunatly, it will be a few weeks until the snow melts enough to install this anyway.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 21, 2012, 01:55:38 PM
+++ for Tank Depot Customer service, and +++ for Desert Plastics in Albuquerque. Puncture fixed!  [cool]
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 01, 2012, 05:25:37 PM
Spring has sprung on the Continental Divide, and it is a warm, windy, and dry one so far.  The apple tree has blossomed, and my lone tree is abuzz with an amazing number of bees. Normally the frost gets the blossoms, but not this year. We may have apples! 

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/00-apple-blossoms.jpg)

The snow and mud are all gone, so it's back to work, picking up where we left off last Thanksgiving.

Installed the 210 Watt 12V solar panel, which will run the water pump motor.  Connected it to the buried copper ground rod using a Grounding Lug No. 1 on the panel, #6 copper, and the Midnight Solar DC breaker box and lightening arrestor.  Next week I hope to finish with the motor hookup and then move on to installing the tank storage and float cutoff switch and relay.

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/01-panel.jpg)

Moving on to the next task, I pass the remains of the collapsed garage, which we demolished last fall. It makes great firewood.

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/02-ex-garage.jpg)

I arrive at the leanin' pole. 

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/03-leanin-pole.jpg)

The previous inhabitant powered his mobile home from this. At some point he decided to dig his root cellar right next to the pole, which is now well on its way to toppling into the root cellar.  Not wanting this hazard (didn't the big Las Conchas Fire start this way), I called our rural electric company to come have a look. "Do you have your liquid waste permit?" says the helpful lady at the electric company.  Silence on my end.  "You'll need it for us to come take a look and make any repairs."

Here's the problem.  The former owner did not have an "approved" liquid waste disposal system.  He had an old tank with the bottom cut out, otherwise known as a "seepage pit".  An "approved" liquid waste system is a requirement now to get your electric turned on, or to get any electrical work done.

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/04-cesspool.jpg)

So I begin my quest for a liquid waste permit. 

Now, a sawdust composting toilet is a fine thing: it is low maintenance, has low smell, is low in cost (around $100), and can serve occasional use by a small family just dandy.  Pretty hard to beat.  But such a composting toilet is not legal in our state.  Commercial composters, like the Envirolet are allowed, but unlike the simple sawdust composter, have a host of issues, which I'd rather not take on.  Fortunately, after a quick search through the easy to understand New Mexico Administrative Code, I find that an outhouse is allowed, if it meets certain requirements. 

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=11938.msg153445#msg153445 (http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=11938.msg153445#msg153445)

I believe I can meet these requirements. I can build a fly proof outhouse, I'm not in an area that floods, the half-gallon a minute well is 300 feet upslope. I have room for two replacement pits, and I am located on more that 0.75 acres.

The big question is: can I did a hole the minimum 4' (better yet 6') on the Sandstone and Scoria benches where my build site is.

There is a sandy bench area below the old mobile home, that was used as a small animal holding pasture. It may work:

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/05-bench.jpg)

Time to dig a test pit. If results are positive, I can send my $100 in to the State, get a pre-inpection, and presumably am on my way to an outhouse, and electrical service.  If not, it is Envirolet, or full septic tank/ leech field for us.

And the news is good.  I was able to dig a 5'.  The only hard digging was through a 1' layer of Caliche, about 3' down. Water, poured on the Caliche, broke that up.  Yeah, I wish I had a tractor and auger. That's what Aleve is for I guess.

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/06-test-pit.jpg)

At 5' I encountered moderately well drained quartz sand:

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/07-quartz-sand.jpg)

I poured some water into the bottom of the pit and watched it perk. As a closet soil scientist, I was pretty happy with what I saw.

Next day I enlarged the pit footprint to 3'8" x 3'8' square, and continued digging. Got down to about five feet, and I hope to reach 6' next weekend.  I don't think it will be a problem.  I'm pretty happy because at this point, a septic tank and leech field would be useless given how slowly we are progressing with our build.

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/08-growing.jpg)

This is as far as I will get this weekend:

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/09-all-for-now.jpg)

That's water perking at the bottom of the hole.

Covered up the pit, so no sleep-walking elk or turkey will fall into it.

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/10-until-next-time.jpg)

Quitting time, on a warm March 31st evening.  I'm reading Buckskin Run by Louis L'Amour. A good read and a perfect way to end the day.

http://www.amazon.com/Buckskin-Run-Stories-Louis-LAmour/dp/0553247646 (http://www.amazon.com/Buckskin-Run-Stories-Louis-LAmour/dp/0553247646)

(https://ruratec.com/media/040112/12-relaxing-time.jpg)

Outhouse build next I guess.  That ought to be interesting, and hopeful I will have some ideas and discoveries to share with CountryPlans.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 01, 2012, 05:36:05 PM
Oh, an update on the Simplepump.  It sat idle from late November to late March.  It held water at 6' below surface as advertised.  Took 10 pumps to restore flow, with no priming.  The sucker is at ~270'.  I'm pretty impressed for a hand pump.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: NM_Shooter on April 02, 2012, 12:58:21 PM
Very nice... what is the diameter of the down hole portion of the pump? Is it much larger than the 1"pvc? Can it be placed into a driven well?

Don't count those blossoms yet.  I am worried this latest bit of cold weather is going to get our pear trees. 

Great view on your property.  Looking forward to your build!

-f-
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 02, 2012, 03:27:40 PM
Yeah, here it is tonight raining in Rio Rancho and feeling pretty darn cold. My wife just turned on the heat.  It's probably snowing up north  >:(

To answer your question, the well casing is 4".  The limiting factor is not so much the diameter of the PVC drop-pipe with sucker rod, but the well cap itself, from which said pipe dangles and the top pump assembly attaches.  According to the Simplepump website they have caps that fit 2", 4" 4.5" 5", and 6" casings.  In my case, even though I have a 4" casing, the well cap sits on a 5" standpipe which encapsulates the 4" casing. 

So if your driven well casing fits one of those measurements, I would think so.  Ask Simplepump though. They are very responsive.

Here is the parts page: http://www.simplepump.com/PRICING/System-Component-Pricing.html

>> Can you bleed the water off of the top portion of the well to protect
>> it from freezing?

No need to.  The drop-pipe has a tiny bleed hole six feet below the top terminus.  Water drains to that level which in most cases is below frost line.  It could be placed deeper, say at 8 or 12 feet, and you would need to pump a little more to get the flow started.  My understanding is that six feet is deep enough for most continental US locations.


Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: NM_Shooter on April 03, 2012, 05:23:13 AM
Woke up to snow here in the valley.  Rained all night, so I am hoping that the pear blossoms made it through.  I'm jealous of your well, but I have water flowing within 100 yards. 

I am sure that my water table is very high.... but I am also on rocky ground near my cabin.  Thinking about trying to drive a sand point if I can find a spot off of the hill.  I can't imagine what it would cost to just deploy a drilling rig let alone set up and drill.  I'd only need a shallow well... probably 30' or so, and I bet it would produce like crazy.  I'm guessing that 30' hole would probably cost me $3000 at least. 

I don't mind driving 1/4 mile to the spring to collect water and save $3k.  But it would be nice to have it closer. 

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 04, 2012, 11:24:17 AM
Some ideas here: http://www.drillcat.com/

Would you really have to go 30 feet? Possibly not, but I guess it is an unknown until you try.



Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Mad-Dax on April 04, 2012, 01:11:57 PM
Well..well...well.  Just thought I would throw in the fact that I went to a boarding highschool in your backyard in Corrales from 86-90.   
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 04, 2012, 02:42:40 PM
I've heard that Rio Rancho is Coralles' back-yard?    :-\

What school did you go to?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: NM_Shooter on April 04, 2012, 02:57:42 PM
Was it Sandia View Academy? 

I don't know how far down I will have to go to hit water.  I have a spring above my property that flows a little creek on the north side of my cabin.  But that little creek is full of cow and elk poop.  I was hoping to drill a hole to get something a little closer to potable, even if I have to boil it first. 

I was going to put the well sort of down by the marshy ground, I expect that I won't have to drill far.  I guesstimated 30' to have a little length to the well for having some legs to the thing. 

I should get you and Mtn Don up there for a survey of the place sometime.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Mad-Dax on April 09, 2012, 12:12:50 PM
Was it Sandia View Academy? 

Sure was :)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 09, 2012, 05:41:59 PM
Completed the pit, in nice compacted volcanic sand (Scoria?).  Pit is 3' 8" x 3' 8" x 6' deep. I hope that will do for a few years.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2F040112%2F13-pit.jpg&hash=1194ddc1ca1108d360cb00551d5fe63d1e53ebca)

Added cribbing per the perscribed design. This is 6" ceder fencing, coated with Thompson Waterseal. Corner posts are 2"x4"x6' pressure treated.  Good thing my wife is an archeologist and likes working in holes!  ;)  She did a great job squaring everything up with a trowel and dustpan.
Getting in and out of a 6' hole is a bit of a challenge!

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2F040112%2F14-cribbing.jpg&hash=e1221986e89e1788e25d5656dbb9a0ef3ebfda8f)

Completed cribbing. This should help discourage the walls from collapsing.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2F040112%2F15-cribbing-complete.jpg&hash=0e2d8b236bb515575b4d743f2741a37a75befada)

At this point I'm confident enough to send in the Liquid Waste Application (and $150) to The New Mexico Environment Department.  They will probably want to inspect, and chances are good that we will pass the requirements and get on to building the privy itself. I think the hardest work is over.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on April 10, 2012, 06:22:44 AM
Nice precise hole. Only thing missing is the string grid.   ;D
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on April 10, 2012, 06:32:57 AM
Do you have an actual plan for the structure that you could share?

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 10, 2012, 07:41:47 AM
Sure.  What I'll end up with is really going to be a hybrid of lots of ideas. I've seen quite a few plans and can't say there is any one that screams out "perfect"!  I'll put what I found here, and start a new thread in the referral links section.

While not a plan, this is closest to what I'm going to build:

http://home.earthlink.net/~roygbvgw/outhouse1.html
http://home.earthlink.net/~roygbvgw/martino1.html

There is a pretty good chapter on building an outhouse in J. Wayne Fears book: How to Build Your Dream Cabin in the Woods.  It lacks measurements though.

Some of the better plans I found online are:
 
New Mexico Type Pit Toilet (perscribed by NMED):
http://ruratec.com/media/outhouse/new-mexico-type-pit-toilet.pdf

Casa de Dios ventilated improved pit latrine:
http://www.teamcasa.org/pdf_files/latrine.pdf

From Cottage Life Magazine:
http://cdn.cottagelife.com.s3.amazonaws.com/files/2011/05/Privy-Plan.pdf

And some sound design ideas: http://www.acacamps.org/campmag/issues/0807/stryker

I'll be substituting a USFS style fiberglass riser throne for the wood bench:
Fiberfab: 1030 West Foothill Boulevard, Azusa, CA 91702 (626) 633-0288 ‎
Far North Fiberglass: http://www.farnorthfiberglass.com/cones.html

The stainless risers are super expensive.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: NM_Shooter on April 13, 2012, 05:23:53 PM
That is an amazingly nice hole.  Almost too nice to cover up and fill up.  I'm curious... what was the soil temperature at the bottom of that hole if the top stays covered?

I wish my soil at my cabin was more like that.  I wish the soil at my house was less like that.  Some people are just never happy.   ::)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 13, 2012, 05:59:09 PM
Really we are lucky to have this spot.  Lots of room for a septic system should we want that in the future.  Most of the ridge is rocky scoria from the Jemez volcano with only a few inches of topsoil.  This area is some sort of bench, where the soil / sediment has collected over time to quite a depth.

It was nice and cool in the hole on a rather hot day in early April.  A few yards over, the ex owner had dug a root cellar (now collapsed).  So it was cold enough in summer / warm enough in winter for food storage.  I did not think to take the actual temperature though.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on April 13, 2012, 08:43:38 PM
Sort of hate to show too much excitement over a septic pit but you guys rock man!  So  [cool]

You can have your pit pumped once in a while sort of like the State and Fed Camp Grounds.  The way that soil looks it will stand the test of time and then some.  Did the wife find any treasures?   



 
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 14, 2012, 08:49:04 PM
Nothing...  completely barren, which is surprising because Gallina Indian artifacts are everywhere around here (we are near Chaco). It's mostly pot shards and obsideon cores that you find.  But most of that is at of near the surface.  I found a bayonette once when digging a two foot hole for a rose bush, at my home in Central NM. It dated to around 1910, Army.

I think you are talking about a vault privy, which is really a sealed tank, that holds the septage, and can be pumped, like the USFS uses.  It's a whole different set of rules for those, and I think they are really best for high volume, cold weather, or no-soil situations where decomposition is not going to occur. Plus I think they are much more stinky. This is going to be such low volume; I hope the waste will for the most part compost at a rate similar to input. We'll find out though...  This is why the state makes you designate two alternate pit locations, so you can move to a new pit if the first one fills. Hopeing 6' will keep us going for at least 10 years though.

Now I'm starting to get an idea what it was like to hand-dig a well.


Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 18, 2012, 12:19:49 PM
Permission granted.  8)  I now have one year to build an outhouse.

I think I'm the first person who asked the County permission to build an outhouse in the last 25 years.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: BADB0Y on April 20, 2012, 09:57:40 AM
Good news! Congrats. I intend to build a composting outhouse myself. I grew up around them, but my wife (pure city girl) is mortified be the thought of it. LoL
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: John Raabe on April 20, 2012, 12:24:42 PM
I lived in Hawaii with a hand dug pit outhouse that had been in the same spot for probably 20 years. Low volume use, like you say. It composted down but the 6' hole was about 4'-5' full at that time. It was about time to dig another hole and move the little building.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on April 20, 2012, 12:27:48 PM
Permission granted.  8)  I now have one year to build an outhouse.

Way cool! A legal privy!!   
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 20, 2012, 01:12:04 PM
And the stamped Liquid Waste Permit just arrived in the mail today. I have to say that the NMED field office staff member I worked with was very fast and helpful.  The whole application process took about a week and a half.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on April 20, 2012, 01:26:03 PM
Almost painless   :)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Don_P on April 20, 2012, 02:38:40 PM
Our little shack out back looks the same, I sited it with the county health dept ~25 years ago. It saw light and then no use once we got the swirly inside. We kept a trashcan full of ashes and a scoop, seemed to work well. I wish I'd had your soil and the hope of a point somewhere in there  :).

An apple tree near the old homesite is oftentimes the site of an old privy here. I found one of the old pits on our place when I dropped into it bushogging, they had rolled every big rock in the area into it. It now has a nice gravel layer on top of the smaller boulders and I have a rebuilt gearbox  ???.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 29, 2012, 02:27:47 PM
Don_P, I think we are going to have apples this year.  The trees that were in bud two weeks ago, and swarming with bees, now have hundreds of little fruits.  I can't imagine that happens too often at 7800'.     There are some indications around the tree that there may have been structures there in the past.  No obvious outhouse pit though.

Anyway, I continued working on the outhouse this weekend-- and what a nice weekend too.  Cool, with high clouds keeping the temperature just right. 

The project was to build the concrete forms for the outhouse footing, and pour the concrete.

There's plenty of old low-quality wood around from various demolitions underway, to use for concrete forms. These were from the collapsed barn nearby. I used a mix of motor oil and kerosene for the release agent for the forms. I hope it works.

Here are the forms in place, strengthened with a little rebar.

(https://ruratec.com/media/outhouse/outhouse-footing-forms.jpg)

Poured the footing concrete 5" wide x 6" deep.  I had forgotten a trowel, so had to make do with scrap 2x4 to smooth the surface. Good enough I suppose. At least it's level, if not pretty.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fouthouse-footing.jpg&hash=2f47bb81c22f1fb4c8d31d34bcdfeb5a33a98d19)

I finished at 6PM, went for a walk, and met some of my neighbors.

(https://ruratec.com/media/outhouse/deer.jpg)

Sunday morning I wetted everything down to cure, cover the footing, and that will have to do until I return.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 29, 2012, 02:30:42 PM
Oh... John... you could make a fortune selling some decent outhouse plans!    ::)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on April 29, 2012, 03:02:44 PM
So could you  :)

Do ya' need a manager?  ;D
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 14, 2012, 05:00:50 PM
Continuing with the outhouse build...

We pulled the forms off the concrete with no problem. A mixture of old motor oil and kerosene does in fact work well for a release agent.  After doing this I noticed that my foundation was not quite straight on one side.  Just cosmetic, but I learned something. However it is level.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Ffoundation_done.jpg&hash=84e53df04377ce2b17ef7f8d02bb73f3ceb5fd7a)

Should I paint the concrete? Will it last longer if I do? Does anyone have any recommendations?

Bolted treated wood 4x4's to the foundation on galvanized bolts set into the concrete. The 4x4's are set in caulk.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Ftreated_footer.jpg&hash=3099a1bb2c93c565d711332aa6290a007281ffba)

And on top of that, we started the post and beam frame made up of 4x4 cedar posts.  Not quite sure why I'm framing this way except I had some of these posts lying around and it seemed a good use.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fframe1.jpg&hash=7aba47ff0ec2e9e39101143be401e0046568e881)

This was taken right before the third thunderstorm of the day started up, with hail!  Odd weather... nice to work in though... it's much cooler and wetter, thankfully, than this time last year. Waking up at dawn with a huge thunderstorm was a real surprise.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fafterts.jpg&hash=c8187de6014c0c1df9e2acf25854667d1b458964)

It will be a few weeks before can continue, so I nailed a temporary triangle brace at the bottom which steadied everything up. Don, I learned something!

All is not well with the well... pump however.  More on that later.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on May 14, 2012, 06:11:01 PM
Nice.

Paint? Only if you want to repaint it in the future.  I wouldn't.

I'd find some really nice SW motif tile and install that around the perimeter.   [crz]

 ??? ??? :-\ :-\         [crz]    probably not    :D
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 23, 2012, 04:27:30 AM
[Moved this to my build thread from the off grid power thread.]

I'm wondering if I could get some opinions? My direct PV solar panel is not pushing quite enough amperage to efficiently run a DC well Simple Pump motor and suck water from 180' static.  It does work in the afternoon full subshine, but at about 11 amps, the motor only pulls about 0.25 GPM at best. Any small puffy cloud stalls the motor, and often I have to manually assist to get it restarted when the sunshine returns.  The addition of a Linear Current Booster is essential, or the motor will not run at all under the load.  The pump manufacturer has stated that the vendor speced direct PV system is not quite up to the task.

Optimally I want to get 0.5 to 1 GPM output, which is the old well's rate of recharge, be able to run the pump througout the day, occasionally at night, and maybe have a 24 hour charge cushion for the rare cloudy day.  Weekend cabin usage mostly.

Some background.  The panel is a Sun Electric fa3c, with the following ratings listed on the panel:

B Grade
210 watt
Pmp is 12 volt
Vmp is 18.30
Imp is 11.48 Amps
Voc is 22.80
Isc is 12.11

Orientation is due south with a 35 degree tilt for Santa Fe, NM lattitude. I could probably gain some output by summer adjusting the tilt to 20 degrees, but (I think) amperage output would still be marginal at best.  I believe to pump this load at a rate of 1/2 - 1 GPM, the motor needs close to 15 amps.  Temperatures range between -30 in the winter and +105 in the summer. These are extremes.

I think I need to add a MMPT charge controller, remote temperature sensor, and battery to the system, which will look like this:

210W 12V Panel > 4' MC4 Cable 10GA > 8ft MC4 Extender Cable, 10GA >  Midnight Solar Combiner/Breaker > 6GA x 18' cable > MPPT Charge Controller + temp sensor > AGM Battery(s?), 12 Volt > Disconnect > 3' 10GA Cable > Pump Motor

I'm condsidering a Morningstar SunSaver 15 Amp MPPT Solar Charge Controller

http://www.solar-electric.com/mosumpsochco.html

And a single Concorde AGM Sun-Xtender sealed deep cycle battery:, Ampere Hours @ 24 Hour Rate: 104 Ah

http://www.solar-electric.com/pvx-1295.html

I'm very unsure if I am making the right selection for charge controller and battery. Can anyone comment?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: UK4X4 on May 23, 2012, 05:16:46 AM
Solar systems always have losses- whats on paper is rarely correct

Need your expected load and hours of usage to get it sized correctly

ie X amp/hours

Your panel puts out 11.48 amps- take 5.5 hours of sun per day (use a sun map it may be more)

That gives you 63 amp/hours from your panel so if your pump wants 15 amps you should be able to run it for 4 hrs a day.............that gives you no spare power for the cloudy days and if 4 hours is not enough then you need to look at more panels

15amps is a hefty load for a solar system

So if you wanted to run the pump for 12 hours every day it goes like this

12 x 15amps =180amp/hours per day

you have roughly 5.5hrs per day of sun

180amps /5.5hours is 32 amp/hours

32 amp hours / 11.48 from that panel =2.8 panels required to power the pump for 12 hours- then you need to look at the batteries and charger to suit that
So you would need



Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 23, 2012, 07:12:04 AM
Thank you-- that is very helpful. 

So lets say I want to pump for 12 hours a day (which is overkill but lets assume).  The motor amperage requirement is really more like 14 amps at max torque, which I am close to.

12hrs*14A = 168AH

An AGM battery that seems to meet and exceed that requirement (for colder weather) is this:

http://www.solar-electric.com/pvx-12210.html   

which is rated at 212 AH.

Does that make sense?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: UK4X4 on May 23, 2012, 08:23:35 AM
If only things were so easy !

Batteries are sized for their max capacity - but under normal working conditions you don't want to go below 50% of discharge even if its a deep cycle.


This gives you a nice work through

http://www.wholesalesolar.com/battery_sizing.html

14-15....amps thats where calculations and actual differ- there's so many losses in a solar calculation you can do it 60 times from 10 diferent websites and you get a diferent answer everytime !


Note the theoretical max power of your panel at 12V is 17.8amps..............not 11.28- thats at the max voltage- my mistake

So really 32 amp hours / 17.8 = 1 .8 panels to provide the power for 12 hours operation.

Do you run with a water tank ?

as if you add in a timer you can control the usage per day, and a float switch to conserve power when the tank is full.

In the field where I work I have in the past chipped off every amp I could.....later I was adding batteries and panels............

If you want it to work reliably under normal conditions size generously

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on June 06, 2012, 06:11:44 AM
Great answer UK 4x4-- you asked the right questions and it really helped.  It took a while to come to terms with what I really need in terms of battery capacity, and in the process I changed how I envision the pump should operate.  Also, getting my head around the sizing calculations took a while!  ???

The most insightful question that was asked was how many hours a day will the pump run?  My initial take was that I should have the battery capacity to fill the 500 gallon tank in one or two runs, but in reality there is no need for this, and such capacity not fiscally feasible for me.

Instead, I will pump for an hour every day, DC timer controlled, and trickle fill the tank.  Since usage is three of four people on weekends, with no flush toilets, I think this should more than suffice. The tank will be fitted with an overflow outlet, which will feed a small stock tank which presumably will attract wildlife.  This has the added benefit of keeping the water in the tank fresh.

Using figures provided by the Simplepump manufacturer I determined that the DC pump motor uses about 17.8 amps per hour (like you said) pumping 0.5 GPM from 180 ft static. Multiplying that by twelve volts gets 214 Watts per hour or 430 watts per day. Lets say I will pump 2 hours a day (higher than I really think I will need) which should be about 60 gallons.  I'd like two days of battery backup in case of clouds. We are in a sunny place and two days of cloudy weather is rare, but I still used a conservative figure of 4.5 hours of sunlight per day. Operating temperatures with be 20F to 100F, but the battery will be housed a small ventilated underground box, which should even out the temperature somewhat.  There will be no deep winter usage that I envision. I'm assuming 50% max drawdown on the battery and then the charge controller should force a device disconnect.

My single solar panel is 210 watts (Pmp) 12V, has a voltage at peak power of 18.3V, provides 11.48 amps of current at peak (Imp), has an open circuit voltage of 22.8V (Voc), and a short circuit current (Isc) of 12.11A.

I used this helpful panel and battery sizing calculator: http://www.batterystuff.com/kb/tools/solar-calculator.html (and double checked with the one you suggested).

Given these parameters, a single 12V 104 Amp Hour (AH) Activated Gel Matt (AGM) battery (20hr discharge rating) should suffice. That makes me happy because the larger AGM batteries are quite pricey and heavy.  The AGM battery seems low maintenance and tolerant of temperature extremes, though probably will not last as long as watered 6V deep cycle golf cart batteries, but I don't really want to deal with the watering and corrosive off-gassing.  Cost is about $300 with shipping.     

If the system works well, and I need more battery storage, I can always up the size of/ replace the battery array later.

I'll use a Morningstar PVM ProStar 30 Amp, 12/24 Volt Solar Charge Controller With Digital Meter, which is under $200. It accepts 6GA copper which is good. The 20 Amp model no longer seems available and 15 is not enough.

I can't really justify the great additional cost of the MPPT controller. I was told I really don't need MPPT in a system this small, though I really don't understand why it would not be of benefit (much like a Linear Current Booster). Regardless, I'll go with the PVM.

Pump timing automation will be achieved by use of a Flexcharge DC timer running off the battery, and a relay-- because the Flexcharge timer cannot handle the 17.8 max amps directly.  I did look at a Morningstar SunLight SL-20L charge controller with a built in timer, but the timer operation really was oriented towards night-time lighting control, and was not very flexible.

I'm hoping total cost will be under $600.

So how does all this sound?

Here are the calculations. I think I used 210 WH instead of 214 WH, but the result is similar.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fsolar%2Fsolar-pump-calc.png&hash=5ff6449ba3aed3e1ff4590288e5c6427435a5839)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: UK4X4 on June 08, 2012, 12:35:13 PM
Ok now your thinking in the right direction

just rough if you use your 4.5hours  and 17amps at 12V as your power you get= 76amp/hrs per day

If you only run your pump for 2 hours your only using 35 amps per day

So you can run your pump for longer if required on the sunny days

battery size should be fine

But will only provide you just two days.....

All solar power systems run diferently it all depends on so many variables

Glad to see you did your homework and you should now have a suitable system, you can always mess with the timer down the road
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on June 11, 2012, 08:27:46 AM
That's reassuring!

I went a little bigger with a 104AH battery.  I'll live with that for the rest of the summer and fall weekends, and since the battery investment is modest, can always move up to a bigger battery or even array of batteries next year.  The charge controller will support that. I think it will do for now anyway. I'm curious to see how the AGM performs, as Simplepump was really recommending the 6V golf cart deep cycle batteries.  The specs for hot and cold weather performance seem more flexable and there is no watering to worry about.

Next comes the automation -- relay and timer to pump the one hour daily unattended. I have worries about reliability. We shall see.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on June 24, 2012, 06:59:53 AM
The Linoleum that I had planned to use for the outhouse floor is not available locally, and quite expensive to buy and ship.  I'm thinking of using a product that I saw at Home Depot called Allure Resiliant Plank Flooring. It is attractive, supposedly waterproof and durable, and easy to install.  It costs about 1.70 a square foot, and is available in 45 sq. ft packs.

Does anyone have experience with this product?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1v/R-100592904/h_d2/ProductDisplay?catalogId=10053&langId=-1&keyword=Allure+Oak+Plank+Flooring&storeId=10051

A concern is that it is a floating floor.  The outhouse floor is 4' x 5'.  I don't want to floor to move.  I wonder if there would be any problem using vinyl adhesive to lock it in place on a plywood subfloor?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: CjAl on June 24, 2012, 07:32:58 AM
i used that in two bathroom. i cant say enough good things about it. it will hold up to anything short of nuclear war. only thing is if anything hravy sits on it for a long.time it will leave a dimple but it straightens back out, just takes a while


it wont move. just lay it down and run a moulding around the wall basen the backside grips a bit, its not like laminate. believe it or not once its together its real hard to tell.its not wood unless you reach down and touch it. i think mine is hickory, alot darker then what you linked to. i like that barnwood style i see now.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 02, 2012, 07:03:38 PM
The solar pump well rig is complete and working!

http://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/solar-pump.mp4 (Video)

-- 210W/12V Sun Electric A-210-FA3C Panel, B Grade.
-- Grounded to buried copper grounding rod.
-- Midnight Solar Combiner with a 20 Amp DC breaker and spare.
-- Delta LA302R Lightning Arrestor (would have perferred the Midnight Solar 600V unit, had I known about it).
-- 6GA UFB wire, 15'.
-- Morningstar Prostar-30 PVM 30 Amp Charge Controller, mounted in NEMA4 enclosure on a post.
-- 6GA + welders wire and 30 Amp Blade Fuse to...
-- 104AH AGM Deep Cycle Battery buried underground in a irrigation control box.
-- Back to Charge Controller withm 6GA - wire.
-- Remote temp sensor from Charge Controller to battery.
-- Charge controller to the Simple Pump via 8GA wire.
-- SimplePump and 105ME/GM 12v DC, 60 rpm, 1/5hp bolt-on Motor Extension.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2Fsolar-pump-complete.jpg&hash=8e05a6d0bf3999a605183c1d03d183ac4aaca840)

I'll detail performance next; what is working well and what is not.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 03, 2012, 10:22:58 AM
Here's the Morningstar Prostar 30 Charge Controller doing its thing, in this case showing battery charge in Volts.

(https://ruratec.com/media/well-pics/prostar30-charge-controller.jpg)

The meter cycles between showing PV input in Amps, battery charge in Volts, and load draw in Amps.  I like all this, because you can really understand what is going on.  For example, I could see the solar panel output drop as the sun went down.  I could also see how much amperage the DC motor is using on the lift.  This proved very helpful in troubleshooting a problem that has been dogging me.

There is a useful self test.

I like that the unit accepts stranded 6GA wire. I think it may not accept single core 6GA. 

It's a nice little unit, though does not have MMC. I don't think I really needed that for this small application.  It also has a built in load disconnect.

I need to plug those holes in the NEMA enclosure. JBWeld I guess?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 03, 2012, 12:40:05 PM
Here's what worked and what did not...

Let me begin by repeating that the well is low-yield, testing at 0.5 Gallons Per Minute (GPM) output in October of 2010. Keep this number in mind for later.  The well is 305' and the static water level is 170'-180'. I measured this static water level many times throughout 2011 and that seemed to be stable.  The water storage column of this well's 4" casing is about 81 gallons.

I have no AC power to the site.  Solar seemed the best option.

Selecting a solar pump was difficult in that most of the available pumps, like the expensive high quality German GrundFOS SQ and the Lorentz pumps, and the newer less expensive Chinese pumps (Bison, Sun Pumps), all pump at 5 GPM or higher.  They also require a long run of large gauge copper (2GA?) cable down into a deep well, and ~300' of 2GA copper cable is REALLY expensive right now. 

Over-pumping is bad for a well, and dry-pumping will destroy the pump quickly. For AC powered pumps, you can use devices like a Coyote Pump Protector to cycle the pump to match recharge and not stress the well or pump. No straightforward cycling solution seemed available for DC pumps, at least that I could find.  In retrospect, that was certainly not the case.

The pump that I found that offered an output to match the well recharge was the Simple Pump:

http://www.simplepump.com/

At it's heart, the Simple Pump is a quality and high efficiency hand pump that can be retrofitted with a DC motor. It will pump about 0.5 GPM from a maximum depth of 200', with higher ouput rates for wells shallower than that.  I believe they have a 48V solution for even deeper wells. The warrenty is outstanding. It gets fine reviews by users.

The Simple Pump is different from the other brands I mentioned in that it sucks water to the surface by a rod and lever arrangement rather than pushing up from a submersible pump.  Windmill water pumps operate like this.

Build quality is very high, mostly stainless steel, and support by Gary Wittig, the business owner, is a phone call, or email away.

The system requires installation of 9' sections of Schedule 80 threaded PVC drop pipe, and custom fiberglass sucker rods to the depth where you will draw water from.  In my case, this was to be 290', providing an ample water reservoir to draw on given the low recharge of the well.  Actual lift is from the static water level: 180' in my case. A very nice feature is that the system is freeze proof due to an ingenious drain arrangement six feet below the pump head. When not un use, water drains back to that level.

My following comments apply to deep well installations of the Simple Pump ONLY.  I would HIGHLY recommend this pump (handpump or motorized version) for wells shallower than about 150'. Installation and maintenance would be a snap by two strong people.

However, using the Simple Pump for a deep, low-flow well, is more challenging.

[Edit - Feb 2013: Simple Pump has developed a mechanical pump lifter.  If it works as advertised this would make installation removal/maintenance much easier for the 150' to 300' deep well: http://www.simplepump.com/Support-PDFs/SIMPLEPUMP-Pump-Installation-Lift-Install.pdf ]

[Edit - Gary will not sell these to the public. After talking with him, it sounds like there is a risk of having the pipe column slip down into the well, and he does not want to assume this risk. This is an assumption on my part, but he did not want to sell me one. ]

Installation and maintenance are a bear due mainly to the great weight of the system.

The procedure for threading the pipe and rod is not difficult, and we elected to do it ourselves.  My friend Glenn and I muscled that pipe and rod down the well, sterilizing with bleach as we went. Glenn even developed a trick with a Prussic knot and some paracord to control the rate of decent of the drop pipe.  There is a "safety tool" and T attachment that prevents dropping the whole column down the well, but in my opinion, the tool is close to failure (splaying outwards) under the weight of 290' of pipe and rod AND water. I've noted this to Simple Pump, and hope for a remedy.  Perhaps the tool can be beefed up a bit with some metal stronger than aluminum. Simple Pump did not seem responsive to my concern. I don't know if they have addressed this since or not.

The installation process felt increasingly dangerous as we dropped more pipe and rod into the well.

I would STRONGLY urge anyone installing a Simple Pump into a deep well of more than 150', to hire an open minded well rigger who is willing to learn a unique new installation procedure, has a crane truck, and two strong assistants at hand.

[Edit - Feb 2013: Simple Pump has developed a mechanical pump lifter.  If it works as advertised this would make installation removal/maintenance much easier for the 150' to 300' deep well: http://www.simplepump.com/Support-PDFs/SIMPLEPUMP-Pump-Installation-Lift-Install.pdf ]

Anyway, we got the drop-pipe in place, and hooked up the hand pump, and found some binding of the sucker rod.  The two of us manned two 9' sections up by hand. The pipe column now had water in it and was MUCH heavier, it was a truly frightening experience. We found the source of the binding; a little plastic guide called a Spider was not in place quite straight.  Very fortunately this problem was near the top of the pipe column.  We also found that while the sucker rod screws together easily, unscrewing it is very difficult, and you run a fair risk of destroying the fiberglass section of sucker rod.  My best guess is that at close to 300' the weight of the rod is deforming the metal screw thread or sleeve a bit.

I find this my biggest critique of the Simple Pump in a deep well application. Maintenance is difficult, and in my opinion, you will likely destroy some portion of the sucker rod when pulling the pump bottom for maintenance, presumably every 5-10 years.  This and the need for a lot of rigger time while you fiddle with the sucker rod to unscrew, makes maintenance an expensive proposition.

Now, we were at 270' of drop pipe, and with a little initial priming, had water at a very reasonable manual pumping effort given the 180' water level depth. My ten-year-old daughter could work the handle.  This is one AMAZING bit of technology.

As a hand pump, especially for a well that is less that 150' deep, I can say without hesitation that the Simple Pump is a great solution.

For deeper wells, in addition to the stressful installation of the heavy pipe and rod, a lot of fiddling was involved to get the stretchy rods adjusted correctly. I felt this was quite dangerous work to do.  My fingers felt in jeopardy when lifting the weight of that rod to do the final adjustments at the pump head.

So at this point, we have a working hand pump pulling water easily from near 200 feet deep. Very nice. 

Next comes mounting the motor and hooking it up to direct PV.

The solar electric system that had been specified was direct PV, a 210W/12V panel, with a Linear Current Booster that promised to run the pump motor during the sunny part of the day -- 10AM to 5AM roughly. The draw depth of 180' was within the capability of the motor.

We hooked up the 12V 1/5 HP DC motor, set the pump arm lever to the innermost setting (lowest flow, least work) turned it on, and... nothing.  Went home, thought about it, and pow-wowed with the manufacturer and solar representative dealer who both were super responsive and patient.  Patience on their part was important, because I was more than a little frustrated and stressed at this point. 

Came back and turned the motor on, and voilà, it pumped. But no water came out. 

Set it to the second cam setting on the pump arm and turned it on and the motor stalled.

Back home to confer with the manufacturer.  Out of spec sucker rod stretching was a possibility.

Back again to the site.  On the second cam setting, I turned the motor on, and this time the motor ran, and even pumped a little water.  Then it stalled. I could manually assist the pump by pulling the arm and the motor would just make the complete stroke.  Output was perhaps 1/16th GPM.  This was at the height of sun, at about 2PM.  Back to the first cam setting and the pump ran, and a tiny trickle of water came out.  A little cloud floated by in the clear blue sky and everything came to a halt.  The pump would not restart by itself after the cloud passed.

Winter arrived and I had to put the project away until spring.  I am happy to say that Gary and Ron understood the long timeline, and were willing to work with me for the duration.  I've never experienced that with a retailer before... usually after a month you are on your own.

Having time to think on this problem over the winter and consult the manufacturer resulted in us deciding that the direct PV was not providing enough amperage to run the motor under the load. The motor has a 25 amp fuse, and we were not burning that out, so seemed to be within the capacity of the motor. I had no amp meter so could not measure direct PV output, but that was our hunch. Sucker rod stretch was ruled out at this point.

When  I returned in the spring, the pump behavior was mostly the same. 

One thing I noticed, which was great, was that the pump held prime over the winter; from late November to March.

However the on-off switch was not operating smoothly.  Could this be the problem? Yes! Or at least part of it.  The switch contact was intermittent.  Simple Pump sent a new, more robust switch.  On-off and intermittent circuit operation was now eliminated as a source of trouble, but I still could not get the motor to do enough work to pump more than a trickle of water with direct PV.

As a test, Ron Castle, the very helpful and patient solar rep (Sunshine Works, http://sunshineworks.com) suggested that I run the simple pump motor directly off my car battery using jumper cables.  Half a gallon a minute water output and the motor chugs happily away! Great!

The next step was to add a battery and charge controller to the mix.  In retrospect I believe I made a bad mistake not going this route in the first place. I think battery storage is essential for anyone using the Simple Pump in a deep well situation. I was right on the margin with direct PV.

I went through the process of learning how to size a battery array, and that is detailed earlier in this thread. The forum members here were ever so helpful in helping me to understand this tricky multi-variable calculation.

And now the pump works!

Next problem...  The pump ran at the 0.5 GPM setting for about an hour, and then blew the 25 Amp fuse.  Ugh.

Consider the well flow rate of 0.5 GPM that I asked you to keep in mind at the beginning of this post.  It turns out that the well flow rate is something less than that.  Probably on the order of 0.35 GPM. 

The manufacturer suggested this was perhaps the problem all along. The pump was drawing water faster than the well can replenish and even though I was intaking water at 270', I was lifting from, presumably, 180'. For this motor, that is fine. More than 200' of lift is not (see 48v solution now offered by Simple Pump).

I was able prove this was the case using the Charge Controller load amp meter.  Pumping started at 11 amps on the draw.  After a few minutes I could watch it creep up, 14 Amps, 18 Amps, 24 Amps, and at 25 amps, the fuse would blow. 

To remedy, I needed to decrease the pumping rate. This is done by adjusting the radius of the pump stroke. I backed the pump arm off one hole, to the center of five holes, and now it seems to pump just fine, at somewhere around 0.4 GPM.  I've pumped for three hours now, and the amperage draw seems steady.  The well recharges, just a little slower than I thought and that made all the difference.

Would I choose the Simple Pump again? I don't know if it really is the best choice for a deep low flow well.  I think the GrundFOS SQF-2 or SQF-3 and some sort of DC timer arrangement may have been more straight forward, and certainly more serviceable by local riggers.  Theoretically, I could have taken advantage of maybe 75 gallons of reservoir in the column. The GrundFOS pump and copper was MUCH more expensive (pump alone is over 3K), but I may have spent well over that amount in time installing, adjusting and troubleshooting the Simple Pump.  Solar costs probably would have been similar.

No doubt there would have been a huge learning curve with the Grundfos too.

The question becomes how long can I go without maintenance; which consists of pulling the heavy drop-pipe, potentially breaking sucker rods in the process, and doing the very straightforward job of servicing the pump "O" rings?  How long would I have to keep riggers onsite or callback? Will the motor be reliable over at least five years?

I'll keep this thread updated with long-term performance.  Again, I think the Simple Pump is a great hand or motorized pump for wells under 150'. It certainly is a working solution for deeper wells, with the main issues being difficulty and cost of maintenance.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on July 12, 2012, 03:08:33 PM
Great info. Thanks. Now if you can only guarantee that we'd find water at your depth.... 600 feet is more likely....  >:(
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 16, 2012, 06:14:02 AM
Three updates. 

1. I could not be happier with the Honda eu2000i generator. It is handling every tool that I throw at it (within reason and no more than 15 amps), and doing it at close to 8000 feet above sea level with no carb jet adjustment.  That includes a 13 amp Bosch compound mitre saw and a 15 amp Bosch circular saw (which works fine with plywood and 2x pine but will bog down in heaver material).  Neither have a soft start.  I'm also making an effort to run it every month for at least an hour and am hoping by doing that I won't run into the corrosion issues so soon from using the ethanol flavored gas which is all that is available around here.

2. I was wondering why our local mouse population was way down this year. It's because we have feral cats!  And now feral kittens!  They have taken up residence in the old collapsed barn.  Yesterday I was heading home, and saw something tiny, brown, and furry wiggling in the grass. I got out of my car and took a look, and a little brown head popped up. It wouldn't let me get too close.  I'm happy to have them as neighbors!

3. The outhouse is coming along well and I hope to post some progress pics soon.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 16, 2012, 06:16:19 AM
@ Don. You can buy a lot of water delivery for the cost of at $$$600 foot well.  You must be perched on top of some pourous Tuff and Pumice rock.

Hey-- do you know of any cement contractors in the Jemez area that have a good reputation?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on July 16, 2012, 06:44:18 AM
A low producing well certainly has it own challenges.  I think I would like to try going to a solar system on ours as well.  More for back up maybe, we are not off grid.  However when the power lines burn down or blow down or the snow collapses them for a few days it sort of makes you wonder if there is not a better way......

I have several options.........  Storage tank or cistern or springs or ???

Thanks for a interesting post.......
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 16, 2012, 06:54:54 AM
Have you thought about putting together a portable solar generator for such a situation?  After setting up this well, such a thing sounds really doable-- perhaps a 200W 12v panel, an inexpensive PWM charge controller (or the more expensive MPPT), an inverter, and a 100ah 12v deep cycle battery, all mounted on a little cart.  The big panel might compensate for clouds -- i've been really happy with how the 210W panel I have keeps the battery topped off even in partial clouds, mornings and evenings.

I was wondering if you had considered collecting rainwater?  Given how much it has rained over the Jemez the last few days, you sure could get a lot of water.  The things about roof water collection that woory me are - what's in the rain, what might leech from the roofing material, dealing with gunk (bird poop, dust, dirt, etc) on the roof that would cause coli / e-coli contamination.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 16, 2012, 06:55:33 AM
I struggled a bit last weekend with how to close corners of galvanized sheets used as siding on the outhouse (which look great).

This will work I think:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fdesignstudiomodern.typepad.com%2F.a%2F6a00e5534c6d0888330120a8d06c31970b-pi&hash=0a6ffe4462896a39638f882b0403fc4752d13c4d)

Just L channel-- hope I can find it locally.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 16, 2012, 10:32:56 AM
Here is progress to date on the privy:

Sub floor is a good quality 1" thick oak veneer plywood. I have questions about how well it would hold up by itself, so plan on installed a waterproof floor of some sort on top of it. I added some leftover flashing around the edges.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fsubfloor.jpg&hash=55a447051256e3533fe0f35924b3ca36e4be5f67)

The shed roof is sheathed in plywood.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Froof-frame.jpg&hash=a9a4947a6c9a85777adac631f2facc01b55fa23b)

The shed roof is covered with 30 pound roofing felt with drip edges.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2F30pd-tar-paper.jpg&hash=5cec1affc20638d3200686662a3931347b81cabd)

I paneled the roof with Fabral metal 8' red roofing panel.  Two sheets covered the roof.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Froof-paneled.jpg&hash=87c9399b8601887e6abab20719bda810d4a014c0)

Next, the frame was sheathed with a thin 11/32nd plywood nice quality skin for rigidity. I chose the thin plywood to keep weight down for when it has to be moved to a new location.  I hope it holds up. The plywood wood grain on the inside of the privy looks nice. Screen vents will be at the top and rear above the cedar cross braces.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fsheathing.jpg&hash=497a98bdf2d75c4add0cd05568e667cadd47a5f1)

The plywood was covered with 30 pound roofing felt, starting at the bottom and working up. This step was difficult for a person working alone.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fpapered.jpg&hash=47f41a2c2d68faa61f8703ef9aeb3b7ac2d2287a)

I had added some internal frame of cedar 2x4's as a surface to screw siding to. At this point I covered everything, including the subfloor, with a coat of Minwax Helmsman urethane spar varnish.  I wish I had another can to do a second coat ($$$).  Todo...

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fframing.jpg&hash=a6db6cf97d1a35f1203d7d157cd80e93792537a2)

And finally added 8' panels of corrugated galvanized metal roof panel. I like how it looks. I had to keep reminding myself to work with the metal panel only with gloves on. Two small but bloody cuts and now I'm convinced forever!  The panel angle cut was done with tin snips, and the sheet metal was easy enough to cut in that way.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fmetal-siding.jpg&hash=98b2ee9c8b4748655be35a4d112211935765d430)

Next, I need to seal up the corners, install the floor, install the fiberglass toilet riser, install the pipe venting, and add the door and front facing. Then some final drip edges and silicone caulk to finish up.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on July 16, 2012, 03:55:28 PM
Yes, we've thought about rainwater collection. There are filters that would handle the debris, pollen and bird droppings. The big issue in the Jemez is winter and the freezing temperatures. That = the need for an underground tank, especially when it would be sitting for a couple + weeks at a time with nobody around to care for the system.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 17, 2012, 02:37:13 PM
The Fiberfab Taza toilet riser arrived today.  Service by Greg at Fibrefab was outstanding.

It was a little different than I expected, and I will need to rethink my floor. It looks like it is designed to be embedded in concrete, as opposed to being bolted down to a floor like the one available from the company in Alaska, or a regular toilet, and I had assumed it had bolt holes in the base flange.  I had really not planned on pouring a concrete floor given how much weight it would add to the structure. But upon consideration, I don't really see any problem pouring an inch or two of concrete on top of the sub floor. The bracing can handle it. 

This tutorial on pouring a concrete countertop should help:

http://www.ronhazelton.com/projects/how_to_make_a_concrete_counter_top_in_place

It does make everything rather permanent though. 

Maybe I could add a second layer of plywood floor with the hole shaped as a neck-- that might be possible too.

Also, it is an unpainted fiberglass surface... I guess I need to paint it with some durable enamel paint. Does anyone have any suggestions for painting fiberglass?

Also, there are no holes for the toilet seat bolts, and those will have to be drilled. This gives flexibility to take different brands of seat I guess.

One thing I really don't care for in the Taza is the unfinished fiberglass inner surface. That will be difficult to keep clean due to its roughness, and ease of cleaning was the whole point of a fiberglass riser, or so I thought.  I guess a finished inside surface would about double the cost, so this will have to do. 

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Ffibrefab-toilet-riser.jpg&hash=f307feb65cf95d2031ed50678897c253a8e7ddf7)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: dmanley on July 18, 2012, 03:28:57 AM
For my riser I used a short section of 12" PVC purchased from the scrap pile of a local supplier.  After cutting it to the proper length I mounted a piece of wood to one end to fasten the seat to.  It is mounted with brackets and then sealed with silicon where it meets the floor.  Works great and sure saved some money.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: CjAl on July 18, 2012, 04:05:33 AM
cant see the flange well but it looks like you could trace the outline onto a larger square of wood and cut it out. fit the riser into that hole and seal with silicone then screw it to that wood from the inner flange then you could screw that wood to the top of the bench.

finerglass needs no special care to paint just sand it amd get a rattle can of your favorite color.

if you really want the inside smooth you could sand it by hand then coat it with a few layers of epoxy for fiberglass that you can get from any auto parts store, sand it smooth again and paint it
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 18, 2012, 05:04:17 AM
Brilliant!  :)   I think a smooth inside will be well worth the effort in terms of keeping it clean and odor free.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: CjAl on July 18, 2012, 05:13:40 AM
put the epoxy on as smooth as possible. it is hard and its easier to put on then to sand off. bondo could fill any pits. i used to do body work i have done lots of fiberglass and hated every second of it. 8)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 07, 2012, 07:00:22 PM
Slow but steady progress on the privy. I hope it will be done by September.

We gave the 1" marine plywood floor several coats of spar varnish, then laid the linoleum floor. 

Finding a single piece of linoleum locally proved difficult, and ordering over the net was costly.  I ended up finding a single box of Marmoleum "Click" at a local green building outlet store.  It went for a good price, being a remainder but is otherwise darn pricy stuff.  The box contained 7 3' sections, just enough to cover a little less than 20 square feet. My wife is good at puzzles, and helped visualize how to piece it all together.  Some cuts had to be made with the table saw, and care was taken to keep the click edges oriented correctly.

The click flooring floats, and a 10mm perimeter was recommended. It was hot when I installed it, over 90 degrees, and it was a small area to be covered, so I went with 6mm.  I think if anything, it will contract.  Oak trim covers the small gap at the sides.

Two holes needed to be cut: one for the riser and one for the vent. A jig saw did the trick-- the Marmoleum and plywood subfloor cut very easily in a single pass.

A 4" hole was cut for the ABS vent, to be installed later.  You can just see the black ABS pipe coupler in the back.  Below that is a foot of 4" ABS poking down into the hole.

The fiberglass toilet riser was given 4 coats of white gloss enamel, sanded between coats, and allowed to dry. I hope it is a durable finish.  Below the hole in the deck I screwed 4 treated 2x4 tabs that I could tap into through the fiberglass lip, and secure the riser to the floor from underneath.  I wish I had pictures of that, but my camera had dirt on the sensor and would not focus then.  I used high strength adhesive to bond the toilet riser to the floor in addition.

I'm pretty happy with the results, though I'm a little worried about the durability of the linoleum. Time will tell. It does look nice. The linoleum is supposed to fade a bit in the sun.

After that we hung and old door we found at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which has a nice sliding screen for air, rather than the traditional half moon.  Rule #44b of outhouse building states that doors should swing inward (so as you can use them in winter), but there just wasn't quite enough room.  So outwards it is!

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Ffittings.jpg&hash=ae5c326604a71a54c6911f5b3cf3e11a0e74aab5)

Next we finished the door frame (my first!) and sheathed the front with 1/4" plywood.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fsheathing-front.jpg&hash=be509ea7939fb5eb7883c0ff3151e9003ff501a3)

Then covered with 30 pound roofing felt.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Ffelt.jpg&hash=b824dae62a707ba1aa1bc35bb97f2eb37be8f971)

And hung the metal siding and corner flashing.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Fclosed-in.jpg&hash=56a40971ad650d0349b765b9fdc5a9f9d88d3e4b)

It's getting pretty close to done. What's left is door trim, the black 4" pipe vent, screening the vents at the top under the roof, a backstop for the the toilet seat, and other interior fittings.  Then we can inaugurate! (After passing the State inspection of course...)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on August 07, 2012, 07:18:37 PM
 [cool]  Nice looking and well thought out......
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on August 07, 2012, 08:15:57 PM
That's the same idea we had for a door, one with a screen.   Looking nice.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 07, 2012, 08:36:42 PM
My daughter dances right across the street from the Re Store, so I'm in there every Saturday morning.  They have an amazing variety of doors-- got that there. The screen is great-- it still needs a little work though-- but what a great view it allows from the throne!
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on August 07, 2012, 08:45:22 PM
Lloyd Shaw Dance Center?  Tango Club?

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 08, 2012, 04:29:42 AM
Yes, but Irish Stepdance, not Tango.  Do you and your wife do Tango there? It has the best wooden floor.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on August 08, 2012, 04:48:12 AM
I took lessons there a decade+ ago. Didn't do me any good though.  ;D  Karen is the dancer in our family, a 15 year member of the Albuquerque Dance Club. They meet at the Albuquerque Square Dance Center on Hawkins... bigger wood dance floor.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 09, 2012, 07:29:49 AM
We used to Contra Dance, at the hall near CNM (can't remember the name). I think it was alternate Saturdays, and the Megaband would provide music. When they were rebuilding that, the dance took up quarters at the Albuquerque Square Dance Center which was really nice, and I think they hold most of the dances there now.

If you are interested, the Irish Stepdancers are having a competition here soon: http://irishdancenm.org/feis_about.htm   It's a lot of fun to watch.

Never tried Tango. I see the class now and then Saturday afternoons. It looks like fun too. Not sure I'd be any good at it. I'm sure my wife would like it so maybe will try some time.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on August 09, 2012, 09:25:26 AM
Karen belongs to the Albuquerque Dance Club.  (http://nmdance.com/). I guess I do too, but I don't dance. Members get discounts for the annual dinner events, so it pays when I go to a special event with her to eat. :)   Perhaps your wife and you might be interested. They have twice monthly Saturday dances (2nd and 4th Saturdays) and also meet Wed and fri nights at local night club / dance places.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 09, 2012, 07:39:29 PM
There's another part to this outhouse story. On my land is an illegally constructed septic system, which was declared at the land sale. It is really a cesspool.  In order for my waste disposal system to be permitted (outhouse) and as a condition to get electricity turned on, I need to destroy that old illegal septic.  Typically this means that it be collapsed with a backhoe and backfilled.  Once destroyed a state inspection will confirm that what I claim to have done is indeed true.

In my case, the "septic tank" is what looks like a fiberglass tank or culvert buried about six feet in the ground where  liquid waste-water from the derelict mobile home was directed.  Capacity was probably 500 gallons.

Because the "tank" was dry and last used around 1998, I was allowed to collapse and fill it myself. This is an exception at the discretion of the inspector and is not generally allowed.  They generally want it done by a professional, and sometimes even require cement fill as I understand. I also have to cap the tank inlet pipe.

The intent of the law is to destroy illegal systems so that it can never be used again, and not jeopordize the health of the person doing the destroying.

Here is the tank as I found it.  Ironically, it probably did its job just fine, given the soil conditions.  It is a hazard in that someone or an animal could fall in and have a hard time getting out. 

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/access.jpg)

I have a pile of dirt from the outhouse hole we dug earlier this year.

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/dirt.jpg)

Proof that the "tank" is dry.  Working near or in an active tank is a biological hazard. This one has been abandoned since at least 1998.

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/dry.jpg)

We enlarged the hole over the fiberglass culvert.

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/hole.jpg)

A Sawzall was used to cut open the fiberglass culvert.

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/cut-tank.jpg)

We filled to the edges with clean dirt.

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/filling.jpg)

Almost filled...

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/filled.jpg)

Filled and ready for inspection. I still need to cap the waste input pipe. That is for another weekend.

(https://ruratec.com/media/oldseptic/done.jpg)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 27, 2012, 11:07:09 AM
New Mexico has granted a Liquid Waste Disposal Permit for the privy.    [cool] [cool] [cool] c* c* c*
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 27, 2012, 11:13:22 AM
Complete! Includes vent, screens, and door-handle.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fouthouse%2Ffinal-privy.jpg&hash=513f323f723479edb3c2fbfb287eb169d773d501)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on August 27, 2012, 12:25:33 PM
New Mexico has granted a Liquid Waste Disposal Permit for the privy.    [cool] [cool] [cool] c* c* c*


Way Cool!!!!!!
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Huge29 on August 27, 2012, 09:37:47 PM
Very nice!  Is that privacy glass on the door?  Seems awfully open for a privy, but it is hard to see the glass very well.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 28, 2012, 04:30:54 AM
Good news about that. My daughter is making curtains, but myself, I enjoy the view!  There is a nice meadow, no neighbors in that direction, with the occasional deer visiting.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on September 08, 2012, 05:16:40 AM
I really enjoyed the cedar post and beam construction of the outhouse project.  One thing that was time consuming was doing the post connections. Without getting into tranditional timberframe joinery, I've been looking for a fast and solid way to join posts, and just found this:

http://www.allsteelshedframes.com/steeltimberconnectors.htm

They make a variety of steel 4x4 post connectors.  This really has given me some ideas to pursue.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on November 19, 2012, 09:04:45 AM
Just an update on a small fall project-- a compost bin, and hay storage.  Construction is mostly of ceder with some redwood scraps.

It's almost done, I just need to finish adding the metal roof panels, and cage the center section so that deer don't get into the hay that I plan on storing there.

The hay is organic material for the composter, and maybe I'll starting feeding it to the deer over the winter. It's very dry right now and there is not a lot of forage.

The composter is in two stages.  When the first bin fills then I move on the second. Presumably when the second bin fills, the first will be ready. The whole process will take about three years I think.

One problem is that it does not rain enough here to foster fast composting. The piles tend to dry out.  I'm hoping that the metal roof will help divert some extra rain into the two bins. That still may not be enough so I supplement with buckets of water occasionally.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fcomposter%2Fcomposter_under_construction.jpg&hash=4b04ac27565b69ac0db1ceb91933e0e9dc177d32)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on November 28, 2012, 03:45:14 PM
High-volume water filter HOWTO for future reference:

<iframe width="420" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/dVI9YDsOZj8" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 10, 2013, 10:24:42 AM
For owners of a deep well Simple Pump system, who need to pull the pump for maintenance; this has to date been a difficult task. There is a major innovation (February 2013): The Simple Pump Lift, which is a mechanical assist for dropping / pulling up to 300 pounds of pipe and sucker rod. I will be purchasing one, and if it works as described will address what was really my single concern for using a simple pump on deep wells '150-'300 - the difficulty of pulling and setting the heavy sucker rod / pipe column.

http://www.simplepump.com/Support-PDFs/SIMPLEPUMP-Pump-Installation-Lift-Install.pdf

From the booklet:

"Thank you for purchasing the Pump Installation Lift from Simple Pump. The Pump Installation Lift (Pump
Lift) is a manual mechanism that uses a crank to drive opposing gripper belts that lift up to 300 lbs. of a
Simple Pump system.

For example, a Simple Pump system, with its 1" PVC drop pipe, installed down to 325 feet in a well with a
static water level of 300 feet, will contain up to 90 lbs. of water, 180 lbs. of Schedule 120 drop pipe and
20 pounds of fiberglass sucker rod, for a total of 290 pounds.

The lifting capability of the Pump Lift is directly related to the belt traction between the pipe wall and the
gripper belts. Iron oxide bacteria (slime), algae growth on the outside of the PVC pipe, or any substance
that makes the gripper belts slippery will diminish the total lifting capability."
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 15, 2013, 10:20:38 PM
I checked with Simple Pump, and the lifter is pricey, though that is certainly a reflection of production costs.

I asked if it could be rented. Because of liability issues, no, at least not from Simple Pump company.

It seems to be marketed mainly towards well maintenance professionals outside of the USA.

Anyway, it is out of my price range.

Perhaps some third party will make it available for rental.

Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on March 17, 2013, 07:51:36 AM
The old and decrepit mobile home on our property has a small newer addition which was fairly well built. It is 16'x20' with a solid block foundation on a sound concrete footer with no obvious problems, 2"x4" stud walls insulated with fiberglass bat, plastic house wrap, log siding, fabricated trusses and a metal roof.  Below the trusses is a drywall ceiling with some water damage, and above the drywall ceiling is fiberglass insulation which has gotten a bit wet in places.

We have decided we would like to preserve this structure when we tear down the mobile home. It can serve as a place to stay for now if we build something else, and perhaps eventually serve as a guest bunkhouse.

The structure needs some rework.

The first problem is that the metal roof is leaking a bit. Not huge leaks, but here and there, with some tears in the metal, and really needs to be replaced.

The corrugated metal panels are screwed directly 2x4 purlins which rest on 2x6 fabricated trusses, 24" OC, which are in excellent shape.

What I am thinking is pull the metal roofing.

Then install 2" rigid foam core insulation between the purlins, top with 7/16" OSB or plywood sheathing directly over the nailed to the purlins, cover with Titanium UDL roll roofing, and finally install metal corrugated roofing screwed to the sheathing.

Am I missing anything, or does anyone have any suggestions?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on March 17, 2013, 08:02:13 AM
Here's what it looks like as of last fall:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fbunkhouse%2Fbunkhouse.jpg&hash=2c3838e65c8bca42d80fd0ec3cb40c26fc4c9035)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: John Raabe on March 17, 2013, 03:31:43 PM
You might want to consider insulating the bottom of the trusses rather than the top. Looks like you have gable end vents. Maybe add a ridge vent to the new roof and screened eave vents between the trusses (if they aren't there now). Then you can baffle the vent space and blow in a good layer of cellulose or fiberglass insulation.

You could still add the sheathing and two layer roof you are considering. That will give you a very long term roof.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on March 18, 2013, 04:22:37 PM
Some good suggestions John. I could get better r value from more loose insulation in the truss bottoms than I could from rigid insulation under the sheathing. The eves are not screened and their is no roof vent as is. Birds get in there and nest which I would like to stop. Thanks!
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on April 28, 2013, 12:35:13 PM
This weekend I completed some more water system related tasks.

Woke up to a coyote sniffing around Saturday morning... that was nice.

The idea is to have a three-season water reserve for fire suppression, maybe for outdoor showers, and for building tasks like concrete work. I wanted the supply to refresh, so that it does not get stale, and so that overflow can be diverted to a little trough, to water the local critters.

First, I connected the pump to the tank.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2Fpipes.jpg&hash=a19f40fa7b2aedd48b31c51735702ea114732320)

I managed to find all the right fittings with just two trips to the hardware store. How likely is that?  I used galvanized pipe because the fittings are exposed to the elements.

Two valves are used, one to allow on demand use of the pump -- for filling a five gallon jugs and such, and the other to divert pump output to the tank.

The first valve serves as a drain.

An antisiphon is installed at the pump head.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2Fvalves.jpg&hash=b4884c0524432ede161d30793e62ef92467e1f13)

Everything is angled to drain back to a bleed point, so that the pipes can be drained easily when it starts to get cold.

The well has such a low flow that I can only pump about 30 gallons a day.  That is one hour on a timer at 1/2 GPM.

I had acquired this Flexcharge 12VDC digital timer/controller.

http://www.solar-electric.com/fldctico.html

It is a nice compact device with 8 programmable events (stop/ start), works with a relay, and has a lithium battery that keeps memory stored for a few months in case the primary power source fails. Cost is about $80. There are similar Chinese timers available on Ebay for A LOT less that probably would have worked just as well.

The pump amp load can spike above what the timer can support (16 amps), so I had to use a relay.

A 40 amp 12VDC auto relay from NAPA did the trick.  I was a little fuzzy on how a relay works and how to hook it up.

Ron Castle, at Sunshineworks has a good video tutorial on relays:

http://www.sunshineworks.com/low-voltage-relay-wiring-video.htm

And here is a good summary specific to hooking up a 4 or 5 lead relay:

http://www.mp3car.com/the-faq-emporium/117895-faq-relays-how-they-work-and-how-to-wire-it-up.html

The directions for hooking up and operating the timer were very clear. That alone was worth the price difference between this unit and the Chinese Ebay timers.  The timer and relay were small enough to fit in the little weather housing that holds the charge controller.

I hooked it all up, set the timer to turn on at 5PM and off at 6PM, and (yeah) it works. It's nice to hear the relay engage with a click.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fwell-pics%2Fdctimer.jpg&hash=cb91893649be5773b863312eb5771a282bcc82ed)

So in 16 or so days the tank should be full, and start overflowing into a trough that I have yet to construct.

The overflow still needs an antisiphon, to keep bugs and such out of the tank-- but forgot that detail and it is way to far to the store to get one. Next time!

Now the question is do I build a little structure to protect the wellhead and tank, or leave it open air?

I'll now have to rent that trencher, to bring the water down to where it is useful.

Every time I think of it I'm amazed to have water in the dry country.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on July 11, 2013, 09:29:40 AM
Last weekend we learned that solar panels need to be cleaned regularly. Soot, from all the fires that surround us, had caused panel output to drop to almost nothing. I wonder how many people who have grid-tie panel setups ever clean regularly?

We finally took down a poorly built shed.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fshed.jpg&hash=dced70abafa546f89daeaa4c6040306979e5bd33)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fshedframe.jpg&hash=ee7d6c23875eafb925e23b0fbc0855cea766c5f0)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fpull1.jpg&hash=a40de3663e81e37ecfed497ce4da9ec69b0261ea)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fpull2.jpg&hash=f78ff6904ecf10d635d79c25851feb311c809154)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fdown.jpg&hash=6aadedee2f643fd142f16459c1a8725f5e0895eb)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fcleanup.jpg&hash=e895624becfb385b4f13e838708e4e3e9c869ef4)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fteardown%2Fdone.jpg&hash=c3bd85676c16f3c6240123f557dcd6efd1fa1060)

We did lots of brush control too and have a nice perimeter around the build area. The brush work never ends-- a lot of it is oak which burns hot and fast.  The result is big piles of slash, and it's too dry to burn now. Maybe next winter? A chipper would be really helpful.  Does anyone have any recommendations?

That lovely apricot tree in the background was full of fruit this time last year.  The weather was too variable this spring for fruit.

It's raining in the afternoons again!
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 11, 2013, 08:43:09 PM
It has REALLY been raining here.

This stockpond is normally empty and dry.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Fland%2Fstockpond2.jpg&hash=7066416e30c9d2e68759971df119d9f78564c683)

With this comes a hatch of mosquitos. I swear they must lay dormant for years, ready to pounce at the first opportunity.

All the rain has really blown out our access road.   Water carrying sediment starts high up and moves fast, cutting deep channels, and washing good parts of the road into gullies below the roadbed.  My wife did a really smart bit of improvised engineering. We had quite a few pine boughs left over from our brush work over the last two months.  She filled the ruts with these about two weeks back. Since then it has rained heavily.  The boughs had the effect of slowing the water and causing sediment load to drop out. The ruts filled in!  I wish I had a picture - this totally blew me away at how effective and simple it was.  I should have some pictures in a few weeks.

We did a little more improvised work with shovels to redirect sheet-washing water away from the road.  We will see in a few weeks how well this works, and maybe do something a little more permanent, if it seems effective.

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Froad%2Ftrench.jpg&hash=4cfc32f03bd478cb820c91361c5c002268c01181)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on September 27, 2013, 01:06:11 PM
Question for anyone who might be reading my not very active build thread.

I need to replace the floor in the 16x24 frame add on to the trailer, which is serving as temporary shelter as we clean up the property.   The roof is fixed now and no longer leaking but the original particle board floor is in bad shape.  The 16"OC 10x joists under the floor are in good shape-- water damage was surficial to the particle board.

So the original floor is 4x8 tongue in groove particle board.  Because wall finishing is in place it will not be easy to replace with tongue and groove, but 4x8 with no tongue and groove should fit in without too much difficulty. My plan is to use adhesive and screw the new flooring down to the 16" OC floor joists.

Is there any problem with not using T&G plywood in this application? Just regular 3/4" 4x8s?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on September 27, 2013, 01:18:51 PM
I don't see any problem. IRC does not state you must use T&G sub-flooring. It does state that blocking shall be used under edges that do not fall over joists OR T&G panels may be used w/o blocking. I believe that is the real reason builders use T&G; it is easier than nailing in blocking.  It is still permisable under IRC to use lumber as sub-floor; 3/4" thick when used diagonally across 24" max spaced joists, for example. No T&G there either.   If you use construction adhesive and block edges I believe you should be fine.

http://publicecodes.cyberregs.com/icod/irc/2012/icod_irc_2012_5_sec003.htm
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on September 27, 2013, 05:35:30 PM
Right... the reason for tongue and groove now makes sense to me.  I may be best off to replace the whole floor rather than just part. except there is a 500 pound Old Timer iron wood stove sitting on the floor that will have to be moved (ugh). I think I will do some exploration down in the joists before starting this as I am not at all sure how the blocking will fall. I had assumed seams fell on the joists but probably that's not the case.  It may be a bit more tricky than I imagined. Little about this old addition is to code. All improvised by an old timer with what he had at hand.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: Squirl on September 27, 2013, 05:54:43 PM
I guess my first question is, how bad is it really?

¾ OSB? Is way over what is required for 16” O/C. 

You could also put down 1/4 OSB right over top to what you have now and forget about it.  Just make sure the joints aren’t within 2 inches of the joints below.

“Unsupported edges shall have tongue-and-groove joints or shall be supported by blocking unless nominal 1/4-inch-thick underlayment with end and edge joints offset at least 2 inches or 3/4-inch wood finish flooring is installed at right angles to the supports.”

Also if the flooring over it will be wood planks, you could just do that and forget about removing the old stuff.  Subflooring wouldn't even be required if you used 1" wood flooring.

“Subflooring may be omitted when joist spacing does not exceed 16 inches (406 mm) and a 1-inch (25.4 mm) nominal tongue-and-groove wood strip flooring is applied perpendicular to the joists”

Some of my floor joists had a few crowns.  I spent almost an entire day with much aggravation trying to get the tongue to fit in the groove over my entire build.  I had to block the last row because I was using cut pieces that had the t&g cut off.  The blocking was much easier.  Measure, cut, shoot a few nails, then just drop the board in place.  No hammering, no cursing.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on September 28, 2013, 04:42:52 AM
Squirl, that is actually quite a good suggestion. 95% of the (already 3/4") OSB is in very good shape, though a little stained.  One small 2'x2' square or so is quite mushy from a roof leak, to the point that it is dangerous.

I would need to measure the distance between the bottom of the door and the floor, but my guess that is around 3/4 inch.  Overlayment joints would be indeed staggered. This is explained well in The Ultimate Guide to House Framing book, which I use - and is as you describe.

I'm not quite sure what the plan is yet for the final floor.  I don't think I would use wood planks. Maybe just 1/4 nicely top finished oak or birch plywood with some sort of durable topcoat. At best this will be a bunk house in the future, and may even be torn down if I can't separate the building from the old mobile home which it is attached to and which I really want to tear down.  Unlike the old mobile home, the 16x24 addition was reasonably well constructed and sits on a good cinderblock perimeter foundation. I think it is (just barely) worth saving.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: old_guy on October 02, 2013, 12:37:45 PM
It has REALLY been raining here.

All the rain has really blown out our access road.   Water carrying sediment starts high up and moves fast, cutting deep channels, and washing good parts of the road into gullies below the roadbed.

We did a little more improvised work with shovels to redirect sheet-washing water away from the road.  We will see in a few weeks how well this works, and maybe do something a little more permanent, if it seems effective.

HPinson - We have a long straight stretch of road than runs downhill on the way to our proptery in Tennessee.  It was washed out most of the time.  When discussing roads with the Forester, I learned a lot about water control.  One of the easiest and most effective are structures called water bars.  They are essentially a raised ridge running diagonally across the road, which causes any moving water to run off the road.  They are placed as close as needed to keep the moving water volume low.  With the addition of the water bars the road sat for 2 years without any sign of washout/gullying.  Look up waterbars.  They are a little more complex than the description above, but not much.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 02, 2013, 12:54:57 PM
That is the next step for sure.  The ditch diversion and sediment slowing measures did their job to a point, but one blew out in an unexpected place and way. A water bar would have prevented that. There are probably 4-6 points on the drive that would benefit from this.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: old_guy on October 04, 2013, 09:22:44 AM
Here is a link (if I manage to attach it) to the Tennessee Guide to Forestry Best Management Practices.

It contains excellent information on roads, and also on other land issues.  It is well worth the read.

http://www.tn.gov/agriculture/publications/forestry/BMPs.pdf
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 07, 2013, 01:37:19 PM
This is good information. Later tonight I'll check if this has been posted in the Referral Links section, and if not, cross post it there.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 07, 2013, 01:50:55 PM
One thing I am learning is that specialty building products can be very hard to come by.

On my home we have a lot of exposed heating ductwork which needs to be re-insulated and weatherproofed.

There are some new and  innovative products for doing just this, but they seem only to be available wholesale to licensed contractors at large volumes, and even in that case, the vendors seem to go out of their way to make ordering difficult.  There may or may not be one or two consumer distributors. In each case the "distributer" knows little or nothing about the product.  Pricing? No one seems to know, or the consumer version is priced so exorbitantly that no one in their right mind would buy.

I get this magazine called "Green Builder" sent free each month. Most of the products advertised in it are like that.

For some reason I get the feeling that a lot of these products are vapor and only can be purchased as a very large order, at which point they could be manufactured just-in-time, and in bulk.

Learning not to get my hopes up about "green" or "innovative" building products and pretty much have to settle with what is available at the big box stores.

Back to the old way of doing it, which in this case, is not so optimal. 
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 07, 2013, 02:59:02 PM
I guess my real question is: why don't small and innovative building product business sell direct to the customer? The "distributers" are doing these small businesses no good at all.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on October 07, 2013, 04:02:11 PM
Sometimes it seems like someone had an idea and that's about all we get to see.  The idea, no proof of the concept.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 28, 2013, 03:18:27 PM
After two years of mulling various floor-plan layouts I think I'm closer tone that would work for my family. We moved away from the original dog-trot idea and towards something simpler and smaller.  It is a 24x24 layout, meant to house two on weekends and 2 guests.  The foundation would be a stem wall.  The floor would either be framed, or better, brick laid on sand. Walls would either be framed, or of a block material TBD -- fire danger is so high where I am: compressed earth block, poured Pumice-crete (there is a semi-local contractor), or something like Builderscrete, which at the moment seems unaffordable and unavailable in the western USA.  Electrical would be a grid-tie. Heating would be a direct vent propane stove in the living room area, and small direct vent heaters in the two other rooms and bathroom. Water heating would be from an on-demand unit. The lid would be a hip roof, 6 in 12, square, and either trussed, or perhaps timber framed with an open ceiling inside.  Roofing would be standing-seam metal over plywood, insulated.  IF framed, siding would be some sort of Hardiboard or simiar that is fire resistant. There would be sort of porch but I have not gotten Home Designer 10 to render one to my satisfaction yet.

Does anyone have any comments?

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2F24x24%2F24x24-plan.jpg&hash=05034a7805f97e62c313dccc99438f84883628bd)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2F24x24%2F24x24-doll-house.jpg&hash=283bf381a02e4bf8ac2b69b949c186f3d2664436)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2F24x24%2F24x24-visualization.jpg&hash=08f781283ad1ee0fac6754acb75c6680958d878e)

Here is the HD10 Plan File if anyone wants to play with it.

http://ruratec.com/media/24x24/24x24-final.plan
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on December 28, 2013, 03:31:25 PM
Friends of ours built a pumicecrete home by themselves. It took long time mixing with one of those stucco mixers we see around here a lot. Took a year for the walls one piece at a time. 18" thick I think. They did a stem wall and later did the sand and brick thing in some rooms and a crawl space and joists in some others.


Looks workable but like many small(ish) designs it does not have a coat rack or closet near the entrance. I know that is hard to fit in.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 28, 2013, 03:49:10 PM
The lack of storage is a concern for me too Don. Perhaps mitigated a bit by external storage, which is available, as I have stabilized the old mobile home. I need to think on that a bit though -- no place to hang a coat even in the living room in this design.  :-\

The Pumice-crete idea came from this site - http://www.pumicecrete.com/  It is very well something that I would contract.  It sounds like a big messy job requiring mixers and forms and the benefit of experience -- and not something that I would want to take on; it would take forever and I would make a bunch of it most likely. I would take on a Builderscrete build were it available at a reasonable cost. Blocks now come from their new plant in Louisiana, but shipping still makes it VERY pricey option.  http://www.builderscrete.com/   

Maybe worth it in fire country, and given the insulative and decorative performance?

I REALLY like the look and performance of Builderscrete.  It comes close to the look of brick in Escalante, which is a big influence:

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=13015.msg169453#msg169453




Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 28, 2013, 03:50:23 PM
Are your friends happy with the performance of their Pumice-crete build?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 28, 2013, 04:03:01 PM
Revised per MountainDon's comments.  Still not entirely happy with storage...
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on December 28, 2013, 04:28:21 PM
Are your friends happy with the performance of their Pumice-crete build?

Yes, they are.

My only concern about this is the same one I have expressed for log cabins. The mass of the wood or the concrete, masonry, etc can work against you when the structure is a part time residence.  But if you do the overhangs and the roof right there is reduced fire danger. Special windows required for that to be most effective.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 28, 2013, 05:41:39 PM
I must have missed that discussion. Do you mean slow to heat and cool upon arrival?
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on December 28, 2013, 05:51:14 PM
I must have missed that discussion. Do you mean slow to heat and cool upon arrival?

That is pretty much it in a nut shell.  But the up side the pack rats and mice are warm for a few days after you all leave....;)
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on December 28, 2013, 06:04:17 PM
Quote
Do you mean slow to heat and cool upon arrival?


What Rick said.   :)   

There is a lag the greater the wall and interior mass. The air can be warmed within a few hours in a small cabin like ours. It helps being one level with 8 foot ceilings. Within a day even the tile floors are warmed; not toasty but not frozen either. But as Don_P has said if you arrive on Fri for a weekend in a log cabin it will be nice and toasty when you are ready to leave.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: UK4X4 on December 28, 2013, 09:00:01 PM
only one comment main entry door
lighting switch needs to be on the other side of the door - probably just a dwg glitch !
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 29, 2013, 06:14:28 AM
That makes sense - switches need to be on the accessible side of any door. I need to consider placement of switches and outlets a little more carefully before moving to the next step - formal plans.

Keeping the interior cool during summer is more of a concern.  I need to run a heater generally evening and nights in November, and then again in March and maybe April.  Access is difficult during winter months.  Summers have hot days and nice cool nights (7800 feet).

My impression was that adobe houses stayed reasonably cool during summers around here (New Mexico), without a lot of help. Am I wrong about that?

Keeping mice out of walls is actually quite important to me.  It is speculated that a neighbor died of Hanta virus.

Does anyone have ideas on how to approach the roof support?  This has me a bit baffled on how best to proceed.  The spans are quite long for a 24'x24' square, about 34' I think, and I really don't want a big support post in the middle of the living room.  I would like the roof trusses to be exposed on the interior, so it could be nice looking engineered timber of some sort, or post and beam I suppose.

Time to break out Sketchup!


Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on December 29, 2013, 06:46:03 AM
I think down in NM and Az I would grab some of those old designs from the Arts and Crafts era there.  (Sorry but I love that era and style of architecture.)   There should be a lot of those old publications down there.  I like the idea of the hip pitch roof for that area.  It also leads away from a lot of interior support.  I might try and incorporate a venting cupola.  If you need more bearing support you have the bed room walls and the bath room walls to work with.  The front room could have exposed support beams and some sort of faux purlins that would look very southwestern open and cool airy.   

Hip roofs here are sort of a pain because shedding snow will not shed away from the door without a lot of extra work.  Where you do not plan to use it in the winter time all that much love the style and idea....       
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 29, 2013, 09:22:11 AM
The idea of a venting cupola is to draw heat out of a roof, like a chimney?

I have an interesting old book somewhere of craftsman style house designs by Gustav Stickley.  You post reminded me to dig it out and take a look.

There would be a porch over the front and side doors.  I just have no been able to render that yet in HD10.
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on December 29, 2013, 11:03:55 AM
The idea of a venting cupola is to draw heat out of a roof, like a chimney?

I have an interesting old book somewhere of craftsman style house designs by Gustav Stickley.  You post reminded me to dig it out and take a look.

There would be a porch over the front and side doors.  I just have no been able to render that yet in HD10.

The idea of a cupola is the same a chimney or a ridge vent.  The Stickleys, Greene and Greene and Maybeck just to name a few that were involved in this design.  Some is quite a reach for today.  The woods and time it takes to do such almost makes it impossible to replicate today with out spending huge amounts on craftsmen that might or might not .....  However I think there is a great possibility today to make a revival if you will with some short cuts and other materials.   Yours is a wonderful state for some great shoot from the hip architecture combining the south west desert with its supple colors and soft grains of wind born smooth.  I would love to try anything but conventional....  Hey I am excited in case you cant tell.       
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on December 30, 2013, 07:26:26 AM
Ideas:

Anacortes Vernacular Houses: Pyramid and Hipped-Roof Variation:
http://museum.cityofanacortes.org/AHPB/documents/Vernac_Houses.pdf

Pyramid Roofed Bungalows:
http://www.historichousecolors.com/documents/Pyramid-BungalowBasics-84-871.pdf

Discussion about 24x24 6:12 timber framed hip-roof:

http://forums.tfguild.net/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=24183&page=all

It is looking extremely complicated to build.

Design principles:
http://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/blogs/dept/musings/martin-s-ten-rules-roof-design

So - no valleys, no dormers or skylights, unconditioned attic (??? not sure I want this as opposed to cathedral framing), hip or gable (prefer hip as it conforms to historic roof styles of the area), metal roof, vents as near to peak or ridge as is possible.

http://sbebuilders.blogspot.com/2013/01/pyramid-hip-roof-rafters-equal-unequal.html


Very rough hip roof calculator:
http://planetcalc.com/1147/

Another hip roof calculator:
http://www.blocklayer.com/roof/roofeng.aspx

Collecting visual ideas:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstephanroux.ltd.uk%2FSite%2FGardenroom%25201_files%2FDSCF0434.jpg&hash=e99c3abc5608fdbafea76e6e9f6b24774dbdfb20)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstephanroux.ltd.uk%2FSite%2FGardenroom%25201_files%2Fsummerhouse0001_2.jpg&hash=f2b0730a0e0db14fe807a8832b1ba99ce86401f4)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstephanroux.ltd.uk%2FSite%2FGardenroom%25201_files%2Fsummerhouse0002.jpg&hash=f72ff37ccb98ca3c56923bda30b1653e769949d6)
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fstephanroux.ltd.uk%2FSite%2FGardenroom%25201_files%2Fsummerhouse0004_2.jpg&hash=e6c41c4f26c417b8384d587138bf91b9d08d954b)

Venting Cupola idea:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bbsheetmetal.com%2Fimages%2Fproducts%2F576%2Fp576.jpg&hash=9ff1906e2bed6f44dfb52c6ad91039da926531e7)

Smaller Gazebo idea:

http://www.howtospecialist.com/outdoor/gazebo/how-to-build-a-gazebo/
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on January 04, 2014, 05:54:55 PM
Merged thread about something killing big juniper trees on our land:

--------------------------------

Same here (not a whole week though).  Burned a lot of slash and we have a pretty good perimeter, or so we tell ourselves.  The slash burned like it was --- dry. 

Some parasite is killing the big Junipers, which is a shame because they are gorgeous trees. They die off very quickly.  The smaller Junipers don't seem affected.

Drought seems to really affect the trees, and my wife says the PJ woodland landscape will be quite changed in 30 years.  She is starting to do a study of the change on our property. The woodland is changing to something more like it was in New Mexico around 1900.  Have you ever seen that book that compares locations in New Mexico from around 1910 to now? Can't quite remember the name, something like "New Mexico: Then and Now".

Here's the before and after:

(https://ruratec.com/media/climate/juniper-alive.jpg)

(https://ruratec.com/media/climate/juniper-dead-1.jpg)

(https://ruratec.com/media/climate/juniper-dead-2.jpg)

-- Harlow

--------------------------------
MountainDon
Re: My 15.75 x 30 Jemez Cabin

http://www.amazon.com/New-Mexico-Then-Now-Rephotography/dp/1565794435

Haven't seen that, till now.  Thanks



Old bookmark, that still works. NM & climate from NM Tech

--------------------------------
rick91351
Juniper

About the Juniper you might PM Pinecone he has helped me out a couple times.....

Rick

--------------------------------
rick91351
Re: Juniper 

I was thinking of what did it. 

I have seen these a lot when I was a kid to now never knew what the heck..... ???

Sent it to Pinecone  - it is Sapsuckers that do that..... 

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi593.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt15%2Frick91351%2FDSCN0231_zps92022ab4.jpg&hash=0c27fc15cf96187db40e839132390c68c70350b1)

https://www.google.com/search?q=sapsucker+bird&rlz=1C1LENN_enUS506US507&espv=210&es_sm=122&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=rFfHUqmRI8f4yAHs-YHACw&ved=0CDoQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=642


---------------------------------
rick91351
Re: Juniper

Sapsuckers are actually the little woodpecker I sent you .  Not a bore at all like I supposed.  The jury is still out if they are going after insects under the bark or in the bark or just sort of searching.  Just like certain times of the year woodpeckers love to drum.  This is why may time they will attack a cabin.  They want to drum for a mate or call attention to themselves.  The old thing of well I'll be a Yellow Bellied Sap Sucker came to mind.

Mistletoe I did find this example and yes I have seen it kill trees but not Juniper but we do not have Juniper in our area.  We do west - south - and east pats of Idaho.  As far as posting WOW be my guest  ;)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fi593.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Ftt15%2Frick91351%2F800px-Mistletoe_San_Bernardino_Mountains_zps66de09f9.jpg&hash=83bd5242b9340919bb392a23d0f825e78c8c9899)

---------------------------------
hpinson
Re: Juniper

Yes, that's exactly what is on the affected Juniper trees.

-- Harlow

---------------------------------


rick91351
Re: Juniper

Yes it will especially if the host is already stressed...... But I would be interested in seeing anything you come up with as well.   I have seen it in alpine firs and such and killing the tops.   Like I say I just never = to Juniper.  Seemed like it needed a lot more humidity or moisture. 

Rick
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on January 04, 2014, 05:59:16 PM
They are stressed in an odd way. There was a very bad drought for about two years, followed by a very intense monsoon. Prior to the monsoon, all of the Junipers looked stressed. After the rains (100 year?) everything looked better, but the bigger trees, those with the Mistletoe balls, died, very quickly, or are in the process of dying. Now it seems to be drought conditions again, with very little snow-cover.

Is there anything to be done? We are losing some of our nicest and oldest trees..
Title: Re: 20x36 Dogtrot in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on January 04, 2014, 06:03:11 PM
Mistletoe... we had it on some of the ponderosa pines on our property. It can kill the trees according to the state forester. It also spreads. We had way too many trees when we bought the land. We have fewer trees now, but still too many according to state forestry. But as far as we can tell none of the ones we kept have mistletoe.

I don't know about the junipers though as we have none.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on January 04, 2014, 06:07:37 PM
Our big nice Ponderosa Pines here when they die from the Pine Beetles they will some times in a few weeks be green then orange then color them done.  So sad 
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on January 04, 2014, 06:42:31 PM
If you look at the third picture, the one of the dead Juniper, you can see all the clumps of the mistletoe.   It did go to orange very quickly, and died. It could be something else, but all the affected trees seem to have the mistletoe clumps.  These are as big juniper as I have seen. When I cut one down I want to count the tree rings. I think they are very old.

 
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: old_guy on January 17, 2014, 09:14:05 AM
The mistletoe is one more thing the tree has to deal with.  That, combined with the drought, was too much.  So those trees die first.

I wonder if mistletoe gets greedy during a drought?  If it is wasteful of moisture, it might take even more when the tree has less to offer.

Don - count your blessings if you have gotten rid of the mistletoe.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: Don_P on January 18, 2014, 05:00:19 AM
I tend to agree, often it isn't a case of one thing killing a tree, it's more a case of the straw that broke the camel's back. Ours are under environmental and site condition stress, the big ones have some age although nothing near maximum and accumulated damage with entry wounds, add another straw or two and they begun the downward spiral.

On the hip roofed frame pictured notice that he raised the ties above the plates. This added some complications. The hips then needed the dragon pieces in the corners for the long heel cut of the hips to land on, notice the 45* angled timbers let into the corners that suppot the heels of the hips. If the ties rest on the plates and then the hips land on the ties you've accomplished the tension restraint and support of the heel of the hip in one operation. I've seen a rigid steel angle reinforcing the plate corner and no tie, engineer land but it worked.

This is a roof I've been playing with, it has 8 sides but has ties on the plate and hips landing on the ties like I'm describing. The "off" ties are carried by a square of dragon beams with those hips landing on dragon pieces. This avoids a cluster of ties trying to come together all at one point down below.
(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Ftimbertoolbox.com%2Fsketches%2Fgazeboframe.jpg&hash=dbcb298e91d7bbba2017bc3f932284763b1d3cfa)
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 05, 2014, 09:26:37 AM
I've not posted in awhile.

I have a good space for some apples, but at 7800 feet above sea level, it is questionable if an orchard will have any success. The old and mature Apricot tree produces a lot of fruit, maybe one year out of five.  The other years, an April freeze kills the flowers. It can even freeze in May, occasionally.

I found some Arkansas Black apple trees at a local nursery. These are supposed to be cold tolerant and late flowering. In mid- April when I bought them, they had no leaves or flowers.  Leaves started to appear in the fourth week of April. A flower started to grow May 3.  My understanding is that the Apples are ready to harvest late, in October.

I figured I would plant 2 and see how they do this summer, and if they survive plant some more next Fall or next Spring.

Arkansas Black is a cross pollinating apple, so I will have to find compatible trees to get fruit.  Does anyone have suggestions  for a cold tolerant apple tree that would be a good compliment?

One problem is that I have no water supply near the orchard to get them established. However I do have a rain-barrel, and figured I could fill it by hand with buckets of water from the well and put a timer on between the barrel and the 1/4" tube I would feed to the trees, letting water flow for 10 minutes every two days. I would do this until they were established.

Nothing goes as planned!

The timer, and apparently most hose timers, require 15 PSI pressure to operate. I discovered that after planting the trees. I had assumed it was just an on-off switch that controlled a rotating ball valve. N0, the membrane valve requires high water PSI. All the units available at the box stores seem to have this design.

So the poor little trees are sitting un watered, beyond the initial soak.  For now they will get a 10 gallons by hand every two weeks. They may well die.

I found a O PSI hose timer on the Internet.  So hopefully, I can get that ordered and installed soon.

http://www.wateryourlandscape.com/dripirrigation/products/timers

I dug into my compost pile which has been working for two years. Composting goes very slowly in this arid climate, with moisture being added mostly in winter. However the results were quite excellent for a pile of crap.  This worked out well.

I used the compost for mulch.

My camera died (it's been intermittent since getting wet on a backpacking trip in Escalante, Utah two weeks back) so...

I can't show the rain-barrel and drip irrigation.

I can't show the deer fence that I put up (which may or may not be adequate).

Just poor planning on my part I guess. The College of Agriculture is an expensive one!

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F01.jpg&hash=64e627ca02c6dce7943e01f892e01b8c55854645)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F02.jpg&hash=5c8967e0f10584d8058c259e0f41ee55ebbcab24)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F03.jpg&hash=b3e54fb9dfc3024fd85dcee5af2806f763323d1e)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F04.jpg&hash=480c671b619b840072bebbc9d83f2bce7c2bcbec)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F05.jpg&hash=8f3f58edd504b1e487b90e2a03986d0ad4dfb1d8)

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F06.jpg&hash=d5f6e50323e94a88135f5388dc2955de6e0f5c85)

Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 20, 2014, 03:46:58 PM

Two weeks go by, and I am pretty worried about the newly planted apple trees, because the are not getting water. 

I got up there last Sunday, and they are fine. No damage from drought, deer, or bunnies.  Especially the bunnies, who are abundant this year.

I was definitely surprised and encouraged.  There were even a few blossoms on one of the trees. Hummingbirds are everywhere this year.

I gave each tree 20 gallons of water, and the drip is working now.  From the 55 gallon rain barrel, they get about 10 minutes every two days, from the 1/4" hose.  Maybe later this year I can run a line from the pump down here - which would be better than carrying buckets full of water to fill the rain barrel.

Maybe the reason there is no animal damage is that the mulch is well composted Humanure from before we built the outhouse.  Just a hunch and I will have to ask over at the Permies forum if anyone has had similar experience.  You would never know that was poop!

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fruratec.com%2Fmedia%2Forchard%2F07.jpg&hash=508457cb0bd6dedef32c8da954dbbab88dc1ffaf)

Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: MountainDon on May 20, 2014, 05:12:13 PM
Glad to hear the trees are doing well.

We had a couple hummingbirds stop and look in our cabin window on Sunday.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on May 20, 2014, 06:02:46 PM
WOW I missed you first post on the apples.

Question one is how cold do you get there?

I have never seen Arkansas Black on a cold weather list.  I would love to try them.  But they would not make it here I really do not think.

We have well over a hundred fruit trees here.  We have done a lot of experimental stuff.  Ol Jarhead turned me on to a really good cold weather nursery.  Their root stock is from Russia and they are hardy and healthy.
   
Your apples right now will do fine with ten gallons or so a week.  After they get established they will do fine with five a week.   ???  But then that is where we do not have the evaporation you most likely.  We watered here for a couple years carrying water and and a gallon and a half a minute well.  Took all day with all our trees.  You do not want them to be overly wet however.  Optimally from what I read five gallons a week is better than drip.  This induces root growth however if that is not possable.  Heck yes use drip or what ever it takes.     

I would abort the fruit (pick off the blossoms) for the next three years.  You want them to concentrate on root growth not fruit.  When you do have fruit it will be sort of small and not very good for a few years.

This is in my experimental mini orchard,  If you use two more tee posts and you can move you cage to allow weeding easy.   Wire the cage to the tee posts so deer and cattle will not shove the cage out of the way. 

(https://i593.photobucket.com/albums/tt15/rick91351/Mini-orchard/P6140122.jpg)

(https://i593.photobucket.com/albums/tt15/rick91351/Mini-orchard/P6140123.jpg)

Another thing I did in the mini orchard. 

(https://i593.photobucket.com/albums/tt15/rick91351/Mini-orchard/P6140127.jpg)

You can use hardware cloth as a great way to keep the rabbits and other rodents at bay.  Hardware cloth allows for air movement and will not gauld the trunks like solids.



 

 

 
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 21, 2014, 08:09:15 AM
I may well do that with the T stakes. Currently the bottom of the wire is staked in three places, with the stake on the inside. I have a few old T posts around and could certainly do three.  If the deer get at it still, it may mean the kind of measures like you have taken.  I was just able to wrap the trunks late last weekend.

From what I understand they are a cold weather tree.  The tags said -30.  There is a recorded temperature of -40 in the 1930s but I think -30 or even -20 is rare.  They certainly leaf out quite late - leaves started to appear in early May and there are still a few emerging.  Same as the oaks around here.  Fruits are in October.

My understanding is that Arkansas Black needs cross-pollination so I don't think there will be fruit until I plant something complementary. Maybe I should look at the trees with the Russian root stock that you and Ol Jarhead are using -- especially if they would cross pollinate!  I bought these Arkansas Black mainly because the local nursery is stocking them, I knew they were alive and in good shape, and they have a reputation for doing well here. 

I still would like some Dixon tree stock! Not going to happen though. What a loss and what a mess.

I think at the most I would plant 4-6 more next year. I'm just not around enough to really take care of them.

Interesting to note how hard it is to find a battery powered hose timer that works with 0 PSI!



Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 21, 2014, 08:13:18 AM
Oh - I found this interesting -- did not try it though - 30 Pound Test Monofilament Fishing Line as a deer fence.  Effective it seems but you would replace it each year.

https://youtu.be/nKWsyn9TgHE

https://youtu.be/PbRRgIbYKgw
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 19, 2014, 12:39:35 PM
I can report three seasons of use with the Simple Pump, with no significant issues. Pump head and motor are fully exposed to the elements.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 19, 2014, 12:41:25 PM
[October 2014] The Arkansas Black apple trees are doing quite well, and have taken, at 7800 feet.  I have watered them modestly, every 2-3 weeks during the summer.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on October 19, 2014, 04:24:48 PM
Any luck on the Dixons?  I have been watching and does not sound good at all.  Even I am get upset with their attitude. 

So glad your  apples are still going.  You might make a cage out of hardware cloth around them to keep the rodents from girdling them in the winter.

   
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: Tickhill on October 20, 2014, 01:01:37 AM
Thanks for the deer fence videos. I enclosed our garden spot with 4 strands of 50 lb. mono line and had NO deer inside the "fence". I had 4 rows of purple hull peas with squash and cucumbers, also 30 tomato plants. Normally the purple hull peas would be mowed down with us getting 1 picking but we were able to pick until they bared no more. A friend of mine did the same thing only on a little larger scale and he reported NO deer.
Thanks
Tickhill
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 20, 2014, 05:26:21 AM
Funny you should ask Rick. I was driving from Albuquerque to Bandelier National Monument last Saturday, on the very bad Dome Road.  There is a great view of what is left of Dixon Orchards - which is not much.

(https://ruratec.com/media/random/dome-011.jpg)

In the center of this picture along the stream pretty much was the extent of the orchard. You can see it is almost all gone.

(https://ruratec.com/media/random/dome-012.jpg)

This second close-up is detail of what used to be part of the orchard.   You can also see the road blowouts which still are not fixed.
 Compare historically in Google Earth and you can see the extent of the devastation.

The demise of the orchard by flood was directly caused by the utter devastation of the Las Conchas and Dome fires on the watershed above.  The fire completely denuded the watershed of trees, burning away the topsoil down to the rock in many places.  Now whenever it rains, there is little catchment for the runoff and we get these huge floods. 

And this has become quite the political hot potatoes.  Aubrey Dunn, who is running against incumbent Ray Powell for State Land Commissioner, is using the demise of the orchard via the fire and subsequent flood, and the removal of the caretakers from the place afterwards as a political weapon.

Here is Dunn's video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_9Uzmde-J8Q

The video leaves out many important points, and you can see comments are closed.  I won't go into that, but effectively, this location is no longer any good for an orchard, because many more huge floods will wash through in the coming years.  And the caretakers were heavily subsidized tenants of the state, and were upset that the subsidy went away with the orchard.

Sad, because Ray Powell has been a decent state land commissioner, and seems an honest and quietly effective at his job of generating school income from state lands.  Dunn is an oil guy, with a lot of money behind him to through at the campaign, and I just don't trust him to be a good steward.  However, Powell seems to have been blindsided by this, and has not mounted an effective defense.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 27, 2015, 06:54:41 AM
Above I posted a link to a Youtube video "Cheap, easy, and effective dear fence for your garden".  I tried it on one new apple tree this spring.  I can say it may be cheap and easy, but it is not effective.  The deer plowed right through the 1' spaced 30 pound test fishing line , snapping quite a few strands, and completely denuded the tree.  The metal fenced trees have not been touched by the deer.

I have a question though.  Can an apple tree that has been stripped of all its leaves early in the season recover?  The tree is still supple.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on May 27, 2015, 09:16:50 AM
Above I posted a link to a Youtube video "Cheap, easy, and effective dear fence for your garden".  I tried it on one new apple tree this spring.  I can say it may be cheap and easy, but it is not effective.  The deer plowed right through the 1' spaced 30 pound test fishing line , snapping quite a few strands, and completely denuded the tree.  The metal fenced trees have not been touched by the deer.

I have a question though.  Can an apple tree that has been stripped of all its leaves early in the season recover?  The tree is still supple.


Should bounce right back keep me informed......

Might try my mini orchard approach

http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=10850.msg171896#msg171896

Especially if you can Craislist the materials....  The  larger one work so well and you can even incorporate a gate.  They are doing so well - with a minimum amount of work.....   
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 27, 2015, 09:48:22 AM
I hope it does!   The tree is better protected now, so any new leaf growth should be safe for a few years.   The drip irrigation works well.

What I really need to do is fence around the orchard - the trees will outgrow their cages soon enough. 

The whole thing is a doubtful proposition at 7800 feet though.  Freezing temps until VERY recently.

Both Arkansas Black trees survived the winter nicely. I believe temps were down to about -15.

Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on May 27, 2015, 10:23:11 AM
You really need to look for late blooming apples and a root stock to match your soil - Semi dwarfs do work here.  Would not waste my time on dwarfs in your location at all. Unless there are some dwarf root stocks that I do not know about.....  Actually I would look for full sized trees and that are smaller like a semi dwarf I know I must likely caused a what the heck. Even full sized tree root stocks some grow pretty compact smaller trees.....  But are more hardy.  7800' is high but do able.....  might be harder around here but down your way.....       
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 27, 2015, 10:40:22 AM
What I have right now are late blooming - two full size (I believe) Arkansas Blacks that flower early May, one (new) semi-dwarf Fuji and one (new) semi-dwarf Granny Smith (defoliated now) - the last two self-pollinating and selected for cross pollination of the Arkansas Blacks.  All are supposed to give fruit very late season - September or October.  The Arkansas Blacks are doing quite well (year 2).  The self-pollinators are an unknown and I don't know how they will do (though one may or may not be history).  Frost free season is generally second week in May to early October.  We get fruit on the big old apricot tree maybe one out of four years (???). We are just a little higher than the former Dixon Orchards. Not the best conditions, but if nothing else they will be nice trees.

Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on May 27, 2015, 10:43:27 AM
Year 4 with the weather exposed Simple Pump. No issues to report. I'm very satisfied with it.   
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on October 05, 2015, 01:25:31 PM
This is our summer project, just completed, a gazebo.

It was a kit, that we bought from our local Costco.   The manufacturer is Yardistry, a Canadian company. Cost was, as I remember, about $1200.

Yardistry Wood Gazebo with Aluminum Roof

http://yardistrystructures.com/wood_gazebo_with_aluminum_roof.php

The gazebo has a 12x12 footprint. Material is cedar. 

The structure is highly engineered.  Quite a few parts to put together, and 4 weekends (maybe 16 hours?).  First step, check carefully that the many parts and fasteners are in the 3 boxes.  They were. Good QA/ QC.

Written assembly instructions are outstanding! Step by step, written in clear un-translated English, and very clear.  Illustrations were very helpful.  We found very few errors in the instructions, and those were very minor.

We needed support for two issues.

1.  A few parts arrived warped or cracked and needed replacement.

2.  Tie down.

A call to Yardistry during business hours was immediately answered by an English speaking representative. She was knowledgeable and sent our replacement parts out within a day. They arrived via UPS, well packed with no damage.  Our second issue required engineering support, and our question was answered within 2 business days.

Yardistry is a class act. Wish more businesses were this responsive. This was a really fun building kit project.

Here are the build photos:

First the old shed roof had to come down. Ugly as it was, it served us well and outlasted all our predictions of collapse by four years!

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/01.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/02.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/03.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/04.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/05.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/06.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/07.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/08.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/09.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/10.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/11.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/12.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/13.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/14.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/15.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/16.JPG)

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/17.JPG)

All done.

(https://ruratec.com/media/gazebo/18.JPG)
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 28, 2016, 05:18:27 PM
Here I am worried about elk and deer getting the apple trees.  Rabbits destroyed them, at snow level, over winter.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on February 28, 2016, 08:15:08 PM
I have not been able to look at our trees.  But replant use hardware cloth around them.

(https://i593.photobucket.com/albums/tt15/rick91351/Orchard/DSC_0502_zpshrwnfyae.jpg)
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 29, 2016, 05:43:29 AM
Had the trees wrapped 12" up. We had a lot of snow this winter, and the debarking started right above, at the snow line. No repellant though. :o(  I know it was rabbits because of all the pellets they left behind.  :o(
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: Adam Roby on February 29, 2016, 03:22:43 PM
You should set some snares around the trees so at least they'll repay you with some meat for the freezer.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on February 29, 2016, 06:30:42 PM
They are jackrabbits. Really big. I wonder what kind of eating those are?

I counted 100 deer in a herd last weekend. I've never seen so many deer around.  3 wet years.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on March 01, 2016, 05:42:24 AM
 >:(  Rabbits are a whole other issue - and depending on how deep snow and lack of hawks, owls, coyotes and bobcats.  The latter two are sort of iffy if deep powder.  If you are talking jack rabbits - goodness they can stand up and eat a long ways up a tree.  Especially standing on two or thee foot of snow.  With jack rabbits so long as they are young and tender trees Huston We Have A Problem   You can box around them up a ways with hardware cloth and wooden frame or......  stop by the grocery store...... 

Trapping & snares only do able if you are there to set and move in the snow.     
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on March 01, 2016, 09:55:39 AM
I did see one of these around:

(https://media-cdn.tripadvisor.com/media/photo-s/04/78/2f/3f/giant-jackalope-exxon.jpg)
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: Adam Roby on March 01, 2016, 02:17:30 PM
:)

I haven't had a chance to taste a jack-rabbit yet, but I do plan on doing a little hunting on my land this summer time and game permitting.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on March 02, 2016, 07:10:45 AM
I did see one of these around:

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fmedia-cdn.tripadvisor.com%2Fmedia%2Fphoto-s%2F04%2F78%2F2f%2F3f%2Fgiant-jackalope-exxon.jpg&hash=d27155478d1705f514b473b54d1a02b7c447f5f8)

That is the Lesser New Mexico Jackalope......  Tinyes Jackalopesess Bullonies ...  Not to be confused with the Greater Wyoming ........
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on March 02, 2016, 01:36:16 PM
Right!

(https://countryplans.com/smf/proxy.php?request=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.chuckstoyland.com%2Fpotpourri%2Fjackalope%2520postcards%2FJackalope%2520Riding%2520Jack%2F3%2520Jackalope%2520Riding%2520Jack%2520PC%25205.jpg&hash=7cab72b2deb905a3e8411622ecaccb9bb87deedc)
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on March 02, 2016, 03:09:11 PM
Yeppers - Grandous Wyominus Jackalopesess Bullonies - verification usually only found around tenderfoot camp fires and few library publications and the internet.....   
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: Adam Roby on March 02, 2016, 03:11:03 PM
Any relation to this guy?

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/1e/76/56/1e7656bccf242b6f62755b01830ba50e.jpg)
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: rick91351 on March 02, 2016, 08:09:30 PM
Any relation to this guy?

(https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/1e/76/56/1e7656bccf242b6f62755b01830ba50e.jpg)

Nope that is another species altogether. 
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: Don_P on March 03, 2016, 04:03:46 AM
Oh, that's just our eastern vole, whole nuther pest.
We have a remnant snowshoe hare population that lives in the relic boreal forest on top of Whitetop and Mt Rogers. I saw an article in the paper where they are in decline, they are holding on to their winter coats beyond the end of snow and are easy for predators to pick out. I'm wondering if that will get them or if that will pressure them into changing coats earlier. Should be interesting to watch.
Title: Re: 24x24 in Western New Mexico
Post by: hpinson on August 10, 2016, 08:35:01 PM
I have determined - 'twas a Porcupine that ate my trees.
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