Author Topic: Dogtrot at Hightop  (Read 578829 times)

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Offline ChuckinVa

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1000 on: January 02, 2012, 05:59:11 PM »
I hope they get it turned around quick for you. We had a little flurry here this evening. Just a dusting.
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1001 on: January 04, 2012, 05:02:47 PM »
Well I guess you could say that Dogtrot is offically winterized and not a minute too soon.  Sunday I unhooked the generator so that it could be picked up for repairs.  Doesn't sound that difficult?  Well there was about 10-12 wires ran to various location within the generator that operated the charging system, automatic generator start feature and feed to the inverter charger.  Then the gas line as well.  Well today they picked it up so now I do not have any power.  I did manage to charge the battery bank to 100% SOC.  I checked the specific gravity which was as high on the tester as marked.  Pretty good considering that the temperature was 45F in the battery and room surrounding them today.

The last couple days of low temperature really drew the inside temperature down.  10-18F for three days dropped the inside temperature to 25F.  Enough to make the toilet tanks look like "slurpee's" at a convienent store.  After sitting a portable propane "eye" heater toward them for an hour or so they thawed out.  Also heated water on the gas range to pour into the tanks, down the drain lines to remove and partially frozen traps.  I followed up adding RV antifreeze to anything that would not drain upon it's own by gravity.  I blew all the water lines ( both hot & cold) with air.  Surprising enough I got very little water out after the initial draining.  In installing the supply and drains I tried really hard to put all of them on a pitch.  But I guess through all me effort I ended up with a few low spots.  It is doubtfull even if I hadn't blowed the lines they would have probably survived the winter as only being 1/2 capacity of the pipe diameter  ??? The pressure tank and hot water heater was also drained.  If I would have had it to do over I would have run a seperate drain line for the hot water to drain other than exiting  via the hot water heater.  I may still do this later.

I was worried about the toilets supply valves as they are basicly one way valves I think. Allowing water to enter the tank but not return to the supply line.  My solution was to clear the valves with air as well after all the water was removed from the tank.  Then the tank was filled with RV antifreeze and flushed to reach the toilet trap area.

I was unable to locate any components to make up air adapters for the sinks.  Different sizes and constuction makeup (male and females) so I just used a new tire valve pushed securely in the faucets and supply lines and added air from a temporary air tank. 

Prior planning did pay off in that I situated a floor drain centered between the pressure tank & hot water heater which made easy work in draining the lines, pressure tank and hot water heater without lengthly hoses or pipes. 

Only concern that I have is with the faucet cartridge in the shower and kitchen sink and being able to clear the water from them. While injecting air into faucets & shower heads I moved the selection handle to catch both the hot and cold water supplies independently as well.  I guess other than injecting antifreeze through the supply lines this is the best that I can do. Only time and spring will tell.

The only real concern that I had with freezing lines was the crawlspace where there was no practicle way of heating.  If need be I could heat the cabin area to prevent freezing in that area.  It would be doubtful that the basement area would freeze unless it was more unusual than winters past when the temperature did not drop below 32F there.

Hopefully it will be a mild winter and early spring.   :)


Offline ben2go

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1002 on: January 04, 2012, 05:10:03 PM »
When you blow your lines out,how much pressure do you use and how long do you run air through the lines?Being in the south,we don't have to do it unless a house sits empty for a long time.Mine has sat over 10 years now and I didn't think to do it.Now,it's a complete replumb.Need it anyway.The PVC is almost 40 years old.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1003 on: January 05, 2012, 02:47:16 AM »
When you blow your lines out,how much pressure do you use and how long do you run air through the lines?Being in the south,we don't have to do it unless a house sits empty for a long time.Mine has sat over 10 years now and I didn't think to do it.Now,it's a complete replumb.Need it anyway.The PVC is almost 40 years old.

There was no particular pressure.  I used a portable air tank which was filled to 90PSI initially and decreased as I progressed from the loft to the 1st floor.  I shut all the cut off's valves except the one I was using and did the cold 1st and then the hot.  The lines are Crestline & Genova CPVC which is rated for 100 PSI @ 180F.  Just used short burst.  After a few you can tell when there is no back pressure.  I only refilled the tank once to complete the process.  I guess it would depend on how much water is left in the lines to determine how long you would have to maintain pressure on a line. The process sounds really simple but took 6-7 hours to complete.  d*
« Last Edit: January 05, 2012, 03:14:02 AM by Redoverfarm »

Offline ben2go

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1004 on: January 05, 2012, 10:24:47 AM »
There was no particular pressure.  I used a portable air tank which was filled to 90PSI initially and decreased as I progressed from the loft to the 1st floor.  I shut all the cut off's valves except the one I was using and did the cold 1st and then the hot.  The lines are Crestline & Genova CPVC which is rated for 100 PSI @ 180F.  Just used short burst.  After a few you can tell when there is no back pressure.  I only refilled the tank once to complete the process.  I guess it would depend on how much water is left in the lines to determine how long you would have to maintain pressure on a line. The process sounds really simple but took 6-7 hours to complete.  d*


Thanks for the info.I had an idea and have helped do it a couple times.Ok so I watched for water to come out of the drains when my friend did.  d*

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1005 on: January 13, 2012, 03:01:21 PM »
Since my generator is away for repairs I decided to do some things at the house.  For those who had kept up on this tread you probably recall that I had bought a 12KW generator for Dogtrot a couple years ago.  Since that time I decided that it was overkill for the cabin and moved it to the house and replaced it with a smaller one.  Well I got around to installing it today. 

It sure makes a mess of a fairly tidy panel box with all the pig tails, wire connectors and wire nuts.  As you can see it sort of looks like a big bowl of spaghetti now.  I sort of stretched the envelope by expanding the generator breaker panel some to include additional circuits.  I had an electrician friend to look over what I was doing and he said it appeared OK. 



A test of the system worked flawlessly coming on when the grid power was disconnected.  Sure beats dragging out the portable in bad weather and only running a few essential circuits discriminately.  Not to mention hauling gas.  There have been times that our power has been off for 9 days straight.  Not that bad now as they have upgraded their system but it stills goes out for 1-2 days at a stretch. 

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1006 on: January 13, 2012, 03:51:06 PM »
That could be a very handy thing. Keep the propane tank topped up.  Any idea how much fuel it uses for an average hour or day?
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1007 on: January 13, 2012, 04:44:35 PM »
Don the generator is a 26HP (763cc displacemnt) @ 3,600 rpm.  1/2 load is 1.53 gph or 56 cf per hour.  At full load it is 2.08 gph or 76 cf per hour.  It is louder than the one at the cabin at 70.5db.

Dogtrot generator is 18HP (533 cc displacement) @ 3,600 rpm.  1/2 load is .82 gph or 30 cf per hour.  At full load it is 1.47 gph or 54 cf per hour.  The noise level is around 52 db.

As you can see it is a gas guzzler   d*  in comparison to the smaller one.  But for occassional use it is tolerable.

I was able to add a circuit dedicated to my freezers and refrigerator.  Also one circuit for the computer modem which is a must.  ;)


Offline Johnny

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1008 on: January 15, 2012, 02:44:04 PM »
Working at the cabin intermittently lately.  Discovered a problem with my generator.  Had the Generac service personel at the cabin the other day and determined that the lower oil seal was leaking on the drive shaft.  They were on another service call and agreed to take a look at mine. I had noticed oil leaking out from under a lower shield.  All the fittings and filter were dry.  I called their office and they agreed to take care of the problem as soon as they received a service manuel and parts
from Generac.  This is a newer model than the manuels they have.  He advised that he would contact me to arraign to pick the unit up.  Well I guess that will be the determining factor on winterizing the cabin as far as shutting down the generator/inverter and battery bank. In the meantime I have been trying to get my batteries equalized.  With the help of Mountain Don I think I am getting there.

I went up on top of the Mountain today to retrieve my friends (recently passed away) Generator and Lawnmower Battery.  He had a problem with the charge being down and froze last year and they had to be replaced.  While up their I decided to take a few photographs and try out the telephoto lense. 

This picture was taken from on top toward my house some 2-3 air miles away



Here is the same but with the telephoto lense. If you look in the center of the previous photo you can barely see this 



Just a few inches of snow the other day but it still lingers on the north side of the cabin.  The "witch hat" is working as designed. Be interesting to see when a major snow hits.



Found a pretty interesting tree out the bedroom window that I thought others might like to see.  I just wonder how it became to grow this way.  Better hide it from "Poppy" or he would be taking it to Ohio to use as cruck beam.




CjAL yes it is. Only 6000 watt. BUT it is the only generator that Generac will warranty for "off grid" application.  The other Generac generators ( standby's) the manufacturer will void the warranty if they are placed into service without grid tied power.  In addition you will have to have Generac to furnish you with an additional wiring harness to auto/remote start.  The Ecogen is already equipted with auto/remote start wiring.  While Generac voids the warranty on other standby generators manufactured by them for "off grid" use the Ecogen carries a 3 year warranty and the service interval is lot longer than regular standby's.  You ask me how I know this. Athat neighbor had purchased an 8000 Standby and had to go through the hoops that I described.  In fact I too was going to purchase the same as him until I learned the particulars regarding the warranty and auto start features. 

Even with the Ecogen you will have to supply some power to the generator to " maintain" the starting battery whether that be grid power, battery bank or additional solar power.  This is the major problem I see with their generators but one you have to go through.  I use my battery bank to accomplish this.  My neighbor uses a couple of small solar panels.

I am not real sure of the particulars regarding the engine in comparison with others that they build by it is my understanding that they are built stronger to run longer than the standby's.  They have a pressurized oil system to make sure that it maintains proper lubrication while running for longer period of time.

I use a Magnum AGS (Automatic Generator Start) control which is wired to the inverter control module.

Offline Johnny

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1009 on: January 15, 2012, 02:48:00 PM »
I have an Eco Gen 6 it is 1 yr old and I have had a problem noticed oil had leaked blowing out the left vent area of the generator. Just curious what your problem turned out to be. Am calling the generator company near here tomorrow to see if they can come and repair it. I live in ontario Canada and would appreciate any input you might have. I have not been able to find anyone to hook my generator up to come on automatically when batteries are low. Any info would really help Thanks, John

Offline MountainDon

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1010 on: January 15, 2012, 03:11:04 PM »
Quote
hook my generator up to come on automatically when batteries are low.

What inverter do you have?  Some inverters come with the auto start built in. An accessory unit to connect to the inverter and the generator is usually needed to be purchased separately.

http://store.thesolarbiz.com/online/ProductDesc.aspx?code=TSB-090021&type=4&eq=&desc=Generator-Start-Kit-for-Outback-System&key=it
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1011 on: January 15, 2012, 05:03:24 PM »
I have an Eco Gen 6 it is 1 yr old and I have had a problem noticed oil had leaked blowing out the left vent area of the generator. Just curious what your problem turned out to be. Am calling the generator company near here tomorrow to see if they can come and repair it. I live in ontario Canada and would appreciate any input you might have. I have not been able to find anyone to hook my generator up to come on automatically when batteries are low. Any info would really help Thanks, John

Well I talked to the service company on Friday and they determined that it was not the lower shaft oil seal but a cracked, missing or damaged ring which was allowing oil to be pumped to the air cleaner.  They are waiting on Generac to get back to them to determine how it should be repaired or replaced.  I noticed that oil showed up at the bottom shroud near the foam gasket of the muffler area (on left bottom facing) .  Since this is a rather new design and the oil is pressurized system there are several places visible that could have leaked but none showed any sign of leaking.  This might be a problem with that new design that they are aware of.  As soon as I find out something further I will let you know.

Mine has a 2 yr-2000 hr  complete warranty.  Yours should be the same. I wouldn't wait too long to get them to check it. 

I used a AGS (Auto Gen Start) from Magnum but that was compatable with the Magnum inverter.  It was not really that hard to wire up and their tech staff was great for the guidance. Believe me I am not that knowledgeable of electronics and managed to "getr done".   I doubt that they are the only people that provide that particular AGS feature.  What kind of inverter do you have?  The AGS interfaces with the Inverter control panel.  I also have a battery monitor kit that is faced to the controller. It will show the status of the batteries in State of Charge and voltage as well as temperature.  Most of the communication lines between are just telephone cable.  There is standard wire used to the generator from the AGS and for battery charging.  I may be able to help if your AGS and inverter are the same as mine. Your manuel should show where the two wire start terminals are.  Mine is on Page 25 of that manuel.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop (VIDEO)
« Reply #1012 on: January 15, 2012, 05:21:59 PM »
Sort of comical to watch my steer waiting to be served it's breakfast every morning.  They are a creature of habit being that I have been graining it since mid October.  It will gather at the feed box at about 6AM and if I don't get the feed to him by about 6:30 it will start bawling.  Once he see's me he will start that frantic dance back and forth until I pour the grain into the box. 

Here is a little video.  Excuse the quality as I was trying to shoot and carry the bucket at the same time.




Here is the satisfied bovine until tomarrow.


Offline ChuckinVa

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1013 on: January 15, 2012, 06:10:31 PM »
"
Here is the satisfied bovine until tomarrow."

Is tomorrow a special day for him? He looks a little like T-bone or Porter house to me or maybe Sir-loin but then You know I love to eat !
ChuckinVa
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1014 on: January 15, 2012, 06:18:55 PM »
"
Here is the satisfied bovine until tomarrow."

Is tomorrow a special day for him? He looks a little like T-bone or Porter house to me or maybe Sir-loin but then You know I love to eat !

No just another day of pacing at 6:30 and waiting.  But his pacing days are short lived.   [hungry]

Offline rick91351

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1015 on: January 15, 2012, 06:52:05 PM »
John it is so nice to know that livestock in West Virginia act and react like those out here in Idaho.  Your not going to keep yours around like Glenn's cow pets? 
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1016 on: January 15, 2012, 07:01:02 PM »
John it is so nice to know that livestock in West Virginia act and react like those out here in Idaho.  Your not going to keep yours around like Glenn's cow pets?

No here they either make a profit or are dinner.  Too expensive otherwise.   ;D

Offline rick91351

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1017 on: January 16, 2012, 03:09:43 AM »
We have a couple nice irrigated acres of pasture here in the valley.  We usually will turn out in the spring one or two old cows and their calves here.  Cows that are just to old to go back to the ranch and make it well on that type of feed.  But come September and pasture is short it is auction time!   
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.

Offline glenn kangiser

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1018 on: January 16, 2012, 01:20:21 PM »
No here they either make a profit or are dinner.  Too expensive otherwise.   ;D

Thanks for the vid and pix, John.   :)


Moi??   Pet cows??   Not sure ...those are weed eaters and I just wanted the steaks to be a bit bigger... or more hamburger...... [ouch]
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop (NHS Induction)
« Reply #1019 on: January 22, 2012, 02:02:51 PM »
This boy never ceases to amaze me. Today Steven was inducted into the National Honor Society.  One exception to the apple falling from the tree. 



Not to hard to pick out the Country Boy.



Offline Sassy

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1020 on: January 22, 2012, 02:43:27 PM »
Congratulations, John!  A son to be proud of   8)
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Offline MountainDon

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1021 on: January 22, 2012, 03:32:29 PM »
way  [cool]
Just because something has been done and has not failed, doesn’t mean it is good design.

Offline Pine Cone

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1022 on: January 22, 2012, 04:52:55 PM »
Way to go Steven [cool]

Offline Carla_M

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1023 on: February 01, 2012, 09:05:38 AM »
Here's another one it took a while to read through ;)  It seems your name is John. Hi, I'm Carla, a lurker coming out of the dark. Very nice work John. I do love the old squared logs that you reclaimed. It looks old and has modern conveniences, a very nice combination. 8)
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Offline Redoverfarm

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Re: Dogtrot at Hightop
« Reply #1024 on: February 01, 2012, 04:29:46 PM »
Thanks Carla_M for the comments.  Sorry for the length of the thread but it is over about 5-6 years.  The build was a fantastic experience.  There are a few loose ends to complete but it is liveable.  As Glenn would say once we are finished we just die.  So I leave a few things to carry on with.

 

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