Thank you those of you who have inquired about what is happening regarding the well and the power system at Ginty Creek. The answer is – bits and pieces.
About 2 weeks ago, Sam the electrician brought most of the components for the much bigger solar power system. They had been shipped from Victoria to Williams Lake, and Sam picked them up in his trailer. The eight 6-voltbatteries weighed 131 lbs apiece.
He stacked the panels beside the frame.
And there they sat. Sam is building his own house and can barely spare any time for my projects. But it is very hard to get a qualified electrician out here and I know Sam will do a good job so I will have to wait.
About a week later, a neighbour dropped by and I got him to help me mount the panels on the frame.
Then, last Friday, Sam came to put the system together.
I had built a stand for the batteries in the basement, and at the end of the day, we had all the gismos set up.
This is a $14,000 state of the art system which I have yet to learn to read. (The alternative was $30,000 hydro system – with a road right through the middle of my view – plus monthly bills.) Unfortunately, Sam did not have time to connect the new system to the wiring that already exists in my house. He will have to come on another day to finish it.
The basement is good for the batteries as a stable, cooler temperature that does not freeze will prolong their lives. I will have to build a box over the batteries to vent them outside as they produce explosive gasses.
Sam must work on his own house ready for the concrete trucks to pour his basement on Thursday so I don’t expect to see him until the weekend at the earliest (today is Monday.)
Not long after Sam dropped off the solar power supplies, Bill delivered some of the larger plumbing supplies. The pump for the well had already arrived by mail. Bill did not have time to install anything but we discussed a few items, including the stand for the pressure tank, the base of which had to be higher than the outlet to the gray water runoff pipe in case I needed to drain the pressure tank at any time. The pressure tank is 55 gallons – except the air bladder inside means that there are only about 20 gallons of usable water. Because I have no flush toilet, or shower or washing machine at present, I expect that to last 2 or 3 days.
Bill said he would come to install everything at the end of last week or the beginning of this but I have heard nothing from him so far.
The basement is a chilly and very gloomy place to work. (It looks brighter in the pictures because of the flash.) I have spent the last 3 days down there installing the compost toilet. It was an absolute b-person. (Bastard and bitch are both gender-specific and I do want to be politically correct here.)
You can get self-contained units that fit in the bathroom but I have never heard very good reports about them. I wanted the kind where the toilet seat is upstairs but the composting unit is in the basement.
It might not have been so bad if I had installed it before I built the house. But all the orifices and parts that need to be reached for maintenance had to be placed within the existing structure so I had to place it at a very specific angle. I had to build a stand for that, too, and make a very difficult hole above the concrete in the basement wall in order to ventilate it. Another problem is that it is designed for a floor that is only the thickness of a single piece of plywood. My floor (aka ceiling of the basement) is insulated and about 10 inches thick. The junction between the top part and the pipe to the composting unit is quite awkward and I had to devise a way of connecting it between the two layers of floor.
I filled in a form to hopefully get a rebate. There were several questions as to why I chose a composting toilet. A septic tank would not be possible here, and I ticked that box. Another option was “ease of installation.” Beside that I wrote: “You must be joking.”
I will need more parts for the ventilator pipe before I can finish it and Sam has to connect a solar fan before the toilet can be used.
In other words, everything is in progress, but nothing is finished. It all drags on and on. And in three weeks I leave for my book tour.