So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
Wednesday, August 14, 2013
My lovely wife filled the bathtub today and said there there's a bit of rust in the water. That's not good.
I've a whole house water filter so the problem is not down in the well with the pump. The cold water doesn't have any rust in it. That tells me the problem is on the hot water side. The most likely candidate for rust is the hot water heater. That tells me it probably won't be long before it fails.
It's your basic cheap 40 gallon electric hot water heater. It's been used in combination with a woodstove to heat water. It's also done duty to raise the temperature of water partially heated with solar. Right now it's controlled by a relay on a switch so I can turn the hot water off when I'm using it.
This tank was a cheap expedient to replace a propane tank that had a burner fail. The propane tank had also been a quick and cheap expedient to replace a propane tankless water heater. The tankless was great when it worked, but it failed a lot. In fact, the whole ten years it was under warranty the company was constantly replacing parts. When the warranty finally expired they refused to sell me another one. Conditions are harsh out here in the cold North Country.
Eventually the tank is going to fail. When my lovely wife and I both leave the house, we shut the well pump off. That way if the tank begins to leak, it will only leak a maximum of 40 gallons. There's a drain pan under the tank to redirect any leaks.
If the tank does fail, I'm going to hook up the solar water tank again. That tank was salvaged from the old propane fired water heater. My sun location isn't perfect so that water never got quite warm enough to make my lovely wife happy. However, I've figured that out too. It was a propane tank, so there' s a chimney running right up the middle of the tank. I've enough firebrick lying around to turn it into a rocket stove. A quick hot fire should provide all the hot water we'll need.
I should be able to do that without spending any money. There's enough salvaged odds and ends in my junk pile to do the job. That system isn't proof against a hard freeze, but I expect to shut down the house and head south before then. By spring, I'll have something else figured out.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.