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Small Cabin Forum / Off-Grid Living / Keeping water from freezing during winter
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Ccjohn
Member
# Posted: 18 Nov 2018 13:17
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I’ve got a cabin that I go to most weekends. During the winter. I live in Massachusetts so it can get pretty cold in the winter. It is off grid but I have solar for lights and what not and a generator for the well. In the summer water is not a problem but during the winter I have the house drained and am trying to figure out how to get water. Usually I bring a couple gallons for dishes and the toilet but it’s annoying to bring. The house is not heated when I’m not there. I’ve got a propane stove to keep the living room warm when I’m there.

I was thinking about getting a 55gallon plastic drum and burying it below the frost line. The run a pex line into the house and hook it up to the sink. Use the generator to fill the underground tank up via the well. And if everything goes to plan the water in the drum won’t freeze if it’s burried. I would use a 12 dc rv pump to get the water from the barrel to the sink. I wouldn’t use this water for drinking, just dishes and and toilet. Any thoughts on my idea? Or other options to get water during the winter months.

darz5150
Member
# Posted: 18 Nov 2018 14:38
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If your solar set up can keep a light bulb lit 24/7 when your gone. This might be an option. I have a store room. I built a "water closet". It has a 55 gallon fresh water tank inside. It has a single light bulb in it that I turn on when temps drop around freezing. That keeps the water tank from freezing. I also incorporated swing out shelves for canned goods.
Water closet
Water closet
Open closet/first swing out shelf
Open closet/first swing out shelf
Second shelf in closet
Second shelf in closet
Tank and filter in back of closet
Tank and filter in back of closet


Just
Member
# Posted: 18 Nov 2018 15:39
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google ( no freeze hydrent) ...

kittysmitty
Member
# Posted: 19 Nov 2018 18:06
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i'm in Nova Scotia, so I would think a similar winter. I gave up trying to keep water from freezing. In stead, i just melt snow or ice and pump it up to my inside water tank. The wood stove has a nice stainless steel tank to fill with ice and snow. The water barell inside gets warm from the wood stove. When leaving I just drain everything down.
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P1010023.JPG
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20171111_123919_resi.jpg


skootamattaschmidty
Member
# Posted: 20 Nov 2018 07:33
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I have water storage in a crawl space that is below the frost line. The water does not freeze in. I'm in north eastern Ontario so it does get cold. When we arrive in the winter, I wait until the cabin is warmed up and then turn my water system on. That water feeds the toilet and the kitchen sink. I do not use my hot water system in the winter, just heat water on the stove.

We also do like kitty to make the water go further....we keep a couple of big pots on the wood stove full of snow to melt. That water gets used for dishes and cleaning up.

fiftyfifty
Member
# Posted: 20 Nov 2018 10:07
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My cabin has no water. During the summer we can drive in with gallons of tap water to drink, and we shower using lake water. In the winter we have to walk in over a mile dragging a sled uphill, so we don't bring in water as it is too heavy. Instead we melt snow to drink (filter out the pine needles etc using a coffee filter), and either bore a hole in the ice to get lake water for showers, or just melt more snow...or just don't shower.

SCSJeff
Member
# Posted: 20 Nov 2018 10:55
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Ccjohn,

I think your plan sounds fine. If the pex running in from the tank is exposed to freezing temps anywhere, you'll have to watch that section for freezing (unless you can set it up that the water drains back down into the tank)

I do similar, except our tank is inside the cabin. I do have to drain it down in the winter each time when I leave though...

NorthRick
Member
# Posted: 20 Nov 2018 17:47
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Quoting: Ccjohn
I was thinking about getting a 55gallon plastic drum and burying it below the frost line.


Get some 2" foam board insulation and place it over top of where you bury the drum and you won't need to bury it as deep. Plan to put some soil over top of the foam board to protect it. A rule of thumb is 1-2" of foam board is equal to 1' of bury.

ColdFlame
Member
# Posted: 21 Nov 2018 13:21
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Quoting: NorthRick
A rule of thumb is 1-2" of foam board is equal to 1' of bury.


Yeah? That's interesting, and potentially very useful knowledge to have.

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