Jessie Kelsch

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since Sep 01, 2016
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trees solar
Alpine, Texas: 5,400 ft elev, desert grassland foothills
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Recent posts by Jessie Kelsch

Thank you all for your insights.  We ended up taking the toilet out and removing a couple of wall tiles plus the hardibacker behind them to try to get at the clog from there.... And found a lot of pale sludgy stuff that I'm sure is baking soda.  I had followed the approximately 1,000 blogs that said you should put baking soda and vinegar down your drains to clean them...... Until in a more recent and more critical search I found some notes on this practice describing that the effervescence of this reaction is not strong enough to dislodge physical things.... and that it's most common to use too much baking soda.  

We ended up rerouting the plumbing and we are very happily going with the flow again.  And I've switched to boiling soapy water to clean my kitchen drains..... And plain old hot water after every pee down our Separett toilet now.  
2 months ago
Hooray for this idea!  I want to get started but I first have to find the right species:  Does anyone from a desert environment have successful recommendations for fruit and nut trees?  (West Texas, mile high, Chihuahuan desert: Very low precipitation, high summer heat, late summer intense rains, variable inconsistent freezes in winter...... AND getting hotter, more susceptible to polar-vortex deep freezes but again not dependable, and fewer but faster more flashy rainstorms with ongoing & worsening climate change.)  Traditional nut farming around here is pecans but they are flood irrigated which is very water-wasteful and unsustainable for our shrinking aquifers.  Also I don't love pecans.

Related question:  I could site my guild near my septic field OR my greywater leach field (all subsurface... no ponds).  My land has a slope to it... how far from these leach fields and in what direction would be best for the fruit trees?
2 months ago
Hi Su Ba!  Thanks for your insights, especially about vinegar.  Separett sells an enzyme solution (of course) that they recommend to use regularly.  I did have some success this morning with a skinnier snake I bought at the hardware store... It didn't do the trick entirely but did bring out SOME waxy yellow stuff along witha  few hairs... After the snake I ran a siphon to clear out the line with the express purpose of re-pouring boiling water that this time would hopefully get right to the clog that's 3 feet way back there, and after the siphon, thank heavens and earth that it is draining slowly.  I'm going to repeat this process several times now:  siphon then boiling water.... I always love and appreciate a physical solution over a chemical one but the snake still doesn't go past the clog so that obvious one didn't work, but siphon-plus-boiling water hopefully will get it to where I can attack it with the manufacturer-recommended enzymes now and in the future.  
3 months ago
I thought someone in this thread may have a urine-diverting toilet and could help.  Our 6 year old Separett Villa has a clogged urine line.  I had been trying to keep it clear with white vinegar sometimes, and biokleen enzyme cleaner foam spray sometimes, and of course water, and recently it was so slow I tried hydrogen pperoxide, which seems to have loosened so much material that it clogged it.  Following on the advice from Separett we used drano as the last resort... And I don't think this slope and diameter of line is meant for that, nor probably for letting it sit overnight because it wasn't working... For now it is fully fully clogged without even a slow drain.  Sadly we've built around it over the years and I can't fathom how to get it out to be able to directly poke at the connection of the "back" end of the urine line to the pipe in the wall (goes to buried grey-only field) so I"m hoping to next siphon out the line (drano, vinegar, water) to get boilng water directly onto the backmost, probably clogged area.  

Has anyone with a toilet like this had this problem?  
3 months ago
Thanks everyone.  I'm glad for the help working this through.  Looks like I'm off to Northern Tool for a new generator.  

We do have a solar system for the house but it's sized for our fridge, pressure tank, lights, and occasional appliances and power tools, so the pump in our well doesn't get to take from there too.  


Jessie
1 year ago
12 years ago we drilled our 180-ft well and installed a very "normal" Grundfos AC pump because we got it cheap, and we assumed we'd run it out soon and THEN get a DC pump with dedicated PV panels for it.  The pump still works and gives us its very consistent 15-gpm flow into a 1500-gal tank we use to gravity feed water to house and garden, but the sad old gas generator that's been sitting out in the weather all this time seems to be not long for this world.  Since that pump is still fine, I wonder if I can avoid replacing the gas generator and use a goal zero panel-and-battery system, since they have AC plugs.  The literature from our pump tells me "the generator must be sized 50% above the P1 (input power) values of the pump..."  ...which are:  1.0hp motor;  2600W = min. generator size; 3200W = min. generator output.  I'm sadly not electrically literate, but I'm guessing the more affordable ~400Wh-rated goal zero systems are NOT powerful enough for our pump, though their rating is in Wh and not W.  


Our well is far enough away from our house (all PV) that it's not feasible to plug into the house.... And I think that's too much draw on our house system anyway.  Though maybe not, we do run power tools when it's sunny.  


So do I just get a new gas generator?  Any other options without spending the money on an entire solar system?  

Thanks in advance.
1 year ago