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PostHeaderIcon Heating Off Grid Water Shed ~ Quad Repair & More Homestead Work

With winter coming on fast and the cold setting in I have to heat my off grid battery and rain water shed or lose it all. I am also working on the Suzuki Quadrunner 500 to find the water leak so we can use it here on the off grid homestead.

It was a rare and mostly sunny day so the solar panels were topping off our tiny house battery bank nicely. We need this very badly after a long period of clouds. But it was cold and windy outside. The temperature never got above 33 degrees today.

In the off grid rain water and battery shed it was about 33 degrees F. It is time to get some heat out here in order to prevent the water from freezing. And the warmth will be helpful for the batteries and help them provide more usable energy.

It took me some time to measure out where I can put a 120 mm computer fan through the wall of the bathroom into the shed. I want to blow warm air from the cat litter area under the bathroom sink into the shed to help keep it warm in there. I finally ended up putting the fan down by the floor behind the cat litter. This will blow the smells from the cat litter out of the tiny house on wheels and also push warmer air into the shed to keep it from freezing.

I marked out where the fan will go and then started to drill holes around the markings so that I can cut it with a reciprocating saw. After drilling holes in a circle pattern I got my good old Ryobi reciprocating saw and cut out the circle.

Next I drilled through into the bathroom all the way around in the circle. I had to go inside to cut out the hole from under the bathroom sink.

When I had the hole cut out I could push away the insulation and then mount my little computer fan. I connected the wires to the water pump wiring because this is a fused line and the fan only pulls 6 watts of power. Now I have warm air blowing from the kitchen to the water shed. The fan causes a negative pressure in the cat litter box area under the bathroom sink. This draws air from the cat crawl space in the kitchen which leads under the bathroom sink area. Now warmer air from the tiny house bathroom enters the rain water and battery shed to help keep it warm. I could smell the food cooking in the kitchen from the fan blowing so I knew lunch was getting ready even before Melanie called me.

While I was working on the off grid water shed heating situation Chris was outside taking the shrouds off the Suzuki quad. We are looking for the water leaks so that we can get this machine running to use on the homestead.

After lunch we went out to the quad and tried to get it running. It is sputtering but will not fire up and run well due to the extreme cold right now. The head gasket is blown and the machine cannot get enough compression to run. I need it warmed up and running though so I can make sure I find all the water leaks.

The radiator has taken a bad hit in an accident and it is leaking again in a few places it seems. My theory is that is where the water was coming from but I will not be sure until I have it running and warmed up some.

Back in the off grid rain water shed I am finishing up my M45 military tent stove conversion. I put gaskets and seals on the doors and seams in an attempt to get control of the barrel wood stove and slow down the burn a bit. I also put a damper into the 4 inch round pipe.

Test burning the stove for the first time after the work turned out well. The stove still gets quite hot but it is not as dangerous as it was without all the gaskets and seals. After I get a bed of coals going and fill up the M45 US Army tent stove with chunks of scrap pallet wood the stove burns gently. The temperatures are all in safe ranges for the off grid water and battery shed.

I brought up the temperature in there from about 30 degrees to 60 degrees in a couple hours.

The off grid freezer has not been on in a few days. We lost our power inverter when it blew out a couple weeks ago. Now we have nothing to power it with except for a generator. This is temporary until we get another inverter in there. But when I am running larger wood power tools and equipment in the off grid wood shop I power up the freezer. Although it was not running in days it was still about 22 degrees inside. It is a very good freezer.

Out in the off grid winter greenhouse I put some bait stations for mice. While we were gone for Thanksgiving mice moved in and devoured our plants in the greenhouse. We were hoping to have some winter vegetables to help bring us through the winter and offset our food costs. I put some bait stations with Tom Cat brand mouse baits in them. I was putting out solid baits but the chipmunks haul off the entire thing and put it away for later use in winter. This is not at all desirable. I need to get rid of the mice now and not chipmunks later although the chipmunks are as bad as the mice out here at the off grid homestead.

We will have to rebuild and restart planting food in our winter greenhouse.

You can watch the video of today’s work here: Heating Off Grid Wood Shed ~ Quad Work & More

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by Troy Reid

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