Episode-116- Making Due With What You Have — 8 Comments

  1. Have you done this hose on the roof thing? The reason I ask is that there are a number of issues people need to take into account.

    1) The tubing needs to be capable of handling freezing temperatures in the winter in some places in the country.

    2) How much it saves you is dependant on the flow rate and the amount of water in the coil relative to your usage patterns. 100 feet would be perfect for dish washers, washing machines, washing your hands. But for showering you’d likely get better results from a much longer hose.

    3) Some parts of the country are better than others. South west is vastly better than north east.

    4) If you do most of your showering in the morning chances are you wont save much. If you shower in the evening it will be better.

    5) Solar heating of the water competes with heat loss to the environment due to cold. Works better in the summer than in winter.

  2. Chris,

    Yes I have and had great results even up in PA. There is something important I left out. When you install the by pass you also install a shut off valve. This allows you to shut off the system if it is cold outside or freezing. You can also add a hose bib on the return side to allow draining of the system or direct access to the warmed water.

    100 feet really holds more water then you think believe it or not. Longer would be better but I have used 100 feet both times with again great results. Even early in the morning (two hours after sun up) the water is quite warm. A dawn shower won’t get you any gain but you won’t see much loss either.

    At one time in PA we lost power (in the summer thankfully) for about 3 days. By showering in the day time, running just the hot side at low pressure we took fairly warm showers for those three days even with no power.

    The more adventurous may set up an out door shower with this method and water plants with the run off. The Dervaes’ did it, you can see their outdoor shower at about half way into the video.

  3. I have used a similar version before. While finishing my undergrad, I lived in a converted schoolbus in a trailer park.

    To avoid a water heater, I hooked a couple hose coils together in the yard (roof was shaded). It was enough for a good shower if shut off for lathering as long as it was 70 or warmer. In the colder months of Southern Missouri, removed the extra coils and put a pot on the hotplate and a bowl in the microwave for warm water. Worked well for cleaning dishes as well.

    It was a memorable year and a half!

  4. New listener here. We’ve got a bit of a debate in our family about purchasing a piece of bug-out land. My bro is thinking about a piece about 1 1/2 hours away. It’s an inexpensive piece of land in an enormous gated community, very like a resort.

    He likes the security of the “gated community” idea. Me personally, I’d rather find a piece of land in a rural area maybe an hour north of the large city we abut. What do you think of gated communities, good or bad overall? I don’t think I want to be THAT close to my neighbors. But I could well be wrong.

  5. @Laura,

    Gated is a reasonable aspect to a bit (not much) or increased security. For day to day living I would consider it a really great addition. As a real BOL, no, not so much. Especially if it is indeed a “resort”, meaning people don’t tend to live there permanently.

    Now if people do really live there (more then 80% of the community) it may be ok. If it is a vacation community and the shit hits the fan what you will more then likely end up with is a bunch of Yuppie types bugging out to it with you. Less prepared then if they just stayed home.

    The real question here is what type of people are you “gated in” with. Hunter, fisherman, gardeners, etc? May be a good bet, you have to really look at it.

    On the other side if you are gated in with the high dollar yuppie weekend crowd that solves problems with Amex, they will be the first people in real trouble in my view.

    So to me it isn’t so much a gated community you have to evaluate it is

    1. Who is in there with you?

    2. How much land does everyone have?

    3. Do the majority live there or are they weekenders, rental rotations or what?

    I mean if a lot of people rent the property when not using it that increases exposure, etc.

    Clearly I can’t answer yes or no to something this complex and personal but I have to say the word “resort” bothers me the most about this area.

  6. Enjoy the show very much. Very heavy on common sense which is what is needed. Thank you for taking the time and effort!

  7. Thank you for your effort and time to podcast these episodes. I have been listening to them and enjoying your knowledge.

    I live on the last house on the end of the grid. Behind my cabin it is 85 miles to the next town. Most of my preparations have been made but I am sure that many of your ideas will help me to expand on the theme of self sustainability.

    I will be checking back daily for your episodes and will email the link to your show to all of my contacts. Thanks again.