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Letter Re: Water Works


Yet another solution to hot water [1] is to use a solar inverter of an appropriate size to provide 220v power to a regular old hot water heater. I can recommend the Outback Radian 8000W inverter [2] and the Rheem Marathon water heater [3] due to the water heater’s high efficiency and extra insulation. It uses between 3000w and 4500w of power depending on the model, and if you put it on a timer it only runs at night when everyone is asleep and not using the inverter otherwise. I have seen that inverter run our well pump, the hot water heater, and both of our furnaces all together, and it only hit about 75% of its capacity doing so. That combo keeps all five of my family members taking hot showers daily, and it doesn’t consume any precious fuel! – Gilpin Guy

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I found Water Works by JSP to be one very helpful and informative series! We are in the process of completing our own water system and are employing many of the ideas used by JSP. There are a couple of additional items that we will be adding to ours that might be worthy of consideration by others.

We also have the Simple Pump and have nothing but praise for it. They also offer a solar powered mechanism to attach to the Simple Pump. So when our system’s complete, we’ll have our electric well pump, the solar powered motorized Simple Pump, and finally the hand powered Simple Pump.

The next device I cannot take credit for, as a good neighbor has been instrumental in this item being added to our own water works plans. It provides hot water, solar powered hot water. A grid of copper tubing exposed to the sun, insulated from the elements, an insulated holding tank that transfers the captured heat to the household water has provided my neighbor with enough hot water through the summer that his hot water heater is turned off and through the winter on sunny days, his hot water is supplied primarily from the sun. There are many plans for solar water heaters out there, and the payback is short and the comfort long lasting.

Finally, if a cistern floats out of the ground in a heavy rain storm, the catchment system is in dire need of maintenance. Depending upon the size of the cistern, if it’s empty, it’s going to take one huge cement slab to hold it down. – J.T.