The winter is over, last weekend was a delight! Saturday was the warmest April 7th since we’ve started recording the temperature. We’re breaking more and more temperature records lately; you would think there’s climate change going on…But I remember the winter, and especially the Siberian Bear, still very well. It brought along an annoying problem…
A component of my water pump was malfunctioning because it had been frozen, causing the pump to not turn off automatically when there’s enough pressure. Because of that I had to shut down the pump myself, otherwise it would drain my batteries. Every time I needed water, I had to walk up to the pump and turn it on and turn it off again quickly when I was done. Because there’s a risk of overheating, it couldn’t stay on for too long either. You need to have a mental image of how this went down during a shower:
- first, have everything I need ready: clean clothes, towel, the curtains closed where needed
- then, go to the pump to turn it on
- run back to the house, take a quick shower, dry myself off and put on my clothes
- then rush back to the pump to turn it off.
There was probably more time before the pump would actually overheat, but it also uses a lot of electricity and that’s not something you have plenty of, living off-grid during the winter season.
To say the least, this high-speed showering wasn’t exactly relaxing. Boy came by to see if he could fix the problem, he replaced the pressure gauge and adjusted the pressure. Unfortunately, this didn’t help. So I just kept on hurrying to the water pump and back again. At least I got plenty of exercise this way. One day a few weeks ago I told Cees from the Urban Earthship about this problem. And he said: ‘Why don’t you just buy one of those click on-click off switches? You can buy them at every construction market.’ I was flabbergasted. Could it be that easy? ‘Why didn’t anyone tell me this before!’ I said. ‘Well,’ said Cees, ‘apparently you never asked.’ Ok, he’s got a point ;)
I went to the construction market that same day to get a switch, of course. And hallelujah, it works! It has a receiver, a connector and a remote control. You need to set it up for the first time and then it works. I couldn’t get it to work, but with the help of Djavan and Michel who were smart enough to try it out on my mobile with a charger, it did work. Eureka! I can control the water pump from inside the house! You know, these things can make me so happy. Something as simple as having water whenever you want. I love it! And it’s actually an improvement, because now I can turn on the pump only when I need it and it’s not busy keeping on the pressure all day long. That, of course, is an unnecessary use of electricity. I’m so happy with it! I’ve made a holder out of paper and pinned it on my pin board, where I store my remote control after every use. That way I can’t lose it. Everything needs to have its own place in my Tiny House. Maybe this on-off system is something other Tiny House residents can use as well? Use it to your advantage!
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