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☁️ Filling the Water Tanks when the Sun Don’t Shine! ☀️

Last week we dealt with below freezing temps and frozen water in the tank. Over a week later, we are sitting at 54 degrees, yet still have an iceberg in our water holding tank. We also have another week of clouds coming, so no running the solar water pump!

We worked out many of the kinks in our system last week See this post, but now we are coming at it another way.

We have a post set to connect solar power to the garden area near the greenhouse, which will give us a outside outlet near the well pump panel. That way, we will be able to operate from our battery bank, and we can run the pump to fill the tanks when we don’t have sun.

For now, that’s not finished being hooked up, so we the guys pushed the generator up the hill (heavy), and we connected the generator to the panel with a drop, via a well pump power inverter.Harbor freight generator

We’ve been through several generators, but have settled on this Predator one from Harbor Freight

Our well pump is from RPS Solar. RPS Solar website here They are an excellent company to deal with. They have been patient and helpful with newbies like us. We got the deep well pump and have recently dropped it lower in our well, and we can run it on either DC or AC. Today we are running it via the inverter, since we have no sun. The inverter also came with the well pump kit.

Disclaimer: I get really mixed up with all of the particulars on solar/AC/DC power. If I say something that sounds strange, ask me about it and I can ask my husband. Those facts don’t stick in my head.

Anyway–today, we have taken about an hour, more or less, to fill up the holding tank. From here, we gravity feed the water down to our house and camper (still living in there).Water holding tank

Peeking into the holding tank
Water holding tanks

Soon, we will be building a house around the water tanks and they will be interconnected like we used to have them when they were down the hill. The house will be insulated to help prevent freezing in the future.


For today, I’m happy for water on this cloudy day. I’m also happy that we can do this ourselves. In town, many are still having to go to the YWCA to take showers, because the rolling blackouts wreaked havoc on many rural water systems.

Here’s my friend’s explanation of the local situation:

Rolling blackouts caused water system pump failures in Jonesborough causing low tank reserves and somehow caused numerous massive water pipe leaks affecting Chuckey and Limestone as well as Jonesborough

Let’s all go electric!

You can’t really blame him for a bit of cynicism. It’s good to be as self-sufficient as possible, or at least have a backup.

Now we have filled our big tank, recently discovered our leak, and gotten some exercise and entertainment in the process.Water holding tanks

Just starting to fill the tanks
Feline inspectors
Water holding tanks

Our tanks are set up (way up!) on top of our hill. That gives us plenty of exercise hiking up and down.

The cats–Charlie and Tubby, provided us with chuckles and fun. They are the self-appointed inspectors of the realm.Cat inspecting

Charlie inspecting

Black cat in the woods

Now, on to the next project for the day. Let’s see what we can drum up!

Have a great New Year’s Day!


8 Replies

  1. I enjoyed seeing how all the Cats wanted to help. As for being that cold I am not sure I would have ventured outside. But I am proud of you and all you did. Have a good day and I look forward to following you and getting to know you through the #UBC.

  2. Hi Laurie! I love reading about how you and your family troubleshoot your homestead. The photos of Charlie and Tubby made me smile, of course they have to see what’s going on!

  3. I see you get Cat scans for your water system! LOL.

    This is a great reminder of what we all take for granted!

What is your experience? 💜 I read every comment, and so many times I find that I gain encouragement from what’s shared. ❤️