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SkyMan

My Lockdown Projects

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Chris24
On 5/28/2020 at 9:25 PM, SkyMan said:

Just before the lockdown, we finished the perimeter wall and about the same time I finished welding the back gate together for it.  After lockdown I was looking for things to do so I installed the gate opener and got it working about 95% the way I want it.  

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It runs off two motorcycle batteries in the gray box there that are recharged by the solar panel above.  The panel is much larger than needed but it was the smallest I had available.  I think it's maybe 120W? and the company that sold me the opener, etc. recommended 30W or so.  One problem was the opener required 35V for the recharging ckt and the panel puts out only 17V so I bought a step up transformer on Lazada which is also contained in the grey box.  Seems to be working well.  My caretaker's grandkids run out to watch when I'm leaving. And when I get deliveries the drivers are looking around for who opened the gate.

That gave us a way to go out if we need to and in the lockdown that wouldn't be much so I decided this would be a good time to cement our driveway.  We had 12 sacks of cement left over from the wall I didn't want to waste so I got started welding up a grill for the rain gutter at the bottom of the driveway.  That took me longer than it should but after it was done we started on it.  The 12 bags didn't go as far as I wanted but I was able to get more cement and rebar delivered.  In a day or two it will be ready to drive on.

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I decided I liked the look of the 2 cement sidewalks rather than a fully paved road and since the walls and the pump house make you drive only in the middle, paving across was a waste of material anyway.  The gaps will be filled with dirt and then grass grown in the middle and maybe flowers along the edges or just grass.

So that's what I've been doing and why I haven't been posting a lot.  Next up is a real septic system and replumbing our current house to it.  That will also be the septic for the new house.  The current system is just a leach well and it's in the middle of where the new house will be.  Not looking forward to digging into that but it's been sufficient for the 2 of us for like almost 10 years.  Hahahahaha

Very nice, especially the solar recharging system.  I wonder how many cycles the motorcycle batteries will last. Would guess at least a year or two. 

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SkyMan
Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2020 at 3:26 AM, Chris24 said:

Very nice, especially the solar recharging system.  I wonder how many cycles the motorcycle batteries will last. Would guess at least a year or two. 

They are pretty good Panasonic batteries and we don't use that gate a lot now that the driveway is cured so we can use the regular gate.  The gate gets cycled a few times a week or less.  I would like to put a small temp sensitive fan on the battery box because I think the heat is the main reason batteries don't last long here.

Now that we've started digging the septic I've been trying to figure out how we will construct the tanks.  We're digging just the digestion chamber first rather than the whole thing.  We'll dig the others after that tank is done, then build those and pour the slab on top, all at the same time.  

Originally I was thinking to over strengthen the tanks so I wanted to pour the walls but really wasn't crazy about doing all the formworks for that.  When I thought I would build a 4" block wall 4" inside using them as permanent forms and then fill the void with cement. But that would require double rebar so a bit too expensive.  

Then I realized that extreme strength wasn't really necessary as I don't care if it leaks some.  I just don't want a major blowout.  So, we'll do 3 walls with hollow block packing limestone into any voids outside the blocks. We'll only add the 4" poured outside the wall separating the chambers.  Then we can dig the other 2 chambers and do those walls with hollow block.  I'm leery of just using a hollow block wall there because my land percs well so I don't expect the leach chambers to ever have anything in them to equalize the eventual pressure of the 1st chamber.  Any see any problems with this plan?

Edited by SkyMan

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SkyMan

The digs.....

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to_dave007
Posted (edited)
On 6/16/2020 at 8:37 AM, SkyMan said:

Originally I was thinking to over strengthen the tanks so I wanted to pour the walls but really wasn't crazy about doing all the formworks for that.  When I thought I would build a 4" block wall 4" inside using them as permanent forms and then fill the void with cement. But that would require double rebar so a bit too expensive.  

Then I realized that extreme strength wasn't really necessary as I don't care if it leaks some.  

I wish I had poured the walls to my tank instead of using hollow block.  But NOT because  would want 'super strong".  It's because we planted trees and I fear the roots will seek out the tank and one day the TREES will be the reason we have tank problems.

You don't have a lot of soil on top of the limestone.. I think the soil here goes down 4+ feet.  You planning any trees?

Edited by to_dave007

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SkyMan
3 hours ago, to_dave007 said:

I wish I had poured the walls to my tank instead of using hollow block.  But NOT because  would want 'super strong".  It's because we planted trees and I fear the roots will seek out the tank and one day the TREES will be the reason we have tank problems.

You don't have a lot of soil on top of the limestone.. I think the soil here goes down 4+ feet.  You planning any trees?

You have a point there.  The wife will probably want to have trees around the house so I'll have to keep them away from the tank.  The soil depends on where you are on the lot.  Most areas it's maybe 2 feet.  Then there are veins of limestone with veins of soil.  There are some trees my caretaker planted that are doing pretty well.

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fred42
1 hour ago, SkyMan said:

You have a point there.  The wife will probably want to have trees around the house so I'll have to keep them away from the tank.  The soil depends on where you are on the lot.  Most areas it's maybe 2 feet.  Then there are veins of limestone with veins of soil.  There are some trees my caretaker planted that are doing pretty well.


The last water storage tank we dug out which was last year was 30 Cubic meters.. Not that cheap because we used a shit load of 12mm rebar and form work and did a concrete pour with added sahara waterproofing. 1 sachet per sack of cement. Think we used close to 100 sacks of cement.
Some time this year we are gonna build a similar sized septic tank in exactly the same way but add the five chambers after with CHB`s. 
The water in 5th chamber will be good enough for irrigation.
Important thing is,no leaks.

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to_dave007
4 hours ago, SkyMan said:

The wife will probably want to have trees around the house so I'll have to keep them away from the tank.

With the thin soil, and the limestone underneath, I expect t will be fairly dry, I would expect the roots to seek out whatever moisture they can find. 

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