Living off-grid is slowly becoming the norm as many prefer a self-sufficient lifestyle. It primarily means living without connections to public utilities. You should have abundant water for house chores, bathing, drinking, irrigation, and watering animals.
Because of these needs, you must set up an efficient plumbing system comprising water tanks, cisterns, cold water supply pipes, waste drainage pipes, and septic tanks. Like all plumbing systems, off-grid ones require a reliable water source and an efficient network to supply water to all needed points.
On this note, it’s essential to have professional plumbers work on your home plumbing. They guarantee a functional system without undue hitches. If you’re looking for specialist plumbers in off-grid matters, you’d want to check out cyberplumbers.com.au. Otherwise, here are some plumbing tricks and hacks for off-grid living:
1. Ensure You Have A Reliable Source Of Water
Even though you’re living off-grid, water is one of the essential and fundamental things you must consider. First, you should have access to enough fresh water. It might be from a nearby river, spring, or lake.
You can also consider drilling a borehole if the water table in your area is high enough and the groundwater is palatable. However, you’ll need a professional to conduct a water survey and ascertain groundwater availability and quality before drilling the borehole.
Secondly, you should have big-capacity water storage tanks, so you don’t run into shortages. Depending on your budget and durability concerns, you have various options to choose from—like concrete, plastic, metal, or wooden tanks.
2. Collect Rainwater
Another option is to harvest rainwater, especially if the precipitation levels are high. Collecting rainwater is one of the oldest tricks in the books that guarantees plenty of water for home use. Take advantage of rainfall and collect as much as you can. All you need is an efficient water catchment and a massive storage system.
You can install a well-designed gutter system on your roof or beside your home to harvest every drop of rain. Once you figure out the roof’s total square footage and incline, you can calculate the gutters and storage tank size.
3. Conserve Water Through Recycling
One of the best ways to maximize water use is by recycling. You’ll need to collect greywater from dishwashing and bathing, treat it, and reuse it for activities like irrigation, flushing toilets, and construction. It’s essential if your freshwater source doesn’t yield enough all year round.
Additionally, it helps you conserve energy. Note that if you’re using water from a well, you’ll need to pump it and channel it through your plumbing system. Luckily, some pumps can use solar energy and pump enough water for home use. The grey system helps conserve water by recycling the water already in circulation, saving your solar-generated power.
To install such a system, you’ll need the input of expert plumbers. One downside of this system is that you’ll be required to have two plumbing systems—one for the greywater and another for the black water. Otherwise, you risk contaminating your water which could become hazardous for your health.
4. Install Water Filters
Your water may be contaminated with organic matter, soil, heavy metals, pesticides, herbicides, and pathogenic microorganisms. Thus, you should have a water filtration system to eliminate these pollutants. Water for drinking and food preparation should undergo thorough filtration to protect you from diseases, unpleasant odors, and tastes. Reverse osmosis filters may be the best because they eliminate virtually all pollutants from water.
However, water for other household chores can undergo slight filtration to rid it of suspended solids and organic matter. Sediment filters may suffice. Moreover, channeling leaves and other materials into the water systems may lead to blockages.
5. Use Gravity To Your Advantage
Energy conservation is critical in off-grid living. Thus, you can use gravity to direct water into your plumbing system instead of pumping water every time you need it. You must have an elevated storage point, and the water will flow effortlessly into your plumbing network.
The gravity method works hand in hand with the pressure. When the water pressure on your taps and shower heads becomes low, it indicates that the water levels have gone down. This way, you know when to pump water into your storage tank.
Living off-grid is manageable as long as you master the requisite hacks. Regarding plumbing, your winning point is identifying a reliable water source and storing enough for an uninterrupted supply. Also, recycling greywater helps you meet all your water needs and conserve energy. A professional plumber experienced in off-grid networks can help you set up a future-proof system.