Winter is here….

SNOW!!!….and we are a smidge unprepared.  We are in the middle of a water project.  Not good timing.  Oh, well…...

We have two cisterns.  The tall 1500 gallon tank is up the hill, the other is the original 1100 gallon, 7 ft diameter squatter tank under the house.  It was put there because there was an accommodating rock ledge and it would be near the pumps and pipes, the demand-heater and the tank would be saved ultra violet degradation being out of the sun.  It has served us well for ten or so years.

But part of the ledge supporting it has shifted.  And the tank now hangs a bit where the ledge fell away. And that doesn’t bode well.  Eleven hundred gallons weighs 5 tons.  Should a full tank decide to make a break for it, it could take out the log-leg type foundation and more than the ledge would fall.

So, I decided to move it.

Over the last few days, Sal and I have drained and cleaned the tank.  That was not easy, it being so cold and wet and located in a tight space.  But it’s done.  Now would be the time to remove part of the foundation structure and move the tank out from under the house and move it up the hill as planned.  The damn thing weighs over 200 pounds and, with a little sludge still left in it, it feels like a ton.  I can move it if I hit it like a linebacker hits a tackling dummy but I am more like a dummy hitting a large and stubborn Sumo champion.  Nothing is moving much for me so far.

The hill I have get it up being covered in slippery-as-grease, snowy-wet moss doesn’t beckon me to try very hard either.

And here’s a mystifying challenge.  The opening in the foundation (when a support beam is removed) is 84″.  Which was what I expected since I built it.  And the tank has a diameter of 87″ which is 2″ more than I expected.  I remember the original placement being a tight fit, like putting a size eight foot in a size seven shoe but like the analogy, it can be done for a short time and that was all I needed to get it in.  I squeezed it in.  But now it looks like the foot has grown to EEE width?  Given that I can hardly move the damn thing and the plastic in this cold is less than flexible, I am having some second thoughts about attempting this trick right now.  I do not think I can squeeze it out.

The problem is that with the tank now empty, we are running a temporary line for water and it is always partially filled with air due to the placement of the upper inlet. Taking a shower is like being spat at.

So…….what to do…….as the temperature drops like a stone…..and the spittle is flying….and the desire to do it is waning…..?

The common sense answer is to re-plumb the upper hill tank to eliminate the air and do the squatter lower tank when the weather is warmer and I have a winch rigged up to pull a round tank through a square hole.  I.e. next spring.

Running that idea past Sally’slet’s get ‘er done’ attitude is a challenge of another kind……makes the Sumo-thing look easy…….

And some people wonder what we do all day…..

………………..Good news!  Sally agreed to make it a Springtime project……woohoo!  Just as well…..a re-arranging of pipes brought the upper tank online and with no air in the lines…we are good……well, I am GOOD (and now warm again) but Sal has to go to work today at the post office.  Little boat in a blizzard disappearing into the gloom…..


6 thoughts on “Winter is here….

  1. Got our first dusting of snow today as well, but it hasn’t been sticking. Can we actually be warmer (up north at the head of an inlet waiting for 45 knot -8 degree C winds to come roaring down on us)? Not sure what’s up with the weather yet. None of the weather stations are reporting much wind or cold yet, so here we sit waiting for a nasty spell of weather that may or may not happen, and may or may not freeze us in ….


    • I dunno…I am a smidge unclear as well. But we are going into town tomorrow and I am taking my chainsaw. Tress fall in this kind of weather – right across the logging road.


    • It’s true. Many chores are not easy but that is the whole point. Seeking comfort, ease and getting it all with little effort is a lifestyle not worth living. I should know. I lived it. This, however, FEELS ALIVE! I am not complaining about it. Neither am I complaining we put it off til Spring…..hard to explain, really, but I’ve known both styles and I prefer this one.


  2. I’ve seen 100 gallon, 500 gallon plastic tanks “swell” when they’re full.
    Possibly the reason Mr Tank is a tad fatter than you remember….?
    Instead of removing the “Beast under the stairs”.
    How about drilling some inserts/anchors and making a larger concrete or stone ledge for it?


  3. Again I’m thankful for living on top of my water source, and without piping in the cabin (other than the pipe running straight down from the hand pump) we don’t have a freezing problem. Even if the pipe did freeze, we could get water with a bucket and the expansion should just push any ice up or down in the pipe, not sideways to crack it open. At least that’s my theory. – Margy


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