Friday, June 12, 2015

I Like To Flush The Toilet

When we used to live in California, we went through periods of drought, like they are doing now.  Half of California is essentially desert, but they continue to build more and more houses and many years they don't have the water resources to service the existing residents.  The cities and counties want the tax revenues from the new construction, but they have no water.  We used to have odd/even days to water and were told not to flush every time a toilet was used.  You could get a citation and fine for using too much water.  Water police.

There used to be bumper stickers ( Build it, Dam it) trying to get water reservoirs built for storage in rainy years, but also for recreation and hydroelectric energy.  Each time this comes up one of the arguments against it are that it would take years to build a dam.  Well, we lived in the Sacramento area in the 1980's and I think a BUNCH of dams could have been built since then!


Now we live in beautiful, green Virginia and have plenty of water.   The average rainfall is over 30 inches.  We have a well and there is no one telling me not to flush.  EXCEPT when we have a power outage.  They are not common, but we get one about four times a year.  They might last from an hour to a day.  Once we had no power for a week.  In summer.

I can deal without lights and I can keep the refrigerator closed, but I hate that I can't use water. There is some water in the tank from the well, but once that is gone there is no water, because the pump runs on electricity.  We have also rented the barn to someone who has 5 horses and hauling 100 gallons of water a day would be a real chore.  Not to mention the B&B guests who would have to be without when we are.

Our last power outage lasted from the afternoon until the middle of the night.  In the winter.  When it was below freezing.  A three dog night, and we only have one dog.  GET ME A GENERATOR. 


We went to Lowe's and arranged to have a back up generator.  The installers have to reroute all the electric lines coming into the house to the generator and then back into the house.  We have two electric boxes, so that is two lines and two switches.


They ran a line from the propane tank line to run the generator.  It is timed to run once a week to keep the batteries charged and to let us know that it is really working. 


We didn't buy a generator big enough to power the whole house with everything running full out. That would have added thousands and just isn't necessary. 


But we will have enough to run a small A/C unit to do the bedroom and the B&B area.  We will have power outlets and the refrigerator covered.  And the Wi-Fi.  Gotta have internet!.


And the WELL PUMP.  So I can flush.  Every time I deem it necessary....which is every time.


  1. My husband wired our last house for backup generator. It was enough to power the essentials so that the well pump would have power and also the refrigerator... and a few other essentials. But like you, we did not want to pour thousands and thousands of dollars into a generator that would run the entire house. He has not done this house yet, but it is on our list of things to do. Luckily he can do all of the labor required himself. I'm glad to hear you had this done. Makes a person feel a little more secure AND it is nice that you won't have to think about any B&B guests not being able to flush the toilet. xox

  2. Our VA house also has a well and septic system and we know that for forecasted bad weather and potential outage emergencies to keep bottled water available and to fill the bathtub and not flush the toilet. Luckily, the longest outage was under 24 hours, but we did take precautions beforehand.

  3. My husband did this - for the barns and the well for the cattle. The house? Nope. Guess I can go to a hotel!