After a busy day of taking the portable septic tank to be dumped, filling up 4 barrels of water, and doing 4 loads of laundry, I got to thinking that you all might be interested in how we do some basic things here on the homestead. Such as wash laundry. And take showers. And use the toilet.
We live in a camping trailer, yes, but that trailer doesn’t have running water and is not hooked up to septic. In fact, it no longer even has a bathroom.
And even when it did, we never used it. Would you if you had to move the entire outdoor living area just to take your trailer out to dump the septic tank and take on fresh water every week or so?
Yeah, us neither.
So, we have an outhouse of sorts, an enclosed outdoor shower, and we even have laundry capabilities, right here on the homestead.
Over the next several days, I’m going to be doing some posts on how we do these mundane, yet necessary tasks.
And since today has mostly been about doing laundry, we’ll start with that.
So, how do we wash laundry? Well, I suppose we could take our laundry to the laundromat. Probably most people would do that and most people probably think that’s what we do. But we’re not most people. I don’t want to spend several hours each week sitting in a laundromat (the nearest of which is all the way in town).
Ain’t nobody got time for that!
Disclaimer: Pagee takes his laundry to said laundromat. So obviosly he has time for that. 😉
Not too long ago, we acquired a washing machine for free. It now sits beside our shed, with two 55 gallon barrels of water next to it.
The first time I used it, I had to manually fill it with 5 gallon totes. That thing uses upwards of 15 gallons of water for the wash and rinse cycles – each! That’s 25-30 gallons of water per load! And it’s not that old of a washer. No wonder everyone is going to HE washers!
Anyway, we have to run the generator to run the washer, so it’s a noisy process. But I don’t have to leave the homestead to do laundry. Which means other stuff gets done while the laundry is washing. And that’s a big deal, folks!
So here’s what our set up looks like.
We use the generator (sitting behind the water barrels) to run the washer. The water pump we took out of our trailer is hooked up to a battery.
This type of pump is nice because when there is full pressure in the line, it stops pumping. When the pressure drops (ie when you open a faucet, or the washing machine opens it’s valve) the pump automatically kicks on. Pretty sweet.
Anyway, when we get ready to wash, we make sure the barrel has enough water, hook up the pump to the battery, turn on the genny, plug in the washer, and then use as normal.
As shown above, the wash water is diverted by a hose and goes to a couple trees. It looks redneck, but it works.
Note: if your drain pipe is lower than the water outlet on the machine, like if the hose is just laying on the ground, all that water you’re pumping into the washer will just drain right out of the hose. Don’t ask me how I know this. :-\
When we’re not washing, we put the hose and table away. So far, we haven’t had any real rain this summer, so we haven’t had to worry about the washer being out in the wet. We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, I guess.
And, of course, our dryer is completely solar powered. 😀
And that’s how we do laundry here on the homestead.