Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Water Recycling Project: The Piping Begins

Things are finally starting to take shape with this project. As you can see below I've installed the pipe outlet into tank 2 from which the water will overflow back into the main drain pipe.







I've also connected a copper pipe to the bottom of tank 1, this is where the water will be fed to the pump and then on to the outside tap. Bit of a challenge this one as I've only ever worked with copper piping once before and that was under instruction from my friend Michael, who's a dab-hand at this plumbing lark.

I was especially please as I managed to bend the 22mm copper pipe to the shape I needed (using a spring) and also solder the two lengths together to reach the pump. It's also connected to the bottom of the tank. Don't know if all these joints ae water-proof mind you!!!





And finally today I've connected the two tanks together, well almost. I've cut the holes in the tanks and have the joining pipe, but I need to tank connectors which I've ordered on Ebay today.

.





  1. All in all, it went well. Only problems I had where:
    tank 1 isn't sitting flush on the ground, think I'll have to sort that out before I fill it up with water
  2. I burnt my fingers while soldering the two pipes together, ouch!!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Fantastic Weather

The weather here in the Highlands has been fantastic for the best part of 2 weeks (other than 1 day of rain).

This photo is of Loch Tarff on the road between Dores and Fort Augustus, and was taken sunday.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Water Recycling Project: The Pump

Been looking for a second hand shower pump on Ebay just lately for this project.

Finally got one at a reasonable price and it arrived yesterday.

Means I can get on with some of the work.

More details soon.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Jacobite Steam Train




We've been planning this since we found out about the Jacobite STeam train and finally this week we did it. We took the train from Fort William to Mallaig and back again.

Had a great day out, took lots of photots. Was great to see the Glen Finnan viaduct, frequently known as the Harry Pottery Viaduct.

Mallaig was a bit of a disappointment, few nice restaurants and a beautiful location, but the town is dominated by a very industrialised harbour which is very ugly and the harbour itself is full of oil, rubbish and traffic cones. In fact a friend of ours that saw the following photo said "Wow, you managed to make Mallaig Harbour look quite nice".


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Water Recycling Project - The Plan, revised

I know this doesn't bode well for this project but I''m rethinking the list of tasks in the previous post already, not so much the contents as the order.

It has occured to me that if I...

1) install the tanks
2) connect the first tank to the utility room drain pipe

the next time the washing machines are used the first tank fills with water so when I go to cut a hole in the tank to connect it to the second tank..... big flood and I probably electrocute myself with the drill.

Revised plan:

1) install the two tanks
2) connect the two tanks together
3) run a pipe from the first tank to an old shower pump and then on to an outside tap on the wall
4) connect an overflow from the 2nd tank to the main sewer (via a u-bend)
5) connect the first tank to the utility room drain pipe.


Much better.

Water Recycling Project: The start

Before this all kicks off I thought I'd give you an overview of what I intend doing. I know I posted the diagram, but now I'll show you the real location.

Now if you've had a look at the Pottery House web site you'll have seen the front of the house, the flowers and gardens, the view of Loch Ness from the house and even the bedrooms and bathrooms. Now I'm going to show you a view of Pottery House that guests do not see.

















This is what it's like under the house, a maze of passageways with pipes, wires and plumbing. This is where I'm going to create my water recycling project (or maybe a big flood with two empty tanks sitting in the middle of it)!!






Do you see the white pipe in this photo. Now that's the all important pipe, it is the drain pipe from the washing machines in the utility room.

At least I think it is, I'm fairly sure it is. Maybe I should put one of the washing machines on a very hot wash then hold this pipe as the wash finishes.

This pipe passes through the wall into the next section, photo below, where it joins a main sewer pipe. It's the lower of the two white pipes in the second photo.

















So ALL I have to do is

1) install the two tanks
2) cut the pipe in the first photo and put it through the higher hole in the wall (which is clearer in the second photo), into the first tank.
3) join the two tanks together with a section of pipe
4) Put an over-flow pipe from the second tank back to where the current pipe joins the main sewer.
5) Run a pipe, with a pump, to a tap on the outside wall.

Now number 5 is a whole issue all on it's own and I'm not even sure how I'm going to achieve this, the least of the problems being how do I put a pipe through a breeze-block wall. So I'll come back to that bit later.

My next problem is how do I cut a hole in one of my plastic tanks so that I can join them with a pipe and then seal it round the edges. Perhaps I can get a drill attachment, back to the DIY store me thinks.......................


By the way if your looking at this project thinking "Why on earth is he doing that" or "OMG: don't do this", please post some comments, I'm making this up as I go along, so I could do with all the help I can get.

Water Recycling Project: Phase -1, does my butt look too big


If you've been reading my blog about my water saving project then you may remember that I bought a water butt for storing water under the house, but then found it wouldn't fit!

Glen then pointed out that next to the wood shed is a 25 gallon water tank that he was using as a water butt (which we inherited when we bought the house), and suggested I swap the two round.

Great Idea, and hence phase -1. Have to do this before I can start my eco project.

The new water butt has a tap at the bottom so you can fill your watering-can, so it needs to be on a stand so that you can fit the can under the tap. So today while I was in the DIY store I bought a stand and another 25 gall tank.

I could then replace the tank by the wood shed with a the water butt, and then I have two tanks for my construction project.

Ta Da!!!!!

Monday, October 02, 2006

End Of The Dry Summer

There is a small burn that runs off the hillside at the back of Pottery House, into our pond and then out the other side. It has been dry this summer, in fact it has been dry since March until today.

It started raining around lunchtime yesterday (Sunday) and it rained all day, all night and into today until around 3pm this afternoon.

The effect was that by breakfast this morning such a volume of water was flowing into the pond it couldn't escape fast enough and the pond was overflowing across the path and into the vegintable patch.

Probably only seen it flowing like this twice before in the 2.5 years we've lived here.

Loch Ness was also at it's highest point this afternoon since the great storm of January 2005.