Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:OK...I've got an idea here. I call it. . .the wellfati.
It's half well, half wofati: wellfati. A wofati-like building with the well drilled inside it, smaller than a real wofati, and buildable even if your well site isn't ideal for a house site.
It's uphill of your wofati, and gravity favors your trip down to the home.
It's warm enough in winter from annualized thermal inertia that it isn't going to freeze, all the way to its top, including the air inside it (mostly anyway). It can be made with less attention to detail than a real wofati. Maybe a Sepp Holzer-style animal shed is more apt a description. I'm imagining it doesn't need to be truly sealed from moisture from above or below, since it will have nothing too sensitive inside--a layer of bark mulch can be sufficient vapor and rain barrier. The whole thing can be temporary, needing a re-roofing every ten years. Compromise on labor-saving efficiency but not on quality.
When you want water you can go and get it in buckets and bring it in. This is a little easier and less thermal load than bringing blocks of ice into your house in winter (as Erica was postulating on a thread). It's easier to walk downslope with the heavy load to your home than upslope.
If you really want a gravity-fed pipe to fill up a tank indoors, you can set up a temporary, low-tech wooden pipe, pump into it and gravity-feed into your home indoor tank, then put that temporary pipe in a place where it will dry out thoroughly and can't mold. Or it could just be a half-pipe, letter-U-shaped half pipe like an aqueduct, open to the sun, and then the sun can dry and sterilize it after use, just leave it out till a sunny day. If it's snowing when you're collecting your water, that's just more clean water in your water supply.
Now, the question arises, can a wofati-like structure keep warm enough without any heat from cooking (you're not cooking breakfast in your well)? if the annualized thermal inertia of the walls and roof of this wellfati heats the huge shaft of air in the well (dug well, mind you, not drilled, since this is the level-10,000, hand tools scenario, and it's supposed to let a bucket get down the borehole), will that be enough heat , or little enough heat loss, to keep the surface of the water from freezing down there? I think the water itself will get geothermal heat enough to stay warm beneath its surface...but I am imagining that cold air will drop down the shaft every time you open the door of your wellfati and then you'll get a nasty crust of ice on top. Or might. So just in case, your bucket will have to have some spikes on its bottom to poke through the ice...
Another idea is to place a second roof/round pointy hat inside the wellfati right over the well's top, so cold air has to be directed out away from the top of the well. And then flow out through some pipe to the outdoors. Ernie and Erica talk about envisioning hot air rising as if it were water upside down...and thinking of cold air sinking is therefore reversed again so it moves like rain falling. So I think as long as any cold air that manages to leak into the wellfati has a path away from the well shaft it will address this issue.
This doesn't handle the issue of pumping within the well, which is the next question...and I guess making a spring terrace is a more legitimate solution to the whole problem. But supposing it's not an option for some reason, let's go back to the wellfati: can a wooden pump be created? can a bucket on a pulley be optimized? (I'm imagining a huge huge bucket, and a ratcheted pull setup, so it's like a rowing machine exercise equipment thing. You pull, release, pull, release, out in the cold winter air, each stroke getting the bucket up only a few feet, until you've gotten a really good workout, sliding your butt on the snow or maybe using a little wooden cart. When the huge huge bucket gets to the top it catches on a lip and automatically tips over into the funnel into the wood pipe.
This pipe dream (he he, couldn't resist) is really fun to play with in a theoretical context. It's helping me think outside the box.
By the way, I ran across a youtube channel by someone named John Plants or something, "primitive technology," which included things like making a kiln from river clay and then firing a vase that could hold water...very impressive what could be done with the simplest resources.
Travis Johnson wrote:Oh no, it will not freeze. Your well could not be 6 inches in diameter of course, but if it was a well of normal size which is about 4 feet, it will not freeze. The amount of "warm" air rising, which is a constant 57 degrees here in Maine, is enough to keep the well water from freezing. In fact I used the same principal with my sheep stock tanks to keep their water from freezing in the winter.
Here we can buy "well tiles" which are 4 feet in diameter, and four feet high, which you keep stacking on top of one another to make the well, but with them you can put a cap on it, with a manhole cover. That is nice just for liability sake, quite a few people, and many hunters have fallen down old wells when the wooden covers over them rotted. Just off the top of my head I can think of about 12 hand dug wells that are kind of sketchy if you do not know where to step.
Buy yeah, for sure, your idea of a welfati would work.
Skandi Rogers wrote:If I really wanted to do something like you are discussing I would use ceramic pipes, you could make them in the right size and with the right bends and connections for your specific set up, the only issue I can see would be hot water, where they would be a horrible heat sink, probably not good for short runs of hot water like hand washing.