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Root cellar

 
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My wife is bugging me about getting a root cellar.  I am seeing it as a major project , while she sees it as a simple hole in the ground.  I have been looking at ways of making it less of a project.  I am wondering about the feasibility of burying a 1500 gallon plastic septic tank.  Normally I am not too fond of plastic.  In this case I see the plastic as lasting forever, and I don’t see a problem with the root cellar lasting forever. Of course, an added advantage is that the tank is designed to be buried.  Opinions?
 
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I like the logic you're using. I just wonder if it would be to well-sealed in terms of condensation. If you could have drain holes that didn't weaken it structurally and adequate ventilation, I guess that would solve that problem.
We love our root cellar but it is still being "fine-tuned" to be more useful in the warmer months.
 
John F Dean
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Hi Michael,

I figure a simple old fashioned bath tub drain plug would do the job. Of course, it would have to be vented as well.

My only worry, structurally, is cutting an entrance door.  I think that can be worked around in one of two ways .... I would probably use both.  The tank I looked at had reinforcing ribs on the sides where the plastic was thicker. My feeling is that as long as I cut between the ribs I would be ok.   Secondly, at the door I would put a substantial header and studs for support.
 
Michael Helmersson
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I assumed that you were going to use the manhole as a top access only. That would be more insulative but less convenient. We have top only access but our yurt is on top, so it's actually more of a basement than a stand-alone root cellar.
 
John F Dean
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My problem in this direction is my age. I am over 70.  Today, the manhole cover would not be a problem for me, but it may be in the future. Today, a manhole cover would be impossible for my wife.
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