zeek mcgalla

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since Apr 20, 2017
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Recent posts by zeek mcgalla

Right now all I have is a giant 40 to 50 yard pile of wood chips from mainly pine trees. What I planned on doing was layering the wood chips getting them wet putting some of the cow manure and straw and hay then the poly pipe that would be one layer. I would repeat that layer all the way to the top. I then have a circulation pump that keeps water always circulating through the compost pile for maximum heat transfer.

I did not intend on building another Mount of this year but I got home from work and there was a huge pile of chips so I figured I would use them.

What I wanted to do was just take the black pipe put it on the roof of the house facing south and use that to heat my hot water until it could no longer Heat like in the winter.

Thanks
Zeek
1 year ago
I have posted on the Jean Paine mound before and got some contradcitory answers.  I built my mound 51 weeks ago and it only procuced heat for about 3 months.  I now have about 50 yards of wood chips, a lot of cow poop and old bedding straw and hay.  

When I layer this together do I pack it tight? Or leave space for air to get in?

Is the mound anaerobic or aerobic ?

This time I am goig to wet the layers as I build it, I did not do that last time.

Anybody out here actually made a jean Pain mound?  It is a strange thing that I cannot get good information from people who have bult one.  

Thanks
Zeek



1 year ago
Hello not sure if this has been said but spent coffee grounds can be used to help with scrubbing and they are acidic.  Hope this helps.
Zeek
1 year ago
Good morning, I need advice and know many people on here can offer their ideas.  I can't believe I have too much water.  I am in Toronto, Ohio 43964 google map here for an aerial you can see the top of my driveway by the "246". (https://goo.gl/maps/BwRkTtNpny82)

Basically the problem is how to manage the water that comes off my drive way and collect from a spring.  Look at the pics and you will see that the driveway is a hill and when it rains we get a lot water running down, eventually it ends up in our basement.  Add to that the fact that there are three springs that we want to harvest and I am lost.

Look at the pic labeled "ALL" and you get a good overview, those 2 pink arrows are very shallow trenches meant to carry water to the left, as we see the photo,  but they wash away rather quickly as the driveway is gravel.  I have to go out every time we get significant rain fall to direct the water.  The reason I do that is so the water does not continue down the slope and into my front yard and then basement.

I have those 2 "ponds" or if you prefer "damns" that hold some water, they are shallow, only about an average of 12" and feed into each other and then down the 4" pipe at the bottom labeled drain.  That drain pipe goes under the driveway and empties to the bottom of the farm, see the pic labeled yard to get an idea of the drain location.  When we get a lot of rain the drain cannot keep up and the second pond overflows.

See the photo labeled "gully" that circled pipe just helps divert the water that flows down that natural gully, lots of water there too.  All the water from the driveway and gully empty into my 2 "ponds". What do I do with all that runoff and surface water?  Divert, collect something else?  If I just let it go then my basement floods, plus that is a lot water and I hate to waste it.

To add to this water issue see the photo labeled "springs" those 3 springs run all the time, I do not know the rate for sure but all three together when at the slowest might be 1GPM?  We want to use those springs for drinking water, but as you can see they mix with the runoff driveway gully water; is that a problem?  I would really like to harvest and collect the spring water for drinking and the rest of the water for irrigation or a pond down the property, or for toilets...ideas?

Maybe we don't try to collect the driveway water at all?  We have 4 structures with a total of about 10,000 square feet of roof area we can collect rain from, does that change anything?

Anyway, I need help, ideas and advice. I know someone out there in permie-land has a solution, I do not.  I simply do not have the knowledge or experience to do this, so I am relying of you all.

Thanks for the help!

Zeek


1 year ago
I installed my compost mound on June 24, 2017 and after 4 days the water temperature coming out was 145 F (63 C) now it is 110-115.  The 4 dump trucks of  wood chips were from power line trimming and had leaves, bark and some dead, it was mainly maple and oak and some pine.  I did hook up a re-circulation pump that runs 24/7 and every 5 minutes the entire hot water tank is put through the mound...but the temps is stuck at 110, what has happened?  What can I do?  Oh I did put a layer of chips, a layer of cow manure/trampled feed hay, chips, a layer of cow manure/trampled feed hay.  
Thanks
Zeek
1 year ago
I currently do what you suggest is impossible with my Hardy H4, see pic.  The water flows through the 75 foot  3/4" copper coil that sits in water in the Outdoor Wood Boiler (OWB) which is about 185 degrees.  When the hot water is opened in the house the cold flows through the coil in the boiler and comes out hot and fills the hot water tank in the house; this is standard for many domestic water loops in outdoor boilers...well boiler is the wrong term as it is not pressurized.  All I am going to do is add the compost loop in series with the existing coil in the OWB and as I think about it I probably do not need any pump as my current system does not have one.  I would imagine that after the water flows through 400 feet of pipe that is buried in compost it will come out warm to hot.  Isn't that exactly what the tank-less systems do?  In fact I could totally bypass my how water tank in the house and basically have a tank-less water heater and I have done that in the winter when the OWB is fired.
1 year ago
hmmm so it seems like I have been told I can't do it...and then how to do it.  It is totally possible with just a circ pump, and there is a T&P valve installed on the hot water tank.  I am simply trying to hook up a circulation pump to keep water moving through the mound.  Typically this is a loop that moves water into the top of the tank (cold water inlet), then out the bottom, through the compost mound and back into the tank.  I am thinking I could put a Tee in the cold water inlet that is connected to city water with a check valve above the Tee and run the loop that way.  My main question was there is pressure in the tank at all times so when you open the hot water faucet hot water flows, will the pump be able to circulate despite the pressure?

Go here, http://compostpower.org/node/24, and look at step 10 and let me know what you think.  There are many examples about hot water re-circulation pumps that do not use anything but a pump.
1 year ago
I have an existing electric hot water tank.  I am making a Jean Pain mound to heat my domestic water...I have a Taco pump to circulate but how do I hook it up?  
Thanks
Zeek
1 year ago
Hello fellow RMH folks, so I have not built one yet and am still reading, reading...reading. I have gotten into the weeds of fire brick and now I am confused.  Without all the details, charts and bantering...can I use this brick for my J-Box and riser?

https://www.lowes.com/pd/Oldcastle-Red-Cored-Clay-Brick/3433312

I am not comfortable casting the J-box, it seems that building from bricks and using fire clay as mortar is the best way for me.

Thanks
Zeek
2 years ago
First of all, thank you Permies users!  What a fantastic place I have been seriously educated.  

I am building my first RMH, I live in Eastern Ohio, about 45 minutes from Pittsburgh...

Just wanted to be sure this is ok, I am getting a little nervous, the more I read the more difficulty I have deciding what to do since there are so many ways to build a RMH.

I want to build the core, which I take to mean the J-box burn chamber, out of firebrick (found it for $1.00 each) and use the Hawthorn Bond 40 as the mortar.  Is that acceptable?

I want to cast the heat riser using the perlite, Hawthorn Bond 40 as the material and will use metal as the form knowing it will burn away in time.  Is that acceptable?

Zeek

2 years ago