All Posts by Nick Meissner

Off Grid Water Pressure Tanks

We recently replaced the water pressure tank in our new to us (old) home.  The old tank had bitten the dust.

Just in case you don't know this, pressure tanks are also called bladder tanks or household diaphragm tanks.  And it probably needs to be replaced when your water pump is turning on more frequently than it used to.  That's what ours was doing.  The water pump would turn on after just 2 or 3 flushes of the toilet--now it only runs 2 or 3 times in the entire day!

Pressure Tank Theory For Beginners

Here's a little pressure tank theory for newbies.  If you are familiar with pressure tanks, just skip to the next section.

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Dying Battery Extender

When we purchased our new (to us) homestead, it came with an old dilapidated off-grid power system.

It didn’t take much expertise to see the writing on the wall—this power system was a relic from the past and was on its last leg. We would need to replace it soon...

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The Best Chainsaw Sharpener

I'll have to be honest...Chainsaw sharpening is an art that I never fully mastered.  I would use my handheld file to whittle away at the teeth, and the saw would cut better than it had before.  But almost never was I able to get the chain in factory sharp condition.

Can you relate to that?

It seems that most things on the homestead take time, technique, and tools to do them well.  And I don't often find a solution that is so simple that virtually anyone could do it with little practice. But I think I have found that very thing in a chainsaw sharpener.  Seriously!

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Solar Power in Northern Winters

I often get questions from folks who live in cloudy climates about the feasibility of solar power.  My typical answer is that we live in a location that is about as cloudy as possible in the winter.  Combine that with the very short winter days that come in a northern latitude and it's a recipe for solar failure.  Or so it would seem.

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Solar Generators – Trash or Treasure?

In the last several years, the market has been flooded with many so-called “solar generators”.  They are basically tiny, portable solar systems and are often touted as your key to energy independence or security. But do the facts bear out these claims? Are “solar generators” ever useful for anything?  In other words, are they trash…or a treasure?

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Off Grid Internet in the Boondocks?

I can’t speak for you, but our intention in becoming unplugged has never been to disconnect from society.  Our goal has been to slow down and restore the important things in life and reclaim the noble independence of our forefathers who didn’t depend on Wal-mart for their next meal or on the power company for necessities like water (i.e. electric pump in the well).

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Of Clogged Combustors and Wood Stoves

Okay, so I have a confession to make...

2016 was a crazy year in our lives and last fall I was so pushed for time that I was late in getting my firewood in. So late that some of it wasn’t totally cured and much of it got soaked by the rain. 🙁  Kind of a bad spot to be in with winter approaching! Not to mention that it's hard on our stove combustor.

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I quit!

I want to share with you a few old words of wisdom that prompted me to make this decision. It's a quick excerpt from an old book on agriculture that was given to me. However, this was the inspiration that caused me to sit back and say, 'I quit'.

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