November 2022 Visit
With a cold front approaching, I decided to run up to the Ranch to winterize the water pipes before the sustained 20-degree days hit us later in the week.
I rinsed out our 200 gallon water tank that we use to haul water from the standpipe in Seligman to our Ranch. After loading up the tank in the truck, I headed for Seligman.
There had been reports that the standpipe in town had been modernized to accept debit cards for thew water that is drawn. But upon arrival to the standpipe, I found that people were inserting quarters, and found a note on the control that said the new system was "still not working".
Luckily, I had a fist full of quarters in the truck that I save for carwashes, and things of that nature.
When it was my turn, I used the quarters, and filled up the 200 gallon tank. It cost about 20 cents per gallon, so $2.50 to fill the tank.
I hauled the water up the hill and parked on a small slope near the LittleHouse to help get all of the water out of the tank. This hill is kind of up under the trees and in the weeds a bit.
After emptying the tank, I left the truck in place overnight.
I topped off the battery bank with distilled water (they didn't need much, since it had only been 30 days since our last visit.).
The next morning, I awoke to a power system shutoff. This was due to our poor state of our old battery bank, combined with using it to pump water (1100 watt draw while pumping), and cooking dinner in the microwave later that night. The sky was cloudy in the morning, as well, so what little sunlight that would normally be available was really limited.
I had not brought the generator up this trip, so I decided to find the lowest-voltage pair of batteries, and hook the truck up to them to help charge the system. Two 6-volt batteries in series is basically the same as a single 12-volt battery.
When I opened to hood of the truck, I found a giant nest had been built on top of my battery. Fortunately, the rats had not chewed any wires that I could see, and there were no signs of electrical problems. They did, however, chew the velcro latch off my battery cover.
Anyway, I cleared out the nest in the making, and hooked up the jumper cables to the pair of low batteries. After a half hour or so, I switched to the second-lowest charged pair and did the same thing. This brought my system voltage up to a point where I could run the inverter again, and in turn, run the small water pump needed to pump the anti-freeze into our water lines.
I left the water heater in place, this time. It should be fine with the antifreeze in it.
When all was done, I packed up and headed home. Not much of a trip, but got done what was needed for winter.