Saturday, October 20, 2012

Rearranging the House

Sometimes the best way to avoid a mistake is to put everything down on paper and then spend the next few days looking at it.  In my case, I noticed I have two major mistakes in the layout of my house after having talked out a few things last night over dinner with Fred.

The main mistake is that the pantry and laundry rooms should be swapped with each other because I want to keep the plumbing as close to each other to limit the number of connections and reduce the price from long pipe runs.  This way, the kitchen, shared bath, water heater, and the laundry are in immediate proximity of each other.

My second major mistake was omitting where I was going to put the solar battery bank IF I don't build a basement, which I haven't decided if I want to OR if the land I purchase will be able to handle it (water table too high or earthquake prone, for instance).  You always need a "plan B"! 

The sealed gel filled battery cells can be kept inside, but the ones that need to be topped off with water give off gases, which require different a different storage solution.  So what I really need to do is to make an enclosed telecom style cabinet right next to front door (where the laundry room is in the old drawing), and install a small exhaust fan.  I plan on using the gel batteries for safety, but let's just assume I can't get them, they don't sell that kind by the time I need them, or funds run out and I have to buy the gas emitting battery.  Whatever the case - sealed gel or water top off batteries, I'd feel better having the closet exhausted outside.

What are my battery roadblocks?
  • The batteries perform best when they're stored between 50-80 degrees F, so an outside box is generally a "no".
  • A special outdoor locked cabinet outside wouldn't necessarily deter a thief, and to have a battery bank stolen would really tick me off, not to mention cost me a ton to replace it.
  • Batteries stored outside are subject to more maintenance like the cleaning of terminals.  At least, that's my suspicion because they're not in a controlled environment.  Batteries stored inside tend to be in better shape since it's a constant and predictable environment. 
So as time goes by, I'll keep tweaking my future house plans and learn everything I can about how to make this dream a reality.  

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