Using the new water pressure gauge to spot a problem…


When I got home yesterday, three things about the cabin’s water were clear: It worked, the pressure was high normal, and the toilet valve had been leaking for quite some time. Normally that last thing would have had me worried about the level in the water tank but the gauge said everything should be fine. Therefore one of the items on this morning’s chore list was to check and see if everything was really fine…


…and everything was fine, though a good deal lower than it should have been given that I topped off the tank before I left. I’m afraid my septic system got a bit of a flush while I was gone but it probably did no harm and the tank level wasn’t so low I’d have expected to see low pressure at the gauge. I’m going to go ahead and let the tank level drop for a month or two, so I can get a better idea how that affects the pressure.

Also I think I’m going to retire the Interstate batteries in the relatively near future. None of the cells are absolutely shorted, but the specific gravity readings are all over the place. It’s hard to be sure because I have the fans on and the sunshine is kind of iffy so even though it’s near noon the batteries still haven’t gone into float which makes me think maybe I should test the charge controllers next time I have full sun. They both might be getting long in the tooth themselves, though I don’t really know what the usual service life of a charge controller even is.

I’m very happy to have had an opportunity to compare the Interstates with some badly-abused Trojan T-105s because there’s a real qualitative difference – I’m not especially unhappy with how the Interstates lasted, I always knew they weren’t top of the line, but my electrical system has come up in the world since 2013 and I won’t be buying any more of them.

In fact I might even be retiring the old Trojans before too long, since it appears an opportunity to do so might be arising. When you live ‘way out in the boonies without regular transportation, opportunities come when they come and it’s best to be ready to land them when they do.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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6 Responses to Using the new water pressure gauge to spot a problem…

  1. terrapod says:

    Joel, I have an experiment for you to run. Place your interstate batteries on the back deck of the jeep, lash them down so they won’t bounce, then go for a very bumpy drive for 20 or 30 minutes or so.

    This will shake up the electrolyte and put the sulfate sludge into suspension. Then put them back on the charger and let them charge up.

    It may revive them quite a bit. My experience with HUMVEE batteries is that they sulfate up if sitting a long time and die too soon, but if driven periodically over rough terrain, their service life is much longer.

    At least this can be tried before you have to trade them in as cores on new ones.

  2. Mark Matis says:

    Have any of yours done this yet:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mmCr5aJ2gc
    ???

  3. Jerry says:

    My mechanic friend says John Deere makes good batteries, if you have a means to get them. I’d say reasonably, but that’s all relative to a cheap on that quits too soon, or not.

  4. Vern says:

    If you replace your batteries, what will you replace them with? I have 10 Deka GC15 batteries that don’t seem to be holding up well, and am looking for others.

  5. Malatrope says:

    I’ve gotten eight solid years out of my Rolls-Surrette batteries, discharging about 70% every day, but they weren’t cheap.

  6. Joel says:

    I plan to replace the current batteries with four more Trojan T-105’s. A neighbor in the business is going to get me current prices next week and I think I have enough to go ahead and do that. In terms of performance there’s not much currently wrong with the four I’m using but they were old and abused when I got them and I never intended them for long term use.

    It’s been very educational to be able to double the bank size and study the (remarkable) difference in overall system performance. Showed me that the increased investment in running four rather than two batteries was worth the price in eased battery cycles and presumably improved longevity, even at my low rate of usage.

    The Trojans will be a little more expensive than Interstates but there’s a noticeable qualitative improvement. Rolls Surrettes might possibly be that much better but I doubt it and they cost the moon.

To the stake with the heretic!