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Home Forums General Discussion How long have you been off grid?

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    For the umpteenth time!! A sewage system pipe layout is NOT laid out like a grid. A well designed sewage pipe system is laid out in a radial pattern.

    Look up what a grid means. It has cross links to allow backfeeding. This is essential for a power grid in order to backfeed an area blacked out by a problem like a car or truck braking a pole. This is why we called it a ‘GRID’

    Twisting words and calling a municipal service a grid is just plain wrong. Don’t people care about correct language use any more? English isn’t even my mother tongue and I know the distinction.

    If you have a hate on for any big business and all manner of municipal services by all means spout off but off grid really doesn’t refer to anything except the electrical grid. People around here ask me what going off grid means. When I tell them, they look at me strangely saying “but that is how we have always lived” My wife never even saw an electric lightbulb in a home before she was 14, then her family bought a lighting plant. Her family homestead is not connected to the grid to this day.

    Propane is not delivered by a grid. It is delivered by pipeline and a road network in a truck. The truck is not a grid. It would be more accurate to say municipal services are provided by a service NETWORK combining a variety of transportation modes like roads, pipelines, and electrical wires.


    By “off grid”, I mean with solar and/or wind/micro-hydro power

    systems. Off of other grid type systems like water and sewer, too.

    Also, what type of backup systems do you have?

    We have been off grid now for a little over 12 years. Independent

    solar–one 24VDC to 220VAC, 2- 12VDC to 115VAC. Backup Generac 4000EXL.

    Deep water well, with backup rainwater catchment tank (425 gallons).

    Septic tank system with two low flow toilets and a backup Biolet

    compost toilet.

    Propane delivery to 500 gal. tank every 2 mos. Backup is two wood stoves.

    Earthship greenhouse for year around vegetables, and storage of a year’s supply of food. Protected by a variety of high speed projectile devices.


    Can I purpose an new definition of grid – anyhting that

    sucks money out of your pocket and is run by a monopoly

    to quote a Union Gas representative in Ontario

    ” We don’t care We are the gas company”.


    I like that “new” definition as I feel the same way :-)


    Hubby and I are living 100% off grid, we moved here Dec 22, 2007, we have done everything very much on the cheap. We both love living primitively, yet we do have some technology, such as electricity (we generate all of our power via solar), we have lights, computer, internet access…

    I wouldn’t go back to living like we used to, I feel like we are in more control of our lives in every way.



    That’s great TreasureGift! I did say off grid and “grid type systems”. The usual monthly bill BS. In the city you pay for sewer and water hookup and monthly bill. The sewage treatment is often debatable with not true composting and effluent discharge that contains pharmaceuticals and hormones for downstream users. The city water itself may have come from a downstream source, or be filled with chlorine or other disinfectants, too. The systems are prone to leakage and the prices often encourage wastefulness. The houses and apartments are not enforced for Federal Occupancy violations and the sewage system gets overloaded on occasion from figuring for a lower occupancy than actually exists.

    Then there are natural gas lines in many cities. Often dangerous in earthquake or sinkhole areas. Add on city taxes that are generally higher than county. “The cities have turned into jungles, and corruption is strangling the land.” Even more apropos now than the Steppenwolf song of 1970.

    Off grid living is independent living for the most part, and living totally green, usually.

    Of course, there are exceptions, with people breaking the law and/or living a non-green way. I suppose if you look at it as only being off the electric grid it could include city tenants running off a generator, or even homeless camps. It can include people that use no toilets and drink polluted river or lake water. Like 200,000 people in Calcutta do.

    It could mean people using kerosene lamps to see, and people that trash out areas. Net polluters who are the antithesis of green living people.

    Those types generally don’t have computers, or admit their wrongdoing.

    No, I am interested in those who live on solar and/or wind power in eco-homes, especially the independent do-it-yourselfers.


    Any new subdivision is layed out in a grid fashion

    square houses on square streets, How could any service not

    be layed out on a grid. I want a round house surounded by

    nature. Be able to target shoot or even hunt in my backyard

    Raise my own meat and veggies cause I don’t trust GMO foods

    and steroid raised meat – it just isin’t natural.

    I want to sit in my round house and when a government official

    shows up I can tell him he can go pee in a corner for all

    I care.




    10 months now, and loving it. we have 3 kids and i asked them the other day if they wanted to go back into town with electric and tv and stuff they all said no. i guess they appreciate the tranquil environment even though they have to work hard to do everything most people take for granted


    Somehow I am now moguitar from Dustoffer. 12 1/2 years now off grid.

    My only child (by choice to help this overpopulated world), lived here from the age of 10 to 20. He moved to town for work in this trying time of Mexican invaders taking most of the starter jobs as permanent work. While he was here, I often had to remind him of power usage limits. Now that he is gone, we have more than enough power all the time! This place will eventually be his. It was built with future generations in mind. He and his girlfriend like it up here, and when he is in a position of better finances, they will marry and have one child, to also help. It is just too bad that it is the forward thinkers, the non-greedy, and most moral, caring and intelligent, who are living ecologically correct, moving toward cleanup of pollution and sustainability in all things.

    Iron Edison

    How you feel about the payback on your investment in an off-grid system? Have you made serious changes, or was the transition pretty smooth?

    Very interested to hear if you feel there value to going off-grid!


    The local coal fired power company wanted $4,975 to get power from them by unsightly poles to the house. Plus, even if you don’t use any power, there is a monthly fee. The cut off for being able to charge another lot owner for a portion up to half of the cost was $5K. So I would have subsidized someone else building. Water is critical in this area, so I got absolute water rights ($140) for 600 feet around my well, which also put a damper on others building. It devalued the lot next door, which I bought and annexed for $3,500, from the original price of $18K!!! Others are unbuildable because of too steep terrain.

    Knowing and doing all the trades, and reading up on self installed solar, made it so I had over half the value in sweat equity. With electric bills averaging $100/month plus the nearly $5K to get it, and my full tracking self installed first system at $9.3K, my system paid for itself in 43 months. Not having people build next door—priceless. Mortgage paid off in 2006—priceless!!!

    Being an electric guitar player, I had to go to small battery amps until I built my addition with a 1KW sinewave inverter. My crewmen said I sounded like Hendrix on my one watt Marshall Mini-stack!! We would watch TV less on cloudy days, and make other sacrifices like not vacuuming, or showers every other day (seeing half the main system is for the pump!). We consciously do not waste power. We consciously compost and grow many of our own vegetables. The Earthship has a Biolet composting toilet. Reduce, re-use, and recycle have been a way of life. Our footprint is 1/20th the average American. We feel we are doing God’s Will.

    If everyone lived as we do, the world would not be looking at malevolent climate change and the population crash.


    I’ve been off-grid since May 1, 1998 with no regrets. I have a small solar setup and all of my household water is provided with rainwater.


    I’ve been solar and water powered, including solar hot water and 80% of home/office heat, for about 7 years now. During the summer I don’t need to go to town except for luxury items, like orange juice. A neighbor has a bison ranch, so winter food supplies are local, too. But there are still a lot of grids. Shoes, for example. A grid of skilled people who can access the resources they need to do their work is always required.

    Cyndi Jenkins

    My fiance’ and myself have been living 100% without any form of electricity or plumbing (meaning we use and outhouse, dish water runs into buckets to be recycled and the majority of our baths are in a bucket on the back porch) for 3 years now. We have no regrets and hope to turn the 3 years into many more! It is a wonderful life!

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