Utilities for Home Building


Below are some of the results from the "Ask George" files for Utilities for Home Building.

More Information on Utilities for Home Building can be found on the Build Your Own Home Sitemap, Home Building Steps Section 5, Mechanical Systems.

These questions were submitted thru my contact form which can be found on the "You Can Build Your Own Home" Ask George Page.
   
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Utilities for Home Building
Utilities for Home Building, The "Ask George" Files Utilities for Home Building
From Jason:

I ran across your website and found it a wealth of information getting me going in the right direction. My lot doesn’t have municipal utility access but there is a development going in adjacent to it that should bring water and sewer into easy reach. Is there a way to make use of their water/sewer main lines, instead of running the full half mile or so of pipe out of my own pocket?

Response:

Hello Jason:

I am glad the site is helping! I would contact the local municipality that is supplying the water and sewer and ask them what it would cost. They will be happy to hook you up if you are close enough or have neighbors they can hook up also.

Happy home building,

George
Utilities for Home Building
Utilities for Home Building, The "Ask George" Files Utilities for Home Building
From Diane:

Our well is 2 yrs. old. We still have a lot of silt in it and have installed 2 whole house water filters that we change every few months. Does the silt ever lessen? Would silt hurt a tankless water heater? We fired our builder and took over the job ourselves. Wish I'd had your site 3 years ago.

Response:

Hello Diane,

Our well had already been installed when we bought our property. It had sat unused for several years. We never had a silt problem at all.

Maybe it would be a good idea to contact the company that drilled your well and ask them about the silt problem. They may have an idea on what to do, or expect.

I don't think it would be good for a tankless water heater to have silt go thru it. I would contact the manufacture of the unit you are interested in, and ask them if their unit will withstand silt.

All the best,

George Stevens
Utilities for Home Building
Utilities for Home Building, The "Ask George" Files Utilities for Home Building
From Eric:

Just a question or two. Who connects the water/sewer to the home site if you have city water? Also, who brings the electric and natural gas to the house? Also, what about the sump pump for the basement?

Thanks for the great information!

Response:

Hello Eric,

It may be different in other areas of the country. When we had a house in Florida the plumber hooked it all up and the city water department turned on the water. You will have to call the water authority to put in the water meter. The plumber also hooked up the sewer. Natural Gas is hooked up by the plumber, your local gas company will put in the meter.

The house we have now in Texas does not have any utilities at the curb.

Call your electric company and they will tell you how to get set up with them. Your electrician will get everything ready on the house and the electric company will put in the meter and turn you on once the house is ready.

I don't have any experience with sump pumps, sorry.

Hope this helps,

George Stevens
Utilities for Home Building
Utilities for Home Building, The "Ask George" Files Utilities for Home Building
From Michael:

Hello George, have you heard about a septic tank that uses ultra violet lights....

Response:

Hello Michael,

No, I have not. I would be curious to find out more information.

All the best,

George Stevens

From Michael:

The reason I am asking is because a few weeks ago an engineer came to take sample soils from some of my property and I was informed that there was new technology being developed in regards to septic tanks where these ultra violet lights were being used to kill the organism at the end of the stage before allowing discharge...now this tech is not ready to be release into the market but he told that it should be out by next year...when I know a little more details and particulars on this subject I will let you know.

Response:

I see, instead of chlorine you would use UV light to kill the bacteria.

Makes sense

All the best,

George
Utilities for Home Building
Utilities for Home Building, The "Ask George" Files Utilities for Home Building
From Sam:

George, Just happened over your web site in the last couple of days. Reading through your March issue #006 on Electrical and wanted to mention a couple of items. 

First, I agree with putting in another panel for spare, it costs very little in relationship and it did it in my current house. The barn aspect is a little different. In TX, they won't let you hook it up to the main panel, you have to have another pole and service and then they charge you commercial which is much higher. 

In AL, the second pole might be needed depending on how far from the house you are planning. I talked with an electrician and he says that a long run could cause problems especially if you are pulling any load, which we plan on doing (Shop also). AL also would put in another pole and charge you commercial, but the rate is not that much different. So you might very well be required or better off to install new service and another panel with your outbuildings.

Response:

Hello Sam,

Thanks for the comments. It is always great to hear from people that are reading my site!

I have 2 acres and my run to the barn is only 150 feet or so. My electrician used heavy cable similar to what is used in running main power to the house and buried it in conduit. Since my bid was all inclusive on electrical I can't give you a figure on the price of the cable. As you know the heavy cable reduces the voltage drop significantly. You can call an electrical supply house or go online and find out what cable would be appropriate to reduce the voltage drop for the length of run you have.

Both of my panels for the house (two 200 amp panels) run of one 400 amp meter pan. My barn power has a separate 100 amp breaker in one of the panels.

I did consider running two poles and meters at the onset but the power company wanted to charge me a minimum charge per month for the second meter.

All the best,

George Stevens


Utilities for Home Building
Utilities for Home Building, The "Ask George" Files Utilities for Home Building


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