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Old 10-11-2023, 11:19 AM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
473 posts, read 2,755,337 times
Reputation: 640

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The cabin is on 42 acres, elevated, and pretty dry. It will be my wife and I's final home where we will homestead and live a simple life, after the last child graduates high school and moves on. Until then we will be going up as often as possible to work the property and get it ready for the day we go full time. And yes, we are well versed in brutal winters and hard work.

My questions are in relation to the legality and processes of certain things we'll have to do with the property which is now technically a camp. The town its actually in is an unincorporated township, so theres very little oversight and code enforcement.

There's a drilled well on the property, but it's not hooked up to anything, all the water is pumped out as needed, currently.

There is a new cabin on it with 2 bedrooms, and a separate bath house. The cabin has a sink that drains into a bucket. It's not plumbed. All electrical is run by a 5kw Solar setup. In the bath house is a tub, and shower (which is heated by a propane on demand water heater) that is pumped out of a water tank outside the bath house. There is a toilet that is just an elevated box, and a bucket under the toilet seat. The tub drains to a graywater leach field behind the bath house.

We plan to put a sink and real toilet in this space as well. We began the process of having a septic system put in. We got the test and plans drawn up, and now its just with the contractor (who doesn't think they will be able to get to it this season).

So I'm just clarifying that the order I have it in my mind, is how it should be done.

So for me it's:

1. get the septic tank/system put in
2. Get the water plumbed to the house from the well. I'll have to probably reach out to a plumbing contractor to undertake this project. So from what I can tell, he'll probably run a line below the frost line from the well to a pressure tank, which will then feed the cabin and bath house. He'll also have to set up the plumbing to drain the sink, toilet, and sink from the bath house, to the septic tank, as well as install the actual toilet and bath house sink as well.

Does this sound right?

Part of me, with the cost of all this wishes i could just save money and just have the water plumbed to the house and bath house and bath house sink, and saving money on the septic tank and just getting an incinerator toilet that doesn't need to drain into anything.

Are incinerator toilets legal for full time use in Maine? Is that a viable option? Thoughts on the feasibility of that?
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Old 10-12-2023, 02:28 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
37,468 posts, read 61,406,816 times
Reputation: 30414
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBaillo View Post
Recently Bought an Off Grid Cabin Outside Springfield, ME
Welcome.

I also live in a UT in Penobscot County.

So I guess you will soon be a neighbor.



Quote:
... The cabin is on 42 acres, elevated, and pretty dry. It will be my wife and I's final home where we will homestead and live a simple life, after the last child graduates high school and moves on. Until then we will be going up as often as possible to work the property and get it ready for the day we go full time. And yes, we are well versed in brutal winters and hard work.

My questions are in relation to the legality and processes of certain things we'll have to do with the property which is now technically a camp. The town its actually in is an unincorporated township, so theres very little oversight and code enforcement.

There's a drilled well on the property, but it's not hooked up to anything, all the water is pumped out as needed, currently.

There is a new cabin on it with 2 bedrooms, and a separate bath house. The cabin has a sink that drains into a bucket. It's not plumbed. All electrical is run by a 5kw Solar setup. In the bath house is a tub, and shower (which is heated by a propane on demand water heater) that is pumped out of a water tank outside the bath house. There is a toilet that is just an elevated box, and a bucket under the toilet seat. The tub drains to a graywater leach field behind the bath house.

We plan to put a sink and real toilet in this space as well. We began the process of having a septic system put in. We got the test and plans drawn up, and now its just with the contractor (who doesn't think they will be able to get to it this season).

So I'm just clarifying that the order I have it in my mind, is how it should be done.

So for me it's:

1. get the septic tank/system put in
2. Get the water plumbed to the house from the well. I'll have to probably reach out to a plumbing contractor to undertake this project. So from what I can tell, he'll probably run a line below the frost line from the well to a pressure tank, which will then feed the cabin and bath house. He'll also have to set up the plumbing to drain the sink, toilet, and sink from the bath house, to the septic tank, as well as install the actual toilet and bath house sink as well.

Does this sound right?

Part of me, with the cost of all this wishes i could just save money and just have the water plumbed to the house and bath house and bath house sink, and saving money on the septic tank and just getting an incinerator toilet that doesn't need to drain into anything.

Are incinerator toilets legal for full time use in Maine? Is that a viable option? Thoughts on the feasibility of that?
Your existing toilet is a composting toilet. Do not get rid of it. Seriously 20 yers from now, you will still, on occasion be using that thing.

Also keep in mind that outhouses are fairly popular in this area.
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Old 10-13-2023, 03:01 AM
 
Location: Maine
3,536 posts, read 2,859,637 times
Reputation: 6839
I think my biggest concern would be the separate bath house. At some point when it is below zero you are gonna really wish you didn't have to go outside to get there. I would move the bathroom into one of the bedrooms and change the bath house into a sauna or something else. If you need an extra bedroom I would add onto the cabin or put a small guest cabin somewhere on the property.
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Old 10-14-2023, 10:44 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
37,468 posts, read 61,406,816 times
Reputation: 30414
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBaillo View Post
... All electrical is run by a 5kw Solar setup.
I assume that you mean you have 5kw of photovoltaic panels.

Do you also have a battery bank?

Or do you only have power when the sun is shining?

On one hand, it sounds like your cabin has only been used as a seasonal camp. A battery bank needs to be inside a heated room.
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Old 10-14-2023, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Vancouver, WA
473 posts, read 2,755,337 times
Reputation: 640
There's a bank. 3 x lifepo4 batteries. The bath house is heated with a propane heater to keep the batteries warm enough to take a charge
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Old 10-14-2023, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
37,468 posts, read 61,406,816 times
Reputation: 30414
Quote:
Originally Posted by CBaillo View Post
There's a bank. 3 x lifepo4 batteries. The bath house is heated with a propane heater to keep the batteries warm enough to take a charge
Good




One of my neighbors had a toilet that ran all night, which caused his well pump to run all night and fully discharged his battery bank. Then his battery bank froze solid and expanded which shattered the battery cases.
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Old 10-18-2023, 05:19 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
12,447 posts, read 9,540,640 times
Reputation: 15907
Congratulations on the purchase :-). I do see you saying that the bath house is heated with a propane heater regarding the batteries charging. Is that a Rinnai heater? Is the bath house insulated? Just worrying a little about keeping the pipes from freezing in the dead of winter.

P.S. I have read good things about LiFePO4 batteries being the wise choice for stationary applications re cost, safety and longevity
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