The definitive appliance thread

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SteveS's picture
SteveS
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The definitive appliance thread

I was fortunate to be able to attend the Lowesville seminar, and during it I realized that all of us had bits and pieces of really useful knowledge that need to be organized somehow. One area that occured to me was appliances. Most appliances do not last long, are complex, and innefficient; not good for a simpler future. So please add in appliances or kitchen implements that you found that would fit it in well with a simpler future. Be sure to change the subject line to reflect what you are talking about!

 

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SteveS
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washing machine

Washing machines have become complex and huge, although many have become more energy efficient. They also all seem to have electronic displays and keypads which cannot be repaired and probably will be unavailable when they break. A few years ago we needed to buy a new washer and found this one:

http://www.staber.com/

American made, stainless steel 'innards', simple, and very efficient. This is a popular off-grid washer. Not cheap, but simple and easy to repair. Mechanical controls and timer. It is a bit strange - it runs like a front loader, but loads from the top. Actually a nice setup. I plan on this machine lasting the rest of my lifetime.

 

 

 

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Rangetop and Wikipedia

Hi Steve. I saw on TV the other day a Magnetic Induction rangetop and oven. Which in laymans is basically a big microwave. Hehe Radarange. I love that name. Supposedly though it is 3 times as efficient as electric, and 2 times as efficient as gas. I have always prefered gas, but have no problem building a fire to cook my food =).

If it truly came down to I had to be as effiecient as possible, I would probably do away with most my appliances. The coffee maker would stay, as long as I have coffee to make, and my laptop. I have been downloading and saving things to the laptop in case. My desktop will probably go to heaven. I downloaded an entire copy of Wikipedia, with the most current revisions. It was about 4 gb though.

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Access to simple appliances

If you are not aware of Lehman's Non Electric Catalog, you might want to subscribe and review the many practical devices on offer there. Just Google it and you'll have no trouble finding the firm. They have a lot of Amish and Mennonite customers and offer the things these unique groups want and need. I have spent fascinated hours looking through the catalog and they have useful stuff that is extremely practical and does not depend on electric power.

An ourdoors propane grill is a good thing to have. Propane is presently readily available, so stocking up on cylinders and gas is a logical thing to do. Should propane become scarce and/or expensive, charcoal is an excellent and reliable source of cooking fuel (but it must always be used outdoors in a well ventilated area). If charcoal becomes hard to find, you can make your own. It's fairly simple to do. Basically, you burn wood in a low oxygen environment and it becomes charcoal. So if you have a source of readily available wood, you can make charcoal and use that as fuel.

Then there are wood stoves. With modern technology, wood stoves have become pretty efficient. You can cook on a wood stove and it will provide hot water as well as heat. Lehmans offers wood stoves. These must be used in a well ventilated area,

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Re: The definitive appliance thread

You can go here to get a free report on Energy Star Appliances.  What you'll find is that there is a very wide range of efficiencies within the Energy Star label.  The EPA sets the bar pretty low and most manufacturers just do enough to get the label.  However, there are a few that beat the standard by a wide margin.

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Energy Star - Refrigerators
JohnV wrote:

You can go here to get a free report on Energy Star Appliances.  What you'll find is that there is a very wide range of efficiencies within the Energy Star label.  The EPA sets the bar pretty low and most manufacturers just do enough to get the label.  However, there are a few that beat the standard by a wide margin.

Good point John - here is a direct link to Energy Star appliances

http://www.energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=appliances.pr_appliances

At the lower right of that page is a link to find out if it's economical to replace your refrigerator. Several years ago we were looking to replace our fridge which had been the most efficient model out there 20 years before. New ones were almost four times more efficient! If you have an old inefficient model a new one may pay itself back in a few years in energy savings.

 

 

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Manure driven appiances

I am a firm believer in home methane production plants. I am convinced that someday, even if one lives in the city, every "modern" home will have it's own manure to methane generating tank in the the back yard.

The reasons for this is the simplicity of this technology and the efficiency of it. The country of India is successfully experimenting with this concept even now and it is proving itself.

Someday, if you live in the city, I can picture trucks or honeywagons as they call the horse-drawn wagons in Germany, going door to door filling up personal methane generators with manure from farms much as we used to deliver ice for personal iceboxes. Of course, if one lives on a farm or homestead, they get free manure.

This will run basically any appliance we will need, gas cook stoves, clothes dryers and even washing machines can run off it.

Does anyone remember the gasoline driven engines that used to run washing machines? They are small engines with foot pedals to step on when you want to start the engine.

http://cgi.ebay.com/GASOLINE-WASHING-MACHINE-MOTOR-MAYTAG_W0QQitemZ120412231255QQcmdZViewItemQQptZLH_DefaultDomain_0?hash=item120412231255&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1205|66%3A2|65%3A12|39%3A1|240%3A1318|301%3A1|293%3A1|294%3A50

No reason one could not be rigged to a dryer to turn it as well and retrofitted to run off methane.

 

 

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Re: The definitive appliance thread

There is a variety of appliance parts that can be used as camping tools when it comes to the "gas business". I mean. I never had problems with any of the products.

 

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appliance discount code

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Re: The definitive appliance thread

Grain mill and food mill top my list, followed closely by meat grinder... if you can get a model that has an electric and hand-crank base, mores the better. I've also been considering those nifty pea shellers and fruit peelers to save some time during harvest and canning.

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Re: The definitive appliance thread

Hi folks,

Being somewhat agrarian-minded, one of the issues I think about is "How the heck are we gonna put up hay if there ain't no more tractor parts/fuel/tires etc.??" (Mowing yards is a whole other ball game that can be addressed by letting the sheep in as far as I am concerned.) But there will always be some rough areas you might wish were not as rough. Or an acre or two of small grains to harvest...or chunky areas of small brush that you just do not have enough goat mouths working on...so here is my addition to the 'appliances' thread.

Last fall, we purchased two European scythes with extra blades. These are poetry in motion. NOT to be compared with the scythes you might purchase at the nearby implement store iIf you are lucky enough to have a nearby implement store.) They work with your body and are much more ergonomic. Easier to control.

A link so you can read more. Carol is a lovely person to deal with. She and her small crew treat you like people. You need to be fitted based on several measurements but persons of similar build could share one, I imagine.

http://www.scythesupply.com/index.htm

One other note of thanks and appreciation. I think it was on a different thread, but Amanda(?) mentioned the BoGo lights. Whoa, I looked at their web site and ordered a couple. Now those are cool technology in an emergency or when/if the grid goes down. Thank you, Amanda!

juli b

 

 

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Re: The definitive appliance thread

Nope,

Was me. I have the old and new versions and use them daily. Give as gifts also.

Hmm, haven't seen Amanda lately.

 

SG

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Juli B
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Re: The definitive appliance thread

Hi SG,

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I just got back from a trip looking for home in all the right places, I guess. We are ready to relocate --anyway, my BOGO box was waiting for me when I got back lasty night and I saw your note about being the one to make note of these cool flashlight/lights so I wanted to acknowledge your tip and say "thanks!!" I am giving one to my dad for Father's Day as well as participating in the donation program. What a great idea...

Thank you!

Juli B

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Re: The definitive appliance thread
Juli B wrote:

Hi SG,

Sorry it took me so long to respond. I just got back from a trip looking for home in all the right places, I guess. We are ready to relocate --anyway, my BOGO box was waiting for me when I got back lasty night and I saw your note about being the one to make note of these cool flashlight/lights so I wanted to acknowledge your tip and say "thanks!!" I am giving one to my dad for Father's Day as well as participating in the donation program. What a great idea...

Thank you!

Juli B

 

Ditto, that.  I just got one, too, in response to this thread, and it works just great.  Of course, I got the camo model, lol.

 

 

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Workhorse Freezer

 

Hi, folks;

I'm in the market for a no-frills, energy-efficient, on-the-large-side, sturdy, reliable freezer.  Upright would be best, for this application.  Any recomendations as to makes & models?  Any makes that I should avoid?

Thanks, in advance.

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Re: Workhorse Freezer

Hi C1oudfire - Try building an Ice House if you live somewhere with cold winters. We're working on building one with several "layers" of cold and see how well it keeps frozen through October. The more mass you can freeze over winter - the longer it stays cold. Kinda a new technology on an old way of doing things.

EGP

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Re: Workhorse Freezer
EndGamePlayer wrote:

Hi C1oudfire - Try building an Ice House if you live somewhere with cold winters. We're working on building one with several "layers" of cold and see how well it keeps frozen through October. The more mass you can freeze over winter - the longer it stays cold. Kinda a new technology on an old way of doing things.

EGP

Wow, that's an intriguing idea!  Thanks!  I was aware of the old ice houses, or ice pits, but the idea of setting up containers of water is a great way to get around hauling ice from our nearby lake . . . We may try that this winter . . . We have a source of free wooden pallets to make a frame . . . Maybe we could use straw or other garden debris, shoved between the top & bottom of the pallets, as insulation . . . Hmmm . . . You've got my wheels turning, EGP . . .

But, for now, what I need is something to help put up my more-than-anticipated garden production, quickly . . .

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EndGamePlayer
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Food Storage - C1oudfire

Hi Again C1oudfire -

Your best fastest way to get food stored now is to dry it...look again on MyBackAchers.com to look for turning the old frig into a food dryer (in my opinion - it's the best way to store food and it shrinks the food down by 80% the space).  We store our dried food in the freezer since commercial dried food is gassed or has chemical processing (cyanide usually).

If you can solar heat the food dryer - GREAT! If NOT- use wood heat to dry it out fast. . . and if you can - turn the old refrig into a smoke house too.

I'm working on my solar heated dairy next...later then EGP

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PlicketyCat
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Re: The definitive appliance thread

hmmmm... upright freezers are not the most efficient, but I think any freezer that used less than 1kwh a day would work in your case. You can check out the Energy Star products list for freezers to see which ones do best (don't look at their "rating" look at how much power it actually consumes per year, the U.S. rating system is suspect!)

Wish I could help you more, but I've only been researching 12v DC chest freezers :)  (SunFrost baby!)

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