Cellar / Tank Stand / Cool Cupboard
The construction of the cellar has been a long process, and is one of the stand out features of the building. There have been lots of enquiries as to what its purpose is from passers-by.
After the slab was poured for the roof of the cellar we began working on a stairway made from bricks. A wall on either side of the stairs was built up first, which was then filled in with a compacted sand base and mortar to lay each step. The steps were built inside the walls to prevent the walls being pushed inward. Reinforced concrete was then poured into the gap between the outer brick wall and the earth for added support.
- Fire needs oxygen to breathe, if the cellar is not properly sealed then the fire could enter the space and burn up the oxygen.
- Having the cellar set below ground level is good in many ways, it also presents some problems. While generally smoke rises, gas sinks. Since there is mains gas nearby, a broken line may fill the space with gas and cause loss of consciousness or even death - that's if it doesn't explode first.
- The cellar exit could become blocked if the house burns down, trapping the occupants.
While the stairwell was under construction I got a corrugated galvanised water tank made up by local manufacturer, 'Rural Tanks' in Seymour. While the base was a standard size (2m) I wanted to get the tank made to a certain height which was not standard. I also didn't want an outlet installed in the normal postion as the inlet for the tank enters below the normal overflow level. This was no problem for Dave, who charged standard rates for the job.
My plumber, Savva, suggested running the water out the side of the gutter (unusual!) and along the property boundary into the side of the tank to ensure that we could collect as much rainwater as possible. I found some galvanised piping that we set in concrete that will support the pipe and a future fence.
The two water tanks that I now have, a 23,000lt (5000 gal) one and the new 8000lt one can be equalized (same water level in both tanks) using a 40mm pipe that links them. The tanks can also be run independently. By having two separate tanks you can be sure that you always have water available even if one tank becomes contaminated or fails in some way. As per the larger tank this one sits on top of a corrugated iron base which allows for airflow and drainage, prolonging the life of the tank.
Having the 8000lt tank raised allows for gravity feed, avoiding the need for pumping. Water is collected from the roof, stored in the tank and can be used directly for irrigation using 19mm (3/4 inch) hoses. Using thicker than normal (12mm / 1/2 inch) hoses means less restriction and greater flow rates which is important for gravity feed systems.