Visitors...(RANT)

plongsonplongson Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
8)8) So we just finished our solar off grid home in the last few week and everyone wants to come and stay and see it. Fine, love to have ya...but get a clue.

The family all professes to be green, can't talk enough about it. Save the planet, BLA,BLA,BLA...then they show up at our off grid home and act (rather indignantly at times) like they are at the Ritz Carlton.

I have a gentle conversation right from the beginning, telling them all about how there is a FINITE amount of power and water here. It comes from the sun and our well that needs diesel to fill a 550 gallon tank. I tell them that the batteries are like a bucket that what goes out has to be replaced, either from the sun or the genset that needs diesel, something I don't want to run too much.

So what happens (you know...) they run every frigg'n light in the house and never turn anything off. I'm running around behind them like I'm chasing kids turning off everything including the TV and radio.

Then they take a dang shower and let the water run for 30 minutes...just spinning and splashing like they are in a spa.

They graciously offer to do dishes...turn on the water full blast and let it run...

I ask then on every occasion to please be careful and they start giving me crap and essentially go about there merry way...screw you, how do you expect me to take less than a 30 min shower and NOT BLOW DRY MY HAIR??? (this gal is 45 years old!!!)

My little primer from the beginning has fallen on deaf ears, these GREEN HYPOCRITES don't know the first thing about saving energy or where it comes from. They think it comes from the energy fairy...

I've never been so glad to see someone leave...GRRRR
3500w solar, 800AH with Rolls Surrette, Magnum inverter, Midnite charge controller, Kubota 21kW diesel genset...private well...and just recently connected to city power for additional options...nice to have options 
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Comments

  • waynefromnscanadawaynefromnscanada Solar Expert Posts: 3,009 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    Had the same thing happen here last Summer. They just do not get it!
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    Let the power run out, the inverter shut down. Then tell them "You used all the electric. There will be no more."

    Bet they leave ASAP then. :roll:

    Or else we all need to add a 50% visitor factor to our battery banks. :grr
  • TnAndyTnAndy Solar Expert Posts: 249 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    Problem starts with "visitors".....get a gate.....and a large junkyard dog......cures about 90% of the problem.
  • RCinFLARCinFLA Solar Expert Posts: 1,280 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    It's the American way.
  • SevenSeven Solar Expert Posts: 292 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    When was it you wanted me to come by? Don't worry though. I take short showers and always turn lights off. All I need is a place to plug in the ceramic heaters for my 30 reptiles that have to run 18 hrs a day at 200w each.







    Lol
    I feel your pain though. The flip side of your situation is that I am bad about turning the lights off in the restroom when i walk out the door. At work. Only problem with that is the fact that it isn't a single restroom, it is a 5 stall one. Whoops, people don't like the light turned out in the middle of their business it seems. I don't know why they don't carry flashlights, I do.
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 969 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    Will be right over !

    When's dinner ?
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    put the guest room on a dedicated circuit with only a 400W inverter and 100Ah battery. When it goes dark after the hair dryer blows the breaker they (she) will take notice.
    My wife did when she blew a 30A fuse and the vacuum died... on a 600W Inverter...

    Cheers...

    dos cervezas por favor, en el patio
    Yo no hablo Inglés;);)
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • boBboB Solar Expert Posts: 969 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    westbranch wrote: »
    put the guest room on a dedicated circuit with only a 400W inverter and 100Ah battery. When it goes dark after the hair dryer blows the breaker they (she) will take notice.
    My wife did when she blew a 30A fuse and the vacuum died... on a 600W Inverter...

    Cheers...

    dos cervezas por favor, en el patio
    Yo no hablo Inglés;);)


    And make it 50 Hz 230 VAC !!
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    at least i know i'm not alone in this frustration.:roll: i guess the difference between my wife and your guests is that my wife does not say she is green as she couldn't care less. she only semi cares when the bills come and i say semi because i'm supposed to give her more for the bills if she runs them up. rarely happens so i am putting the pressure back on her where it belongs.

    only thing i can think is to start charging for their usages. 1stly is to demand a security deposit to ensure payment will be made. charge a base rate for those that comply reasonably, but any excursions and excesses you can charge them for it or cut them off of it one way or another if it goes beyond the security deposit. if they don't like it, there's the door and don't let it hit you in your @**.;):D
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    If you want to be devious, when you hear the hair dryer start up just go to the service panel and shut down the breaker. Explain that the system couldn't support it's use. Shut off the lights always getting left on (via the breaker) and explain that they've used up all the energy allotted for that zone...baffle them with bs. If the shower goes on too long, go shut off the water heater (or graduallly shut down the hot supply). Subtle can go a long way.

    It's tough trying to break the habits of a lifetime during one short visit to your place (hopefully it's short).

    Ralph
  • peakbaggerpeakbagger Solar Expert Posts: 341 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    I think the prior post stating that its hard to break a lifetime of habits in one weekend, is right on the mark. A broad brush statement on my part is that the majority of solar adopters out there and especially off gridders are inherently energy geeks. The majority of the population are not, they just dont worry about where the power comes from. Sort of like an Ipod, they get their immediately gratification long before they have to pay the bill.

    About all you can do with guests is spend a lot of money automating things that you do automatically. Timers and occupancy sensors on lights and a 5 minute timer on the hot water supply to a shower might work ;).

    As an aside, I ran into a office once that had occupancy sensors on the lights, some of the desks needed task lighting as the sensors werent well distributed. The workers response was to put a fan with a back and forth swing in front of the sensor to keep the lights on all the time.
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    peakbagger wrote: »
    I think the prior post stating that its hard to break a lifetime of habits in one weekend, is right on the mark.

    Just so. How many times have you gone into a dark room when the power is out, and you KNOW the power is out, but you reach for the light switch, anyway? ;)
  • plongsonplongson Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    It makes me think, if there was a REAL catastrophe or the SHTF event, I'll bet that within a month 50% of the population would either perish or kill each other. There is no way most people could survive. After all, milk does come from the market...doesn't it??? (COWS? What's that??) LOL
    3500w solar, 800AH with Rolls Surrette, Magnum inverter, Midnite charge controller, Kubota 21kW diesel genset...private well...and just recently connected to city power for additional options...nice to have options 
  • SCharlesSCharles Solar Expert Posts: 123 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    We've been dealing with this since 1985. I no longer put up with it. I am nice and polite at the outset of a visit, but I am also quite firm. It takes effort on our part because I simply have to stay right on top of activities in the home while others are here. Or, I do until they show me they are cool with the policies for water, heat, and electricity. We are totally off-grid, with wood heat, PV, and our own well, composting toilet, etc. I am not shy about reminding guests about showers, hair drying, etc. Pretty much, now, after all this time, we only get the visitors who know how to "be" here and they are all ok. If it's been a while since they came here, I go over everything again but it takes maybe two minutes. I am not even polite, much, if someone new tries to sneak in a hair dryer or something. Far as I'm concerned, they are not welcome if they cannot do without something as moronic as an electric hair dryer in a photovoltaic-run home.

    That being said, we have guests now who are excited to be here and really enjoy their visits. Some of them become quite interested in the PV meters and the big wood stove in the kitchen and the solar greenhouse. They truly look forward to coming back. The other guests, the ones who were a pain in the butt to have around, have all disappeared and don't come around.

    By the way, lest I appear a complete ogre, hair dryers are allowed if the sun is shining brightly and if it isn't fifteen minutes til the sun goes down. So, wanna dry hair, then shower early and on sunny days.
  • bluewickedburnerbluewickedburner Solar Expert Posts: 78 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    The solution is called timers.

    A big mistake is explaining it. Once you got past the word "sun" you lost them, really. We're off grid in a motor home and have finite water and a place to out waste water to boot (when traveling). We brought along wife's parents, niece and her friend. The older folks were easy, a generation where nothing was easy and they saved, reused, repurposed and recycled before it was buzzy. The kids? They get it too.

    It is the ones that think driving a Hybrid SUV saves the planet that never get it. Like I said, a few timers work wonders. Lights that shut off automatically, reefer that alarms when the door is left open too long (came that way), TV has sleep timer built in.

    Or; next time they come, have the tents ready.
  • solar_davesolar_dave Solar Expert Posts: 2,347 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    The wife is pretty green but still occasionally still requires a reminder. She says it is my responsibility to ensure lifestyle. While I do that the grid tie solar is still a limited resource but the billing always gets shown to her to reenforce the issue.

    Still I have to say guests are the worst, thank goodness we have excess DWH most of the year and I can hoof around and hit the switches as needed. Grand kids are improving but still take a gentle reminder about once a day.
  • Ralph DayRalph Day Solar Expert Posts: 895 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    If only energy monitors/displays were as common as thermostats or wall switches.

    http://www.powermeterstore.com/p8527/efergy_elite.php
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    Or else we all need to add a 50% visitor factor to our battery banks. :grr

    Sounds great, until you price out the extra components...
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    Ralph Day wrote: »
    If the shower goes on too long, go shut off the water heater (or graduallly shut down the hot supply).

    I've done this to my kids more than once. I'll go to my utility room and shut off the hot water valve. Amazing that the shower is off by the time I get back inside... :p
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • PhilSPhilS Solar Expert Posts: 370 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    My wife is as frugal as I am, since she'd lived off-grid with me since '77.

    The grandkids are getting trained, with only an occasional bathroom light left on. Since we get only 50 gallons of water a day, it's been more of a problem with conserving water than power. But for all visitors, there's a learning curve.

    The worst was my brother... we were at work while they were visiting, they took a trip to town and...

    ...left the propane generator running the whole time. Yeah, it's quiet but still! Maybe I made the mistake in showing him how to start it.

    Phil
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    i'm against adding more costs to the owner that had already invested huge amounts of $ in the first place all to be more self sufficient,
    just to benefit guests.:confused: it is a strain for more people to be present that will further put a drain on the resources of such a place. the way i see it is after you explain it to them and they ignore you and your wishes to conserve that it is disrespecting you in your own place. guests have no right of entitlement to anything in your place beyond what you extend to them. what i said about security deposits is a good idea as money is a language they usually know how to speak and they'd want their $ back if they can get it.

    it also occurred to me that they might be figuring that you now get free power from the sun so why should they be concerned if they use something they feel is free to you and you'll get more soon. it isn't as free as they think and you already explained about the limited amounts of it that are available to you. i guess the key here is that they don't listen to you as they have preconceived notions about it all and have a self entitlement issue as if they are royalty. yes, they are royal pitas.:D:p speak their language and charge them for it or cut them off as was suggested. they will get angry, but so what, it's your place and you paid for what you have.
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    I blame all those hyperbole-mongers with their endless claims of "Free electricity from the sun!" :roll:

    My batteries went to scrap this year after the children were there on their own and ignored the specific instructions about running the water pump after "Float" requiring the generator be started. Drain 'em dead every day for a week and see what's left. :cry:
  • nielniel Solar Expert Posts: 10,300 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    brainstorm
    start a program for guests and call it,
    byob.
    bring your own batteries.:roll::p:p:p
  • plongsonplongson Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    niel wrote: »
    brainstorm
    start a program for guests and call it,
    byob.
    bring your own batteries.:roll::p:p:p

    I love it!! That's the answer!! LOL Or, SIAH...(Stay in a hotel)...

    Man, tonight is a night the place will have to stand on it's own. We left it this weekend with the thermostat set to 55 because we had to leave for a few days. It's been snowy there and tonight is suppose to get to 0*f to -5*f. I'm sure the heater will be running overtime. The LBCO is 46vdc and the genset is suppose to start at 47.2 with 75% SOC. Tomorrow is suppose to be sunny but cold. Just really makes me nervous not being there...
    3500w solar, 800AH with Rolls Surrette, Magnum inverter, Midnite charge controller, Kubota 21kW diesel genset...private well...and just recently connected to city power for additional options...nice to have options 
  • CariboocootCariboocoot Banned Posts: 17,615 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    Pipes drained? Got any data on how fast the temp drops inside without heat?
    I share your concern. It can be very nerve-racking until you really know how well things will behave! :blush:
  • plongsonplongson Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    I installed a wazoo alarm system with a z-wave thermostat that draws just a few milliamps and sends data through a GSM transmitter. I set it up to get an alert if the inside temp drops below the 55*f set-point. I get this all in real-time with an app on my phone. So far it has been steady.

    If I had internet I could monitor the Midnite controller too.

    Very cool time we live in, it just seems like yesterday we were stopping at pay phones and turning channels on a TV by twisting a dial.
    3500w solar, 800AH with Rolls Surrette, Magnum inverter, Midnite charge controller, Kubota 21kW diesel genset...private well...and just recently connected to city power for additional options...nice to have options 
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,175 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    If there is no one home there are no visitors either...phew!

    Coot, I think the place was finished a month or so ago IIRC.
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • plongsonplongson Solar Expert Posts: 115 ✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)

    Actually only 2 weeks ago.
    3500w solar, 800AH with Rolls Surrette, Magnum inverter, Midnite charge controller, Kubota 21kW diesel genset...private well...and just recently connected to city power for additional options...nice to have options 
  • ggunnggunn Solar Expert Posts: 1,973 ✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    plongson wrote: »
    I installed a wazoo alarm system with a z-wave thermostat that draws just a few milliamps and sends data through a GSM transmitter. I set it up to get an alert if the inside temp drops below the 55*f set-point. I get this all in real-time with an app on my phone. So far it has been steady.

    If I had internet I could monitor the Midnite controller too.

    Very cool time we live in, it just seems like yesterday we were stopping at pay phones and turning channels on a TV by twisting a dial.

    Yeah, remember when if you wanted to find out who won the World Series in 1925 you had to drive to the library and look it up in a book? Made out of paper? Jeez, those were hard times! :p
  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,858 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Visitors...(RANT)
    plongson wrote: »
    I love it!! That's the answer!! LOL Or, SIAH...(Stay in a hotel)...

    Man, tonight is a night the place will have to stand on it's own. We left it this weekend with the thermostat set to 55 because we had to leave for a few days. It's been snowy there and tonight is suppose to get to 0*f to -5*f. I'm sure the heater will be running overtime. The LBCO is 46vdc and the genset is suppose to start at 47.2 with 75% SOC. Tomorrow is suppose to be sunny but cold. Just really makes me nervous not being there...

    Your mind is telling you that you need to make it happen so that you can be there! Not too many things as sad as an offgrid home that is empty!
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
    E-mail [email protected]

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