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BACKYARD DECK

 
I don't have "seven hundred dahlahhs" to spend on a Sunsetter awning. This will have to do.

This is what shall come to be known as a "Poor Man's Sunsetter®". A few days this July (2014) were brutal with the humidity, so temporarily putting up these two tarps cooled down the kitchen by 15 degrees.

View from the backyard deck of my house in Erial / Clementon NJ

Even on a cloudy August evening, the view from the deck out back is gorgeous; it overlooks 14 Acres of woodland. Deer, rabbits, and all manner of wildlife traverse this ground to get to the apple orchard and berry bushes. Hawks, turkey, pheasant, bluebirds, crows, robins, hoot-owls, cranes (see photo below) and all manner of birds are native to this area.

While hawks and vultures are a common sight in the Pine Barrens area, cranes are rare. This one was walking just beyond the backyard fence when my Service dog Ninja who was lying under my desk as I was reading my emails, alerted me by growling. I looked out the window and saw it standing behind the fence; it was at least six feet tall, and when I walked into the kitchen to get a better shot with my cell phone camera, as soon as I opened the door, it took flight. The photo at the left is a single frame out of the 2-seconds of video where it is visible. Is it possible that the Legend of The Jersey Devil is related to these huge birds? I have no idea, but if I saw this thing at night, I might have thought it was something else entirely.

Rube Goldberg garden hose connection under the deck.

This is the original water connection to a freeze-proof sillcock which was mounted on the deck. Whoever it was that did this, is a REAL Rube Goldberg!  What you are looking at is a standard faucet on the outside of the house under the deck (with no way to reach it except by crawling under the deck) connected to a garden hose attached to a length of PVC pipe hung from the rafters with metal bands, and connected on the other end (closest to you) to a deck-mounted freeze-proof sillcock.

I removed all of this crap. Since the water shutoff is in the basement directly behind the faucet you see in the photo and INSIDE the house, all I had to do is provide a way to drain the water from whatever I connected to this faucet, and provide enough flexibility (and air space) for any water remaining in the outside hoses to freeze without bursting the "plumbing".

Freeze-proof sillcock cut-away view.

A freeze-proof sillcock is supposed to be mounted on the outside wall of the house. When you turn the faucet off, the device shuts off the water INSIDE the house where it's warm, and won't freeze. The anti-siphon valve prevents water that may be sitting in your garden hose in the sun for a few days (and growing bacteria inside) from re-entering the home's water supply.

Freeze-proof sillcock with anti-siphon valve mounted on the end of my deck.

I mounted a freeze-proof sillcock on the end of the deck, which is about 10 feet from the house. On the back side (photo below), I use Industrial garden hose to connect the sillcock to the faucet on the side of the house (under the deck).

Industrial hose connects freeze-proof sillcock to water source faucet on the side of the house under the deck.

Under-deck connection to a freeze-proof sillcock on the end of the deck. Approximately 5 feet of "slack" in the hose is coiled and stowed above the level of the sillcock so that water, seeking the lowest level, will flow out of the open deck faucet when the water is shut off from inside the house. The rugged hose and the gravity drainage should get most of the water out of the "plumbing", and leave what water remains in the hose, room enough to expand when frozen, so that the "plumbing" outside doesn't explode.

 

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Last modified: 05/29/15

 

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