Living the minimalist lifestyle can be a lot of fun. But there will eventually come a time when something you rely on stops working, and you need to replace it.
A lot of you, though, like the idea of being self-sufficient. Not only do you want to cut back on the amount of stuff you have, but also your reliance on other people.
Becoming self-sufficient, however, depends entirely on your ability to understand the things around you that make your life comfortable. If you don’t learn the jargon, you’ll either have to call the experts or revert to using washboards and heating your water over an open fire in the backyard.
Here’s a list of some of the jargon you might encounter on the way to becoming more minimalist and self-sufficient.
Augur. An auger is a device that plumbers use to clean out your drains. Usually, it is a long, flexible spring-like material with a selection of cleaning gadgets or cutting equipment at the end. If you notice that your toilets are filling up with water after you flush them, it could indicate a blockage in the pipe. The augur could be just the piece of equipment that you need.
Condensate pump. Condensate pumps are mid-size devices you typically find in any appliance that needs to move water through pipes, including HVAC, refrigerators, and water tanks in the cellar.
Faucet. A faucet is a type of sink fixture that controls the flow of water. The majority of sinks have a tap or a mixing valve like this that allows the user to adjust the amount of hot and cold water going into the stream of water. A faucet screen, therefore, is a device designed to catch any debris found in the nozzle or arm of the faucet, providing a pure stream of water. Filters require cleaning every few years.
PEX Piping. PEX is a type of modern piping, designed to replace the traditional copper or metal pipes in the majority of homes today. It is made of a kind of synthetic material that won’t crack or leak, unlike previous plasticated designs.
PPM. When things go wrong in your home, you’ll often come across the abbreviation, PPM which stands for parts-per-million. It measures the concentration of one substance in another. For instance, you want to keep the PPM of carbon monoxide in your home as low as possible to avoid poisoning.
Rain barrel. For those who want to live off-grid, a rain barrel is essential. This handy device collects water as it falls on your roof (or other entrapment devices), providing you with a source of freshwater for cleaning.
Septic system. Likewise, if you’re trying to rely less on mains power, you might want to invest in a septic system. This device collects all your poop in a big tank where it festers for a few months before you remove it or mix it into your compost.
Shut off valve. This term refers to any valve that shuts off the flow of water in a pipe.