Monday, May 9, 2016

(May 2) And the rains came down!

Had hoped to get a lot accomplished this weekend. Didn't work out that way. Friday, I checked the forecast. Showed it was supposed to start raining about 7pm. I got busy that morning and picked up wire and conduit to make the electrical run between the solar panels and the meter/breaker box. By noon, I had the wire laid out and had installed the new meter base as well as wired it into the inverters. I was feeling pretty productive. I decided that I didn't need but a good hour to get the trench dug to lay it all. I went to town and rented a trencher. I got about 20' of the 100' done and I hit a soft spot and the trencher buried up in the mud. No forward, no reverse. About 3 minutes later, literally the bottom of the barrel dropped out. It started pouring rain - 6 hours early. I couldn't get the truck down the drive to help pull it out. It was going to have to wait, at the tune of $160/day. I got to the cabin to change clothes and wait. After 4 hours of non-stop, I decided to take the trailer back to the rental store since I had no way to make it up the driveway to secure it for the night. By now, much of the property was 4" deep in water flooding from across the road. I got back (changed clothes again!) and started supper. Kim arrived about 30 min later. Wide-eyed and wondering what the hell happened. It rained hard for several more hours while we enjoyed a movie. In all about 5" of rain in 8 hours.

Trencher stuck in the mud!

The good news is that it did stop raining and the water all subsided. I bought an electric winch, took the battery out of the truck and got the trencher out of the mud. :) We also decided that we might as well finish trenching since we had paid for the time. About an hour later, we were done. We hand-dug the areas too soft to risk getting stuck again. I took the trencher back and they felt bad that we had gotten it stuck (not their problem!) and gave me a discount on the rental. I have spent a lot of Money at Hooten's Hardware over the past 4 years since we bought this property and there's a reason I keep going back. They really have great customer service. :) I appreciate you guys!!

Electric Winch mounted to a sturdy Oak :) 

Afterwards, we got all of the conduit glued up and I finished wiring the new meter base and added breaker in the main. All-in-all it went pretty smoothly. I'll be really pumped when we get the new bi-directional meter installed and all of this finally starts paying us back. Weird thinking about a lifetime (mine at least) of free, clean energy. :)

Partially trenched. We finished the rest and laid the conduit that afternoon.

Cut-Off Box installed and wired.

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