Off Grid...Chapter 30
We've had a really busy week with lots of pictures.
The flooring company arrived first thing this morning. We started out by cleaning everything out of the house and putting it all outside. They started working on the expansion seams in our concrete floor. These seams need to be filled and smoothed before the flooring can be installed.
After all the prep work was done they brought down a big heater to the house. The house needs to be really warm so that the vinyl can acclimate and it is easier and more pliable when they go to install it.
The rolls are in the house and ready to be installed.
They are unrolling the vinyl and installing it.
This vinyl is very thick and it lays really well so they are only putting glue on all the perimeters, the seams, and some of the high traffic areas. I hate when a floor is completely glued down because it's a nightmare if you ever want to change it. You can also use a vinyl tape which is what we used when Mike and I u=installed this flooring in our motorhome. That's really easy to use.
I got the call we were waiting for from the furniture store. They said they have everything we ordered except for the queen headboard. They told us they would give us the king size headboard at no extra cost.(We'll just pay more for the mattress). It will be a little big for our bedroom but we will make it work. Mike and I are very happy that they have our furniture set. Everything should be into the store by October 13 and then it can be delivered to us.
Back down at the house. They got all of the flooring in.
The small strips are where the seams are and they have to dry. Since the floor has lines they did a great job on hiding the seams.
After the flooring company left I helped Mike with our 1200 gallon water tank. First he cut 2 holes in the tank. One hole is so we can fill the tank using our well. The other hole will drain the water from the tank and run it down to our house.
Mike put a coupler in each hole. Then he put in a 3/4" inlet and connected the black water pipe to that. He used a saws all to cut the pipe down.
Then he used a torch on the pipe to make it soft so it would be easier to put the fittings in.
Clamping it all together.
The water lines are done.
After that, Mike had to get inside the tank to work on the connections on the inside.
We also had a load of crush and run delivered for the driveway.
We got up this morning when the grader showed up. It's a good thing we went outside when we did. Mike forgot to close our top gate last night and 4 of the calves were inside. One was behind the building, one was trying to eat our electric extension cord, one was just wandering around, and "my" 98 saw me and came running. I think he wanted to play. He started head butting me so I told him we had to work and I got him outside of the gate. We got them all outside the gate and started working.
The grader covered our water tank and started cleaning up the mess from before.
The tank is covered and Mike and I raked all the rock out.
We loaded all the rock and debris into the tractor bucket.
Mike would then bring the tractor down the drive while grading it, dump the dirt and rocks on our pond wall, and pick up a load of gravel on his way back up to the top. Then he spread the gravel on our parking area. We did about 5 buckets worth. I seeded the ground and used 3 bales of straw which is all we had.
We got up and went to David's first thing to get more straw. We are so close to getting the dirt covered before it gets too cold. We got home and I was going to put more seed and straw down but it was way too windy. At least our wind generator was happily producing power.
We waited for the gas company to arrive. They were supposed to deliver my stove and refrigerator and then hook everything up. They showed up after lunch.
Here they are getting my refrigerator off the truck.
Check out the packing on this refrigerator. I've never seen an appliance packed with osb.
The gas company couldn't get the refrigerator down to the house so Mike hooked our trailer to the jeep, they loaded it onto the trailer, and Mike drove it down. Then we all un-crated the refrigerator and got it into the house. We did the same thing for the stove. They worked on getting everything hooked up but there wasn't enough time.
After they left Fed Ex showed up with 6 more solar panels. We've been waiting for 2 days for these panels. The driver is new and couldn't find our road. She also couldn't drive the truck on our road so Mike had to do it for her. And she couldn't lift the packages so Mike and I unloaded her truck. I have no problem with equal opportunity but you really need to be able to do your job. At least we got everything but I am now worried about future Fed Ex deliveries. UPS has no problem. At least we got the panels and Mike can re-figure our layout.
Johnny, from the gas company who we've known for years, showed up to finish our install. He hooked up the fireplace, the refrigerator, and the stove. He isn't hooking up the water heater yet because Mike and I have to run a vent through the roof, oh what fun that will be. The appliances look great and are all propane.
Mike and I had to run some errands in town and we stopped at 2 more furniture stores with no luck. Thank you everyone for all your recommendations.
We got back home and installed the handles on the refrigerator and I cleaned it and the stove. I am amazed at how quiet this refrigerator his. Mike went to light the pilot and kept lighting it because he didn't hear anything. I heard that propane refrigerators are loud but this one isn't.
We also put the fireplace together. I know where Mike and Niki are going to be hanging out this winter. This is our fireplace.
That night I read all of the manuals. The refrigerator is pretty basic and seems to be well built. It is built by the Amish. It uses no electricity and has a battery operated light. The stove which is a Premier has no electric clock or timer. It does have an electric ignite but it is not necessary to use. The stove top and the oven can both be lit with a match.
The fireplace and kitchen appliances.
Today we made "another" trip to Lowe's. We started getting boxes of ceiling tile, the grids, piping for our water heater vent, and some misc. stuff.
We also stopped at a mattress store but we didn't recognize any of the brands. Mike also picked up 2 1/2" metal pipe from the electrical store for our new wind generator. It's going to get really windy here soon and I think we will get more electric from the wind generators rather than the solar panels in the winter.
We got home and unloaded everything. We also got another delivery from UPS. Mike got a water pump and another charge controller.
We went down to the house and laid out the kitchen tile on the counter top. We still have to get a trim piece for the front.
This morning Mike was really busy working on the water line and the electric line(from the well) where it enters the house. He busted his butt with all the hand digging. He had to make the connections and run a vertical pipe up along the house. He used these outdoor cases to enclose the wires.
Then he insulated the insides of those boxes. Now we are ready to run the water inside the house. We just have to hook up the water pump, water heater, and all the faucets. Then we can test everything and hopefully it all works.
While Mike was doing that I finished raking, seeding, and putting straw on the entire back yard. The wind finally died down enough.
Later I helped Mike install the base pole for our second wind generator. First we dug out the hole.
We put the pole in the hole and I mixed the concrete.
Then I shoveled the concrete into the hole.
We will let it cur overnight and tomorrow, hopefully, we can install the wind generator.
Mike started the day by hooking up our new wind generator, a "Whisper 100". First he had to convert the wiring from 24 volt down to 12 volt. I helped with that just to double check. this is not the time for mistakes. Then he used the template from the company to drill holes into the pipe and guess what? The companies' template was wrong so Mike did it himself. Don't companies ever "use" their instructions? I think they just have some engineer write them but no one ever puts it together using them. I am amazed at how many directions from companies are wrong. No wonder why men don't read instructions- they are always wrong.
It took Mike quite a few hours to decipher everything and get the wind generator together. This job "is not" for the average homeowner. This is our wind generator.
This thing is a monster. Now we have to figure out how to get it up in the air and install it into the other pipe. Of course it's just the 2 of us and if we drop the thing it will come crashing through our roof and existing solar panels. I told Mike "no way, we can't do this". C'mon, don't be chicken. He's trying to kill us. So we moved this awkward thing onto the front of the tractor.
Then we tried to figure out how to get it high enough while vertical. Mike finally gave in and called Jimmy. He's going to bring a backhoe and help us with this.
So that was our exciting week. We keep working and we still have so much more to do but now we are close. At least close enough to live in the house.
As usual I hope you all enjoyed this(long, lol) chapter. Have a great week and I will write again next Monday.
Lisa and Mike