Friday, February 22, 2013

Chapter 74...Putting An Underground Electric Wire In

Off Grid...Chapter 74

It's time for another chapter in the Mike and Lisa world.

This morning I woke up early to post my story and I can't get my computer screen to work. Uh oh.  At first Mike thought he could re adjust my satellite and do something with the computer to get it working. Well that didn't work. On top of that he is now having problems with aligning my satellite and the meter that Mike needs to fix it is in the motor home at the other property. I'm glad we are both up early because now we have to go pick up the OPI meter. Since we are going there we decide to bring the trailer and take down the rest of the tree on the Island.

We get to the other property and here is the tree which is mostly all down.

Here is Mike cutting the rest of the tree.

We load up all of the debris onto the trailer and strap it down. The Island looks empty now.

Mike goes into the motor home and grabs the OPI meter for my satellite. When we get home we stop off at the fire pile to unload the trailer. We will have to burn it soon before it gets much bigger.

Ok we are back up at the house and I am crossing my fingers that Mike can somehow get me hooked back up so I can post the story. The computer goes on but there is no screen. Mike digs out the original cables and hooks my laptop up to our TV. Woo hoo, it works and now my computer screen is huge, lol.

Next Mike runs the satellite cable into the living room so I can get on-line. Then he goes outside and realigns my dish, Now I have a temporary set up on the floor. We are very limited on the cable so I can't move things very far. I try to get comfortable and end up using two chairs one with a suitcase and the laptop on top and the other one for me. I have to sit directly in front of the TV so I know what I am typing. At least we are creative, lol. While I am in the middle of typing the story one of Jimmy's guys shows up to back fill the house and to also dig a trench for the electric pipe. This means Mike has to cut the power to the house which means I have to save the story and finish later.

It's time to work. This should be the last time we have a truck on top until we pave. Brian is operating the backhoe today. he is the one who helped us with the culvert that day. We first need him to dig a trench from the house to the gray building. Then Mike and I can put the underground pipe in and feed the electric for our new solar set up. Right now we have the wire running across the top of the driveway. After we get that done Brian will back fill both sides of the house.

Brian starts off by removing the gravel from the area where the trench will be.

While he does that Mike and I lay out 50 feet of electrical pipe. 

Next Mike and I glue each 10 foot section of pipe together. Then we run a long piece of string, electric fence wire, through the pipe. We will use this later to feed the electric lines through. Once the trench is dug we will roll the pipe in the ground, cover it with dirt, and then feed the electric wire through.

Brian digging the trench.

Next we roll the pipe into the trench and we all start to shovel some dirt around the pipe. Then Brian fills it in.

After that Brian starts to work on the backfilling while Mike and I work on the electric. First Mike works on the pipe connectors by the house and by the gray building. Now that everything is completely disconnected we lay out both the 12 volt wire and the 110 wire so there aren't any kinks in the line. Mike tapes his two ends together and tapes them both to the electric fence wire. I am at the other end of the pipe next to the house and while Mike starts to feed the electric wires into the pipe I will slowly pull them out my end. If all goes well we will get all 50 feet through the pipe without the string, electric fence wire, breaking. This electric fence wire sure is coming in handy for so many different things.

Here is Mike feeding the wire into his end of the pipe.

Woo hoo. Mike and I get all the wire through with no mishaps. Now Mike has to get our system hooked back up so we have electric in the house.

While we were doing that Brian was working on the walkway side of the house doing the backfilling. It's a tedious job for him and he has to be careful because it is an awkward spot to work in. We can't have him on our new front lawn and we don't want any dirt in our walkway. He has to pull the dirt up from the edge of our walkway and dump it into the hole.

Brian finishes the first side and it is ready to be raked and seeded.

Here is Mike installing the underground wire. 

Woo hoo. Mike got us back on line. Next I go inside to finish typing and post the story. It's been a rough day so far but things are finally getting finished.

Mike starts to rake the first hill.

We will eventually put clover on this hill so we won't have to worry about mowing it or weed eating it.

Brian needs more dirt to backfill the other side of the house so he makes trips down to our dirt pile to get the dirt and then he brings it up top and dumps it into the hole. He is really doing a good job.

The second side is back filled and ready to be raked.

Brian is done up top but we have one more job for him before he leaves. We still have the old bent up culvert down by the fire pile. Mike and I tried to empty it out but the tractor didn't have enough power to shake it.

Mike wraps one end of the culvert with the chain and then he hooks the other end of the chain the the backhoe. Brian lifts it and shakes it out.

They turn it around and do the same thing to the other side. Now it is finally empty and we can get rid of it.

Wow, it has been one heck of a day. I'm glad it's over, lol.

Since my laptop is broken we have to go to town to buy a new one. We really can't complain. Our old laptop got a lot of use in the past 6 years. I just hate change, lol. But 6 years later we got a better laptop with more upgrades than our last one and it was less money. Electronics are one of the only things that go down in price. Now if only they didn't out-date things so quickly, lol.

When we got home Mike started working on setting up the computer. After he got the computer set up he had to install Hughes net for my satellite. He had some trouble and had to call for help on that. The new computer has different names for the same old things. Thankfully the company we bought the satellite from is great. It was recommended that we use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer so that's what Mike did. It looks like we are all set. Now we just have to get used to it.

Later that evening we went over to the other property to mow. While we were there Mike talked to our neighbor, Albert. He and his wife are interested in buying the front property and the back property(which is for sale since the kids deal fell through). He and his wife are going to look at log homes this week and he will call us at the end of the week.

Mike is still having some trouble with the computer so he called to upgrade our service. Now he has to deal with more installs.

For the rest of the day we took it easy. It has been a stressful week so far especially for Mike who had to re do our electrical and work on a new computer. It was not a fun time for him.

I checked on my garden and I have some peppers and squash growing. Woo hoo. I am hoping to get a lot of vegetables so Mike can stop bugging me about how much I spent on my garden.

We also spent some more time working on the side of the hill. We had to finish raking up the debris and shove it int the tractor bucket. Then Mike took the bucket down and dumped the debris by the pond wall. We had quite a few buckets to move.

We also have to be very careful with the corner by the walkway and the front wall. We don't want to lose all the dirt.

Mike also finished our address/no trespassing sign so we took it down and hung it on the front gate. I will have to add the picture in another story because I didn't have my camera.

That is the end of this week's story. I hope you all enjoyed it.



  1. Computers ... the electronic devices we love to hate. I'm pretty computer savvy and have used PC's for many year at home and work. Three years ago ... out of frustration and constant crashes with a new system I went to Apple and purchased a MacBook Pro. The best thing I ever did. I will NEVER, EVER go back to a PC again.

    There's a saying among MAC users ... "Once you go MAC you never go back. :)

    1. You got that right. I my Mac.:):) And yes I will never go back.