Sunday, November 3, 2013

Green eyed monster

I have been debating whether or not to write this post.  I am a little worried that when you hear about our latest upgrade that you will be filled with envy.  But, I would rather that you hear it from me.  Once the word gets out on the street I can't be responsible.  "What?!" you are thinking, the suspense must be killing you...  A fabulous vacation?  Trip to Disney?  Countertops?  New living room furniture?  A real driveway? Alas, no.  The price tag may be the same, but come on, this is so much better...

[drum roll here]

Yup.  A brand spanking new electrical panel.  Two in fact.

When we moved in we got this little gem.  The trouble is the main breaker would trip.  Randomly, without warning, we would be plunged into darkness.  We thought at first maybe moisture was getting into the panel when it rained, but it didn't seem to be weather dependent.  We would walk down to the basement and flip the main breaker and all would be fine...until the next time it happened.
The husband spent many hours labeling what wires go to what switches...

The problem is one of two things...a faulty main switch or something too awful to mention.  Now regular folks in a regular house might just replace the main and be done with it, but as you should have figured out by now, we are not regular folks living in a regular house.  The existing panel is old and has some corrosion.  It was recommended to replace the entire panel.

The corroded beast

Okay so replace the electrical panel, not too terrible, right.  Well, the wires to the panel come through the bulkhead.  And then if you look at the wires themselves, well they travel quite a distance, through the tulip tree, the scotch pine and then out to the pole on the street.
Electrical Wires where they attach to the house

Wires through trees out to street
So we decided to replace the panel and also move the service to the other side of the house which is closer to the pole near the street...which means adding a second panel, then tying the two together and dealing with the north side of the house (i.e. strip siding, cover in Tyvek and re-side in fiber cement) to attach the new electrical panel.  Eventually the wires will go underground which should help prevent them coming down in a storm.
Stripping the east side...
Progress on the siding...


Someone is excited about the siding being finished!


The new meter arrived early last week...along with the town electrical crew...


The connected new service, wires travel a much shorter distance to the front of the house...


You will notice that I don't seem to have photos of the new electrical panels...  Nope, don't even think you are getting down in the cellar to see them...  Friends do not let friends ogle their electrical panels.  In fact, no matter how much you beg, I am not letting you down in the cellar.  Friends should just stay out of cellars (at least mine)!