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:: electrical

Wall Outlets

We wanted the look of a standard house wall outlet, but are running off of an inverter with plugs. So how can we do that? All signs pointed to just using unattractive power strip extension cords, and mounting them into the wall. But then we found this replacement appliance cord at Lowe’s with the wires ready to splice into your appliance. The worker at Lowe’s showed us very simply how to connect the wires correctly to a standard house outlet. The green wire goes to the green connector. The white wire goes to the silver connector. The black wire goes to the gold connector. Dark to dark and light to light. Voila! We have 110 volts of power now for our laptop charging station.

The Plot (and the Color) Deepens

So we are at four coats of Waterlox on the countertops now, and the unevenness definitely went away. We still have two or more coats to go, but the dry time is increasing the more coats we add, since less is soaking into the wood. I’ll point out (and you’ll see from the photos) that original Waterlox is NOT clear, and deepens to a rich orangey tone with multiple coats. Not what I had planned, but the color is sure growing on me.

And we have functioning outlets, dimmer switch, and stereo receiver! It’s so satisfying to finally be using some power through our electrical system. The batteries have just been sitting there fully charged from solar for a while now. We got pex lines run today too. All in all, a productive day!

Electrical Staging

Just a few months ago we knew absolutely nothing about electrical systems. Now we know nothing, plus a little bit more. 🙂 I’m super proud of us. All of the wiring has been staged and are ready for appliances! We’ll have recessed puck lights, sound system, fan, USB ports, wall outlets, battery charger, pump, and some extras (like a light and fan in the bathroom). Once we start paneling in the walls and ceiling we can cut holes for our lights, speakers, and outlets. I can’t wait!

For some reason, Brad’s little strips of black tape makes my heart happy. It’s the little things.

Deep Cycle Batteries Storage Box

Ok, deep cycle batteries are really heavy! We are keeping them under the bed, but needed to keep them from shifting while driving, so we built a frame around the base and strapped them down. They aren’t going anywhere. The fact that lithium batteries don’t need any special venting was one of the draws for purchasing them over flooded batteries, so we can store them safely under the bed. It’s really fun to see them charging now that the solar is all set up, even on a dreary, rainy day!

(I want to peel the protective film off the charge controller so bad, but Brad won’t let me…)

Alien Octopod

The function of the alien octopod explained: solar comes with a mess of cables and adapters and extenders. Because we are using flexible panels that tape down, there’s no room to tuck the cables underneath to keep them tidy. So Brad came up with a solution using a waterproof electrical box. All of the excess cabling fits nicely inside! He did a great job. And now we officially have solar installed! 

Solar Test

Today we are testing our solar panels in the sun (before taping them down permanently to the roof), and seeing how the charge controller works. The panels have been sitting in the garage for weeks, so it’s thrilling to see them actually working. Exciting stuff!

Wiring Minimalisation

When we first ripped out the walls we were pretty shocked to see how the bus was wired. There were so many wires! Many of them were capped off and going nowhere. Some of them were for appliances like the heater and air conditioner that we had removed. It was clear there needed to be some cleanup of all the redundant wires so that we could understand and maintain the wiring that was actually serving a function.

Brad tackled it like a champ. In the process he learned a lot about wiring! The end product is simplified and so much better looking than before. It satisfies the OCD mind. 🙂

Before:

All of these redundant wires were removed!

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