Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A Tale of Two Generators

Many of you who have followed this blog will recall that we are the owners of a BIG old Army surplus diesel generator.

Here's a reminder of what she looks and sounds like when running.

For many years she lived at the edge of the septic hump - out in the elements.  And last year we built the "G shed" to house her.

Well, no sooner than this was accomplished, Dean convinced me that we should invest in a Propane fueled self starting generator.  And so we were off on another adventure!

Pour yourself another glass of wine for this one - it's a long story.

According to the time stamp on my photos, this project started September 2015, and we just this week completed it.

The island in the middle of the driveway turn-around, where the electric meter resides, is the chosen location for the new system.

By the way, we now refer to this area as "Genny Island"

The project started with pouring a cement slab.

You'll notice that Dean is wearing a cardiac monitor in these photos.  This was the event monitor that he wore for 30 days as part of the work-up following his hospitalization for V tach.

Next we dug a trench leading from the slab to the meter.

The initial digging was with the backhoe - then a lot of finishing with hand shovels.

This is when we discovered yet ANOTHER legacy of our builder.

Did you know that there are 2 types of pressure treated wood?  One that is rated for putting directly into the ground and one that is not?  Can you guess which type was used here?

So we got a little side-tracked taking care of this problem.

First Dean constructed a support structure.

Then used a chain saw for the amputation of the necrotic bits.

Then came the pulling.

The back hoe could not quite reach here so, we used a chain and a come-along.  The first section came out pretty easily.

But the next section took us ALL day, and multiple configurations to finally get it out.

This is a gin pole which helps by adding upward motion to the pull.

Here's the action.

And it's out!

Next we poured a couple of cement footings in the gap left.

These footings would eventually support the wood used to reinforce the platform.

Then it was time to lay the conduit into the trench.

First a layer of soft sand and two grounding rods.

Once the conduit was in place, it was more soft sand and safety tape.

We back filled with a hand shovel.

This photo shows the pressure treated segments that sit on the footings and are sister-ed to the original meter mounting platform.

Here is the last section that reinforces the meter box platform.

And now it's time to move Genny.  Genny is a Generac 11 kw generator.

Next we have to dig another trench.  This will be for the plumbing that leads to the propane tank.

Missy was very helpful with this!

A layer of soft sand in the propane line trench.

So now we are into November, and the Haffner's Propane guys came out to lay the plumbing.

A few days later, the propane tank was delivered to Genny Island.

This is our view from the living room window.  I think a few shrubs planted in front of the tank, and painting the storage unit behind the island will make for a prettier view.

January:  Dean started in on the wiring with some help from Missy.

I pitched in, too!

Ted stopped by to consult on the wiring.

Then Spring came...

At this point it was time to wire it into the meter.  Dean was initially reluctant to do it himself, but when our electrician failed to return several calls, he decided to go ahead.

He had Unitil shut off the power at the street, and with Laila assisting him, they got it done!

The very last thing that needed to be done was to install the battery.  Ted came over and helped with that and now we have a new generator!  Thanks Ted!


Whew!  Are you drunk yet?

1 comment:

  1. You're building a compound!
    Slippery slope. :)
    Nice installation. Lovely how it spans the seasons.