Welcome to Cranky Puppy Farm!

This blog belongs to two Gen X-er's smackdab in downtown Kansas City where we've been renovating and decorating two old Victorians built in the 1890's. Our life is filled with 3 demanding Pomeranians (1 of them cranky, of course), honking cars, noisy neighbors and the hustle and bustle of city life but we dream of the day when we can move to our 40-acre farm and hear nothing but the wind and the cows next door. Until then, we're chronicling our triumphs and mishaps here as we try to garden and preserve on 2 city lots, raise chickens, and learn all those things we should have learned from our grandparents. Welcome to our world - we hope you'll stay awhile!

Popping a Gasket

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Time to get back to that solar project!    Here's where we are: 

  • We've got a 109 foot piece of 1" conduit running between the solar array and the house and it's now buried as deep as 24 inches.  
  • Each string of panels will have a red (positive) and black (negative) wire that has to run back to its respective inverter.  So we need to pull 4 colored 8-gauge THWN wires through that conduit, as well as 6-gauge stranded copper ground wire.
  • Our fish tape is only 100 feet long so it's not long enough.

So how the heck do we get all that wire pulled that far?   The answer is to use a rope.

This is where having an electrician to call is useful.  Believe it or not, a Shop Vac is again the tool of choice.  Just tie a piece of plastic in the shape of a parachute and then tie that to some very light twine or string.  We tried sucking it through from one of the other and that didn't work but blowing it from one to the other worked like a charm.  I have to confess that I didn't think it would work, so color me wrong!

Once we had the string running through the conduit, we did a mini celebration dance and then taped  a heavy duty rope to it and pulled the rope through.  The wires were then attached to the rope with a liberal amount of duct tape and we pulled and we pulled and we pulled.  We nearly gave ourselves aneurysms from all the pulling. 

But I think we had gotten the wire maybe a 1/4 of the way to the house and we were stuck.  In the dark at 10 p.m. and working by flashlight amidst the mosquitoes, we finally gave up.

We are going to figure this out one way or another!  (And J. is going to take my suggestion and go get some wire lubricant tomorrow.)


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