Sunday, June 27, 2010

Water Supply

I've set up a small pump and pressure tank so that I've got water when I need it.  Eventually I'll install a submersible pump that goes down inside the well, but in the meantime this will suffice... at least until winter.

The system works like this:

  • The pump draws the water out of the well and puts it into the pressure tank.
  • The pressure tank contains compressed air (18 p.s.i) and a water bladder.  As the water bladder fills up, it compresses the air even more.  When the air pressure inside the tank reaches 40 p.s.i., the pump shuts off.
  • When you open the tap on the pressure tank, the air pressure inside the tank pushes the water out.
  • When the air pressure inside the tank gets down to 20 p.s.i. (i.e. when the tank is almost empty), the pump comes back on and fills up the pressure tank again.
The purpose of having the pressure tank is so that you can get water without having the pump come on every time you opened the tap.  It also gives you water that comes out at a constant pressure. 

Without the pressure tank, every time you opened the tap, the pump would come on, even if you were only getting a few ounces of water.  The pump would be turning on and off many times a day. 

By incorporating a pressure tank, the pump only comes on when the tank is almost empty.  This saves a lot of wear and tear on the pump.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Second Floor Subfloor

I've recently finished up the second layer of subfloor on the second floor.  With two layers of 3/4" plywood, the floor feels really solid when you walk on it.  (I did this because I'm putting ceramic or porcelain tile down, and if the floor's not solid, the tile can crack.) 

So, the subfloor is done and the electrical is done in the bathroom and loft area.  I can't finish up the electrical work in the bedroom until I've got the ceiling insulated and covered in poly.  (It'll make sense when I get to that point.)

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Wild Roses

Dozens and dozens of Wild Roses at the top of my driveway.  When I turn of the highway, and I have my window down I can smell them as I drive by.  So cool.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Loft Electrical Work

Today I ran the wiring for the lights and plugs in the loft area.  Up the ladder.  Down the ladder.  Repeat ad nauseum.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Duct Tape Magic

I have a pair of knee-pads that I wear when I'm installing subfloor, but I find that they're more of a pain than they're worth because they're constantly coming undone... or slipping down... or sliding around to the side.

A wise old friend of mine suggested wrapping duct tape around my legs to hold the knee-pads in place.  I tried it today and it worked perfectly.  The knee-pads stayed in place all afternoon.  Thank you wise old friend!  (It should be noted that the word "old" refers to the friendship, not to him.)

P.S. He has also been known to be a "wise-ass" old friend, but only once or twice.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Keeping Track of the Electrical Circuits

I've been making a point of keeping track of the electrical circuits as I'm doing the wiring.  I don't ever want to stand in front of my breaker panel and wonder "Where the hell does THIS wire go?"

When I run a wire down to the breaker panel, I wrap three pieces of colored electrical tape around the end of the wire.  At the other end of the wire... where the wire goes into the first electrical box of that particular circuit, I put the same colored tape on the side of the electrical box. 

In the photo below, you can see I've got red/green/green on the box.  Down at the breaker panel, I've got the same red/green/green marking on the wire that feeds this box.  If I have to do any troubleshooting, I won't have to trace the wires back to see where they go.  Also, when it comes time to label all the circuits on the breaker box, I'll know exactly which one is which.

While I'm on the topic of colors, you can see in the photo below that the wire I've used for this outlet box is yellow instead of white (visible at the back of the box and also below it).  The yellow wire is a heavier guage (12 guage) than the white wire in the photo above (14 guage).  This outlet box below is one of the kitchen counter outlets, and the Electrical Code requires that kitchen counter outlets be wired with 12 guage wire. 

Using different colored wire for different guages just makes it easier to know which spool of wire to grab when running a circuit.  It also makes it easier for the inspector to tell if you've used the correct wire for a particular circuit.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Hat of the Day

The weather has been rather crappy for the past couple of days, so I put my electrician's hat back on and did some wiring work inside.  I've installed the boxes for the ceiling light fixtures in the front entrance and over the stairway, as well as some more outlet boxes.