Sunday, September 11, 2011


Shocking 2
Electrical wiring has been the most time consuming job so far with our build. Even thought our electric needs are not very out of the ordinary the task involves many tedious procedures including:

  1. Planning and general walk through
  2. Drilling and creating conduits through the stud walls, ceiling and floor
  3. Running wire everywhere
  4. Installing junction boxes for switches and lighting fixtures
  5. Installing a breaker panel
  6. Adding fire block caulking where wires go to the ceiling and floor below
  7. Installing  low voltage cable and boxes for TV and phone
  8. Installing smoke detectors (N.C. requires all smoke detectors to be hard wired with battery back-up)
  9. Cutting in...all the wires are stripped and coiled into the boxes so they are ready to be attached to switches and fixtures
  10. Checking and inventory of all installed electrical
Additional items specific to our needs including:
  1. Pre-wiring for possible future mini-split AC
  2. Pre-wiring for back-up generator
  3. Wiring a 30 amp circuit and running it from the house all the way out to the camping area
  4. Running a line to our pump
  5. Wiring set-up for the radiant floor and solar heating pumps
  6. Installing an electrical connection to the fan for the wood stove
  7. Installing wiring for the ERV house ventilator 
And get this, most of this is just prior to a first inspection.

We have had the privilege to see this hard work done and now have a greater appreciation for this trade. It is back breaking, having to crawl into tight spaces, going up and down ladders, and getting down on one or both knees a million times. Running the wires takes a great deal of planning and has to be done without looking like a twisted plate of spaghetti.  Most of the time electricians have to work around other building projects and stacks of clutter.

As with our other subs, we were fortunate to have quality tradesmen: Jessie and Dane from Haynes Electric. Jesse did our pre-planning work from my electrical plan. North Carolina does not require an official electrical plan so I drew one along with a detailed list of our needs. I remember Jessie being impressed with my plan which included the proper symbols etc., and he said they rarely get detailed info to work with. I was working on projects of my own for most of the time the electrical work was going on and enjoyed insights and stories from Jessie and Dane. In actuality, I thought my plan could have been drawn up neater because I wasn’t sure they would need it.

The first inspection passed with flying colors and we will see the crew back for the next phases which include running the lines to the pump and camp area outlet and finally installing the breakers, switches and fixtures.

Jessie and I go through my electrical plan on August 8th

By August 22 most of the house is wired but there is still some work to be done

Dane is back. He installed our temporary electric post and box with Jason on July 7th.
He brought some tunes to liven things up. I found out he is an expert at classic rock trivia. He had one of the questions answered before I finished the question.

Jessie and Dane work well together as a team

The electrical panel is added in the utility room on August 23rd
and by September 1st it is full of wires.

North Carolina code requires that all wires that pass between floors and attic spaces be sprayed with a fire block. There are a few wires that were added after the fire block so they were sprayed
just prior to inspection.

On September 7th we passed one of the electrical inspections.

Jessie mentioned that he has never failed an electrical inspection so it was great to have him doing the work. He is also just a great guy to have around and full of helpful tidbits. He is originally from Tennessee and very knowledgeable about mountain living and local wild life. He explained to Edrianna and I how to know when a bear is getting ready to attack - useful info! He calls the one we have on our property The Furry Ranger. He has seen him more than we have because he is usually at the house before we are.

I probably mentioned that we are having our home Energy Star rated. This will give us a 5% reduction in our electrical bill for the life of the home - it extends to who ever lives there after us.

We met with Matt Vande, LEED AP Principal. He will be doing our evaluation for the Energy Star rating. He commented to Al, our builder, that everything looks really good so far. Almost everything about Deltec construction is so GREEN that they exceed many of the standards.
LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.
Matt works for Vandemusser Design PLLC

We are using Energy Star rated recessed cans with fluorescent or LED floods. LED is technology that is starting to take off. They are extremely efficient, more than fluorescent, with a life expectancy of 30,000 - 50,000 hours. Right now the bulbs are expensive but will most likely go down in price just as fluorescent did.

I also found very efficient ceiling fans that have direct current motors and use 70% less electricity than the most efficient ceiling fans on the market. Check them out...

The light fixtures and most of the appliances (clothing dryer excluded) will all be Energy Star rated. We will share more specifics at a later date.

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