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Cool. What are you tying the wires sensors back into to get that into your zwave system? My house is mostly zwave battery powered sensors but looking for something different (wired) for my detached unheated garage that gets down to -30c.
 

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Discussion Starter #142 (Edited)
Cool. What are you tying the wires sensors back into to get that into your zwave system? My house is mostly zwave battery powered sensors but looking for something different (wired) for my detached unheated garage that gets down to -30c.
I use Home Assistant for the brains of the entire setup. That will have hooks into Google Home, Z Wave, MQTT, IFTT as well as a ton of others. Integrations - Home Assistant

Z Wave will only be used for the locks and lights right now but that is the carrier for getting what I want from the Home Assistant to the Z Wave device.

For the door sensors I will get their status from the wired magnetic switch to Home Assistant using equipment from these guys. I haven't bought any of it yet and still need to dig into exactly what kit I need. Konnected

I will be adding sensors for the garage doors as well that will tie into this. I need to get them installed first though so I can see if I can use a sensor like I used on the door or if I need to go with more of a surface mount design. I will probably end up going surface mount. The openers will have myQ so I might not even need it. They should be able to report state back, they are listed in the supported products, I just need to investigate what I get out of them.

Really the home automation stuff is started in the pole barn. My intent was to try it out in a space that didn't really impact the family. I like zwave switches because you still have a physical switch if you don't want to or forget what the voice command is. I have Z Wave switches in my pole barn (detached of course) and it is nice when I notice, that someone (probably me) left the lights on out there and I can just say "Hey Google turn off the lights in the garage". Of course I won't be able to call it the garage for much longer. Not that this has been an issue for the last several months because we haven't had power out there. In order to reach the garage I have a Z Wave extender sitting in the window nearest the house. That is maybe 80' away. Less now that the new garage is build between the two. Since Z Wave is a repeating mesh network, I will likely be able to eliminate the repeater once I get that back online. It made its way a little bit into the house but the new garage build is the first big undertaking. We do have a z wave lock one the front door which is the same as what I put on the access doors as well as switches in the kid's bedrooms. They like the battery operated remote light switches but I like that if they fall asleep with the light on and I notice it going to bed, I can just tell Google to turn off their light without waking them by trying to seek in and back out of their room. We recently added a new ceiling fan in our master bedroom which is the same brand as what we are going with in the garage and mud/laundry room. That is controlled through Google Voice as well and shows up on our Home Hub. I will add one if not two Home Hubs to the garage build to have a panel to control things as well. Most likely one at the top of the steps before you turn to go into the mud room and maybe one over on a workbench or somewhere on the other end of the shop. I have a couple I am not using right now. I can use my 3d Printer to make a wall mount for it so then I just need to add an outlet.

Everything we are doing can be undone. Meaning I am not having anything wired in a way that would prevent me from going back to traditional switches. I have read many reports where smart homes are very hard to sell. I can pull it all out and worst case there would be some extra abandoned wires or sensors. In the case of what I did in the access doors. A little paint later and no one would ever know they are there.
 

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I installed a Mitsubishi mini split last year in a 1400 sq ft 3 bay garage. It's fantastic. Very efficient, quiet, keeps it warm in winter and cool in summer, and controls humidity too. I am in North Carolina. The top of the line Mitsubishi has "Hyperheat" and still efficiently produces heat with outside temps below zero. If you have a big open space this is more efficient than ducts, heat is wasted in the ducts and a more powerful blower is used. I strongly recommend mini splits.
 

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Discussion Starter #144 (Edited)
I installed a Mitsubishi mini split last year in a 1400 sq ft 3 bay garage. It's fantastic. Very efficient, quiet, keeps it warm in winter and cool in summer, and controls humidity too. I am in North Carolina. The top of the line Mitsubishi has "Hyperheat" and still efficiently produces heat with outside temps below zero. If you have a big open space this is more efficient than ducts, heat is wasted in the ducts and a more powerful blower is used. I strongly recommend mini splits.
It will largely come down to what the costs are running the in-floor heat in the 50-60 range and how often I find myself going out there to work and wanting to bump the heat. Being we are talking roughly the same size space, do you heat to a lower temp and then bump the temp when working out there? With my natural gas heater in the shop, I keep it around 36F all winter and bump to 60F when working. The time to get it to 60F in my shop (a little over 1000sft) is about an hour. This is something that can't be done with in-floor and I expect that. I am looking at just maintaining a warmer temp all winter as it is more efficient. More so when the doors get opened quite a bit with vehicles coming and going. If you heat just the air, as soon as the door opens it is gone.

Now, you are not dealing with the extreme cold temps we get. I have seen that they work below 0 but keep in mind -25F is not that uncommon where I am at. At these temps it is just too much for a heat pump. Even if they are still able to provide some heat, it is not nearly as efficient at those temps. It is fine if it is just being used for supplement heat. I don't have to work out there when we get those really cold days. Normally they are just waves that move through for a couple days of really cold arctic air and we then warm back up to around 0F.

This was taken back on Jan 31 2019. Yep that morning was -31F. At those temps the heaters in vehicles really don't do that much. It is a battle of trying to run recirculated air so the heat exchanger has a chance of warming it a bit but that will fog up your windows vs pulling in fresh air that can only be heated to maybe 30-40f as it goes past the heat exchanger.

 

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Discussion Starter #145 (Edited)
Siding company finally showed up. It was supposed to be last Wednesday. Oh well. They said that if the weather holds they think it will take 8 days to get it done. They completed demo on all the old siding and pretty much have the entire house wrapped. They started on the soffit install. Today they will likely start on siding and continue soffit install.

Once siding is done I am going to work with my neighbor on replacing the brick wainscoting below the big window on the front. He does natural stone siding.

I went through last night and installed additional bracing to beef up the fan boxes a bit. They are rated for 90# support with a 24" span. The span is 22 5/8" so I figured they would support about 100#. Technically that should be enough but I beefed them up anyhow by adding a brace above them and screwing into that.







 

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Im not trying to be a negative Nancy here but, can your siding guys explain what exactly they are doing that it will take 8 days to do that? Your place looks amazing, to say the least but, I hardly see anything 'extenuating' that your place shouldn't take 4-5 days with 2 guys. A siding company should be able to knock that out in 2-3 days, max.

Cant wait to see when they are done with it though. :bigthumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #147
Im not trying to be a negative Nancy here but, can your siding guys explain what exactly they are doing that it will take 8 days to do that? Your place looks amazing, to say the least but, I hardly see anything 'extenuating' that your place shouldn't take 4-5 days with 2 guys. A siding company should be able to knock that out in 2-3 days, max.

Cant wait to see when they are done with it though. :bigthumb:
Not sure. Never been in a project siding an entire house. Keep in mind we are not going with vinyl or metal siding which would go up much quicker. We are doing LPSmartside. When doing this there are two options. You can go with it direct from LP. It would go up much quicker but then you have to paint the entire house. We opted to go with the prefinished LP that is painted in a factory so that it is done in a controlled environment and baked on. Like with everything there are drawbacks. Going this route the drawback is that it is slower to go up. They have to worry more about not damaging the paint. Also every board that they have to cut, also has to be painted on the cut edge. They are doing the house but they are also doing a 20x20 garage that is behind me in pretty much every shot. Not that the 20x20 garage is going to take a lot of time but it is more work. If we were doing normal vinyl or mental siding where they have the machine to stamp cut it basically and just slap it up with no painting I agree it would go a lot faster. They are also doing all the soffits and fascia. I have electrical boxes in the soffits in some places and a bunch of cans for lighting. Again slowing them down to cut all that stuff.

I don't think any of this adds a lot of time but it does add time. Does it add 3-4 days? Not sure. We were going to go with Hardie board but from researching it a bit that is much harder to work with because it is cement based. LP cuts with a regular saw and it seems to stand up just as well.

They have had a crew of I think 6 people there so far. 4 of them have been doing all the soffit and fascia stuff. So only two are hanging the LP. Not sure if they will all shift to siding once the other work is done or if it will just be the two guys.

In this shot you can see all the cans that they have for the patio area.



As for siding work they got the south wall done.



I did call the gutter company and they said that they are 4 weeks out right now but because we have been on the "list" for about 3 months now and already paid for the gutters, once the siding crew is done they will be out in 2 days or so. He just said to keep them in the loop on if they run late or wrap up early so they can get me in.
 

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Discussion Starter #148
Not a great shot of the 20x20 building but this gives you an idea of the other work they are doing. You can see it in the background of this shot.



Also, I forgot to mention that there is some other trim work that they need to do on the pole barn and the other two car garage. That shouldn't take too long though. We had some hail damage to pretty much every building on the property. I can't complain too much but I wish I was getting a new roof on the pole barn as well. They said that the steel is the old kind and it would take tennis ball sized hail to damage that stuff. It is a lot thicker than the new stuff. There was only some trim and my rain cap on the chimney that took some damage on that building.
 

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Oh I just noticed I never mentioned my rock work and electrical work that turned into a bit of a disaster from this weekend.

My wife and daughter were out of town for the weekend. So it was just me and my son. He was playing with the neighbor kids most of the day so I figured I would get some work done.

I had mentioned in conversation to a neighbor that I need to get a bunch of rock about basket ball sized or so that will be used to build up the edge of where the cement apron is going so it doesn't wash out. He chuckled and said that he has a bunch he has been finding clearing his lot and he has been pilling them back along our fence line. He was going to dig a big hole and bury them so I should go over and take what I want. He also said I could use his 2039R to do it if I want rather than drive my X585 all the way around. His property is off the main County road where we are on a side street. His property butts up to the side of our back yard. While there is a gate between them, it is a only big enough to walk through. Well Sat morning I see he is up but I also see he has his FEL off the 2039R. I didn't want to bug him to borrow it and have to mess with putting the FEL on and taking it off again. So I drove my X585 around to get the rock. Rather than haul the rock one bucket at a time all the way around, I figured I would just drive up to the fence and dump it over. For all but one rock that worked well. The big one in the shot was just too much for my little X585 to lift. I was giving it all she got and about 1' off the ground is all it could muster. Luckily it was on the right side of the bucket so I opened the gate and just rolled it out of the bucket and through the gate. That worked perfect. I drove around back to the house and just did a little back dragging to pull it the rest of the way through the gate.

Oh the corner of the building is the 20x20 garage that I was talking about before. That is why there is a bunch of siding laying on the ground that we pulled off. There was an old access door in that side and a window that we eliminated before the siding company got here.



That project went well.

The next thing on my list was that I needed to eliminate the wiring that went from the panel in my house to the pole barn and a run that went to the porch which was ripped off the house to become the laundry/mud room and then went on to the 20x20 garage. This actually will free up a couple double breakers which is nice. Because of the heavy gauge wire it was hard to bend them around so I just went in and cut off the wire and then pulled it back through the conduit.



It wen through the conduit, around that elbow in the photo above and then into a junction box of sorts. I think it might have been an old fuse box or something. This has always been one of those shady things in the basement that I would like to fully eliminate at some point. Pulling these wires out got rid of most of the stuff in this box.



What you see here is how the wire went from copper in the pane to aluminum direct bury going to the pole barn. Maybe some of this was code back in the day but it wouldn't fly now. The pole barn had three conductors and no ground. There is a ground rod out there. The one going to the old porch then on to the 20x20 garage where you see a bare wire that was the ground/neutral along with two hots. We had 220v out in the porch because it had electric baseboard heat. All of this has been eliminated so it can come out. I kept cutting back and pulling wire until I got to where the wire went through the foundation to the polebarn. That was sticking up out of the ground still from when we hit it with the backhoe digging the foundation. So I wrapped each strand around the clevis hook on a chain a few times, hooked that on a hook on the bucket of my FEL and pulled them out of the ground and where they went into the foundation. I wrapped that up and it was getting late and my son and I were going out for dinner with his best friend and his parents. I got back home too late to mess with anything.

Well eventually I went home and then on Sunday I was doing some work around the garages and my son came up and said there was some water in the basement. :dunno: By now it was about 1-2pm or so. I go and take a look at things. Oh crap. It rained Sunday morning. By rain I mean like 3" of rain in about a 2 hr period. We don't have gutters yet and the water coming off the roof found a path through the ground where I pulled the wire out. I didn't take any photos but we had a good (bad) 1" of mud in the utility room/laundry room. There was so much water that made it in there flooding the room that it got the carpet wet in the finished side of the basement. I am thinking we are going to have to rip out the carpet. Grr didn't need more side projects. At this point, knowing my wife was coming home later on Sunday I could either work on cleaning the mess or work on sealing the hole. I fixed the hole in the foundation. I wish I would have left the wires through the foundation but I didn't look at the forecast to see it was going to rain. :banghead:
 

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Oh I just noticed I never mentioned my rock work and electrical work that turned into a bit of a disaster from this weekend.

My wife and daughter were out of town for the weekend. So it was just me and my son. He was playing with the neighbor kids most of the day so I figured I would get some work done.

I had mentioned in conversation to a neighbor that I need to get a bunch of rock about basket ball sized or so that will be used to build up the edge of where the cement apron is going so it doesn't wash out. He chuckled and said that he has a bunch he has been finding clearing his lot and he has been pilling them back along our fence line. He was going to dig a big hole and bury them so I should go over and take what I want. He also said I could use his 2039R to do it if I want rather than drive my X585 all the way around. His property is off the main County road where we are on a side street. His property butts up to the side of our back yard. While there is a gate between them, it is a only big enough to walk through. Well Sat morning I see he is up but I also see he has his FEL off the 2039R. I didn't want to bug him to borrow it and have to mess with putting the FEL on and taking it off again. So I drove my X585 around to get the rock. Rather than haul the rock one bucket at a time all the way around, I figured I would just drive up to the fence and dump it over. For all but one rock that worked well. The big one in the shot was just too much for my little X585 to lift. I was giving it all she got and about 1' off the ground is all it could muster. Luckily it was on the right side of the bucket so I opened the gate and just rolled it out of the bucket and through the gate. That worked perfect. I drove around back to the house and just did a little back dragging to pull it the rest of the way through the gate.

Oh the corner of the building is the 20x20 garage that I was talking about before. That is why there is a bunch of siding laying on the ground that we pulled off. There was an old access door in that side and a window that we eliminated before the siding company got here.



That project went well.

The next thing on my list was that I needed to eliminate the wiring that went from the panel in my house to the pole barn and a run that went to the porch which was ripped off the house to become the laundry/mud room and then went on to the 20x20 garage. This actually will free up a couple double breakers which is nice. Because of the heavy gauge wire it was hard to bend them around so I just went in and cut off the wire and then pulled it back through the conduit.



It wen through the conduit, around that elbow in the photo above and then into a junction box of sorts. I think it might have been an old fuse box or something. This has always been one of those shady things in the basement that I would like to fully eliminate at some point. Pulling these wires out got rid of most of the stuff in this box.



What you see here is how the wire went from copper in the pane to aluminum direct bury going to the pole barn. Maybe some of this was code back in the day but it wouldn't fly now. The pole barn had three conductors and no ground. There is a ground rod out there. The one going to the old porch then on to the 20x20 garage where you see a bare wire that was the ground/neutral along with two hots. We had 220v out in the porch because it had electric baseboard heat. All of this has been eliminated so it can come out. I kept cutting back and pulling wire until I got to where the wire went through the foundation to the polebarn. That was sticking up out of the ground still from when we hit it with the backhoe digging the foundation. So I wrapped each strand around the clevis hook on a chain a few times, hooked that on a hook on the bucket of my FEL and pulled them out of the ground and where they went into the foundation. I wrapped that up and it was getting late and my son and I were going out for dinner with his best friend and his parents. I got back home too late to mess with anything.

Well eventually I went home and then on Sunday I was doing some work around the garages and my son came up and said there was some water in the basement. :dunno: By now it was about 1-2pm or so. I go and take a look at things. Oh crap. It rained Sunday morning. By rain I mean like 3" of rain in about a 2 hr period. We don't have gutters yet and the water coming off the roof found a path through the ground where I pulled the wire out. I didn't take any photos but we had a good (bad) 1" of mud in the utility room/laundry room. There was so much water that made it in there flooding the room that it got the carpet wet in the finished side of the basement. I am thinking we are going to have to rip out the carpet. Grr didn't need more side projects. At this point, knowing my wife was coming home later on Sunday I could either work on cleaning the mess or work on sealing the hole. I fixed the hole in the foundation. I wish I would have left the wires through the foundation but I didn't look at the forecast to see it was going to rain. :banghead:
Just pulling a few wires out of a conduit full of wire is not a good idea. Normally wires all pulled together twist as a group. When you try to pull just one out the wire can damage the other wires in the process cutting thru the insulation. It would be a good idea to either high voltage test the insulation or at the least use a OHM Meter to check if there is any leakage to ground. Strange this is I don't see many white wires?? I see lots of things wrong but won't go into it, your electrician should be able to tell you what may needs correction/up-graded or not.
 

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Discussion Starter #152
Just pulling a few wires out of a conduit full of wire is not a good idea. Normally wires all pulled together twist as a group. When you try to pull just one out the wire can damage the other wires in the process cutting thru the insulation. It would be a good idea to either high voltage test the insulation or at the least use a OHM Meter to check if there is any leakage to ground. Strange this is I don't see many white wires?? I see lots of things wrong but won't go into it, your electrician should be able to tell you what may needs correction/up-graded or not.
Thanks for pointing that out. The good news is it is an easy fix and one that was at least in part already on the list of things to do.

So, the three red wires that remain in that conduit are for the AC unit. If you look at the panel shot you will see the double 30A breaker that is off. That is for the AC so it is off anyhow. The AC is 16 years old and had a leak that we discovered this summer and has no freon. We really don't use the AC much so we just suffered through those short hot spells that we had. They are behind us now. I wanted to hold off on installing a new AC for a couple reasons. The biggest is we want to get all the contractors paid and the garage project done first. There are always cost overruns and another $4K or so on an AC unit that we don't have to have can wait. I would rather pay cash for it in the spring. Getting back to those red wires. Gotta love (not) what they did with those. 3 red wires are the two legs for the AC and neutral. Yeah they ran a red to the neutral bar with no marking tape. If you go to that shot of the old junction box which I also want to go away you will see how there is a red wire with a wire nut to a white one. Granted it is maybe a 2-3' run but still. Sloppy work. The other two black wires go to the well. Those are the only two that are hot and those can come out of the junction box as well. There is lots of room for improvement in that space. Part of me is a little hesitant though. Once I start where do I stop? For instance the entire house is using shared neutrals and no ground which isn't code anymore. It probably was just fine in the 1960s when it was built but not anymore. Everything is in greenfield so if I can figure out how it runs from box to box, I could start pulling out the old wire and pulling in new wires. I find stuff all the time that just makes me scratch my head. When I was hand digging a trench for the drain pipe that I ran to the house I got shocked when I hit a wire that was about 1.5" underground. Oh it gets better. The wire didn't go anywhere. They just cut it off as it came through the foundation. So it was down there hot for who knows how many years. Lets not forget it wasn't even direct bury wire. I traced it back and it went to a box where they could have disconnected it and pulled the wire out. :nunu:

Lets not forget that the lights in my daughter's bedroom were somehow tied to the same circuit as the lights in the pole barn. I still can't figure that one out and am still looking.

I don't know. At this point as we remodel a room, we redo all the electrical. This garage build has made us address a lot of these pain points.
 

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Discussion Starter #153
Here is where we stand as of this morning.

This was taken on Friday. They added a box for the water faucet. They also need to add a box for the exterior light we need for code above the access door. They worked Friday, I asked if they would work on Sat and they asked if it was OK. Yep, get er done. They said see you tomorrow as they left and haven't been back. :dunno: Yesterday was pretty rainy but Sat was great weather. So, we are now two days behind.



A little bit of fascia to do yet on the back wall but then that is done.



Rough in for the electrical. This work looks just a little bit better than what I see all over the house. About the electrical. We are about to a point for the inspection on framing and rough electrical. The biggest thing is we need to get the diveway cut and removed so we can get the trench dug to the small garage. That way we can have the other electrician out to run the main lines to the new panel he is putting in and to the small garage and pole barn.



Yesterday they started hanging rock in the mud room and laundry. They need a few more sheets to wrap that up. I did ask how much they were going to rock and he said that they can inspect all this from the top side. Yep I agree. I was just wondering. He said that because it was a rain day, they scrapped plans on working on another site that was outdoors and he shifted his crew to my place to get something done. :bigthumb:





Also in the shots of the laundry and mud room you can see where over the weekend I removed two of the three windows that were between the house and what is now the laundry/mudroom. The two I removed used to be inside to the porch. I never did like them there, just hadn't gotten around to removing them. Most the walls in the house are plaster so it is a bit more work than just popping out a window, throwing up some sheet rock and mudding/taping it. I didn't know that he had sheetrocking the laundry/mud room in the quote and he was asking about the windows the other day. I was saying leave them, they will come out but I don't want the dust and dirt in the house now. He said that he could rock around them then. Wait, you are doing that, heck with that, I will pull them, frame it out for you and make your life easier and not have to work around the windows which are going anyhow. That makes my life easier not having to patch it later. Win win.

I did pick up a new toy for doing this. I remember watching a remodel show once and saw that there are a few companies out there that make a palm nailer. This is perfect for times like this where I am trying to frame in a window opening and can't get the framing nailer in the space because it is too tight. I had to get some stuff from Lowe's anyhow so I looked for one and they did have them. They are only about $50 but they are slick as can be. Heck I can see myself using this in a lot more places even if I could get the framing nailer in there. Just so I don't have to drag it out. There is a sleeve with a magnet to hold the nail and you just push down and it is activated where it is like a mini pile driver. You just push the nail in. Toenailing is super slick with this. Let it hit the nail a couple times. Then adjust it to the angle you want and drive it in.

This is a link for the one I got on Amazon. It was the same price at Lowe's.

BOSTITCH PN50 Mini Impact Nailer - Power Nailers - Amazon.com
 

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Discussion Starter #154
Oh, the one window left is the one for the Kitchen. I didn't do that one yet because we have a mess in the kitchen. Before we were dried in it rained quite a bit. He tried to put tarps up but we got water that wrecked the drywall in the kitchen. I need to pull one cabinet down for sure. I am trying to remember how I tied them together but it is three cabinets on that wall. The middle one is a high short cabinet with the over the range microwave. So I don't know if I can just pull that one side cabinet or if everything needs to come down. That will likely be a this coming weekend project as it is more involved than just popping out those other two windows.
 

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Oh I forgot the other work we did. Sorry for the photo but my lens must have been smudged and the sun was bright.

Anyhow when we remodel the kitchen we plan on removing the door and we want to take advantage of the header that is already where the current window is. Since it is high enough, we will move the opening over to where the window is. That means we have to move the kitchen sink but with a major remodel in there anyhow it is possible. So since they pulled off the build right, I took a gander at what we had going on in that space. There is the plumbing which we can address when we move the kitchen sink. Not too worried about that. However the bigger issue is the greenfield run under the window. So I pulled that out and ran it up above the window where other new wiring went for the mud room. Just trying to thing ahead to save me a headache later.

 

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Your electrician should do a walk around with you in your home and look at a few things for free and just let you know if there are big things needing corrected. Having done trouble shooting for 40 plus years I know what your running into on a old home. The inspector might have you up/grade a few things one is color coding of the wires to the A/C and Heat to be proper later if looked at to fix a problem. They were added with out a inspection! You probley have a lot of junction boxes hidden around the place when they up/graded the wiring some. Your home has gone thru a bunch of Code Changes since built and only dangerous ones need corrected. Panels are easy to clean up and your electrician is Neat! Just strange the way he does Make up with all the wire nuts and no grounds made up yet. He may be using the wire nuts for some kind of Switch Leg or 3/Way Codes for him later??? We have to make up all grounds before inspection is done. So far looking good I like your new shop!! Remember wire does not wear out but bad connections can burn a home down not done right.
 

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Discussion Starter #157
Your electrician should do a walk around with you in your home and look at a few things for free and just let you know if there are big things needing corrected. Having done trouble shooting for 40 plus years I know what your running into on a old home. The inspector might have you up/grade a few things one is color coding of the wires to the A/C and Heat to be proper later if looked at to fix a problem. They were added with out a inspection! You probley have a lot of junction boxes hidden around the place when they up/graded the wiring some. Your home has gone thru a bunch of Code Changes since built and only dangerous ones need corrected. Panels are easy to clean up and your electrician is Neat! Just strange the way he does Make up with all the wire nuts and no grounds made up yet. He may be using the wire nuts for some kind of Switch Leg or 3/Way Codes for him later??? We have to make up all grounds before inspection is done. So far looking good I like your new shop!! Remember wire does not wear out but bad connections can burn a home down not done right.
We are actually working with two electricians. The one that has done 90% of the work so far is pretty new at it. I don't know that I would mess with taking him around to do a code or safety review. He is a buddy of the General Contractor and great at nailing in boxes and stinging wire so I would imagine his hourly rate isn't very high. Gotta start somewhere and he is just doing his time gaining experience. For instance when he first came out and I met him we were talking about a service upgrade from 150A to 400A (320A) to support two 200A panels. We walk around the side of his house and I could tell he was over his head. Even chatting about other stuff later on, I was talking about adding a 50A 240V outlet for a welder and one for the camper. He said, oh that will be a 10 gauge wire. No... that would be 6 gauge. He looked puzzled that it would be that big so I pulled up the chart and showed him. The way I look at it, he is doing all the stuff I could do. It just saves me from running up and down ladders all day pulling wires.

The other electrician that was brought in to do the service upgrade and will be returning to hook up the panels is a Master Electrician. I think I would trust him a little more. As far as the review, I have a cousin who is an electrician and he could probably to a walk around with me for the cost of some beer. Well the beer after the walk around.

If the inspector says anything about my red wire, I will just go in and cut it out. The AC doesn't work anyhow and I plan on having all the wiring replaced along with it.

As far as the rough in. Yeah I thought the electrician is doing good work. Not sure on the wire nuts. Maybe the local inspector likes to see that on the black wires (nothing on the neutral or ground). As of now the wires just go into the utility room in the garage where the panel will go. The Master Electrician hasn't been out yet to install that. I suspect we are waiting on having him come out until the trench is dug so he can run the wires to the panel in the small garage and pole barn. That way only one trip to do all his work rather than two. That will have to be in before the do the rough electrical inspection. Not sure if breakers will be in and they will be wired up or what stage it needs to be at exactly.

You are right that wire doesn't wear out but as far as in the house we don't have enough wires. Shared neutrals, no ground (other than greenfield) and other strange additions. On a positive note, it was built before aluminum wire was the craze. So it could be worse. My parent's house was built around 72 and that is what they have.
 

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Discussion Starter #158
I got home yesterday and the siding guys had a ladder blocking the front door. So, I walked around to the garage entrance and was going in that way. As I get into the garage I stop as I notice a bunch of boxes that were not there before. As I look around I notice that the heating guy had been by and installed the boiler along with some additional components.

He ended up going with a Lochinvar Noble Fire Tube NKB110N. It is not the combi (boiler/water heater) as I have no need to heat the water out there and I already have a tankless water heater in the house. He said that was good because there can be some issues when you do a combi unit.



He went with a Taco 007-F5 for the main circulation pump to the boiler. I don't get why this site remembers the original orientation of a photo. I rotate and save it on the computer before upload and it flips it back over. The pump is mounted in this direction.



Then I had to look up what this is. Caleffi Hydro Separator Series 548. I read up on it and the reasoning behind it. It seems that it does three things. It is a way to trap and vent any air in the system. On the return side it will allow for a place for any sediment to drop out and get trapped in the bottom of the unit. However the main use is to make sure that all zones get heat even if the flow rate is greater than the main pump on the boiler. Lets say that the main pump does 20GPM. Then I have 3 zones that each take 10GPM. Well what would happen if all zones called for heat at once is the first two zones would consume the entire 20GPM from the boiler and then third zone would end up just looping the return back through the inlet side. By putting this device between the boiler and the zones the extra 10GPM still is made up by the return side but it is mixed in with the 20GPM coming off the boiler. While this means the supply temp is a little lower than the target temp. It means at least all zones get heat. As they hit the target temp they start shutting down then eventually once the draw is below the 20GPM max all the hot goes to the remaining zones. Seems interesting.



I went in and changed out of my work clothes and went back out to talk with the foreman. He had originally stated that they would be done by Wednesday of this week but they had a rain day on Monday. They said they should be wrapping up things today. They were still working on the front so I don't have any photos of that at the moment. They did run short on materials. However there was enough to complete the house. They will be back to wrap things up on the detached garage once more materials arrive.

 

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Can you say..... Clean up ? :banghead: :dunno:
They possibly could even find the materials that are reportedly a “shortage”. :mocking::director::director::gizmo:
:peace:
 

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Discussion Starter #160
Can you say..... Clean up ? :banghead: :dunno:
They possibly could even find the materials that are reportedly a “shortage”. :mocking::director::director::gizmo:
:peace:
That photo was last night and they were still working. All the guys were around on the front of the house working but they had their tool trailer, saws and other stuff in the back of the house where I took the photo just out of frame of the shot.

They have been doing cleanup before they head out for the day.

These guys seem to be kind of all over the place. For the shingles they had too much. They said they always order extra so they don't run out on a project. They had 16 square extra. I can see a few bundles but that is ridiculous. For this, I suspect they may have screwed up the order. I am thinking they ordered based on the sq ft on the insurance claim and forgot about the new addition. That would account for about how much they are short.
 
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