Today the solar installer inspector and the city inspector (our city doesn’t have its own but has to hire outsiders…too small) met to discuss/approve our additions to the solar system.  That was about 8ish, though the inspector was on another inspection 20 miles away and didn’t get here until after 8.  Took about an hour, hour and 15 minutes, because there was a ton of required paperwork.  This isn’t needed for *all* solar installations, depending on whether you’re still grid-connected (we are) and whether your storage (if you have storage) is Tesla Powerwalls (ours is.)  Besides the large capacity advantage of the Powerwall, they’re (so far as I know, still) unique in allowing your solar system to function even when the line power is out (until they run out of stored charge.)  Originally, for safety reasons, the home solar system could not charge up the house when line power was off, because that would mean power from the solar panels could go into the lines and…if the lines needed repair, the repair crews could be electrocuted.  Not good.

The Powerwalls have a flexible system that allows the excess power to go into the lines when the lines are already carrying electricity (making that electricity available for anyone to use and incidentally cutting our electric bill by a large bunch) but cut off the outflow when the lines are NOT carrying electricity, even if the house isn’t using all the production.  It’s quite clever, but checking it out, being SURE that it works as designed, that every single part of that cutoff-and-then share again is working perfectly, must be checked out by the installer’s inspection person and the municipality’s inspection person.  Every part of the installation has to be permitted before it’s done, and then inspected afterward, both to ensure the customer’s getting what they paid for…and to ensure that the power company’s employees are not put at risk in an outage.  Makes good sense to me.

Shortly after that pair left, in came the contractor to fix the rotted part of the floor.  I didn’t document the whole thing, every step, because taking pictures of working men in awkward positions just seemed rude.  And they were working fast (had other jobs in the queue) so I took just a few pictures while trying not to step on or knock over any of their stuff.  Or them.

Hole #1, work just begun (pale square of wood.  I didn’t get a picture of the rest of the framing fix, right at the wall.  1/6 scabbed onto the obvious joist on both sides to make a longitudinal brace at the wall for the new flooring.  Beams and joists had been intentionally scorched by the original builder to deter rot, and they held.  What rotted was the floor and underfloor.

Hole #2, work just begun.  Our house is not on a slab, but on post & beam (a post shows clearly in the first pic…in one house we looked at buying, the “posts” were in fact much older, actual cedar posts put in 80-100 years ago.)  The cut 1/6 had a new piece attached to it, just as the pale wood in the first picture, and screwed to the undamaged one.

Hole #1 with its new covering.  Two slabs of 3/4 inch plywood fitted in, sealed around with stuff that looked like melted marshmallow, wiped out level, then the carpet padding put over it and the carpet tacked back down.  Looks like nothing ever happened.

Tomorrow is the bathroom repair at the other house (was my mother’s, is where M- stays on weekends, and where house guests stay), done by our long-time (40 years now) plumbing & HVAC people from a ways north,  and then the back door of the other house (door frame’s rotting, storm door sags, inner door…is a PITA), and–Mr. Key’s assistant turns out to also do welding.  So he’s going to really repair the fence Tigger broke, and make some alterations to the stalls, so we can put 6-8 inches of decomposed granite in the stalls, with mats on top, and then level up the loafing area.  And cut the stall doors so horses can get their heads over.  The bathroom’s expected to take only one day (new fixtures in the tub, going in through a closet) to make that tub & shower useful again.  YAY.

Friday I have other chores, and on Saturday a memorial service in the city to attend, for Willie Siros.  Because I wasn’t attending SF conventions until after I sold my first work (hadn’t even known there were such conventions in Texas, DUH) I didn’t meet him until my first ArmadilloCon.  So, a busy week.    And now time for bed because I need to get up early, get horses fed, and get dressed to meet the plumbers when they come (or R- will…but I have to answer the phone when they call to say they’re on the way.

6 thoughts on “HomeWork

  1. Oh dear, I can’t help smiling at the idea of your “additions to the solar system” – very appropriate thing for an SF writer to be doing! A new planet, perhaps, or just an asteroid?!

    1. Hey, that’s a great idea! I think Slotter Key needs an addition to its solar system that hasn’t been mentioned! Surely an asteroid could be a good substitute “let’s get this party STARTED!” element instead of ninjas bursting through the ceiling, yes? It does have a far-less habitable planet that’s being mined, mostly with robotics, but…wait…what if the robots GOOF!? Or are (gasp!!) *sabotaged for political gain, only the saboteurs are not that competent…??

      1. Annabel, I like how you think. Hm….asteroid not as a threat of annihilation but just…being exploited *by someone else.* Maybe this is where the attackers of Slotter Key were hiding out.

  2. I’ve been re-reading Paks. To jump to Slotter Key notions with no time for a brain shift (in conjunction with the floor repairs saga) gives me a hint or two about how you build plots (I think).
    I had to replace a rotten bathroom subfloor because the tenant ??? I don’t know. It was only two years old. The same “tenant” also did not not do the solar installation properly for which I paid big bucks and thanks to Covid I could not get it inspected. And now he has left the country. It is nice to hear what happens when it is done right. I have been feeling like Paks when Master Oakhallow let her see the results of trusting those we should not … and then not doing anything about it because it seems too drastic.
    Take care.

    1. Linda H: Much sympathy on the bathroom subfloor and the botched solar installation. Neither of those is a fun discovery. Sounds like that tenant is someone who, in leaving the country, could only improve it and save other homeowners grief by not being their renter. EEeek! Wishing you good luck in getting all that straightened out with the least possible expense.

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