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high desert. small house.

Days 162-164: Electrical Purchasing & More Fencing

Wednesday, 12/23
We knew exactly what electrical panel we wanted so it was just a matter of ordering it.  Oh a whim, Brian decided to see if our local hardware store would price match Home Depot (which requires a day trip for us to visit).  They AGREED!  So we picked up our panel from Ace and purchased our meter base from the local electric store.  Amazon beat the electric store on all but the AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers so we placed an order for those [stupidly expensive and unnecessary but code mandated] things.  $63 apiece vs $10 for a normal breaker.

We already have wire from our Black Friday shopping and just need to purchase some supplies for the service entrance.  We are using an offset mast – a slightly unusual approach that ensures cable clearance above the roof in our particular case while also avoiding the need for a roof penetration.

Also, Brian FINALLY found an example of a local service entrance mast with an offset.  We had been looking for a precedent in the area since the code is a little vague on the subject and according to the internet they are not always allowed.  Also exciting was our discovery that a local electric company would be willing to use their machine to bend our 2″ rigid metal conduit for $25.  If they had said no, we would have had to purchase a $175 tool from Harbor Freight.

Offset service entrance mast in Mimbres.

Offset service entrance mast in Mimbres attached with the ‘Strut’ system.  Thanks to the input of a local electrician, we will be attaching with simpler, tidier ‘Minnie’ clamps instead.

We did not purchase any plumbing stuff but plan to get some PVC and other tidbits before everything shuts down midday Thursday.  Anticipating some down time caused by holiday closures and waiting for materials to arrive we purchased 20 more t-posts for the fence.  We have 40-45 to keep us busy during our 3 days off.

Also, Brian also wrote a post about what he learned shopping for loppers and I wrote an updated spending post.

Here is the prickly pear that attacked both me and our friend. Note the narrow and sloped ledge.

Here is the prickly pear that attacked both me and our friend. Note the narrow, sloped and muddy access trail.

Another view of the difficult area on the northeast side.

Another view of the difficult area on the northeast side.  You can also see how the fence line is anything but straight; our property line is straight on that side but the terrain is not amenable to a straight fence.

Thursday, 12/24
There was a bit of reviewing the electrical code with the intention of purchasing electrical and plumbing junk.  However, it became too stressful to make all of our decisions prior to the stores closing at noon.  Instead, Brian found some examples of code ridiculousness –

  1. 406.12 ALL outlets and switches lower than 5’5″ from the ground _INDOORS & OUT_ must be tamper resistant, even if you don’t have kids.  Thank god the neighbors’ kids won’t be electrocuted when they visit after traversing the barbed wire fence.
  2. 800.156 Preliminary reading of the code and associated internet commentary seems to indicate that a phone line must be roughed in to the electrical service drop area, regardless of whether or not you plan to install a landline!?  Brian will lobby for our cable modem to fulfill this requirement.
  3. 210.11(C)(2) A dedicated AFCI ‘Laundry’ circuit must be installed regardless of whether or not you have a laundry room.

Friday, 12/25
We spent the WHOLE day working on the fence.  We installed like 50 t-posts, which ended us on the southwest side (see image below for clarity).  That was a whole lot of trips up the hill.  We installed all the posts we had on hand so we wrapped up the last bit of light by finishing running the fifth line of wire up to the east corner and starting back with the six run.

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The first task with the fence was to remove a section of this tree (juniper?).

Another tree

More tree cutting.

This is our view, looking west, from near the south corner. Can you spot the Queen of Panting?

This is our view, looking west, from near the south corner. Can you spot the Queen of Panting?  Probably not.

I noticed an itchy spot on my calf and looked down to find my socks, shoes and pants covered with this stuff. They do NOT let go willingly.

I noticed an itchy spot on my calf and looked down to find my socks, shoes and pants covered with this stuff. They do NOT let go willingly.

We hit the south corner and started moving north. Look at all those nice posts!

We hit the south corner and started moving north. Look at all those nice posts!

Giant woodrat nest we found near the southwest part of the property. He built his nest INTO the prickly pear. Smart rat.

Giant woodrat nest we found near the southwest part of the property. He built his nest INTO the prickly pear. Smart rat.

Javelina hair in the fence. We found this as we working working on the 5th/6th runs of barbed wire. It looks like they are able to squeeze through, which is not a bad thing. We were worried that we might accidentally fence them in.

Javelina hair in the fence. We found this as we working working on the 5th/6th runs of barbed wire. It looks like they are able to squeeze through, which is not a bad thing. We were worried that we might accidentally fence them in.

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