Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Running Electric for the Hot Tub

 Once the pad was complete for the hot tub I started thinking about the electric.  Initially I was unable to find the spa panel that is required between 5 and 10 feet from the hot tub.  So I contacted the electrician that Christi at Valley Pool and Spa had recommended.  Tyler stopped by and I walked him through what I was thinking.

There are a couple issues with my setup, so Tyler offered to do it as a cash job.

  1. My outside outlet and light out the basement door will be too close to the hot tub (has to be 5 or 10 feet away)
  2. The subpanel in my basement is 60 amps, and the hot tub could pull 50 amps, so he said it might be under powered.  I will be fine, but an inspector might question it.  Mostly what the subpanel supplies is LED lights so it shouldn't be a problem.
  3. I was planning to put the disconnect (spa panel) on the right side of the door and run the conduit over to the other side.  He suggested having it come out under the window on the left side.  In the summer it will be hidden by our Hosta in the winter who cares.
I said OK lets do it, so he said he would get back to me with a quote.  $1600 was the quote.  That seemed high to me, but what could I do.

2 weeks go by and I haven't heard from Tyler, I also notice that Menards has spa panels in stock now.  So I go pick up the needed materials, about $500 (the 6 gauge copper wire was $300 by itself!).

So I put it in myself took a couple hours of wrestling with that big cable, but it is ready.

Saturday, October 30, 2021

Stamped Concrete Pad for a Hot Tub

We have been talking about getting a hot tub for awhile now.  The first step for us is creating a place to put it.  We have a nice spot under our front porch, but it is just gravel with a stoop at the moment.  I have been looking into concrete stamps for awhile and thought it would be fun project to try.

Here we are getting the area ready, Nick tied all the rebar he was a big helper there.  I had to run to Menards, because I had gotten the incorrect bracket to attach my float to my handle.  After hauling all 80 bags of concrete down our hill, I was pretty tired already.  Jen did move some bags down the hill as well, but she was recovering from a cold and dog sitting.

Maddie was a big help throughout the day too, she would fill my bucket with water (Nick did this as well), while the mixer was running and I was moving concrete around.  Originally I though I would have to get all the concrete down quickly, otherwise it would dry.  But it was a cool day fortunately, because it took probably 3 hours to get all the concrete mixed and in the forms!  We used 73 bags on concrete which took 15 pours with the mixer.

Here we have all the concrete in the forms and leveled out.  I had a hard time with the big float, I found it easier to use the hand floats to level stuff out.  I think I need more practice with the big one.  We started with the stamps in the back pretty quick, since it had been sitting there for a couple hours.  They worked pretty well.  It was getting late as we made our way to the front and the concrete was still a little wet, so I had Maddie do the stomping for a lighter touch.

It turned out pretty well for a first attempt.  I think there was too much float water when I was stamping in places, because the release agent stuck around more then I thought it would.  The concrete is supposed to be nutmeg, with hints of grey, but there is a lot of grey in there.  Oh well.  Also there are a couple low spots, but fortunately it is under our front porch, so there shouldn't be too much rain on it.  Not sure if it will be warm enough for me to seal it this fall anymore, so I hope that doesn't cause problems.  Hopefully we can find a hot tub now!

Concrete: 73 bags @ $2.35 ($171.55)
Rebar: 12 sections @ $5.68 ($68.16)
Truck rental: $24.50
Concrete Mixer: $81.82
Expansion Joint: 4 @ $2.87
Rebar ties: $4
Rebar chairs 19: $5
Release Agent: $102 (half)
Concrete Hardener: $55 (half)
 = ~$524

Amortized costs for this project:
Mag Bull Float: $99
Float Poles: 2@$18
Float Bracket: $25
Masonry Brush: $8
Loop twister: $5
Stamps: $616
 = ~$793

Saturday, October 23, 2021

What a day up North!

 Today was an interesting day...

We came up North to close up the cabin, pull in the pontoon and dock, and pick up leaves.  First off I pulled the pontoon out of the water, which is a bit hairy since we use the neighbors "ramp" which is in pretty rough shape, but it came out without a problem.  Then I went into town and picked up the oil ($7 qt) and filter ($14 on sale) for the pontoon motor.

While I was working on the boats and motors Jen, Jo, and the kids started working on the leaves.  We use the 4 wheeler to pull a trailer wherever we need it and then empty it up in the woods.  This was all going well, until I pull the wheeler up and the shift rod lever broke.  Ugh, at least it was stuck in 1st gear so I was still able to pull it around.  But then I had to start planning to take it into town.

That brings us to today, we woke up and I went to move the van out of the way and discovered the tire was flat!  I started to put on the spare and thought I would turn on the radio while I worked and managed to lock the key in the car with the radio playing!

We finally got to use our AAA membership, which worked really well and they were there and had the car open in about 45 minutes.  Super happy about that!

I called Fleet Farm and they said they were booked, but they would try to fit me in.  Which they did.  On my way to Fleet I took the 4 wheeler and dropped it off at Maximum Motorsports, they seemed really helpful so hopefully that goes well, we will see next week.

So all in all a couple bumps in the road, but so far it has all worked out.  We had to spend one more night then planned, but small price to pay.  Hopefully shutting down goes well tomorrow.

Saturday, October 9, 2021

Ski rack

 We have been trying to come up with a way to store the water ski's in the basement, up till now they have just been leaning against the wall.  We used these brackets for some shelves upstairs and really liked them, so we thought we would give them a try in the basement and I am super pumped with how they turned out.

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Replacing our other Arc Fault Breaker

Our home was build in 2008, so we only have 2 arc fault breakers that supply the bedrooms.  I replaced our master bedroom breaker in January since we were having trouble with it tripping with our projector.

Then this summer Nick built a computer and it was tripping the breaker for the kids rooms.  So he ran an extension cord from the laundry room and that has been that for a couple months.

I finally got around to buying a new breaker for the kids room and put that in today.  Now I just need him to clean up the extension cord and hopefully everything will work fine!

Update as of 12/1/2021 everything is working well.  No more trips.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

RO Water Filter

 Jen has been wanted an RO filter for awhile.  We have some trace amounts to arsenic and other stuff in the water so she thinks it would be a good idea.

I purchased the system about 6 months ago, so it is probably time to install it :)

I choose to install it in the basement and not under the sink for ease of access and to be able to continue to use the area under the sink to store way too much stuff.

The system we got had pretty good directions and overall the system was pretty easy to install.  It takes a very long time for the water to filter, which is why you get the pressure tank.

We went with the 6 stage filter with the alkaline replacement filter at the end.  I had to buy a longer water line to get up to the sink on the first floor.  Not looking forward to filter replacements.

The water tastes fine, Jen seems happy.  The place I noticed the biggest difference was with the ice cubes, they come out much more clear.  We had a soap dispenser in the hole that we repurposed, so I kind of miss that.  Perhaps it is time to try drilling a hole in granite :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Brake Pad says what!

 The brake pads on the van were making a lovely grinding sound, so I ordered up some new ones.  I decided not to replace the rotors since we are planning to purchase a new van sometime in the not too distant future.

I always have to re-remember how to do it and watch a video but it went pretty well.  Nick helped out on the second one.  Van seems to still stop and the grinding is gone, so success!

It is pretty amazing how much of the pads we used, probably should have gotten to it earlier, but the grinding has only been going on for a week or so.  Not sure why 1 pad still had more wear left on it.