We drove back to Home Depot this afternoon with the panel I bought yesterday, in a torn up cardboard box that we and La Serpiente had taped back up, and got a refund without any questions at all. Then we bought a second panel, about three inches taller, with spaces for 30 breakers instead of eight, and then went home to fit it.
Now, the house has been raised about 23". The meter and the panel on the outside of the house, along with the solar panel inverter and emergency cutoff, are attached to the side of the house, so when that went up, so did they. And the Seattle building code stipulates that the meter can’t be more than 6′ 6" off the ground.
Which means we need to move the meter down about 15". And relocate the solar inverter and cut off, and replace the conduit that runs from the roof to the inverter, because nobody thought to install weather proofing on something that’s on the side of a house in a rainy climate, as evidenced by undoing a metal plate and watching rusty water pour out. Is that why inverters fail?
Now, moving the meter isn’t a simple thing. Or rather it is once you’ve got Seattle City Light to come out and switch off the power to the house so you don’t die, and then relocate the meter, pull the cable down 15" and install some 2" diameter metal conduit around that cable… Oh, the things I’ve learned. Tomorrow I have to call the city, schedule two appointments (one to disconnect the power, the other to reconnect the power) and then figure out when I and my electrician buddy can get to work.
Still, after all that I had a burst of energy and put the living room back to where it was before the project started. That is to say, the TV is no longer on the floor and there are not stacks of boxes all over the place. You can even close and open the blinds without needing a step ladder. Another day goes by, another day where I thought I’d done being surprised…