One More Link in breaking the Chain... Solar Hot Water!
Free at last, free at last, Thank God Almighty (And my Friends Ed and Cory at South Face Solar Electric and Katherine Elswick!) I’m free at last! After ten days of putting all the parts together and a few months of figuring out how to rebuild and pressure test the panels and getting the different ways that water acts in a solar hot water panel set in my mind. Take all of that and then my insistence on using as many old parts as I could find around our place. Then add in the thirty or so phone calls to Ed Fedoruk (Once again Southface Solar Electric)… What do mean I need a check valve in line vertically that is on the cold feed side of the panel, but above the pump! I am now on my way to total electric bill independence.
Last year I had a few bucks so I went to Ed and Cory at Southface Solar Electric and had 7.5 KW Photovoltaic Solar Electric System installed. Our bill has dropped by about $210 a month, however I still had about a $95 a month electric bill. About the same time our friend of many years, Kathryn Elswick mentioned that she was getting her solar hot water panels replaced as one of them had failed. She offered the old panels, that were on their way to a landfill and I quickly grabbed them up. For the past three days, I’ve spent my time cleaning and cutting pipe and making the feet that are now resting on my shingle roof along with hoisting and setting the panels and cutting a path for the pipe, cutting through the wall and making sure I was following the flow path of the water.
This afternoon Kathy called on her way home as she does every day.
Ring ring, “hello”
“Hi Joe, I’m on my way home.”
“Is everything alright you sound upset?”
“No I’m okay, I just hate my fucking plumber!”
“Who’s you plumber?”
I was standing next to a leaking mass of pipe that were squirting water all over our dish-room. Kathy said she would get dinner and some good beer and be how in twenty minutes. By the time she got home I had all of the leaks re-soldered and tested. The leaks were fixed and the system was working I could even feel the heat coming down from the panels. Tomorrow I’m adding pipe insulation and patching all of the penetrations through the roofing material. I will set the timer for the pump and build an insulated mechanical closet around the new 80-gallon hot water storage tank. We use a lot of hot water and I’m hoping that this will drop my electric bill closer to zero. I’ll keep you posted!