Submitted by Ana White on Tue, 09/11/2012 - 10:34

When you were growing up, did your parents every talk about someday ... maybe someday, like:

"Someday, we'll add on and you won't have to share a room ..."

"Someday, we are going to put a pool in the back yard ..."

"Someday, we are going to gut and refinish this kitchen ..."

And someday just never happened? By the time you moved out, there just wasn't time or budget or motivation to make it happen?

Well, here is the big "someday" that never happened when I was growing up.

"Someday ... we'll get electricity."

It wasn't so bad in the summers when the sun is out around the clock and we played outside anyways, but come winter, when darkness settles in in the afternoon, and not only do you not have lights, but anything else that plugs in doesn't work either ... and life was not easy. And I'm not just talking about the tv and curling iron. Things like refrigerators, well pumps and hot water heaters didn't work either.

In the winter, we froze milk jugs of water outside and put them in the refrigerator to keep cold when the generator wasn't running. The well was run about once a day when the generator was on, and us nine kids had to fight over who's turn it was to take a bath first ... poor child that ended up last! At least if you were last, the water might be not so clean ... but it was warmer. I joke about it now, time has definitely mellowed the memory.

We had a giant wind storm just the other day, and the power was out for just a few hours, and I suddenly remembered very clearly (as clear as you can with a flashlight anyway) what it was like to be without electricity. I remembered what it's like to worry about freezers melting, toilets not flushing because the well is low, and eating a not so romantic and quite cold dinner in candlelight.

That's one of the big reasons we are building the Momplex. So my mom can have electricity, and not spend the rest of her life living in a modern world, but struggling with primitive realities.

I did write about burying our utilities, but wanted to also post about how the electrical gets from the pole to inside the Momplex. Because that "someday" never happened for me growing up, and I was disappointed. But can you imagine my mom, still hoping someday?

That someday is going to happen for my mom this year.

Step 1 Diagram
Step 1

It starts with a giant pole being dropped off on our desk, right next to our coffee and paperwork.

Now the reason my mom never got electricity is the cost. And certainly, this is not a cheap task. But there are SOME parts of this we can do ourselves, and save a little money. Getting the pole ready and running the pipes that the electrical wires will later run through is something we can do.

Step 2 Diagram
Step 2 Instructions

And this is what is to be done today.

Step 3 Diagram
Step 3 Instructions

The pole isn't just a big wood log. It's been treated and has been certified with a pole brand that it meets code requirements. And the electrical company will use that pole brand to check to make sure you buried your pole at the right depth.

We ordered the pole and had it delivered to the Momplex.

Step 4 Diagram
Step 4 Instructions

On the pole we screw on brackets.

Step 5 Diagram
Step 5 Instructions

And on that bracket comes the electrical panel. It comes as a set with breakers already put in.

Step 6 Diagram
Step 6 Instructions

And then from the panel a pipe is run upward so the electrical company can run electrical wires from their pole, to our pole, and then down into the panel and hook up the power.

Step 7 Diagram
Step 7 Instructions

Everything gets bracketed down.

Step 8 Diagram
Step 8 Instructions

And then we hired a local electrical company to put the pole in for us.

Step 9 Diagram
Step 9 Instructions

From the pole, we've trenched a ditch to the Momplex.

Now we've gone back and forth on how to bring the power inside the Momplex, and finally decided on burying it. The wind howls up there, and I have a feeling once Mom gets electricity, she's not going to like loosing it. Bonus - no unsightly wires showing!

Step 10 Diagram
Step 10 Instructions

There is no wire yet in the pipe, that will get pulled through the empty pipe later on.

The trench goes from the pole to the Momplex, and was dug by the Ram with a backhoe. Then the backhoe is used to backfill the trench.

Step 11 Diagram
Step 11

Once inside, the pipe is run up through the walls

Step 12 Diagram
Step 12

And into the breaker box.

Step 13 Diagram
Step 13

And from here, power can be distributed throughout the house.

I know this is thirty years later, but today is that someday!

So tell me, do you have a someday your are planning for your home for your kids? What is keeping you from making it happen?


Sara B (not verified)

Tue, 09/11/2012 - 10:56