Our small container garden & array post layout
Our small container garden & array post layout

After getting the septic tank installed on May 7th, we moved in the following day. By that point there really wasn’t much left to move: a bed, computers, entertainment center, a few clothes and personal items.

But just cuz we moved in doesn’t mean we’re done.  Far from it. There are a couple of fairly large projects that haven’t even been started: the solar array and backfilling the berm on the house. Other less urgent tasks include landscaping, a more permanent pump house roof, additional cabinetry, more painting, finishing the gravel driveway, and, eventually, fixing the dam, among other things.

The structural components of the array ground mount
The structural components of the array ground mount

The array ground mount system purchased from IronRidge uses 3 inch schedule 40 iron pipe. Unlike the challenges I’ve had with other service providers, Cavco was much more responsive. They accurately turned the pipe order around within a few days and the delivery guys did all the heavy lifting and were very professional and polite. But getting an excavator out to dig the holes is proving to be a reinforcement of how things work (or don’t) in contractor land.

The mount install directions actually calls for 1 foot diameter drilled holes. A neighbor offered to do it with his tractor auger, but drilling into slate rock proved to be an impossible task. Contacting a few different heavy equipment rental companies wasn’t fruitful. All said that their augers would not drill through slate rock. I finally contacted a company that could do the work, but they wanted a minimum of $8,000! Luckily, their sales rep was an engineer. He suggested having the holes dug with a track hoe. The holes wouldn’t have to be as deep, but would have to be at least 2’x2′ and reinforced with rebar. Sounds like a good (and cheap) plan. If I could only get someone to show up to do it!

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