Our Straw House


Hydro Trench - Part I

25 June 2008

We are going to be connected to the hydro grid.  Many times we talked about going 'off-grid'.  The idea of being a little more independent was appealing, but we decided that being connected was easier.  Once we are moved in and settled, it is likely that a wind turbine will be a future project.  Being able to work on this after we move, makes life a little simpler.  Who knows, maybe the grid will be our battery bank one day!

First, Mark mowed the path the trench would take with the bush hog.  At the half-way point, looking towards the house:

Looking towards the road:

Al Downey came and dug the trench with his backhoe:

Mark & I laid the Bell cable, and Al dumped sand over the cable, which we smoothed out. This is to protect the Bell cable and separate it from the hydro cable.  Here's the trench after our work (sorry, no pics of this work in progress - we were both too muddy):

Next, the power cable.  It's huge because it's the high-voltage stuff that can tolerate being underground.  So it comes on a spool the size of a kitchen table!

It took three guys to unspool and position this cable in the trench:

That's Dale Hanna, our electrician (West Carleton Electric) in the trench.

Leveling and positioning the transformer pad:

Then Mark & I got back in the trench to smooth more sand dumped in by Al in his backhoe.  I cannot imagine how brutal this would have been without Al!

Then fill, warning tape, and more fill again.

We're getting there!

So at the end of all that labour, did we have hydro?  Nope, not yet.  We still need a transformer, meter and one pole.  Hydro One will be installing those.  Here's where the pole will go: