Re-Energize The Blistered Palm!

Day #56

May25, 2019 – I know, I’ve written enough about this whole temporary electric situation but today we Re-Energized the cottage. This allowed me to turn on the water, the water heater and all our appliances. From this point forward we can continue with the kitchen roof demolition and the rest of the renovation.

After a trip out to Lowe’s for conduit and glue we set about extending the electric service back over to the cottage. This is what it looks like now.

Re-Energize The Blistered Palm
Temporary electric extended back over to the cottage.
Re-Energize The Blistered Palm
LB and conduit at the temporary electric panel.

The electric service was disconnected to allow the the kitchen roof to be removed. To power the cottage back up we extended the service to a point that won’t be disturbed by the demolition.

The only goal for this weekend was to Re-Energize the Blistered Palm Cottage so the the renovation can continue. We accomplished this goal in two days. Much thankx to my family and everyone who helped out. It was a great weekend.

Next weekend we will resume demolition and framing on the kitchen addition. Stay tuned.

Spring Renovation Start Up

Day #55

May 24, 2019 – It was a long winter with no work but the we are finally ready for our Spring renovation start up! Due to other commitments we are running about a month behind the usual cottage opening date. This weekend, Memorial Day weekend is our first opportunity to roll. Let the renovation begin. 

I packed up my new truck and hit the road around 3:30 PM. When we arrived at the cottage we discovered the lane relocation has been completed. Caution to all our Blistered Palm visitors. The new lane is now open.

My new truck.

To our surprise Ross was waiting in the parking area for our arrival. He had already fielded some questions from the next cottage over and had everything under control. Ross has been officially promoted to “Pre-Season Caretaker” for the Spring renovation start up. Congratulations Ross!

Spring Renovation Start Up – Clearing the tent campsites.

The main focus of the work this weekend is the completion of the temporary electric. Once the electric is back on we can turn on the water and fire up the water heater. With that said, when I turned on the breaker in the temporary panel and tested the receptacle we had no power. Ughhhh!

Spring Renovation Start Up
Meter relocated from the cottage to the temporary service pole.

I placed a outage call to Penn Elec/Met Ed and explained the situation. They dispatched a line truck to troubleshoot the problem. When the repair person arrived the neighbors, from a couple cabins down, came out to see why the truck was blocking the lane. The repairman told us they were just being nosy.

When we opened the temporary panel we immediately identified the problem. The main breaker in this Eaton panel is off to the left side so the first to spaces to the right of the main are not usable. Once we relocated the the 20 amp breaker for the receptacle we had power. Hoo Raw! We are all set to re-energize the Blistered Palm.

By the time the Penn-Elec guy left it was to late in the evening to start on the water system. We will save this fun for tomorrow.

Electric Service Inspection Sticker

Temporary Electric Service

Day #54

November 13, 2018 – If everything goes as planned, today we will get our electric service inspection sticker. I called the inspection service, Commonwealth Code Inspection Service, on Monday. The lady I spoke with was very nice. She took down the address information and the Penelec design request number. She told me that I could have it inspected as early as tomorrow. Great I replied, lets set it up.

Although she couldn’t give me a specific time she indicated that it would be early in the morning. The drive from Harrisburg to the cottage takes an hour and a half. I told her I would be there waiting by 7:30 AM. 

I arrived a little late, around 8:00 AM and proceeded to wait and wait and wait. Throughout the day I called the CCIS office three times. Each time I was told that the inspector is still coming today and he should be there soon. 

Finally after 7 hours and 15 minutes of waiting the inspector showed up.  It was 3:15 PM. He basically bull shitted with me for half an hour, rattled the wires around a bit and started to get in his car. Whoa hold up a second I said,  aren’t you going to put a sticker on the panel? He said, yeah if you want one I can put it on. You bet your ass. 

So this is what we get after waiting all day. It’s the electric service inspection sticker and we passed! Now Penelec can cut relocate the electric from the cottage and we can take the roof off. Hooray!


Juniata River - Lookout
At the Lookout waiting on the inspector…


Waiting on the inspector in the front yard.


Downed Verizon Wire
Checking out the downed wire in the woods waiting on the inspector…


Horningford Farm
Waiting on the inspector on Horningford Road…


Dangerous Dan and Superman
Dangerous Dan, Superman and Budgie watching the trains go by waiting on the inspector…


Black Cat
Spying a black cat sneaking up, waiting on the inspector…


Temporary Electric Service Inspection
and here it is the inspection sticker!


Temporary Electric Service Inspection
We passed and now the work can continue.

With the electric service relocated off of the cottage we can begin the kitchen roof demolition in the upcoming Spring.

Temporary Electric Service Inspection

Day #53

November 10, 2018 – Today’s goal is to complete the work required to get the temporary electric service inspection. This includes installing an exterior panel and a waterproof ground fault outlet.

After visiting two different Lowe’s stores and Dauphin Electric Supply, I finally have all the parts I need. I didn’t get to the cottage until late afternoon so I hoped that it wouldn’t take to long to complete. The days are much shorter after daylight savings time ends.

The exterior panel install went very smoothly. The ground fault outlet put the finishing touches on the job. I was done just before the sun went down. We are ready for the temporary electric service inspection.

I’ll call the inspectctor tomorrow morning to schedule the inspection and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that we will pass the first time and get our inspection sticker.

Temporary Electric - Outdoor Panel
Outdoor electric panel with connecting conduit ready to be install on the pole.

Temporary Electric - Outdoor Panel
Outdoor panel install on pole and connected to the meter base.

Temporary Electric - Meter Base
Close up of meter base with the service entrance cable connections and the conduit to the outdoor panel.

Temporary Electric - Load Center
Outdoor load center opened up for wiring.

Temporary Electric - Meter Base Wiring
Meter base close up with wiring connections to the outdoor load center and service entrance cable.

Temporary Electric - Meter Base & Load Center
Meter base and 100 amp load center wiring connections.

Temporary Electric - 100 Amp Load Center
Close up of 100 amp outdoor load center with service entrance connections and a 20 amp receptacle circuit.


Temporary Electric Pole
Installation of a waterproof GFCI receptacle.

Temporary Electric Pole
Close up of temporary waterproof GFCI receptacle.

Temporary Electric Pole
Close up of meter base, outdoor load center and GFCI receptacle. Ready for inspection.

Temporary Electric Pole
End of the day. Temporary electric pole ready for inspection.

Temporary Electric Service

Day #52

November 4, 2018 – I worked on establishing the temporary electric service pole all day today. It was slow going but I was able to get the pole set in the ground and braces on. 

In accordance with the Penelec specifications the temporary electric service pole is supposed to be 18′ overall with 3′-6″  buried in the ground. The digging sucked. With the copious amount of rain we have had the minute I stuck the shovel in the ground the hole filled with water. I dug out three and a half feet of evil smelling muck!

Thankfully we still have a pile of limestone in the driveway. I was able to use the stone to backfill instead of the mud I dug out.

At the end of the day everything but the main breaker panel and one temporary outlet were installed. As soon as I can get those installed  I will call for the inspection of the temporary electric service pole and we will get the service transferred.

Temporary Electric Service - Post Hole
The post hole for the temporary electric pole. 3′-6″ deep and filled with water.

Temporary Electric Service - 18" Treated Pole
Bolting together the temporary electric pole. Penelec requires a 4″×6″×18′ pole.

Temporary Electric Service - Weather Head
Installation of the weather head.

Temporary Electric - Service Entrance Cable
Installation of the service entrance cable.

Temporary Electric - Weatherhead & SE Cable
Close up of the weatherhead with the service entrance cable. Penelec requires 3′ exposed for their connection.

Temporary Electric - Setting Pole
Getting ready to set the pole in the post hole.

Temporary Electric - Temporary Bracing
Temporary bracing to hold the pole upright.

Temporary Electric - Final Bracng
Temporary pole installed with final bracing and meter base.

Temporary Electric - Meter Base
Close up of the meter base.

Temporary Electric - Ground Rods
Penelec requires two 8′ ground rods spaced 6′ apart and connected with #8 bare copper wire.

Temporary Electric - Cottage
Temporary electric pole in relationship to the cottage.

Temporary Electric
Electric connection to the cottage. This will be relocate to the temporary pole.

GFCI Outlets and a new Security Light

Day #47

October 6, 2018 – We took a week off for a wedding in York. Then a family vacation at Seneca Lake in upstate New York. It was a great time but now we’re back to continue the Cot-Taj-Mahal renovation project. The last time I posted I had started the temporary electric. Today I continued with the installation of two GFCI outlets and a new Security Light.

The GFCI outlets came complete, in a kit from Lowe’s (TayMac 1-Gang Rectangle Plastic Weatherproof Electrical Box Cover) for $27.98 each. I installed two of them. This gives me 4 outside outlets for the rest of the work.

The security light is an LED fixture with a motion detector and dusk to dawn sensor. It is by GoodEarth (Good Earth Lighting 180-Degree 2-Head White LED Motion-Activated Flood Light with Timer).

1st GFCI Outlet
Getting ready to install the first of two GFCI outlets.

Weatherproof Outlet Box
Weatherproof outlet box for the first GFCI outlet.

GFCI Outlet Complete
The first of two outdoor GFCI outlets is complete.

GFCI Outlets
TayMac 1-Gang Rectangle Plastic Weatherproof Electrical Box Cover.

2nd GFCI Outlet
2nd GFCI Outlet and new Security Light.

GFCI Outlets
The second of two outdoor outlets is complete.

Security Light Mounted
New GoodEarth Security Light mounted on temporary pole.

GoodEarth Motion-Activated Floodlight
GoodEarth Motion-Activated Floodlight.

New Security Light
GoodEarth Motion-Activated Floodlight lighting up at dusk.

With the temporary electric complete we can proceed with the ceiling and electric demo in the existing kitchen.