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Electricity Badge - Straw/Wood Brainstorming thread

 
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We're working on defining the remaining levels for a number of badges.  We could use your help coming up with more items that could be added to the various lists!  If you haven't heard of PEP yet, please check out This Thread.

In the past we've set up badges where you have to do a set number of things from a list.  The issue with that is that installing an outlet isn't as hard as installing a sub panel.  So instead, we're transitioning to a point based system.  Install an exterior outlet, earn 1 point.  Augment a pickup to be a back up power station, earn 4 points.  Earn 35 points and you have the Straw badge completed.  

Occasionally there's a range of points.  They'll be spelled out in the text of the BB and this allows for projects of differing complexity to fit in the same BB.  For instance - troubleshooting an electrical appliance.

We've taken a shot at the upper level badges and could use your help rounding them out a bit.  Are we missing any important electrical principles, methods or projects?  We especially need help with solar stuff or things with "XXX" in front of them.  


Sand badge

5 points required

Lead Acid Battery maintenance on three batteries   1 point
create a micro heater bubble   1 point
move a lead acid battery to the shop, charge it, and put it back   1/2 point
replacing a bathroom fan switch with a timer   1/2 point
repair a lamp (110v, 12v, car)   1/2 point
repair a motion detector flood lamp   1/2 point
replace a flood light with a motion detector flood lamp   1/2 point
repair a light switch   1/2 point
install a permanent light fixture 110v ac   1/2 point
install a permanent light fixture 12v dc   1/2 point
install a power outlet 110v ac   1/2 point
install a power outlet 12v dc   1/2 point
install a light switch   1/2 point
put a new end on an extension cord   1/2 point
label the breakers on an electrical panel  1/2 point
replace the heater in a water heater or cloths dryer - 1/2 point
set up a solar water pump (combo w plumbing badge)   1 to 2.5 points
small DC only solar system    4 points

Straw badge

35 points required
Get at least 5 points from new items from the sand badge.
No more than 20 points of duplication allowed

Straw list:

Add a lighting circuit and circuit breaker - 2 points
  - At least 2 switches for different lights
Add an outlet circuit and circuit breaker - 1 point
  - At least 4 outlets or one 20A dedicated outlet (fridge, disposal, etc)
  - If GFCI protected, add ½ point
Add a 220V circuit and circuit breaker and outlet - 1 point
  - range, welder, etc
Replace an electric water heater - 1 point
Add a new circuit breaker and install a new electric water heater - 2 points
Install a doorbell system (chime, transformer, button) - 1 point
Install a shallow well pump for potable pressurized water - 1-2 points
  - Combo with Plumbing
Install a deep well pump for potable pressurized water - 4-8 points
  - Combo with Plumbing
Install a control system and secondary pump for a cistern (not the main well) - 4-8 points
  - Combo with Plumbing
Install a pair of three way switches to control a light/device - 1 points
Install a set of four way switches to control a device - 1.5 points
Install an exterior grade outlet (code compliant box) - 1 point
Install an exterior grade outlet (paul compliant box) - 2 points
Install 20 feet of wire in an unfinished space - 1 point
Install 20 feet of wire to a finished space from an unfinished space - 1.5 point
Install 20 feet of wire, flawlessly, through an existing finished wall - 4 points
Install a subpanel with ground - 6 points
Trench power to an outbuilding properly (show you met code/guidelines for your area) - 10 points

Document electrical usage of 12 devices with a Kill-A-Watt - 2 points
  - 24 hr KWH consumption and/or watts per use
  - Running watts vs standby if applicable
Troubleshoot and fix an electrical appliance - 0.5 to 4 points

Set up an emergency back-up battery system that is always charged - 1 point
  - Light to indicate it’s charged and ready to work
"Charge and Carry" lithium battery power box - 20 points
  - https://youtu.be/ZDSOIN0egMo
Augment a pickup (or other rig) to be a power generator with at least 2 batteries - 4 points
Create a Travis Johnson style PTO driven home generator
  - properly (to code) power a grid tied house for an hour - 12 points
  - augment off-grid batteries - 2 points
  - able to run certain appliances with cord - 2 points
Set up a power wall
  - Off grid - 10 points
  - Grid tied - 20 points
Lead Acid Battery maintenance on twelve batteries - 3 points
Set up a micro hydro power system
  - Off grid - 10 points
  - Grid tied - 20 points
  - cross over points with plumbing
Set up a wind power system
  - Off grid - 10 points
  - Grid tied - 20 points

xxx maintain an existing solar system - maybe a dozen different BBs?

xxx add a timer to shut an inverter off after a few hours

xxx add a smaller inverter that can be used when power needs are low

xxx add a 12v transformer

xxx add another solar panel to an existing system

xxx replace an inverter

xxx build a simple solar AC system

xxx build a full solar system like helen’s


Wood badge

180 points required
Up to 35 points of duplication allowed
Items from Sand and Straw list allowed

Wood list:

Fully wire a small structure with a single supply wire - 4 or more points
  - need to get to at least 4 points to get this BB
  - ½ point per outlet, light fixture or switch
  - ½ extra point per GFCI or AFCI device
  - ½ extra point for all exterior outlets and exposed lights
Fully wire a small structure with 3+ circuits (panel installed already) - 12 or more points
  - need to get to at least 12 points to get this BB
  - ½ point per outlet, light fixture or switch
  - ½ extra point per GFCI or AFCI device
  - ½ extra point for all exterior outlets and exposed lights
  - 1 point per 100 feet of wire ran
  - double all points wired through a finished wall
Fully wire a large structure with 6+ circuits (panel installed already) - 40 or more points
  - need to get to at least 40 points to get this BB
  - ½ point per outlet, light fixture or switch
  - ½ extra point per GFCI or AFCI device
  - ½ extra point for all exterior outlets and exposed lights
  - 1 point per 100 feet of wire ran
  - double all points wired through an existing finished wall
  - at least 16 outlets inside
  - full lights (one light per 100 ft/sq)
  - at least two outlets outside
  - at least one 220 outlet
Install a main panel, meter pedestal, ground and connect their wiring - 15 points

Convert a vehicle to electric (joint project with Tool Care and Metal Working) - 40 points
  - Street legal, capable of 60mph and 40 mile range
  - also earns 35 points of Metal working (Iron)
  - also earns 30 points of Tool Care (Wood/Iron)
Convert a motorcycle or dirt bike to electric (joint project with Tool Care and Metal Working) - 20 points
  - Street legal, capable of 20 mile range
  - also earns 8 points of Metal Working (Iron)
  - also earns 5 points of Tool Care (Wood/Iron)
Convert a tractor to electric (joint project with Tool Care and Metal Working) - 40 points
  - Capable of 6 hrs run time
  - also earns 35 points of Metal Working (Iron)
  - also earns 30 points of Tool Care (Wood/Iron)

Large articulating solar panel system ala Solar Leviathan (40+ square feet) - 40 points
  - Combo with Metalworking
Troubleshoot and repair an electrical issue with an electrically powered vehicle - 2 to 20 points
  - Primarily powered by electricity
  - Electric car, golf cart, tractor, motorcycle, etc
  - Not a battery problem with a conventional vehicle
  - Not an electric assist pedal bike
 
Mike Haasl
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Here's some input from Blaine from another brainstorming thread:

Blaine Clark wrote:Low voltage such as outdoor or even indoor lighting. Low voltage indoor lighting for off grid situations can be very helpful. DC can be generated by solar panels, generators operated by leg, fuel, wind, water or boiler power or stepped down by transformers from higher voltage. Thermostats simple + dual control as in primary heat and backup heat switching. Door/window alarms including intruder alerts for out buildings using motion detection and magnetic switches, possibly even CCTV. Most areas require either installation by licensed electricians or inspection by licensed pros for higher voltage work so there could be a drawback for higher voltage work. Another option for higher voltage wiring is when done under the supervision of a licensed pro, so adding this to the list and including higher voltage wiring might still work.


Good stuff Blaine!  Now that this electrical list is published, I'm guessing some of your ideas are covered (DC lighting).  Thermostats and furnace controls and door bells and alarm systems were a total miss, thanks for bringing them up!
 
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What about passing the Technician level for the Ham Radio test? I am reading a study guide and learning some very basic electrical  terms and how to do calculation.  This could be a basic starting point and easy to verify.
 
Mike Haasl
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Just saw a suggestion to add a trickle charger solar set-up to charge a battery.  And a suggestion to make a map of the circuits in your house.
 
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Since my house is so strangely wired, I'm trying to decide if I want to make a map and frame it next to the breaker box, or if I just want to get a label maker and put stickers on each outlet as to which breaker it goes to (like they do in some doctor offices)

 
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I'd vote both. That way, if someone can't make sense of one, they can still use the other, to cross check them. Also, it's easy to err on one thing, but doing it twice, in different ways, you're more likely to catch it.
 
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r ranson wrote:Since my house is so strangely wired, I'm trying to decide if I want to make a map and frame it next to the breaker box, or if I just want to get a label maker and put stickers on each outlet as to which breaker it goes to (like they do in some doctor offices)



Get a pack of coloured stickers like they use for rewards in schools. each circuit gets it's own sticker colour. One thing I have noticed about these badges in general, is how much stuff they expect you to have, maintain 12 batteries? we have 3! and that's including the tiny thing on the (push) lawnmower.

How about adding wind/micro water generation as an option to solar?

Other than that I can't add much anything that is on the grid has to be done by a certified electrician here, even fixing a switch... so I certainly wouldn't be posting online that I had done it!
 
Mike Haasl
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I've mapped any circuit I do substantial work on so that I can figure it out if I have to fiddle with it again.  If I do the sticker thing, I'll stick them on the inside of the cover plate for the outlet.  Then I don't have to look at stickers all the time.  

Great point about wind and microhydro Skandi!  I have microhydro in plumbing but I need to add it in this badge.  And the wind...
 
Skandi Rogers
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I had a couple of ideas in bed last night, fairly simple not sure if they are under another badge? Vehicle electrics, for example on mine I have replaced the entire front fuse box and computer system, installed cruise control (well activated it it was already present on the vehicle) and fixed a manufacturing fault with the cables to the boot lid that cause them to twist every time it is opened and shut and therefore break every few years. The next project is tracking down the lose connection causing an issue with the drivers window.. it works very occasionally! Oddly the hardest thing I've done on my car was to change a headlight bulb.. talk about poorly designed, the access is in the wheelarch!
 
Mike Haasl
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Good ones Skandi!  

Weird, they'll let you rewire a car but you can't rewire a light switch?  
 
Skandi Rogers
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Mike Haasl wrote:Good ones Skandi!  

Weird, they'll let you rewire a car but you can't rewire a light switch?  


Slightly off topic here, the only thing you can do to the wiring in your house is change the lamp fittings, but even there if it is a florescent tube 36W.. then you need an electrician! the rules are very strange, I think most people ignore them to be honest.
 
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“Get a pack of coloured stickers like they use for rewards in schools. each circuit gets it's own sticker colour.”

“If I do the sticker thing, I’ll stick them on the inside of the cover plate.”

“Trying to decide if I want to make a map.”

If you wanted to be really thorough, do the color code sticker thing, then map the electrical system with matching color pen or pencils. Now you have a very readable schematic that even a kid could figure out. FWIW- I have had numerous jobs where we had to isolate circuits, and will tell you from experience that the testers you buy are not reliable. Two wires running parallel will show the same circuit sometimes. The best thing is 2 people and a radio or lamp. One person flips breakers, the other plugs the radio/lamp into every outlet. You can use walkie talkies in a big building. Then flip breakers and light switches to find lighting circuits. If you’re working alone, the radio turned up loud and a bunch of running back and forth is the other option.
Older houses can be a nightmare. We owned one where whoever wired it used white and black interchangeably for hot and neutral, and the ground wire as the carrier for 3 way switch circuits. Ended up tracing every circuit and rewiring several to make sure there were no fire hazards.

Bottom line- DON’T do electrical work unless you know, beyond a doubt, what you’re doing! It’s not worth someone getting zapped or a fire. Not sure I agree that people should get points for some badge for this, if it ends up encouraging someone to do things they aren’t qualified to do.

 
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adhesive wire marking tags

tags more suitable for cables & larger or outdoor wires

I liked Dawn's idea about the basic ham radio test or some similar type of basic electronic course. Much useful basic electrical/electronic info can be learned from either. Much.

I second Julia's thought about being extra cautious about working with electricity. Always. This stuff can kill. Even low voltage circuitry under certain conditions. It only takes one small mistake or moment of distraction to ruin your whole day. Statistically it's not the electricity itself that normally causes the most harm. It's usually a sudden shower of sparks & the oh crap moment when someone falls off a ladder or jumps back into a saw blade or something like that.

Lockout tagout is your friend. the OSHA law for industry  
Commonly used devices for lockout tagout

I have mixed feelings about the electricity badges. On one hand it's a great idea & a useful skill to have. Almost anyone can learn the basics fairly easily if they want. On the other hand there is a huge liability with doing it wrong. For that reason I choose not to offer up too much electronic/electricity advice for people I don't know. I might gladly answer specific questions. Or randomly provide tidbits of basic concepts or other info that appear to help some specific project or person along. I repaired, designed, & built very complicated electronic devices as a career. Everything from microprocessors to big scary machines with massive high voltage cables thicker than an arm. So I can & will help under the right circumstances. Beyond my limits of that ... I charge $100/hour. Double that fee for people who bring a box of loose parts & say "tried to fix it myself".



 
Mike Haasl
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Yup, I agree fully that safety is critical when working with electricity.  It's critical with most aspects of building and homesteading.  Many of the badges cover things that require a goodly bit of care to not get hurt (cutting down trees, PTO shafts and razing buildings come to mind).

I don't have solar panels (yet?).  Are there maintenance tasks for solar systems that we should add to this list?  

One other thing I think we should add is setting up a micro hydro power system (combo with plumbing).

Thanks team, let's keep building out the list!!!
 
Mike Barkley
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One thing that jumps out is ... once or twice a year remove the covers & use some compressed air to blow out dust bunnies from inverters, computers etc. That would save people a lot of grief & expense.

edited to add ... Small brushes can help remove clumps that are stuck but don't use plastic bristles. Use horsehair or other natural hair brushes. Plastic can create too much static which can ruin many devices.
 
Mike Haasl
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Ooh, good one Mike!
 
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Nice selection  for points. I have only one gripe -- way too lite on the score for a water heater install. I'ved wired up a couple of house and a subpanel or two. In comparison a WH install is a royal PITA.

Lets compare, sub panel vs WH:

Sub --

* Dealing with 10# of material. Some set up can be done before mounted to the wall.
* Main feed and runs are not that hard, trim and fit.
* Add breakers.
* Test ground.

That's it.

Water Heater --

* Dealing with 100-150# of material. Twice that if a replacement.
* Drain tank.
* Disconnect service.
* Disconnect water service
* Extract
* Place new heater.
* Connect water service
* Connect service

Only fair points wise if you are giving 4 points for the plumbing badge.

I would rather chew nails than replace a water heater. And the !#@#$% @#$^#$^ manufacturers seem to move the inlets and outlets an inch or so every decade so that you have to reroute piping just so. Sigh.... Apologize for the rant.




 
john mcginnis
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Julia,

Caution is always the watch word of course. But if someone works around tractors have all their fingers and toes has sufficient caution and intelligence to do most electrical work. In my area due to laws I can't install a panel in new construction. But I can do everything else. Most of an electricians time is spent running wire, not the actual switch, panel work. Soooo.... I place the outlet and switch boxes, run the wires to them, Snake the wiring into the service box, and hook up the outlets and switches but not mount them in the box.

The electrician can come in, inspect my outlets and switches then go do the panel wiring. He can be done in two hours. Its a win-win too. I close everything up once the panel is wired up. I save up to half the cost of the job doing it as I describe. The electrician wins because he does not have to do the grunt work and is paid an above prevailing wage for that which they do. The guy I use likes the arrangement.
 
Mike Haasl
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Thanks John!  I quoted your post above and pasted it into the plumbing brainstorming thread.  We didn't have "Replace a water heater" over in plumbing but we should've.  Here the post is if you want to see it: John's quote over in the plumbing badge

Yes, replacing a water heater is a pain due to the plumbing side.  The electrical part is usually pretty easy.  So I'm thinking 4 points in plumbing and one in electrical is a great idea.  Thanks for catching that!!!
 
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Some more ideas that may be  to simple for the advanced BBs.  Setting up an electric fence net for chickens that used a solar panel that needs to be grounded and sometimes in overcast Oregon even needs a charger on the battery to keep the fence hot. A duck pond/pool filtration system that uses an electric pump to circulate the water. Animals seems to be a theme but using electricity to achieve the goal is different than the skills need to raise fowl.  How about replacing burners on the stove, as I watch my husband cooking on a 2 that is so hot it should be high, guess I can not wait for the BB on this one.
 
Mike Haasl
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Good ones Dawn!  We also have a plumbing badge and I'll have to check if the duck pond one is in there (or similar enough).

Take pictures of the burner replacement anyway!  Doing electrical work where there isn't a BB still gets you "oddball points".  They work towards the Wood and I believe Straw level badges.  One point is roughly equal to an hour of a talented newbie's time.
 
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Changing a ballast &/or starter for a fluorescent lamp fixture???
 
john mcginnis
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Mike Barkley wrote:Changing a ballast &/or starter for a fluorescent lamp fixture???



Yes but I would suggest only if one intends to recycle the old ballast. A lot of copper in those babies. I would award higher points for switching the lamps to LEDs.

Like say these -- https://www.amazon.com/s?k=flourescent+led+replacement+4ft&crid=39IIZG4TPERAV&sprefix=flourcent+led+%2Caps%2C172&ref=nb_sb_ss_sc_1_14
They are a brand I favor but there are others of course. The old fixture remains in place.
 
Julie Reed
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John M says “Most of an electricians time is spent running wire, not the actual switch, panel work.”

This is true John. When I first was learning to do electrical work, the journeyman who taught me said that ‘80% of this is mechanical’ - meaning things like pulling and stripping wire, attaching conduit/boxes, turning screws, etc. However, it all still needs to meet national electrical code. I would not ok someone’s work the way your electrician does with you, unless I knew that person’s work over time. His liability is riding on your mistakes, should you make any. Very few companies will even allow an apprentice to work without a journeyman present. I’m not saying what you’re doing is incorrect or poor quality, but I know the potential for error to be overlooked. I even had a journeyman I caught hanging conduit from steel trusses with zip ties. He told me he could prove that met code, and I told him I didn’t care if it did, that it wasn’t acceptable. Maybe he really didn’t know better, but that sort of thing scares me, and is why I wouldn’t come in and look over what someone else did, wire the panel and sign off on the job unless I had worked with that person for some time, and knew their work level of quality. I spent close to half a year in one commercial complex, just rebalancing 3 phase panels, each of which had the sticker of the company who installed it! Obviously the work was apprenticeship quality, but never checked properly.
I realize this may be a win-win in your situation, but it’s not a favor I would feel comfortable extending. Just my 2 cents!

Oh, and you’re 100% correct about abandoning fluorescent in favor of LED. I have used those same retrofit lamps for several years now and love them.
 
john mcginnis
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Julie Reed wrote:John M says “Most of an electricians time is spent running wire, not the actual switch, panel work.”

... snip ...

Oh, and you’re 100% correct about abandoning fluorescent in favor of LED. I have used those same retrofit lamps for several years now and love them.



Advantage me, learned the does and dont's from my father who was a master electrician for 30 years.  But it is available online for free -- https://www.nfpa.org/codes-and-standards/all-codes-and-standards/list-of-codes-and-standards/detail?code=70 I agree not everyone knows the national electrical code and mechanicals related to electrical work is critical.

Which I guess brings me to something for those developing the badges. Fire safety is a thing, both as a everyday practice and as a design issue. The everyday practice would be a good one to offer. In the fire safety design however there is no national code. Fire code inspections are all the way down to the city level in their unique requirements. Multi-story and commercial being the most stringent.
 
Mike Haasl
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For fire safety we have some BBs (I believe in homesteading) for setting up smoke detectors, CO detectors and fire extinguisher stations.  Or are you talking about more elaborate systems?  Anything that is fancier than something a person would have on their homestead is likely outside our scope.

Last night I remembered that communication wiring may be worth adding.  Phone lines, LAN lines and coax.  Any others?
 
john mcginnis
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Mike Haasl wrote:For fire safety we have some BBs (I believe in homesteading) for setting up smoke detectors, CO detectors and fire extinguisher stations.  Or are you talking about more elaborate systems?  Anything that is fancier than something a person would have on their homestead is likely outside our scope.

Last night I remembered that communication wiring may be worth adding.  Phone lines, LAN lines and coax.  Any others?



This audience, homestead/farm workshop fire safety would be sufficient.

IT Comms and physical layer wiring? That is dying, at least for residences. Between 5G, nextgen wifi and LoWan, wireless is the future. The homestead residence we are renovating now I have pulled or walled over the phone jacks and don't intend to install data jacks anywhere in the place. Instead I will mount a 30' mast with a WIFI-ac class access point in a weather resistant enclosure. Take a look at this gents wireless tech reviews -- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVS6ejD9NLZvjsvhcbiDzjw Only cabling I will have is from the ISP router to the mast mounted AP.  

Have you considered a badge on homestead automation using dirt cheap microcontrollers? One chap on youtube has built a automated hose shutoff when the water level is reached. May not sound like much but what kind of time or water is wasted monitoring a stock tub filling up? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbQfBndbXbw
 
Julie Reed
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“In the fire safety design however there is no national code. Fire code inspections are all the way down to the city level in their unique requirements.“

My experience has been that this is determined by the local fire department in conjunction with the building and zoning people (maybe not everywhere). Those who inspect and enforce are usually not the same people who implement or develop the codes. They ARE usually involved when (if) a code gets modified or updated, or a variance is requested.
Since many homesteads are in locations not subject to permits (or less stringent codes) it may be well worth inviting the fire department to look at your plans and finished structures. A lot of code stuff is bogus (needing a permit and inspection to erect a fence), but a lot of it isn’t, either.
 
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Julie Reed wrote:“In the fire safety design however there is no national code. Fire code inspections are all the way down to the city level in their unique requirements.“

My experience has been that this is determined by the local fire department in conjunction with the building and zoning people (maybe not everywhere). Those who inspect and enforce are usually not the same people who implement or develop the codes. They ARE usually involved when (if) a code gets modified or updated, or a variance is requested.
Since many homesteads are in locations not subject to permits (or less stringent codes) it may be well worth inviting the fire department to look at your plans and finished structures. A lot of code stuff is bogus (needing a permit and inspection to erect a fence), but a lot of it isn’t, either.



My limited experience with code enforcers is that they are wrapped up in their egos.
 
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john mcginnis wrote:Have you considered a badge on homestead automation using dirt cheap microcontrollers? One chap on youtube has built a automated hose shutoff when the water level is reached. May not sound like much but what kind of time or water is wasted monitoring a stock tub filling up? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sbQfBndbXbw


Thanks John!  I've thought about it a bit.  I'm pretty sure the 22 badges are locked in at this point, so if it were to be added, it would have to fit into an existing one.  I'm guessing automation would either go under electrical or homesteading.  Neither is a perfect fit.  I'll run it past the big guy and see what he says...
 
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OK team, I updated the list based on a call with Paul.  Some of the suggestions will be put into other badges (Homesteading, Tool Care, etc).

Thanks for all the input, any others to add?  Especially for the items in the Straw badge with XXX in front of them?  They're primarily solar things that I'm not as familiar with...
 
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Mike Haasl wrote:OK team, I updated the list based on a call with Paul.  Some of the suggestions will be put into other badges (Homesteading, Tool Care, etc).

Thanks for all the input, any others to add?  Especially for the items in the Straw badge with XXX in front of them?  They're primarily solar things that I'm not as familiar with...



Kind of advanced, but you could add a Green Switch.

A green switch is a shut off at the front door location. This shuts off power o 90% of the home. The other 10% (or so) has "Forever Power" which is outlets tied to the Main breaker. These are always on, so like the Refrigerator, Heating Furnace and Outside Lights. I put one Forever Power outlet in each room so that I can plug in a fish tank for instance...

It is called a Green Switch because it kills most of the power to a home, so no phantom electrical loads. No leaving home and wondering if you left the oven on. No coming home to a busted pipe and a cellar full of water because the water pump was shut off...

(This is just an idea).
 
Mike Haasl
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Good one Travis!  So if you're installing one in an existing house, how do you do it?  Is it a big disconnect switch that has 100+ amps going through it and then back to a secondary breaker box by the main panel?
 
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Parachuting in late but ...

Tasks aside, I suggest having a BB just for working with 220-240v power.  sure that's not relevant in other parts of the world, but 220v is significantly different from standard 110v, especially when wiring new circuits.  You can't use compact split breakers, for instance (ask me how I know...)

I second various mentions of outdoor power - although I'd add a BB for installing a 220v outdoor outlet, 40a minimum.  Ideally a NEMA 14-50 as that plug is used for RVs and thus there are a lot of adapters made for it, its a mainstay of electrical car charging, and opens up lots of possibilities for heavy electric tools (and welders?).

As part of the BB for adding a whole new circuit I'd like to see a wattage/amperage calculation - how many draws, how many watts, wire size and breaker amperage.  This is a critical element for correctly (and safely) adding a circuit ... and it also teaches the stupid number of LEDs you can put on a 15a circuit (something like 200 7v bulbs).

Another skill is troubleshooting and learning to use a multi-meter.  Specifically, testing for continuity, voltage and amperage.  Resistance isn't very relevant for household/ag wiring.  I'd suggest that "testing electrical circuits" could also fit under Tool Maintenance for troubleshooting tractors, electric vehicles, etc.  The number of safety/kill switches on modern machinery is maddening and if one isn't working then the only way to fix it is to diagnose (and then bypass ... or repair/replace the switch).
 
Mike Haasl
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I just posted the Straw and Wood items to the official badge.  Thanks for all the brainstorming help!!!  

Eliot, one focus of these PEP items is to have actual artifacts/objects when you're done.  So the calculations, training classes, journals, spreadsheets, multimeter stuff, etc, etc, etc doesn't fit Paul's vision.  Occasionally you'll see a journal for Natural Medicine or a "How the house works" binder for Homesteading but they're the outlier.  Thanks!

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