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Posted by Steven in Colorado Springs, CO on 9/25/2011

Spent I spent the better part of  he day clearing the area where the backup generator is going to go and building a pad for it. With the recent power problems, we've finally decided to knuckle down and get this puppy ordered—that way we're covered for winter just in case there are more cloudy and nasty days than my system is rigged to handle.

I decided to build the pad just uphill from the solar shed, since I plan to rebuild that shed later (hopefully next summer) with the leftover BuildBlock I have stashed down the hill. It needs to be relatively close though, so that the system can start it up if the batteries are getting ready to fail (this is a capability Outback provides called Automatic Generator Start--good design) but I don't want it particularly near the road, since that might tempt folks (not that we have a lot of stray traffic up here in the mountains).  

As I said, it took me most of the day but by late afternoon I'd built a nice pad for the generator. Dealing with the slope bothered me a bit, but I used a variation of the method I hope to use eventually for the solar shed when I rebuild it. I leveled out a rectangle of the right size, then stacked up cinder blocks left over from Tanglewood's construction (I'd been wondering what the heck I was going to do with those things anyway). Once I got the first ring of block in and level it was all rather simple, being a bit like laying a retaining wall. I did pound in some rebar all around though to reinforce the entire structure since I'm going to put a honking big (and pricey) generator on it, but fortunately cinder blocks make that easy since they have hollow compartments.

After this was all done I filled the whole thing with pea gravel to make a nice, vibration-resistant base. That took about 1,500 pounds of stuff but fortunately I'd bought a good ton, so I even had some left over. I'm thinking that will end up going into the window wells since they need something to keep them from turning into muddy messes.

But that's down the road. For now I'm just happy we're ready for the generator!

Steven in Colorado Springs


Looking downhill across the pad to the solar shed. It ain't pretty, but it'll serve.
Looking at the narrow end of the genny base.
From above. If I've laid things out correctly, the new shed's door will come out right here at this pad.

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