Friday, July 12, 2013

Replacing a Simple Metal Roof -- Day 4

Hubby changing the wiring on the solar panels.
We finally got the rest of the solar panels with their racks down off the roof, plus the one rack that was on the mini-shed next door. Next  step -- rewire the panels from 24 volts to 48 volts. The reason? The higher the voltage, the further the distance one can drive the power. When the panels were up on the roof they were closer to the inverter. So 24 volts was fine. But now they will be about twice the distance away, so hubby felt that going with 48 volts was the better idea. Our inverter can handle 48 volts just fine. And since the way our panels are already set up, it was a case of simple rewiring. It took some time to do all 16 panels, but it wasn't all that complicated.

While hubby worked on the wiring, I cleaned the back the back of the panels. The surface was developing pepper-like pits that were showing some rust. Even though protected from the run, the surface was obviously reacting to the acidic moisture in the air. Once clean, the entire surface was treated with phosphoric acid, a product called Ospho. Works well. I will have to keep an eye on the panels in the future. 

It was now time to set the panels onto the ground fame. We had removed all the rack except for the two rails holding the four panels together as a group. Thankfully the four panels linked together in this fashion were not too heavy. With not too much grunting and hyperventilation, these two old foogies managed to flip them over and position them onto the ground frame. Good job done, if I say so myself! 

Now with everything off the top of the shed, it was easy to finish up the original job. Gosh, that was what started this whole mess! Time to finish that simple metal roof! The last pieces on needed to be cut. So ask, how does one cut metal roofing on a small at-home job? Buying or renting a hugh sheet metal cutter wouldn't make sense. And the roofing is too thick for metal snips. A sawsall would work but you would need to make a frame to hold the sheeting firmly in place. But there is a trick that works far better and doesn't require expense. Our friend David came by and showed us how. Take an old worn out circular saw blade. Put it onto the saw BACKWARDS. Now go ahead and cut the metal. Worked like a charm. Smooth. Easy. Much like cutting wood. Incredible! 

Finally, finally, finally, the simple metal roof has gotten done! 
Cutting the metal roofing. Yes, using a circular saw!

So here we sat with one fine, simple metal roof but no functioning power system. Back to work! Snuffling around the shed contents, we found the electrical box that we knew that we had somewhere, but alas it turned out to be an indoor box. We needed an exterior box to act as a combiner box for the solar panels. Then measuring the distances we needed for wiring, we discovered we were short by a few feet. Of course! What next? So it looks like we will have to make do until we can make a trip to Kona to pick up an outdoor box and exterior wire. 


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  2. I'm currently in need of a new roof, so I've been researching the common materials used as well as methods. I think I like the idea of a metal roof because of it's durability, but I'm not sure I would be able to handle the noise. Do you know of any materials that are almost as durable but less noisy? I've also been looking into the best OKC roofing contractor in my area to the best work for me.

  3. Aloha James! There are a variety of things that can be done to help deaden the noise from metal roof. I really don't know what's available, but if you search the web or ask a number of roofing contractors who work with metal rooves, you should be able to find out. On our house roof we used styrofoam insulation sheets between the roof material and the ceiling. It helps. But yes, in a heavy downpour, things get loud.

    A slate or tile roof would be real durable. But unless the house has been built to handle the weight, they may not be an option.

  4. Finally, you got your solar panels back up on your roof, and your roof's finally fixed! That was sure a lot of work you two had to go through to replace a rusted old metal roof. By the way, the use of the circular saw blade to cut the metal roof is genius! Thank you for sharing that trick with us, and congratulations on your new roof!
    Samantha @ Superior Building Inc.

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  7. Wow! It’s so nice to see a family literally building the roof over their heads. This will definitely save you guys a lot of money. By the way, let me just say that your progress is looking good. Kudos! 
    James Oakley

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  9. Yes metal roofs will cost you more but will save you money in the long run. You just have to keep up on the proper maintenance and it will last a long time.

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