I’m not talking out of turn, I think, when I say that Big Brother keeps forgetting I’m not an electrician. He has said so himself. On my best day I’m a sort of self-taught handyman. On my worst days sparks fly and things that should stay up fall down. I barely know how to make most things work, and when I get them to work there’s always a good chance it could have been done better.
So when on Sunday a commenter said,
Anything bigger than 32 gauge will be more than enough, although you’ll probably want 24 gauge or larger for mechanical strength, so they don’t stretch or break while pulling them.
I thought, “That sounds right, but BB is always after me to use large-gauge wire on DC. I should play it safe and keep doing what I’m doing.” But then BB himself, having read that comment, saw me coming and emailed,
Joel, the person who said that your new meters only need small gauge wire is exactly right (as long as they are the only thing connected to the wire) That’s why I sent you that hank of multi-conductor telephone wire. Basically wire the meters straight to your battery bank each on one twisted pair of wire.
So if you use that wire, the drill you have will be fine.
Okay, so that changed things, possibly more than he intended. If I used that wire, I could come up through an existing hole in the floor and didn’t need to fish wire through the wall at all. Just pry out a caulk plug.
Anyway, fortunately I had left means by which I could pull new wire through the conduit for once, and soon I had new small-gauge wire inside the cabin and ready to wire to my new meters.
And anyway I’m just pleased with myself that I got it done. Working with electricity – even at very small amperage – and crawling around under the cabin are two of my least favorite things. Put them together and it’s a chore I’m glad to finally be on the right side of.
Further, the old one won’t go to waste. With the addition of a couple of alligator clips this’ll be screwed to the powershed wall as my permanent battery-checking voltmeter. Better than that redneck analog meter I wired up for the purpose years ago.