I found an ad on craigslist for six solar panels and two storage tanks. It was another Novan system with a heat exchanger. They had a photo of the panels installed on the roof.
There were also photos of the panels on the driveway and the tanks in the basement.
We picked up the panels in December and went back in January to disassemble the tanks and the heat exchanger and start the move of the tanks. That was when we realized they were too large and too heavy to move like the smaller system I purchased a few years ago.
The storage tanks on this system were big. I looked up the specs on the AO Smith STD 120 gallon solar boost tanks and learned they weigh 300 lbs.
We strapped a tank onto an appliance dolly and tried to get it up the basement stairs and it was too difficult. The seller had plans to be out of town for a few weeks and we planned a week in Arizona. In the meantime I started thinking the whole deal was going to be too difficult for us oldsters. The seller was older too although he and his friend who was helping with the sale were both in great shape as hikers and mountain bikers and mountain climbers. Very impressive backgrounds climbing in Katmandu and Australia!
In early February I arranged for some movers to bring the tanks up from the basement. I also planned to use plywood on the staircase to make a smooth surface to raise the tanks and even brought a winch that was attached to a 2 x 4 that could span the doorway. Unfortunately the movers stood us up at our 10:00 a.m. appointment. They claimed they had a tire blow on the way from Colorado Springs which is two hours away. I can’t imagine what they were doing there but they 100% guaranteed that they would be available at 3:30. At 4:00 I was unable to get ahold of anyone in the company and ended up just going home. After another few weeks of other projects and obligations and attempted arrangement for other movers, I decided we would try to slide them up ourselves or take them apart.
Today when we arrived we tried to take a tank up the stairs without the plywood or winch and couldn’t do it again. So we laid it down and started taking it apart. I left my phone in the truck so I didn’t get any photos of the process.
I had researched the tanks and they were glass lined steels tanks inside a casing of steel and insulation. I watched some youtube videos on scrapping and learned how to take one apart by slicing the outer casing off. So this morning I brought several tools to the worksite. All our pipe wrenches and socket sets, several screwdrivers including our battery powered drills and a grinder to slice off the casing. So when we couldn’t handle the full weight, the disassembly began.
The grinder did a good job of slicing the tank. There were a lot of sparks and it was rather loud. Roger was kind enough to find us all ear plugs to save what little hearing we have left. We pried off the top and bottom and had to cut around bolts that we could not get a grip on to get off on the bottom. We sliced away a good portion of the insulation around the tank but then decided to try loading it again on the dolly and taking it up the stairs.
It was still too heavy for me to be at the top, then Dave tried it and it was too heavy for him so we put down the plywood and he arranged the winch at the garage door and it was rolled up the plywood. At one point we were not sure how to stand it up at the top of the stairs but then decided to hook the winch onto the bottom of the dolly instead of the handle while Dave winched the two other men stood up the tank.
With a little finagling the tank went around the corner through the garage door and down the step to the trailer and we strapped it on. The scrap metal went in the back of the truck.
Roger had to leave so we stripped the second tank of its metal shell and will return on Monday to get it up the stairs and onto the trailer.
The tanks are pretty rusted at the top and bottom and I hope I can clean them up enough to lay on their sides in an insulated enclosure to store the water from the panels. It was a big job and we were exhausted and hungry when we were finished.