This looked like it was going to be a daunting task. The machine is big and heavy, comments online are all about the hose being difficult and unwieldy, and that at minimum you need three people (an issue because Ermela had to be away the day we rented the equipment from Home Depot so there were only two of us). In reality, it was easy, took a few minutes to get the hang of it, and you definitely need a couple strong guys to load and unload the truck, but the process it's self is painless if a little messy.
For about half a second we flirted with the idea of skipping this whole step. The area in question is a 10' wide area of a North wall, hardly worth the trouble, but one look at the split copper pipes from the old shower reminded us of how important proper insulation is.
After we removed all the old plywood and nails from the wall we drilled 1.5" holes towards the top of each stud bay. We were drilling blind so we aimed for the centers of the bays, but did not always get it right.
That little lower hole is from when we were checking to see if any insulation existed a couple weeks back. Once we had the holes drilled we drove the truck around to the north side of the house and Graham pulled the insulation blower out. The blower is provided with two 50' hoses, the idea being that people never have to bring the machine inside, in this case we got pretty close so we only had to hook up one hose length, and pull it through the bathroom window.
Once the hose was in we set about preparing the work area. Moving obstructions inside and pre-slicing bags of insulation open outside and putting them within easy reach. This was a step that is not really necessary when doing cavity filling, but probably very necessary when doing open attic filling, otherwise time would be wasted, but with our short 16" stud bays there was really no urgency, each bag lasted a couple bays.
With the work area prepared we hit the on switch....and nothing happened. If you look at the picture above there is an orange sheet of metal above the house, turns out you have to pull that out in order for the cellulose to get to the hose. SO, we pulled that out, flipped the switch and we were off to the races. Graham loading and unclogging the blower and Carol handling the hose. We had one clog while trying to overstuff a bay, but other than that it went easy. There is a lot of yelling back and forth to turn on, then off, then back on for one second etc.. but all things considered that machine is a huge time saver. We only used a third of the bags of Green Fiber insulation but opted to keep the extra and re-rent the machine when we are ready to put a layer in the attic eaves and knee wall areas.
You should be prepared to be covered in cellulose insulation at the end and it's best to close off the area you are working in (she says she is smiling behind the mask in this picture). Once we we packed the machine up we stuck the wooden plugs back in and taped over them to hold them in place. They will be covered with cement board and drywall so no need to get fancy in re-installing the plugs.
The final touch for this wall is a little expanding foam insulation at the top and we are ready to go to the next project.