Sunday, December 04, 2005

Power on

In a continuation of yesterday's power adventures, today I did a some more outlets.

I made the 2-prong outlet properly grounded, as I mentioned.

I replaced 2 switches. The new ones are higher quality, so I'm feeling good about that, too.

I went to do the last outlet, and ran in to trouble. When I went to screw in the new outlet, I couldn't get one of the screws to take. The box was plastic, and the screw hole had stripped. Also, while working on it, I had cracked the box on the side, which didn't seem like a good thing.

I wanted to replace it, but it was securely fastened to a stud (good!). Actually, it was rivetted to a metal bracket which was nailed to a stud. I was able to get behind a wall in another part of the house to get an idea of what I was dealing with.

I basically demolished the box with random tools, pulling out the peices as I went. Then I used a prybar to pull the nails out, which was a HUGE PAIN IN THE ASS.

Once that was done, and my ass had recovered, I installed the new box, new outlet, etc. All good. I also stopped to praise my choice to buy some extra gang boxes yesterday.

Other interesting notes from the experience:

- 2 of the walls in the kithen had wallpaper, which was painted over. Bad. Some of it tore while I worked, and now there's a white blemish next to a light switch. Need to touch that up.

- While working on the plug that I didn't get along with, my 4-year-old flipped some breakers. Scary.

- I actually did manage to give myself a little jolt. It wasn't fun, but it wasn't exactly painful.

Time to pause being an electrician. Tomorrow I go back to moonlighting as a software developer.


Anonymous said...

It's never easy to pull out a box like that, but if you have to do it again:

1) A recip saw works great to cut the nail that attach the box to the stud. Pry back the box a little to get some space.

2) A dremel tool with a diamond cutoff blade makes short work of plastic boxes. You can hack around the inside fairly easily without damaging wires.

3) You forgot to mention how much skin you lost from your hands in the deal.

Jay Bazuzi said...

Mmmm, tools. Yeah, I really enjoy tools. There's a powerful, excited tool consumer in me, for sure!

At the same time, I want to live in a simpler, more meager life. Having tools available means I can do work myself (and do it well), but it also means that I have to store & care for them, too.

While it was exhausting, it didn't lose any skin in the process. That only happened when I hit a corner while putting away dishes. So, the lesson is: don't do dishes.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.