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Sunday, August 14, 2011

House electric switch replacement

I love my house that I've lived in for the past 5 years. I moved here from St. Louis, MO, or rather a suburb of St. Louis, back in 2006 when my job said I had to move to Kansas City... or else! Well, it being that I voluntarily applied for and got the promotion, I picked up my belongings and found this excellent location right across the street from a great elementary school.

My thinking was, well, when I have kids, I'd love to be able to watch them get to school safely right from my front door.... then I realized, oh, yeah, I normally have to get to work a bit earlier than when the kids get to school....

First things first when I moved in - change the locks. Seriously, I've heard stories of people who trusted their friends and others with their keys, then sell their house - and then those nefarious people with copies of the keys from the old owners just one day stroll up to your house, unlock the door, and pilfer your home without breaking a sweat. I like to make it just a little bit harder than that on 'em.

The next thing I did was get rid of the wallpaper in most of the rooms in the house - there were layers upon layers of new wallpaper thrown over the old, and I swear the rooms were much bigger once I trimmed the fat off the walls! Throw up a fresh coat of paint, and the house was looking practically new!

Here's my present struggle. So I like to see when I'm walking around my house, and thus I use the light switches liberally. Well, so liberally I've worn a number of them out. I like living dangerously, so I've taken the task of replacing them myself. It's not hard.... unless you live in a house where the electrician really messed things up. Grrrrrrr.

Apparently the electrician who wired the house switches:

1) Let the house guys blast white paint all over wires and caps in the switch boxes. You're supposed to be able to tell wires apart by color. Red is live, black is negative, copper or green is ground. I seriously cannot tell the differences between the wires because they're painted all white!

2) Double and triple connects power together under one cap. That increases the chances of short circuiting house wiring and starting a fire. Yay, go him!

3) Did not use the ground wiring at all. ANYWHERE. He's tucked the copper ground wire in the back of the boxes, still painted dead white, and left me to try to fish it out behind all the triple-connected wires that take up all the room in the conduit box!


Two light switches down, taking about an hour longer than I wanted to. Maybe I should warn someone before I do it, just in case, y'know?


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