Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kitchen Wiring

I've been lazy for the last week and haven't replaced the old switches and outlets. Until today. I scraped a dozen old layers of paint off the screws and removed the switches from the boxes. One thing which has bugged me since we moved in is that the previous owners did a little custom wiring of their own. When you walk into the kitchen, the light over the table should be able to be turned on from the hallway entrance or the back door. However, after the house was built a ceiling fan with light was added and they decided to f' up the wiring so they could have one switch for the light and one for the fan. The problem? One switch was at the hallway and the other switch at the back door. These used to be 3-way switches and now they're 2-way. At the hallway, they just removed the third wire. They did have sense enough to wrap the cut wire with electrical tape at least. Note all the grunge on the switches - yum!

At the back door I have no idea what they did, as the wires aren't marked and there is no obviously disconnected wire(s). I'll need to pull the ceiling fan from the ceiling to see what kind of mess I've got there, and once that is done I should be able to get things back in order. We're removing the fan from over the table and will go with a regular light fixture on 3-way switches. The switches here (and in most of the house) are wired utilizing those damn push-in connections. Half of them are loose enough to slide a bit as I pull the switches from the boxes. They're easy and fast, but I don't trust them.

Here's one thing I don't trust about them. One switch had some electrical tape wrapped around one side. At first, I thought it was to cover a side terminal - it wasn't. As I peeled the tape off, a chunk of the old switch came off with it. Yay for quality original switches!

Am I the only one who installs all new cover plates with the screws all lined up vertically? It may be over-the-top when it comes to worrying about detail, but I think it makes it look more professional. I have no life....


Smudgemo said...

Am I the only one who installs all new cover plates with the screws all lined up vertically?

Me too. In high school electronics class Chet said it is a mark of professionalism and I've done it ever since. At least it is one thing I can truly say I'll never screw-up.

Fargo 1928 said...

Well, now that's another thing that'll be a pet peeve until I die. Thanks, Jeff.

Seriously though, I just dabbled with wiring this week and it's NOT fun. Good work though, it looks good!

Muskego Jeff said...

"Chet-tronics" was the name of his class. I picked up the habit somewhere else.

I recently painted a co-workers front entrance stairway (2-story ceiling, and they didn't have any way to do it themselves) and re-did all the screws after they put the covers back on. They thought I was nuts.