Old Stone House

Wired

October 25, 2006

Filed under: Basement @ 10:12 am

light.jpgWith the framing complete, a definite momentum had begun as we now started to round the corner towards the finish. that momentum was supercharged by an evening of manly wiring.

As I mentioned earlier, all of the utilities in the basement were installed poorly, if not dangerously, and the same was true of the wiring. The one difference with the wiring was that all of the hidden junction boxes and spliced wires were for the basement room only. It seems that whoever wired the kitchen and bathroom above, did things right. It was only the ‘afterthought’ basement that had the problems. Unlike the plumbing and the heating, I didn’t have to try to preserve any of the original wiring, so I cut the whole mess out.

Thinking ahead.

If there is anything I have learned from work, it’s that redundancy is good. There is nothing more unpleasant then a power failure when working on a computer, or roasting the Christmas turkey. As such, I planned to wire the room with 3 separate circuits – 2 circuits for outlets, and one circuit for the lights.

I installed seven outlets in the room – averaging an outlet every 4-5 feet, and connected every other outlet to the same circuit. This way, if we every need to hook up a computer, a heater and a television, we’ll lessen the risk of popping a breaker as the load will be shared across two circuits.

Running the line for the lights was a little more complicated. The original wiring ran to the switch upstairs, and then snaked down through the outside wall and foundation to the basement. Building code requires that a switch be present at both the top and the bottom of the stairs, so I couldn’t reuse the existing wiring as I needed to install a 3-way switch. Two hours and 17 access holes later, I managed to snake a new three-strand wire from the upstairs to the downstairs, and hooked up the new switches to a pig-tailed light. It worked the first time. (note: for some reason everyone I talk to always speaks of the “three way switch” as the great nemesis of the DIY. As such, I always consider it a small victory when I get one to work. I still don’t see what the big deal is though…)

Finally I looped a series of wire segments into the ceiling for the future pot lights – recording their location on a small map, and binding their ends with electrical tape. The wires would be dry walled into the ceiling and fished out afterwards to hook up the lights.

Zap!

light2.jpg

light1.jpg

No Comments »

No comments yet.

Leave a comment