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Electrical Work XVIII: Wiling Away the Non-Kitchen-Ceiling Hours

May 4, 2010

Since I was only able to make myself get up on a ladder in the fumes and drips to seal the kitchen ceiling for a couple hours a day, I got to spend the rest of the time working on the electricity.

The stairway to the basement never had a light in it.  There was a switch at the top of it, but it just turned on the lights in the basement.  (Actually, it originally only turned on one bulb in the basement, which I then put an outlet adapter in and attached a power strip and two fluorescent shop lights to.)  This dimly light the bottom few steps.  The lights in the kitchen dimly lit the top few steps and some of the shelves at the top of the steps, but nowhere in there was actually well lit.  So I planned a light to go in there, all code-following like, and finally got it installed while procrastinating on the kitchen ceiling.

Let there be light!

So now the basement steps have a light that illuminates each step (and the shelves at the top) and is controllable by a switch at both the top and the bottom of the steps.  My first 3-way switch, and it works!

Other new electricity projects during this time included hooking up the light switch and one of the outlets in the dining room, installing 3 more outlets in the kitchen and some prep work (cutting lots of holes) for the electricity in the master bedroom.

I also started taking down the old electricity on the basement ceiling.  I’ve only gotten the first half or so done, but its so much nicer.  The first step in removing old junction boxes was to detach from the ceiling all the cables leading into them.

Old junction boxes.

Then it was time to open them up and see what they had inside.

Old junction boxes opened up.

This pair of boxes had a couple of splices that weren’t secured with wire caps, just with electrical tape, but otherwise all seemed above board.  So the next step was to cut out all the wires.

Old junction boxes emptied of wires.

This was when I discovered that the only thing holding these two boxes to the ceiling was a single very loose screw and all the wires that went into them.  I’m glad I’m not using any of the old electricity any more.  So, finally the junction boxes themselves were ready (one might say almost eager) to come down.

No more old junction boxes!

The ceiling looks so much better down there now.  Of course, I guess that is only if you look at the ceiling down there and are well acquainted with what it used to look like.  But I sure prefer it!

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