HEY! KITCHEN OUTLETS WORK!
We were working in a newly acquired house in the city, and discovered this in the attic, just the way you see it at the top. There’s a long list of things wrong with this picture — 10 or more, probably, but who’s counting? Click the on the picture to see how it turned out.
Back at friends Rob and Patrick (owners of THE WIRED HENHOUSE), in the house made of concrete, they’ve mostly gutted their kitchen and are about to start moving walls and doors, leveling floors and adding framing. One door, they decided, was in the way of where they want some cabinets and countertop, and so the door had to move 18 inches to the left. No problem. Except the space to the left, where they want the new door to be, was occupied by five runs of old iron conduit, with a triple switch box in the middle (the before picture on the left, above), with live wiring inside for several power circuits and three different 3-way switch circuits. In the Before/After picture above, they look so different (one’s close up, the other from back a little farther), we added a red star to mark the same spot on each, to make it easier to see.
The big trick here was the cluster of three conduits coming out the top of the triple switch box and going up into the second floor of the house, in all different directions. We had to cut them off evenly up near the ceiling — without cutting the wires inside — and add some special compression connectors and a junction box (at the top of the AFTER picture, below). There were about 45 different connections involved, which we carefully numbered as we took everything apart. When we finally reconnected it all 12 hours later, everything worked exactly as before, first try.
We’ll be back in January, they think, when the framing is all done and they’re ready for the next phase: installing a new sub-panel and all the wiring for a modern kitchen.
Seriously, we don’t get out to work on farms very often, but here we are again. The “Janet and Lee” family farm in Chili, which had a number of wiring problems in the barns, is mostly populated by pets disguised as livestock, including a pot-bellied pig named Wilbur (we assume the horse, of course, was named Mr. Ed). Once again, we had to work under unusually close supervision. Luckily, we still had in the van about 8 full bags of apples from a job we had just finished out in Sodus, in orchard country, the previous Sunday. Guess who figured THAT out.
The two days we spent there so far were mostly doing repairs. When we get back next it will be for some upgrades, and then maybe we’ll add some pictures of actual wiring, and some genuine before & after. That’s in addition to the ducks, and the chickens, and the dogs, who all complained about being left out of the first round of pictures. [Scroll down for the slideshow.]
The wind took down a tree limb on this rental property, and the tree limb took down the electric lines. RG&E, the utility company, came by and reattached their wires to the house, but gave the owner 10 days to get the service cable itself reattached properly. That’s how we found it, in the “before” photo on the left, with the service cable hanging by the connections to the RG&E wires. It turned out that the weatherhead (the fitting at the top of the service cable, barely visible under the eave) was broken as well. The fasteners for the cable were homemade by the original siding contractor: a thin strip of sheet metal, really just a scrap of the siding, with a rusty nail through it. We reattached the cable using weatherproof screws and proper straps, and installed a new weatherhead at the top. The only tricky part was maneuvering the ladder around the telephone wires, and then working left-handed. Voila!