Thursday, October 3, 2013

Master Suite: Switching Electrical

When we decided to move our closet door, there were two electrical issues we needed to tend to. First was that the light switch would not be easily accessible from the new door, so it needed to be moved. Second, there was an outlet where the new door would be installed, so it needed to be moved over.

Neither my husband or I have any experience with electrical work, and we figured this would not be a good project to do on our own, so we called up my father, a retired electrical engineer, for assistance. He and my husband bought a huge spade drill bit, electrical boxes, electrical box covers, and some wire. After they turned off the power (very important step!), they tackled the outlet. (I wasn't there, so this is my best interpretation of what my husband says they did). They took it off of the stud it was connected to, added some wire because it was going a further distance, installed a junction box, and attached it to another stud along the wall. Next up, they drilled a series of holes in different studs to create a path for the wire to the new light switch. They created a very sophisticated tool using a wire hanger and some string to weave the wire from the original location to the new location. The thing about electrical is that you never really know if all your work was correct until you turn the power back on. This project was a success!

Project Cost: $25.16

On a related and unrelated note, I know I have mentioned before how some of the things in this house make me laugh. Add the electrical outlets to that list. Most of the outlets and switches in our house are white with white plates. However, the master bedroom had a mixture of ivory and this:

Lovely, isn't it? There were some that had white plates and white switches, and there were some ivory plates with ivory switches. Basically it was a mixture of everything. I thought it looked terrible, and I wanted it to match the rest of the house (white on white).

First, I had to count how many white outlets, switches, and plates that we had, and how many we needed. Since my husband dabbled with electrical with my father, he was nominated to be the one to switch all of the outlets. It didn't take him much time at all. Basically, you look at the old outlet and match up the wires to the same places on the new outlet.

We did run in to a few snags. First, the outlet that was connected to a light switch was working, but not in connection with the light switch. We called up my dad and he said to check the little tab on the side of the outlet. On the old one, it had been taken off, and we needed to do the same to the new one. I guess it had something to do with the connection. Second, two of the outlets in the bathroom that he replaced were not working. One was one of those heavy duty ones that have a reset button. My husband took them back out and wiggled some wires around and got them all working. He is proud of himself to figuring all of the electrical out and I am happy to have matching outlets and plates!

Project Cost $66.79

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