Tuesday, September 18, 2007

God said let there be light, and light was made.

On the DIY scale, I would say I am about a 7. If someone is there to give me some general guidance, you could crank that up to a solid 9.5. There are a few things that I am weary of and electricity is one of them. I can hang a light, but when it comes to running wires and installing plugs, it is best if I get out the cheque book. Or the phone and call me pops!

Having successfully installed my chandelier (free! Courtesy of Karen and Duck) I couldn’t help but notice the 12 lights were a bit on the bright side. Solution = dimmer. While I was at it, I thought one in the kitchen and a couple others throughout the house would be nice.

I knew some were halogen and others incandescent and stocked up on what I needed. My first attempt was one of the kitchen lights. When I put in the chandelier, I knew that flicking the switch would kill the power to the wires. In the back of my mind, I knew it was not the same at the switch and that you needed to trip the breaker. I thought it wise to test it first. Dumb-ass. I got what I deserved and then headed down the stairs to the aforementioned power source.

As soon as I looked at the spaghetti like pile of wires, I knew I was out of my league. There were three black but all the white were capped? And there was no ground wire. I safely tucked things back where they were and waited for dad.

He came round on Sunday, and with a great deal of authority, cut this wire, capped that wire and attached the ground to the electrical box. Ahhhhhhhhh….dimmer success! Or so we thought. Last night I went to turn on the lights under my cupboards and nothing happened.

I must have flicked it wrong thought I. After two or three attempts (sometimes it takes time for electricity to flow you know) I stepped back and scratched my head. I went to the new dimmer switch (they are not even near each other!) turned it on, and voila! I also had the cupboard lights working. Uh-oh. As it turns out, the power of the dimmer went beyond its intended reach.

It also did the same thing to my deck light. Oh how I laughed. The silver lining is that I now have a three for one dimmer. I have a new switch to install tonight to correct the problem. I will let you know…..I hope.


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