Saturday, December 10, 2011

Wired again

I gave a buddy a hand wiring the top floor of his off-grid house. This is the guy who recently jumped into my cold and dank well to change my water pump. By comparison, hooking up some lights and outlets is a pretty clean job.

We did the whole top floor in a day -not bad at all. The project was greatly aided by the advance work done last year. All the lines had been run from the entrance box to upstairs. All I had to do was connect them to the breakers. We already had one light and a live outlet. Nothing like having a little light and power to make the job go soother. Last year when I wired the downstairs, I figured I’d eventually be invited back to do the upstairs.

The first thing we did was to hook up all the lights. As the day went on and it got dark, we were able to see what we were doing when connecting the last of the outlets.

Last year there were some discouraging words about us doing the all the electrical ourselves. My buddy’s carpenter was a bit leery about us doing the wiring, but once he looked the job over, he was favorably impressed. The plumber who hooked up the well pump had serious reservations. He told my buddy that the pump needed a dedicated line wired with #12 wire. My friend was able to point out the dedicated #12 wire all ready to go. The plumber couldn’t believe it. I’d wired something quite similar at my place years ago, so I knew what was required. It’s not magic. All this stuff can be looked up.

Electricity makes a lot of people uneasy -as well it should. People die every year. My friend’s come a long way. At first, he didn’t want to touch the stuff at all. Now he’s doing a lot of the wiring on his own and doing good work too.

With the last of the wiring done, he can finish insulating. With cold weather on the way, not a minute too soon.



  1. A little reaserch and some comman sense and a lot of things are able to be done by a homeowner.Most trades men that do plumming and heating or electrical stay busey.I believe comman sense is not as comman as it use to be.

  2. I've worked in electronics and communications for over twenty years, and while it's been OK, I still occasionally regret not taking that offer from the local Air National Guard unit to learn HVAC.

  3. Nice to help a friend who has helped you. Electrical wiring is not complicated, if you know a few rules. What I always hated was when people replaced receptical and reversed the white and black wires. That is why I always test the lines before doing anything.

  4. Gary: Yep, research and common sense
    Tom: never too late to learn.
    Dizzy: You've got to have a tester, because you never know. It does help that I've wired this place from the ground up. I didn't have to spend time undoing someone else's work. Huge time savings.

  5. Great when you can help with or do the work yourself, that way you know it's right!

    Good karma again!