01 July 2016

No. 80: More Home Repairs


No. 80: Let There Be Light


A little carpentry, a little electrical, a little plumbing.
I decided No. 80 would be some electrical work. Need to be well rounded, you know.

At some point I'm going to be able to build my own house. Or at least repair it. 

The front light at the cabin went out. I tried to open the fixture to get the bulb out and discovered a stripped screw. Couldn't get into it.  This is an original fixture from before we bought the place. I had already replaced bulbs in the side yard light and knew they were about $8 apiece. I whisked off to the hardware store with the grand idea of maybe just replacing the fixture. Two new bulbs for the front (IF I could get into the fixture) would have been $16 and a new fixture was $26. Easy decision. 


The existing light. 
Originally the entire top half of the cabin was
painted that lovely shade of green.
Ugly fixture, bad paint job- what is there to love here? 


With neighbor Sue on stand by to call 911, I flipped the breaker box. I've never switched out a light fixture before but I have certainly seen it done enough. How hard could it be? Not very, as it turns out. 

With the power off I unscrewed the original fixture.  A dead and deteriorating wasp nest fell out which leads me to believe it wasn't sealed that well in the first place. Like most of the electrical work in this cabin it was done a bit on the fly. There was electrical tape around one of the connections and fabric tape (huh?) around another. 

It took no time to remove the original and then I attempted to install the new fixture which I had been sure was identical to the first. Oops. No.

Like my painting shirt?
Getting those wires attached....

Almost.
(The scissors in my back pocket were for getting into the packaging,
not for any actual electrical work.)

The original screwed in at the center. 

This one had two screws on either side. Because the junction box wasn't recessed, the original owners had placed two pieces of wood on either side to make the light fixture level with the junction box. Of course, the screws on the new fixture did NOT match up to the screw holes on the junction box. And there was no wood, just air to connect to. A little wiggling and I finally managed to screw the fixture in at the top of the junction box and attach the bottom screw to a wood piece. There was a slight gap which was sealed with foam sealing tape. I figured the hubs used that with the back light fixtures, so it must be ok. Silicone caulk sealed the deal.

Trying to shove everything into the junction box.


The light works beautifully. The cabin has not burned down. Yet.

What an improvement!


I think I can, I think I can.....



Many thanks to neighbor Sue for taking pics and helping me make sure the breaker was off! 

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