Going Electric.

Yesterday, Big Red and I completed the electrical work in the basement. That's right WE completed it. He had done a lot of the work, and I wanted to help. Electrical work is something that has always been very intimidating. I remember as a child, my father working in the garage one afternoon and fiddling with an outlet. He had a long tool (a screwdriver, I now know), and was assembling (?) or dismantling (?) part of the outlet when he yelped in a very strange way. That was my first experience in the observation of human contact with live power. There have been times when I myself have innocently plugged something into a wall and it has sparked, or even removed and outlet cover and the screwdriver slipped and jammed into the socket. Sparks and the smell of sulfur helped me to steer clear of wanting to actually have to work with the wires.

But, it was time. In the quest to become a self-sufficient woman homeowner, who can really do it herself, I knew I needed to give light to some electric skills. I told Big Red, and insisted he show me how to wire one outlet to the next, and then put in the outlet itself. Turns out, it's not such a big deal, and it isn't scary at all. He pointed out that the biggest step is making sure that the power is OFF. He has this little test-light gizmo that when you touch it to an outlet or a wire, will beep if the power is hot. That's lingo for: ON. Once the power is off, then there's nothing to it.

He had to go to the store, and while he was away I finished an outlet all by myself with not a soul to bear witness. And it worked. I flipped the breaker back on, plugged in a drill and by golly when I pulled the trigger to the drill, it fired right up! No one was around to hear it, but I screamed, "yes!"

Now, I'm not completely proficient in electrical housework. For instance, there was a switch on the wall that was double-gang (2 switches). One controlled the overhead lights, and one controlled the porch light. The catch was, a third wire was coming into the outlet and the whole thing was acting like a junction box. Now that was beyond my Tier 1 level of knowledge. Big Red took that one over. But, while he was working on the inside, I rewired and replaced the outlet on the porch that was going to be drawing power from the mess inside.

I'm nowhere near Contractor status, I can't do it all (yet), but I'm learning. I've added another useful tool to my bag so that when I take on the bathroom remodel MYSELF, I'll be that much more ready to do so. That's right folks, you heard it here. I'm going to attempt the bathroom remodel on my own!

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