Don’t Touch That Switch!

Ok, so we already established that I am not handy.  But, there are some projects that I have attempted, with a certain level of success, that I don’t mind repeating.  Doorknobs, hanging curtains (I know, that one is no big deal) and some other small stuff.  One thing that made that list, much to my own surprise, is replacing light fixtures in the house.

Steve investigating a part web

Right now, I am thinking the same thing you are:  “light fixtures!  This guy is nuts!”

Now, having watched a healthy amount of Saturday morning cartoons in my younger days, I remember my fair share of “Schoolhouse Rock.”

images-1

Who could forget? “I’m just a bill, yeah I’m only a bill, and I’m sittin’ here on Capitol Hill.”  The one that springs to my mind right now is the light bulb that used to sing about playing it safe around electricity.  I usually head all warnings of singing, rolled up legislation or light bulbs, but at this point the wife’s Honey-do list trumps my public safety message cartoon memories.

In a previous blog Chernee discussed the transformation of our mudroom with some new paint and stencil.  In order to complete the transformation she wanted to replace the “boob light” fixture (her words, not mine) with a new fixture that had a lot more character.

The first step was removing the existing boob light.  That was a simple process.  The fixture came apart quickly and I made sure to “tie-off” the wires for safety.

Trying out the light and the water spot web

We had some water damage on the ceiling from a small leak we had in the master bath last year; so, the second step was to touch up that ceiling paint to cover the water damage.  Once that dried I had to install the new fixture.

Steve w drill and installing light

I know what you are thinking……Steve forgot to mention the step where he goes to the panel box and shuts off the power to the switch in the mudroom.

You would be right.  The electrician that wired our house when it was built was not the most detail oriented it seems.  When I open up the box downstairs I can see that the big stuff is labeled, like “A/C’ or “Stove”.  But all the other switches are labeled the in the same way:  “lites n’ plugs.”

Switch box

Here is what I did and I would not recommend:  First, I demanded that NO ONE come into the mudroom while I installed the light.

Mudroom switch web 2

Then, I made sure to keep looking at the switch to make sure it was “off” while I wired the new light.  It worked well and I was able to install the new light without killing myself.  A big bonus!

Steve with his light all up web

The new light looks great and I now have a follow-up project of going thru the house to correctly label the panel box switches.

New Hallway light on web

That way if (when) Chernee wants to replace any other fixtures I am ready to shut off the power the right way.

Remember, to quote the singing light bulb,  “you gotta play it safe around electricity”

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