Monday, December 28, 2009

Lunchtime Wiring Project

It looks so obvious now

When we bought out paradise dream home, we knew that it wasn't perfect. Opulence aside, there were a few issues we would need to work on in the coming years. One of those is the wiring, which wasn't quite finished up before we moved in.

The previous owners were kind enough to leave me a number of electrical puzzles. The most interesting so far has been the three way switch, which they attempted to wire with two-wire rather than three-wire on one leg. That took about six hours to sort out; we still haven't gotten around to doing the actual work.

But they threw a curve ball today. Or maybe it was a sinker. We have three outlets in the dining nook that were unpowered. I checked the nearest three outlets for a loose connection, but none of them looked to be powering these three outlets (one was a dead end, the other two were connected to each other). Of course, in checking those outlets, I discovered that they didn't leave me enough wire to pull the outlet out. What should have taken a few minutes total took twenty minutes just to reassemble.

Just a dead end?

Anyway, I gave up (for the second time) and returned to work. When I was sufficiently distracted by SQL my subconcious reminded me how a previous puzzle turned out to be a wire run from one outlet to the other, but it was not connected at all. I decided to have a second look at the nearest outlet (that appeared to be a dead-end).

I took out the outlet and stared for a second. No loose wires. Then, I got on my belly.

Coiled on roof, the missing wires

Coiled on the roof of the box was the wire I was missing. Connecting that up took less than two minutes, followed by flicking the power back on and -- success!

Some day, I want to build a house and put all these kinds of puzzles in it for the next owners. My dad and I spent a lot of time in the walls of his old house. I think it's our turn to start playing tricks.

I've got to wonder what then next little surprise will be!

1 comment:

Jerry Waxler said...

This whole entry is a sort of hidden code that says, for those who know how to solve the puzzle, "ode to dad." :)