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Thread: up and down...

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
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    up and down...

    I decided long ago to replace my old rocker switches in the house with the new rectangular switches and the matching plugs. This week I got around to doing it, as my wife decided to paint, and wants white instead of ivory. Now, the upstairs of my house is wired with aluminum, so, as you know, I had to decide how to wire the copper switches and receptacles to the aluminum wire. After a bit of discussion with friends, I decided to go the copper pigtail to aluminum wire with the correct Marr connector to make it safe.

    So, I went downstairs to the room with the fuse box, and unscrewed the breaker for the bedrooms. Then I went back upstairs, removed the old switch, shortened the wires coming out of the box to make sure I had room to put them back in with the additional bulk of the Marrets, and attached the Marrets. Downstairs to screw in the breaker, upstairs to turn on the light, no light. Downstairs to unscrew the breaker, upstairs to check the connections. One of the three wires on the black side is loose. Try again, downstairs...upstairs, no light. Downstairs...upstairs, a different one of the wires is loose. Try again, downstairs...upstairs, no light. Downstairs...upstairs, get a multimeter, no light, and no power anywhere in the wiring. Downstairs, notice the light on the TV in the family room (same circuit) is not on. Aha! Unscrew the breaker and put it back in. No light on the TV. Switch the breaker with the one next to it. NOW I've got a light on the TV. Unscrew the breaker. Back upstairs, put the switch back together, back downstairs, screw in the breaker, upstairs, flip the switch - FIAT LUX!!

    I count nine return trips to the fuse box in that essay, but I may have missed a couple. If I'd even thought the problem was with the breaker and not with my wiring skills, I'd have saved an hour, and had time to go to the Jays game.

    I'm not looking for advice here, just empathy.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    No, not all of SoCal is Los Angeles!
    Posts
    9,076
    Sounds a lot like wiring hardwired smoke alarms all by yourself. Out to the breaker box, in and up the ladder, down and out to the breaker box . . . .
    Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.
    - Arthur C. Clarke

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    ABQ NM
    Posts
    30,017
    On the upside, you can probably skip the stair-climber machine at the gym this week.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,749
    I've been running up and down some more, replacing the plug sockets. So far, forgot to run downstairs and unscrew the breaker before cutting through two live wires. It was kinda pretty actually, with a bright blue flash, and lots of little blue sparks floating about. I've had the same problem with the breakers. I don't know whose stupid idea it was to use lamp bases for fuses, but they seem to be easy to cross-thread. Anyway, I'm almost done, and the game is on.
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Humid Gulf Coast
    Posts
    542
    Aluminium wire, Yikes. I couldn't have slept at night with that in there. Good thing it's repaired.

    Speaking of those wide wall switches, when I was in Venice, Italy, I had the opportunity to go inside one of the restored Pallatzos from the ?? century.

    Beautiful place, with a 1st class restore done on it. The owners didn't want to tear up the old plaster walls and ruin the ancent look with modern switches

    so they put them in the baseboards near the doorways sideways.

    The whole house was wired this way, kitchen and all. To turn on the lights you had to kick the switch with your foot.


    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    2,749
    I don't know why, but every time I have to mess with electrical stuff, I start thinking about scripts from "1000 ways to die."
    Cheers,
    Roger


    The other member of Mensa, but not the NRA

    Everyone is a self-made person.

    "The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their veracity" -Abraham Lincoln

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