Weekend Home Improvement...its baaaack [Purp]

Squashing "dumb charger" tyranny
OK, so you see some interesting and cheap cordless tool or gizmo, buy it, get it home, then find the instructions say something like ominous like "do not overcharge battery". Of course the battery charger that came with the tool is a very slow "dumb" wall wart that won't shut itself off when the battery is charged.

Of course the recommended charging time is something like 4-6 hours which is just long enough that you always forget to unplug the damn thing and don't remember that its still charging until a day or two, or 30 later.

Sound familiar?

I finally decided to do something about this odious situation. Places like Home Depot and Lowes sell a little settable timer device made by Intermatic. The Intermatic timers come in several different maximum time settings. I picked one that runs from 0-6 hours. The Intermatic timer works just like a standard 2-pole switch from an electrical point of view.

I came out of an existing GFCI receptacle (on its LOAD-side so that the Intermatic and downstream receptacle are protected by the GFCI), into a box with the Intermatic timer that switches the hot, and into another box that contains an ordinary receptacle.

Now I can plug a cheap dumb charger into that receptacle to the right of the Intermatic timer, set it for whatever charging time I want, and walk away knowing the battery pack won't be overcharged.

This whole project took under a half hour and maybe $20 worth of materials. I already had the boxes, covers, receptacle and some short lengths of EMT and wire on hand, so all I really had to buy was the Intermatic timer. Even if you had to pay an electrician to do this, I would expect the cost to be in the $100 range.

The nice thing about this approach is it doesn't block an existing receptacle with one of those hokey plug in timers (which aren't very robust, and often don't support having a ground prong). The Intermatic handles higher current, and all the downstream receptacles will be fully functioning 3-prong ones.

Posted by: Open Blogger at 12:47 PM



Comments

1 This is standard equipment on a whirlpool. Wise move!

Posted by: Cicero Kid at February 17, 2013 12:51 PM (UrENZ)

2 You know what that outlet needs?


A little MOAR POWER!!!! *grunt grunt grunt*

Posted by: EC at February 17, 2013 12:53 PM (doBIb)

3 If you have a son or daughter aroun 16 years of age and they like working with their hands. Pushing them towards being an electrician aint a bad idea. There is tons of money to be made, much of it cash.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 12:54 PM (l86i3)

4 Well, off to Home Depot. Can not find my Allen wrenches and it's easier to just buy another set than dig through all my shit to find mine.



Guess who's wife "cleaned up" his work area?

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 17, 2013 12:55 PM (wR+pz)

5
Welcome back Weekend Home Improvement Thread.

I'm looking forward to the comments on the 'So You Want to Build a Fucksaw' edition.

Posted by: garrett at February 17, 2013 12:55 PM (e7XOq)

6 I did the same thing, but used a napkin, a couple of twigs and an old running shoe.

Posted by: johnd01 at February 17, 2013 12:56 PM (r0+v0)

7 Oh great. I feel even more out of place on a home improvement thread than I do on a book thread.

Give me a websurfing/drinking beer/smoking cigarettes/eating potato chips thread. That's where I really shine.

Posted by: rickl at February 17, 2013 12:56 PM (sdi6R)

8 3
If you have a son or daughter aroun 16 years of age and they like
working with their hands. Pushing them towards being an electrician aint
a bad idea. There is tons of money to be made, much of it cash.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy
Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 12:54 PM (l86i3)

Plumbers. They don't get electrocuted, but they sometimes have to work in shit.
It's a toss up.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 17, 2013 12:57 PM (wR+pz)

9 Let me tell you something, boys. If you ever find a technically competent woman, MARRY HER. I did, and it makes a huge difference in my life.

Posted by: pep at February 17, 2013 12:57 PM (6TB1Z)

10 Give me a websurfing/drinking beer/smoking cigarettes/eating potato chips thread. That's where I really shine.
Posted by: rickl at February 17, 2013 12:56 PM (sdi6R)


Regular or Kettle cooked chips?

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 12:57 PM (l86i3)

11 Plumbers. They don't get electrocuted, but they sometimes have to work in shit.
It's a toss up.
Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 17, 2013 12:57 PM (wR+pz)

Yep, either way in about 10 years they'll be farting through silk instead of cotton.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 12:58 PM (l86i3)

12 9
Let me tell you something, boys. If you ever find a technically
competent woman, MARRY HER. I did, and it makes a huge difference in my
life.


Posted by: pep at February 17, 2013 12:57 PM (6TB1Z)

Well might came with her family maid, so ironing shirts is not a problem, till the maid dies. She's 71.
That's what you are talking about, right? Being able to iron shirts?

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 17, 2013 12:59 PM (wR+pz)

13 I just hire illegals to overcharge their own batteries.

Posted by: Clutch Cargo at February 17, 2013 12:59 PM (Qxdfp)

14 Time for Daytona Qualifying, DANICA TAKES THE POLE! you read it here first.

Oh wait, that didn't sound right.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 12:59 PM (l86i3)

15 Yep, either way in about 10 years they'll be farting through silk instead of cotton.


Yeah, but silk doesn't breathe like cotton does.

Posted by: EC at February 17, 2013 01:00 PM (doBIb)

16 I always overcharge batteries and, except for setting that one 787 on fire, I've never had any problems.

Posted by: Kasper in Miami at February 17, 2013 01:01 PM (7x9pP)

17 Well might came with her family maid, so ironing shirts is not a problem, till the maid dies. She's 71.
That's what you are talking about, right? Being able to iron shirts?


Wellllll, when we were first married, I suggested that she might iron my shirts from time to time. Amused but contemptuous disdain would describe the response pretty well. Nothing in life is perfect.

Posted by: pep at February 17, 2013 01:01 PM (6TB1Z)

18 I'm looking forward to the comments on the 'So You Want to Build a Fucksaw' edition.

That sounds like a lot more work than eating potato chips.

Posted by: HeatherRadish™ drinking heavily at February 17, 2013 01:02 PM (hO8IJ)

19 @12

I think I getting fucking Alzheimers. I thought "mine" and typed "might"?

This is happening more often, not pleased.

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 17, 2013 01:02 PM (wR+pz)

20 Agreed. A great idea. Now my existing workshop, actually a garage, is all boarded and wired inside, so simply mounting another two boxes as pictured would not be easy. But I could easily get a duplex box, and mount a timer on one side and an outlet on the other, and equip it with a three-prong cord to plug it into an existing wall outlet. That would get the job done, with enough level of safety to satisfy me, if not the code nazis.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 17, 2013 01:03 PM (673KB)

21 BBL. Anyone need anything at Home Depot?

Posted by: Billy Bob, Pseudo Intellectual at February 17, 2013 01:04 PM (wR+pz)

22 BBL. Anyone need anything at Home Depot?


Garrett wants a fucksaw.

Posted by: EC at February 17, 2013 01:04 PM (doBIb)

23 I am here because I am stalling finishing drywall.

Posted by: Jinx the Cat at February 17, 2013 01:05 PM (CTnX3)

24 21
BBL. Anyone need anything at Home Depot?


My junk just fell off, pick me up a new one.

Posted by: The Sea Slug at February 17, 2013 01:05 PM (1rU+d)

25 Garrett wants a fucksaw.
Posted by: EC at February 17, 2013 01:04 PM (doBIb)

LOL, get a battery one, the cord has a tendancy to get in the way, so i've heard.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 01:05 PM (l86i3)

26 I have a fine collection of dead chargers from Harbor Freight. They charge enough for the ereplacement chargers that it makes more sense to buy another cordless drill. Oddly enough, for each dead charger I have a drill without a battery. It will all work out someday, won't it?

Posted by: More handy than handsome, but stupid more than anything at February 17, 2013 01:06 PM (gWEsl)

27 I wired my own shed, does that count?

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2013 01:06 PM (53z96)

28
woo hoo!

nuthin sexier than pics of AC receptacles!

Posted by: soothsayer at February 17, 2013 01:06 PM (BUcLz)

29 I am here because I am stalling finishing drywall.
Posted by: Jinx the Cat at February 17, 2013 01:05 PM (CTnX3)


I'm sure Billy Bob can pick you up a few mexicans in front of Home Depot.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 01:06 PM (l86i3)

30 I am here because I am stalling finishing drywall.



Posted by: Jinx the Cat at February 17, 2013 01:05 PM (CTnX3)


I don't blame you. I friggin' HATE working with drywall.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 17, 2013 01:07 PM (673KB)

31
Anyone need anything at Home Depot?

Duct Tape.

Posted by: garrett at February 17, 2013 01:08 PM (lzpZg)

32 ...and some Zap a Gap.

Posted by: garrett at February 17, 2013 01:09 PM (lzpZg)

33 I have a vacuum cleaner that has a battery, it can stay plugged in as long as I want it to. That was in the directions. I haven't used it in months so it might be a dud by now.


If I want to time something, I use the timer on the oven. I have to do that for my irrigation system for my rose garden. I didn't want them to cut a hole in the driveway, so they did a shortcut. It waters more than half the garden for 45 minutes, I have to switch the levers and shut it off after 45 minutes to do the rest of them.

It's snowing again here near Boston.

Posted by: CarolT at February 17, 2013 01:09 PM (z4WKX)

34 I don't blame you. I friggin' HATE working with drywall.

My least favorite part of doing electrical work is patching up all the wreckage.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:10 PM (1rU+d)

35 That setup is igneous, Purp.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:10 PM (+z4pE)

36 Great timing. We need to replace our dryer. The rollers were gunked up. Dad fixed but he may have not gotten alignment perfect. Or the 20+ year old dryer is just at the end of its time.

Recommendations?

Posted by: Palerider at February 17, 2013 01:11 PM (ql12X)

37 The new dryers suck if you want them to actually dry cloths. Eco-friendly strikes again.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:13 PM (1rU+d)

38 Ummm... Hooking up to the line side of the GFI means it is not protected by said GFI. If that is your goal, then hook it up to the load side. Good idea, though. And I always heard: If I was any dumber, I could be a plumber.

Posted by: shredded chi at February 17, 2013 01:14 PM (F8apr)

39 10
Regular or Kettle cooked chips?

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 12:57 PM (l86i3)


Gibbles are the best, hands down. But I can no longer find them in my area. I've settled for Grandma Utz's Handcooked chips, but they're not nearly as good.

I also like Fritos dipped in peanut butter.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled home improvement thread.

Posted by: rickl at February 17, 2013 01:14 PM (sdi6R)

40 The new dryers suck if you want them to actually dry cloths. Eco-friendly strikes again.
Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:13 PM (1rU+d)

Gas dryers are the best.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 01:14 PM (l86i3)

41 My least favorite part of doing electrical work is patching up all the wreckage.
Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:10 PM (1rU+d)

If I ever build a smart house, I'm just going to put of paneling on hinges.

Posted by: Invictus at February 17, 2013 01:15 PM (OQpzc)

42 Well we always use low on this one so that it doesn't shrink the clothes with HOT temps. More worried about the vibe I get that new appliances are designed to fail within 3 years.

Posted by: Palerider at February 17, 2013 01:16 PM (ql12X)

43 Hooking up to the line side of the GFI means it is not protected by said
GFI. If that is your goal, then hook it up to the load side.


Typo -- I did actually use the load side (and tested the GFI trip with a SureTest)

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:16 PM (1rU+d)

44 Drywall is easy work for the most part.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:16 PM (+z4pE)

45

** info request

Anyone have experience with those cheap-ass cellphone signal boosters? Do they work?

Posted by: soothsayer at February 17, 2013 01:16 PM (KwX0v)

46

Great idea. However, any given Mars rover can take clearer pictures than that. How about your next home improvement project is building a tripod?

Posted by: El Cid at February 17, 2013 01:18 PM (IvvrO)

47 My favorite chips are Kettle Cheese and Herb flavored. I haven't bought them in ages. I will next time I am at a grocery store.

Posted by: CarolT at February 17, 2013 01:19 PM (z4WKX)

48 RE: the battery charger, couldn't you just use one of the generic Intermatic timers used for lights? Couldn't you just plug the charger into that? It's probably a bit cheaper- just set it at X time, and then set it to stop six hours later. Wouldn't that work as well?

Posted by: Shibumi at February 17, 2013 01:19 PM (z63Tr)

49
Gas dryers are the best.

And gas hot water heaters are great too. If the power goes out, you can still have a hot shower. Gas stoves are good too, for the same reason.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:19 PM (+z4pE)

50 couldn't you just use one of the generic Intermatic timers used for lights?

I was looking for a generalized physically robust solution for the garage. A plug in lamp timer can work, they're just kinda flimsy compared to the Intermatic commercial units.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:22 PM (1rU+d)

51 Some of the plug in units have wattage limitations too. The one I chose could be used to plug in a 1200W small space heater in a garage and have it turn off after X-hours.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:25 PM (1rU+d)

52 My least favorite part of doing electrical work is fixing the bad wiring done by previous owner/electrician.

I just replaced a fluorescent fixture in my kitchen. Opened it up to disconnect the wiring and found an un capped extra live wire in the box. So I cap it, wire up the new fixture and find out the fluorescent fixtures in my Mudroom (that I thought I was going to have to replace because they were flickering) all now work just fine.

Posted by: Buzzsaw at February 17, 2013 01:25 PM (aVYsC)

53 I don't need power hand tools all that often, and so I figured that old school corded tools are far less a headache than rechargeable.

- They never run out of juice
- They are always ready to use
- For the money, they are a heck of a lot more powerful.
- If you take care of them they last a very long time

Posted by: weew at February 17, 2013 01:26 PM (ElfHn)

54 Got a DIY question for the electrically inclined Horde here.

Called two electricians and can't get them out for a small job.

I want to wire my gas furnace blower to run off my generator in case of ice storm, SMOD, social collapse, etc.

Blower motor says 10.8 amps. Breaker at the box on that circuit is 20 amp.

I can get to the dedicated wire headed to the furnace easily in the basement. If I cut it, and put that line back together with plug and receptacle, couldn't I just unplug in case of need, plug a 15amp drop cord into the male plug from the furnace and run it to my 5500 watt generator 75 feet away outside? Hmmm?

Posted by: Tobacco Road at February 17, 2013 01:26 PM (4Mv1T)

55 Lost a charger for a phone, electric razor or other consumer electronic? Go to the front desk at a hotel that business travelers frequent, and say that you left your charger in the room. They will hand over a box full of all kinds of chargers other people left behind, and let you rummage around until you find one you need. Same thing for lost gas caps at gas stations.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:27 PM (7xPCu)

56
My least favorite part of doing electrical work is patching up all the wreckage.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:10 PM (1rU+d)


What about the constant threat of immediate death?

Posted by: Cicero, Semiautomatic Assault Commenter at February 17, 2013 01:29 PM (sl+zA)

57 What about the constant threat of immediate death?
Posted by: Cicero, Semiautomatic Assault Commenter at February 17, 2013 01:29 PM (sl+zA)

Make friends with the breaker panel.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:30 PM (7xPCu)

58
My least favorite part of doing electrical work is fixing the bad wiring done by previous owner/electrician.

The GFI here is on the same circuit as the two bathrooms and the two outside outlets. Damned things stayed tripped. As I was replacing the plugs, I found where the wiring had been stripped back way too far and crammed into the receptacle: it was grounding out against it.

I don't even do it for a living, but I know better than that.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:30 PM (+z4pE)

59 Is the picture upside down or the outlets?

Posted by: RWC at February 17, 2013 01:31 PM (sqp6o)

60 Since our real estate tax assessment went through the roof, my new approach is to maintain nothing and just let the whole thing become a dilapidated shack (with low taxes). It just pay to keep your house nice.

Posted by: Sophistahick at February 17, 2013 01:32 PM (91TGs)

61 If I cut it, and put that line back together with plug and receptacle,
couldn't I just unplug in case of need, plug a 15amp drop cord into the
male plug from the furnace and run it to my 5500 watt generator 75 feet
away outside? Hmmm?


That would fail an electrical inspection. The NEC doesn't allow things that are supposed to be hard wired to be cord/plug connected.

A small manual transfer switch with a few circuits in it would be a legal solution. They're only about $100.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:32 PM (1rU+d)

62 I don't even do it for a living, but I know better than that.
Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:30 PM (+z4pE)

I have only dealt with two electricians since I bought my house, and I can't say either of them were worth the money. One actually took off and called the job done without even checking to be sure that what he did actually worked, which it didn't.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:33 PM (7xPCu)

63

If the power goes out, you can still have a hot shower.

Not if you're on well water.

Posted by: Bertram Cabot Jr. at February 17, 2013 01:33 PM (rLJaJ)

64 If the power goes out, you can still have a hot shower.

Not if you're on well water.

Posted by: Bertram Cabot Jr. at February 17, 2013 01:33 PM (rLJaJ)

Good point.

Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 01:34 PM (l86i3)

65 Hey, Purp, are you by any-chance "Purple Avenger"?

Purple Avenger used to post here, and did a bunch of great posts on electrical projects. Then I remember he left a couple of years ago, saying something like bad times were coming, and he was going to hunker down to wait out the storm.

Are you that guy? If so, I assume things are OK or at least better now, right?


Posted by: Abraham Simpson at February 17, 2013 01:35 PM (C+qQ0)

66 59, you moron! Ground is supposed to be on the high side; has been code for many years now. The thinking is that if something conductive falls down/slides down wall, it will go to ground rather than shorting.

Posted by: Sophistahick at February 17, 2013 01:35 PM (91TGs)

67 Posted by: Bertram Cabot Jr. at February 17, 2013 01:33 PM (rLJaJ)

Good point.
Posted by: Oldsailors Poet is no longer shamlessly hawking his book Amy Lynn available on amazon. at February 17, 2013 01:34 PM (l86i3)

I wonder if there's a way to run a bypass that you could hook up to your car battery while it is idling.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (7xPCu)

68 >>>A small manual transfer switch with a few circuits in it would be a legal solution. They're only about $100.

You are first to bring up the point on the inspection after many discussions on this. Excellent point.

I would do the transfer switcheroo, but it requires a 125' line of conduit from outside the house where the generator would sit to the breaker box. Very wide ranch style house with breaker box in the basement at the farthest point from the generator. PITA, and planning to sell in three years.

I was looking for a safe cheat, but thanks for the heads-up.

Posted by: Tobacco Road at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (4Mv1T)

69 The GFI here is on the same circuit as the two bathrooms and the two outside outlets.

The joint is 20+ years old, and the breaker is 15A right? The NEC used to allow that. My crib started out that way when it was built in 89'.

Today the bathrooms would be getting 20A dedicated circuit receptacles.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (1rU+d)

70 I have a root problem going on in the main sewer drain from my house. Any suggestions on how to keep this under control? Short of replacing the whole thing with ABS..or killing the offending bush or tree?

Posted by: by any means necessary at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (Q+d5W)

71 What Purp said at 61. You'll get a lot better use out of your generator, too, if you go that route.

Posted by: Andy at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (OZPoa)

72 IOW, redneck tech.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:37 PM (7xPCu)

73 Now how about we combine this thread with the gun thread. Thus have a Power Gun thread. Perhaps in the 40 GigaWatt range.

Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 17, 2013 01:37 PM (7tbEC)

74 So, you can do electric but you can't do photography?

Posted by: garrett at February 17, 2013 01:37 PM (1cysw)

75 I am over due for putting a timer on the bath room fan. There are fancier low profile timers available now. I better watch it or wifey will want all low profile switches.

Posted by: sTevo at February 17, 2013 01:38 PM (VMcEw)

76 70 I have a root problem going on in the main sewer drain from my house. Any suggestions on how to keep this under control? Short of replacing the whole thing with ABS..or killing the offending bush or tree?
Posted by: by any means necessary at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (Q+d5W)


There are chemical and mechanical means of clearing the roots out, and unless the offending tree is removed, the roots will likely come back in a year or two.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:38 PM (7xPCu)

77 73 Now how about we combine this thread with the gun thread. Thus have a Power Gun thread. Perhaps in the 40 GigaWatt range.
Posted by: Anna Puma (+SmuD) at February 17, 2013 01:37 PM (7tbEC)

Move up to the big league terawatt range.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:39 PM (7xPCu)

78 Ground is supposed to be on the high side; has been code for many years now.

The NEC is silent on receptacle orientation. Its a stylistic thing. My dad used to be fond of mounting them sideways so you didn't have to reach through a top cord to reach a bottom.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:40 PM (1rU+d)

79 Hey, Purp, are you by any-chance "Purple Avenger"?

Same. I had a period of major life trauma a while back

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:41 PM (1rU+d)

80 "Yep, either way in about 10 years they'll be farting through silk instead of cotton."

Heh. That's an awesome line. I remember reading it in "Goodbye, Darkness" by William Manchester.

Posted by: Abraham Simpson at February 17, 2013 01:41 PM (C+qQ0)

81 Ground on high side: it is code in hospitals and has carried over out of convention to residential. So, not code, but .....

Posted by: Sophistahick at February 17, 2013 01:41 PM (91TGs)

82 74
So, you can do electric but you can't do photography?


I got weak image skilz

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:42 PM (1rU+d)

83
:sigh:

I'm not technically inclined when it comes to handyman work. Hell I had a devil of a time just fixing the packing string in my outside faucet yesterday. Thankfully I had a friend over who refuses to give up on anything, because I was about there. Turns out the old packing string was so dissolved it formed a nearly solid seal holding the stem in. Once we figured that out it was just a matter of chipping it away witha flathead, until we got a needle nose in there to yank it out.
Then the stem came out smooth and silk, we replaced the string and everything works hunky-dory.
Given my inability to accomplish that goal though, I think I'll stay clean of electrical work....

Posted by: tsrblke at February 17, 2013 01:42 PM (GaqMa)

84 52
My least favorite part of doing electrical work is fixing the bad wiring done by previous owner/electrician.

I
just replaced a fluorescent fixture in my kitchen. Opened it up to
disconnect the wiring and found an un capped extra live wire in the box.
So I cap it, wire up the new fixture and find out the fluorescent
fixtures in my Mudroom (that I thought I was going to have to replace
because they were flickering) all now work just fine.


Posted by: Buzzsaw at February 17, 2013 01:25 PM (aVYsC)

I was sitting in my office the other day and heard a loud noise. Thinking someone was in the house, I jumped up to look. Saw nothing and decided the noise must have come from outside. About 5 minutes later, another loud noise that sounded like it came from right behind me. I jumped out of my chair to see... nothing. Then, I looked up. The ceiling fan had fallen out of the ceiling and was just hanging there by a couple of wires. The previous owner/electrician had mounted it into a plastic box with no safety bar. I'll be replacing the one over my bed next.

Posted by: Ima Wurdibitsch at February 17, 2013 01:44 PM (Z8rVA)

85 Then, I looked up. The ceiling fan had fallen out of the ceiling and was
just hanging there by a couple of wires. The previous owner/electrician
had mounted it into a plastic box with no safety bar.


I just put a fan in my kitchen. I should take some pics and do a post about installing a fan...properly. Classy job all done in EMT.

I'm about 220lb and I load tested the mounting bracket I fabricated with my full weight...I'm paranoid about fans falling out of ceilings.

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:47 PM (1rU+d)

86 I was sitting in my office the other day and heard a loud noise. Thinking someone was in the house, I jumped up to look. Saw nothing and decided the noise must have come from outside. About 5 minutes later, another loud noise that sounded like it came from right behind me. I jumped out of my chair to see... nothing. Then, I looked up. The ceiling fan had fallen out of the ceiling and was just hanging there by a couple of wires. The previous owner/electrician had mounted it into a plastic box with no safety bar. I'll be replacing the one over my bed next.
Posted by: Ima Wurdibitsch at February 17, 2013 01:44 PM (Z8rVA)

I have a story about being startled by a loud noise in my house: woken up at 4am by what sounded like someone trying to kick my back door in. It was caused by a raccoon climbing up my chimney, pulling a brick loose and both falling a few feet onto the roof. The raccoon made its way to a tree and scuttled off, and I found a brick in the yard the next day.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:48 PM (7xPCu)

87
The joint is 20+ years old, and the breaker is 15A right? The NEC used to allow that. My crib started out that way when it was built in 89'.

Today the bathrooms would be getting 20A dedicated circuit receptacles.


Correctamundo. Casa Backwardio was built in the late 80's. It's only 1000 sf, but has a little storage area off the back porch I converted into my workshop, complete with fan and boom box. I'm temped to call the cable company and have them run a TV line in it since the box is on the same outside wall.

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:48 PM (+z4pE)

88 Classy job all done in EMT. Is that Eastern Mountain Time? I keed.

Posted by: model_1066 at February 17, 2013 01:51 PM (7xPCu)

89 Nail Gunz ! one for every occasion. 18V Rapid Fire DeWalt framing nailer

Oh, and never never ever buy power tools from Harbor Freight nuff said.

Posted by: Joe Builder at February 17, 2013 01:54 PM (dvLAs)

90
osted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 01:48 PM (+z4pE)

The new "casa rblke" was completely rewired as part of the pre-market renovation. 1965 build (just before aluminum wiring thank god)
Apparently it had only 100 amp circuits going into it. (It would seem all the appliances were gas at the time, so perhaps that worked.) They installed a 200 amp box, and regrounded everything (yay for grounded outlets!)
The renovation replaced much of those with electric (electric stove, gas water heater though, we opted for Electric dryer because we didn't have the upfront money for the more expensive gas models and gas instillation.)

Good news is as part of the rewriting we also netted 2 outdoor outlets. One on the side of the house and one on the back. They're those fancy "rain proof when in use" ones so plugging in Christmas lights is easy.

Posted by: tsrblke at February 17, 2013 01:54 PM (GaqMa)

91 I just put a fan in my kitchen. I should take some
pics and do a post about installing a fan...properly. Classy job all
done in EMT.

I'm about 220lb and I load tested the mounting
bracket I fabricated with my full weight...I'm paranoid about fans
falling out of ceilings.


Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 01:47 PM (1rU+d)

A post on that would be a great idea. The fan in the office was right over my head. I'm glad the wires were twisted tight. Like most 'ettes, I'm pretty self-sufficient. I can use woodworking tools, build engines, install plumbing, etc. The one thing that makes me very nervous is working with electricity. Intellectually, I understand that if the correct switch in the breaker is off, I'm safe. Unfortunately, I had an incident several years back where I was moving out of an apartment that had no overhead lighting. I was getting the last lamp (with my keys in my hand). I must have hit the outlet with the keys. Next thing I knew, I was on my ass about halfway across the room. I think there was noise. There may have been smoke.

Posted by: Ima Wurdibitsch at February 17, 2013 01:56 PM (Z8rVA)

92
Posted by: Ima Wurdibitsch at February 17, 2013 01:56 PM (Z8rVA)

I confess my resourcefulness tends to end at my ability to find ways to reduce expenditures or increase income in order to pay someone to do complex repairs. (But I'm learning, how ownership is a journey right.)

Posted by: tsrblke at February 17, 2013 01:58 PM (GaqMa)

93
Good news is as part of the rewriting we also netted 2 outdoor outlets. One on the side of the house and one on the back. They're those fancy "rain proof when in use" ones so plugging in Christmas lights is easy.

Those are nice. Good for power tools, too.

Speaking of renovations, my maternal grandmother's house in Birmingham Al was built in 1904. When they put in electricity (with aluminum wire), they put all the receptacles in the floors. There was no insulation anywhere, all the walls were plaster and lath, and you could see sunlight through the wall in the added-on bathroom. It didn't even have a hot water heater until I was in my teens, around 1970.

I never did discover where the outhouse originally sat. Probably a good thing, but there was a fig bush in the back yard that was pretty big...

Posted by: BackwardsBoy, who did not vote for this shit. at February 17, 2013 02:03 PM (+z4pE)

94 @36 We need to replace our dryer.
Recommendations?

LG gas dryer. I have a Samsung and all my sheets and blankets always wind up rolled in a huge ball. Aside from the thumping noise it's still wet on the inside too. Ok for clothes though. Used my MIL huge new LG while on vacation and it had no issues and seemed to dry really fast. Now I really wished I picked the LG.

Posted by: LindaFell at February 17, 2013 02:03 PM (PGO8C)

95 Tsrblke, there are some things I could do but have decided that it's better all around to hire someone else to do. When I updated the bathrooms, I did all of the plumbing work but I hired a guy to do the tile work. He already had experience and all of the tools. I would have had to rent a wet saw and it would have taken me weeks. He was done in a couple of days. For the lighting fixtures, I asked my brother to stop by and help with that. I was the assistant for that one.

Posted by: Ima Wurdibitsch at February 17, 2013 02:04 PM (Z8rVA)

96 I was looking for a safe cheat, but thanks for the heads-up.


Posted by: Tobacco Road at February 17, 2013 01:36 PM (4Mv1T)


Well, if you are going to cheat, and understand that it IS a cheat, and illegal as hell, you could make up a "death cord" with 220 volt plugs on each end, one to fit the twistlock that presumably exists on your generator, and one to fit an available range/dryer/welder plug in your house.
The drill is: in the event of a power failure that looks like it is going to be prolonged, pull the main switch at your service panel, AND LOCK IT OUT WITH AN ACTUAL PADLOCK. Plug in both ends of the death cord, switch off all non-essential loads, and run your generator. When going back to grid power, shut down the generator, unplug the death cord, unlock the main switch, and turn it back on. You MUST do it this way, even if just momentarily checking to see if the power has returned. If you don't, you risk backfeeding the line, and the worst-case scenario is that you could conceivably kill some poor damned lineman or another innocent person who touches what they "assumed" to be a dead line.

I have done this in the past, and I know it's a kludge, and I heartily urge you not to do it. Come Spring, I'm going to build a little generator house next to my service pole, and pay an electrician the few hundred bucks it will cost to have a manual transfer switch installed. The peace of mind will be worth it.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 17, 2013 02:05 PM (673KB)

97 Love my LG Gas Dryer.

Posted by: garrett at February 17, 2013 02:05 PM (wm1HM)

98 They're those fancy "rain proof when in use" ones so plugging in Christmas lights is easy.

I put a rain proof covered receptacle up under the entryway roof overhang on my crib for Christmas lights, hanging bug zappers and shit like that...and hooked it to a weatherproof switch and GFCI receptacle...at HAND level.

Flip a switch and christmas lights are on/off.




Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 02:05 PM (1rU+d)

99 If you are doing electrical work I found this tool to be quite handy.

Voltage Sensing Screwdriver

http://tinyurl.com/al2sf96

Posted by: Buzzsaw at February 17, 2013 02:09 PM (aVYsC)

100 Here's a furnace transfer switch where you can just run an extension cord from the furnace to the generator during an outage.

http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200196724_200196724

Posted by: Buzzsaw at February 17, 2013 02:12 PM (aVYsC)

101 a "death cord" with 220 volt plugs on each end

We call'em Widow Makers. Every time there's a hurricane down here there's a bunch of people in Home Depot looking for some 10 gauge SOJ and a couple of male 220v cord ends.

Dumbasses always forget to pull the main when the power is down and then their generator is phase fighting with the poco when the power comes back on...

...and the next week the curb is full of dead appliances and fridges with fried motors. Its pretty easy to figure out who the idiots were ;->

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 02:13 PM (1rU+d)

102 ...and the next week the curb is full of dead
appliances and fridges with fried motors. Its pretty easy to figure out
who the idiots were ;->


Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 02:13 PM (1rU+d)

Yeah, I was real hesitant about posting that last one, but I figured if a guy is bound and determined to flout the rules, he had better know the least-worst way to do it. For the sake of other folks' wellbeing, if nothing else.

Posted by: Alberta Oil Peon at February 17, 2013 02:17 PM (673KB)

103 I use one of those timer switches on my vibratory case tumbler. A friend of mine liked it so much he built one himself for the same use. I also made some electronic versions using AVR microcontrollers and LED display. I use them for floor heaters and such since forgetting to turn them off can cost significant bucks.

Posted by: Socratease at February 17, 2013 02:20 PM (tvpaS)

104 almost finished with the drywall.....
I really find the job boring, which is why I don't like it.

Posted by: Jinx the Cat at February 17, 2013 02:38 PM (5Pk/y)

105 Nice. Harbor Freight has an 18v cordless drill on sale for $16.99 right now. The only real drawback mentioned in the majority of the reviews is the crappy charger.

Posted by: holygoat at February 17, 2013 02:39 PM (IGIFh)

106 Purple Av

I live in a cold as shit area and always looking for that leak in the winter that will save me a few buck.
Check this out, it's pretty cheap...

http://astore.amazon.com/aoshq-20/detail/B001LMTW2S

Notice how I was able to set up the link to score Ace a few bucks if a fellow moron agrees?

Posted by: Schrödinger's cat at February 17, 2013 03:00 PM (feFL6)

107 elbows up

Posted by: Vic at February 17, 2013 03:01 PM (53z96)

108 Another option would be to just buy a timed power strip, or pull out the one used for the Christmas tree lights. Search Amazon, they run less than $20. You can set them up to run X hours per day. Some offer options for days on and off. Sure, they may run a few hours a day when already charged, but that's better than all the time.

Also, for bathroom lighting and fans, there motion detector light switches that can replace the wall switch. They can be set to turn off a few minutes after no motion is detected and on when motion is detected. I've installed several in the office building bathrooms I manage. An additional benefit of shutting down the fan after a few minutes is the warm air in the building isn't pumped outside all weekend when no one is there, requiring the building heaters to run to replace the lost heat. Worse offenders -- women's bathrooms...

Posted by: Seipherd at February 17, 2013 03:31 PM (y9L1G)

109 An additional benefit of shutting down the fan after a few minutes is the warm air in the building isn't pumped outside all weekend when no one is there, requiring the building heaters to run to replace the lost heat. Worse offenders -- women's bathrooms...

Yeah, women folk can be forgetful. I have 500 watt heat lamps in the ceiling of a couple of my bathrooms. They're nice, but sometimes people were forgetting to turn them off. One time I was inspecting the wiring when I had to move it a couple feet and noticed the wiring was pretty much burned/melted back a foot. A really, really bad idea. So I wired a switch like this to feed the lamp. Now I don't have to worry. It shuts off automagically...

http://astore.amazon.com/aoshq-20/detail/B001XCWLX8

Posted by: Schrödinger's cat at February 17, 2013 03:52 PM (feFL6)

110 I've thought about buying an IR image cam for electrical diagnostic work. They're a good tool for finding breakers, contactors and lugs that are going bad

Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 04:59 PM (1rU+d)

111 One time I was inspecting the wiring when I had to move it a couple feet and noticed the wiring was pretty much burned/melted back a foot.
----
I hope you re-wired it with heavier gauge, it shouldn't melt at all for the load that's on it. It's a time bomb waiting to go off like that.

Posted by: Socratease at February 17, 2013 05:25 PM (tvpaS)

112 I've thought about buying an IR image cam for electrical diagnostic work. They're a good tool for finding breakers, contactors and lugs that are going bad

An IR cam was what I was initially looking for, then I got sticker shock. I'm a big fan of B&D products so I looked to see if they had anything reasonable, which is why I had that link ready. It seems you can set it for a 5 or 10 degree difference between a surrounding surface which will give a quick visual verification of a heated or uninsulated area.

I know I can get a 'free' energy audit from the local utility, but then I have to worry about people coming into the house, stealing the wife's jewelry, my roofies, chloroform, duct tape aspirin, etc. Seems like a cool idea to scan across a window I have questions about, or discover an uninsulated area in an outside wall, a wall receptacle that needs an insulated cover, etc. Every time it snows and I see an area on my roof that has melted before anything else I kick myself for not putting out a few bucks to buy the damn thing.

If I wasn't a cheap bastid, I'd be paying over $6,000 a year right now for heating and cooling. Seems like spending less then 50 bucks to find the biggest problem areas, then tackling them is a bargain.

Posted by: Schrödinger's cat at February 17, 2013 05:26 PM (feFL6)

113 I've thought about buying an IR image cam for electrical diagnostic work. They're a good tool for finding breakers, contactors and lugs that are going bad
----
We use those at work, they're great for electrical safety inspections. Very expensive for a good one, though.

Posted by: Socratease at February 17, 2013 05:27 PM (tvpaS)

114 I hope you re-wired it with heavier gauge, it shouldn't melt at all for the load that's on it. It's a time bomb waiting to go off like that.

Absolutely the wires shouldn't have melted with that load. But apparently it had been left on for hours in the past, with the inside of the 'can' heating up which was the cause, not the resistance. The wires were properly sized for the load. Once outside the 'can' the wires were fine. It now has a switch that only works if the zero to 30 minute timer is first set.

Also, eight inches of insulation was draped over the 'can'.

Posted by: Schrödinger's cat at February 17, 2013 05:37 PM (feFL6)

115 Electricians AND inspectors, often forget about derating for ambient temp when sizing wire. With a heat lamp, the fixture enclosure IS going to heat up and raise the ambient for a length of wire near the enclosure. Then, if it could be on for a few hours, you need to add in the continuous use factor and compensate even more.

ex. here in FL, attic temps can get to 140+ on a hot summer day near the roof peak and in the 125 range near the attic floor. I ran a string of lights down my peak and there's a receptacle at the endpoint of the branch. Its only a 15A circuit, but considering the peak areas ambient, I had to run 10 gauge.


Posted by: @PurpAv at February 17, 2013 05:54 PM (1rU+d)

116 I did something like that for my electric water heater. Timer just allows it to heat water for 2 hts twice a day. Can overide it if I need a shower at 4 PM etc. Parts all came from junkbox, no cost. Equivalent is $45 at building supply store

Posted by: Bill sometimes Bill from Canada at February 17, 2013 08:20 PM (U+VRx)

117 I missed this thread as I was working on my home remodel all freaking day! Coming along nicely though and I highly recommend Paslode cordless nailers... saving me bigtime!

Posted by: Yip at February 17, 2013 10:30 PM (/jHWN)






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