Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Existing Electric Plans

When dealing with electricity, its always good to chart things out.  It gives a bit a piece of mind, while simultaneously creating the illusion that you actually know what you are doing.

A few months ago, I went around the house and tested every light and every outlet to make sure I knew which circuit serviced where.

Professional survey of existing conditions:

1st Floor

2nd Floor
This way, its clear that when someone cuts the power on circuit #1 then there will be no power for any overhead lights on the 2nd floor.

In the old days, there were no codes for wiring a house.  The evidence suggests that the wiring in this house has worked fine for the last one hundred years.  However, the entire house was on a 60-amp breaker and some of the rooms are very under-serviced (middle bedroom has one duplex outlet).  In addition, there is no way to upgrade it easily, as many splices are in the wall.

Kitchen ceiling

Without even taking down the ceilings, you can easily tell that there are many junctions in unattainable areas, as every single floor receptical is wired as an end of run.  This implies either a) every single outlet is a home run back to the panel or b) there are splices in the wall.  Since we only had nine (9) circuits on service panel, its obvious that we have some hidden splices somewhere.

Splice, to service what appears to be a typical "end of run" receptical.  Surrounded by knob and tube rats' nest. I still use this outlet every day.

I've noticed that occupy site seems to resemble our city's baseball club, in a more ways than one:

1) On the surface, both seem like they would have a lot of home runs, but its actuality quite the opposite
2) Both have lots of injuries
3) Both are suffering from old age
4) Both managers are paying way to much for what they are actually getting

Regardless, Team Occupy is just focusing on getting back on playing field (re: having electricity, having a place to sit down, or simply having place one might actually want to go home to after work), not winning a world series.

A big part of achieving this goal is the reworking the electric plans completely. Below is a close up of what is existing on the 2nd floor:

Only circuit three (3) is still live
Now, let's look at the current success story.  Circuits nine (9) and eleven (11) are live, and circuit twelve is live but deactivated.

This drawing actually quantifies the work, and helps make me feel better
Although of rewiring is now completed, there is still a ton of work to be done upstairs.  I do hopethat some day we will be able to take a shower without using a flashlight (however, daylight savings time has helped). For the next phase of this renovation, I will begin installing the baseboard trim and complete the wiring in the master bedroom (since the east wall (top wall in above drawing) is actually a party wall; I have to install the receptical in the baseboard.  This allows me to both use an existing opening in the party wall, and saves me from chipping the brick and plaster and re-patching later.

Miraculously, when the baseboard is complete, I will be picking out paint and picking out a ceiling fan for this space.  I know, ceiling fans are the worst.  But, have you ever tried to occupy Wolf Street in the summer?  Its the lesser of two evils, trust me.

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