It's more than a house. It's an adventure.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

All lit up again

When we cut off (and subsequently reconfigured) the power to the famliy room, the pantry lighting was an unfortunate casualty. That light was powered off the same circuit, for some odd reason. Yesterday afternoon, I finally picked up the requisite parts (a few conduit connectors and a junction box to use with my Genova conduit I've used previously, plus a wide, flat switch) and rewired it.

I figured the path of least resistance (that's an electrical pun, get it?) would be to tap into the electrical outlet we installed above the switch just inside the door, bring that power down to a new switch in the same place, then up to the fixture. More time-consuming than difficult. Then I thought "hey, maybe the wiring from the switch to the fixture is still good, and I can just bring power down to the switch."

So, I opened up the outlet and connected a branch to that. Pulled out the switch and the wires looked good. I was hoping to see one pair coming into the bottom of the box, which would be the supply (which I know is now dead on the other end), and then a pair going up to the fixture. No such luck. Both came into the top of the box. 2 black wires connected to the switch (the hot leads), 2 white wire-tied together (neutral). Time to play detective.

Obviously, any electrical circuit has to be "closed" to work. I connected one black and one white (to simulate closing the circuit, AKA flipping the switch to ON), then took my voltmeter on the Ohms setting to the bulb socket on the light fixture. The first 3 times (out of 4 black/white combinations), I just got OL - open loop, no closed circuit. The last attempt, paydirt! I had a closed loop with some resistance. I found my light circuit. Wire-tied the white on the Romex and white in the wall together, connected the black wires to my switch, popped a bulb into the fixture, and closed the breaker in the basement. Success!

Switched the breaker back off & closed everything up. We can finally do laundry without a flashlight. It's only been about 18 months since it last worked.


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