Monday, September 16, 2013
The electrician was great. As long as he was here, he added in a bunch of new outlets. He had some great tricks for cutting into walls and studs, and only had to cut one hole in the ceiling.
He was helped along by the hack job on the wiring. They hadn't replaced the old knob-and-tube wires, but someone had gone through the time and effort to install a ground loop to the grounded outlets. (I can't figure this one out - why take the time and energy to run just the ground? It would have cost almost nothing more to just do the job right! The expense in running the wire is getting it through the walls, not the cost of the wire itself...)
Because they'd taken time to run the new wire, he was able to just tie his fish tape to it, and pull it back up through the walls.
What we found in the walls was downright scary - there was one spot where they'd wired the old aluminum fragile wires back to the box, then stuck the free ends up into the wall cavity. Much pull at all on that circuit, and the electricity could have arced across those wires and started smouldering and... we don't need to go there.
Back on a positive note, I learned a new wiring trick. It only works when the wire you're replacing is in conduit, but if it is... Instead of trying to fish a tape through the twists and turns of the pipe, you just tie a piece to string to a kleenex and stick it in one end of the pipe. Go to the other end, put a vacuum hose to the opening, and turn on the machine. As long as the conduit is relatively well sealed, it will pull the tissue and string along through the pipe. Then, you can tie your fish tape to the string, pull it back through, and use that to pull your wire. Do you have any idea how much time this trick would have saved me when we were doing the wiring in my old house? I'm impressed - it's a great trick. (Joe tried it on one of his jobs; worked slicker than banana peels.)
I'm almost done with the plaster repair, which means I should be able to start cleaning up the dust (and not having it immediately replaced) by the end of this week.
Baby steps. baby steps.