Not just repurposing, but BEING repurposed......" if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation: the old has gone, the new has come." ~~ 2 Corinthians 5:17

Thursday, June 30, 2011

World's Smallest Bathroom: Let there be light!

After years of being on hiatus from home remodeling, I've picked up my tool belt again and am trying to complete our home -- starting with the tiny space I had carved out at the back of my small laundry room for a powder room.  I'm going to share as much of my progress as I can:

So I begin with lighting, not only because it will come in handy as I move forward, but also for the sake of practicality and safety.  Because this is what I was starting with:

We had put those wires there so many years ago that I couldn't even remember the thought behind them and whether any were live or not!

So using my handy dandy circuit tester, the red light lighting up when I touched the wires told me each was indeed live.  Yowzers! Holy Electric Powers, Batman!  ZAAPPP!!  With my reluctant, grumbling, computer-missing son -- I mean trusty sidekick -- at the circuit box, the circuits were switched until I found which one was THE one (yup both connections on same circuit).  Then with it off, I unconnected the four wires, turned power back on to determine which of the four wires was the "source" of power.  

Armed with this new knowledge, I connected the "source" (I call that IN) to the continuation of power (I call that OUT) and found I had an unnecessary piece of wire -- I kept it there for now in case it comes in handy later for threading wire where I wanted.

Because the current program didn't work for my plan, an L-shaped room with an overhead light on each side, using my ceiling box as a template I drew a circle at my desired locations.  

The ceiling plaster was too hard for a utility knife (and I can't find my sawzall....waaah) so I first drilled holes around edge of hole and then whacked away with my hammer.

The threading of wiring and figuring out the flow of the power (think RIVER) was the most time consuming part and is difficult to show in photo form -- I did end up creating a new hole for reaching (post on hole repairing coming soon!) 

But eventually I got it all set in proper order with one switch to turn on both lights (that's what I had wanted all along but could only do two lights/two switches until my husband offered his clever guidance).

With everything firgured out -- and proof it all worked -- it was time to install everything "for real".  This is an OLD ceiling work box, OLD because it's for old, not new, construction.  See the three "wings"?  Those mean I don't need to climb into the (scary, dark, scary, dirty, scary, cramped) attic, instead I simply put the box up into the ceiling hole and turn the three screws until the wings spread out and hold the box in place.

So everything attached and connected has to be undone (power off, of course) and the wires slid through the openings in the box and pulled slightly downward as box goes upward! 

Til you make it all the way up!  I wanted a nice, precise fit so I had to gently tap with a hammer to get it in, and then, thank goodness for those wings (not to be confused with any other wings, girlie or otherwise you hear tell of -- no beautiful music in the background here).  I had labeled my wires so I'd know what's what.  

Now time to reattach everything -- FOR REAL, complete with wire nuts and electrical tape.  This is where it gets tricky for me, not the reattaching, taping part, but the shoving it all into the box and making it fit and not come apart part.  :)

And of course I need to have THE switch to operate the lights.  Too bad after taking this picture I realized that I had done it wrong -- not electrically, but structurally.  That switch box is an OLD box too.  I think I was supposed to mount it into drywall.  Ooops!  Oh, well, easy fix later when I have drywall.  

And so......LET THERE BE LIGHT!!




red.neck chic said...

Will you come to my house? I won't tell you the hows and whys but let's just say...

I'm not allowed to play with electric wires.

And I need some new lights!!! I'll come help you - then I'll drag you home with me!


;-D robelyn

Elizabeth (Blue Clear Sky) said...

You are way braver than I. Messing with hydro scares the spit out of me.

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gail said...

woohooo! :)

electricity scares ME!