Thursday, August 27, 2009

And The Barn Has Lights!

Yes, its true: We accomplished our very first wiring project on our own - together. We didn't mean too, and certainly wouldn't have attempted it by ourselves, but my dad was on vacation the weekend we planned the big event and its just getting to be too dark in the morning to really go much longer without lights inside the barn.

Now, for those of you who don't know Todd is a little shaky with the ladders (remember when I was screwing together roof joists and putting on the metal roofing while he handed up tools and screws?...) so I ran the wires down the center beam to all the necessary outlets and installed and wired in the overhead lights while Todd was the brains behind the operation, figuring things out from the ground.

One would think that with only two wires (one black, one white) and a copper ground it wouldn't be that hard to get it right.

First we had power to the outlets, but not the lights. Then we had power to the lights but not the outlets. Then the outlets had constant power and no lights, but both the black and the white were hot to the lights, but they wouldn't come on. Then, the outlets worked but the light switch wouldn't turn the lights on or off. I was up and down that ladder making adjustments and nothing was working!! This was like some torturous mind game that was about to send me over the edge!

AND every new adjustment to the wiring plan (or lack thereof...) meant a jog to the house (which seemed to get further and further away) to shut off the breaker (not falling for THAT one again...) and then a jog back to turn it on to test the new arrangement.

We had nothing and my legs felt like they were going to seize up after my ten millionth trip up and down that ladder with the drill, wire strippers and power tester. Todd, admittedly being the more logical of the two of us, went to the shop and traced a line there that actually worked: as in it had lights, outlets and a switch that turned them on and off. By this point my brain could not take the stress of the power issues and in the time it took Todd to go to the shop and back I was able to dismantle most of the work we'd completed thus far! My logic said "start over" while his was more like "we're almost there....just a few adjustments and we'll have it." He shoulda moved faster. I was ripping wires apart faster than a power shopper goes through a sale rack.
I mean, how can both legs of the switch be hot at the same time and the switch NOT shut it off at all? This exercise in futility was frying my brain and in the last possible wire formation and one last half-hearted jog to the breaker box and back we had lights!! We had lights AND the switch worked! We had light, the switch worked AND the outlets had power!!
Ten hours later, one near-meltdown and a fried brain and we had it!! We have one entire side with lights and now we need to put them up on the other side. Perhaps next weekend - not like we have a whole lot going on, right?

1 comment:

  1. Please. Please stop posting pictures of you high above ground while your center of gravity is all out of whack. You are killing me. (And that means you are killing your son's favorite auntie.)