May 21, 2009

Electric Feel

After changing out the last of the light switches downstairs, I learned the hard way about 3 way switches (usually found in a hallway or stairway where switches in 2 locations control the same source). I had a slight feeling that the single pole switches may not work but thought I'd give it a try. What's the worst that can happen, I blow the switch? Blow a circuit? Shock myself? Burn the house down?
Rest assured, none of those things occurred. Although to be honest, I was a little scared to turn the breaker back on (I remained outside with the dogs for a good 10 minutes after turning power back on with my cell phone in hand ready to call the fire dept). And while power was off, internet was off. At this time I called Jesse at work to ask theoretically of course, what would happen if I left a live wire hanging? You know, just curious and all. Aren't you?

Well don't try it. I ended up putting a nut over it to cap it off. Anyway, after a trip to HD I got some 3 way switches to complete the job. And if you are just going by the pictures, it looks like I did it the easy way the first time.

Isn't that hot (in a non-live wire exposed kind of way)? Minimal with no screws in sight.

Timesaver: light switch electrical cables are 10 gauge, so they won't go into the little holes of the new switch, I tried for a long time. So you'll have to wrap them around the little screws and tighten (no shortcuts folks). Outlet wires on the other hand are 14 gauge, so those will. When dealing with electrical, make sure all connections are tight as can be, safety first!

Sidenote: the name of this post is homage to MGMT. Recommended music for house work when you are jacked up on caffeine. Try it.


  1. I think now I'll call you Electric Tran. I've taken a ton of electronics classes but I won't touch outlets. Ryan can deal with the power stuff, or I'll call you. I'm definitely April the Plumber.

  2. It's comforting to know that we could all live in a commune and survive off our abilities!