do gooder wiring
Sunday, October 23 2005
I was a do gooder today, spending my afternoon in the grey autumn chill installing electrical outlets and switches in the visitor's center of a local non profit organization. I even made a run to Lowe's to get lamps, circuit breakers, and three way switches. The initial wiring had all been done by a real electrician, but even so a little part of me died when I saw that he'd used 14 gauge wire instead of the more robust twelve gauge stuff. Still, I can't complain because it was a breeze to work with. I just used the quick connect facilities of the outlets and switches, a technology I normally don't trust (and which, at least with cheapo outlets doesn't even work with the 12 gauge wire I always use).
I was disgusted to find that the cheapo outdoor lamps I bought came with exactly half the amount of mounting and wiring hardware one actually needs to do an installation. When you have two wires to connect but they only give you one wire nut, what are you supposed to do? I might have assumed this was just a packing error on one lamp, but I'd bought two of them and they both had exactly half the hardware I needed. Happily, though, I accidentally chipped the glass on one of the lamps, so I was able to use the hardware from both of them on just one installation, and I'll be taking the chipped one back and saying it came that way.
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