Friday, January 16, 2009


I shouldn't be surprised anymore by the way I find stuff done in this house anymore, but I am. Yesterday I worked on one of the few remaining "should be done before the kitchen demolition and remodel" projects, namely updating the electrical in the original bathroom. The kitchen (i.e., former front hall and porch) shares a wall with the bathroom, so with the back side open, it's a fine time to get the electrical up to date.

So yesterday I turned off the power to that circuit, went into the attic space, and started pulling out the old wire. Based on previous experience, I figured something important (like the kitchen) might be downstream of it, like when disconnecting some of the wiring in the hall lead to no power in the old outlets in K's office. But after pulling the old stuff, I restored power, then flipped on the kitchen light, et voila! So I didn't think any more about it.

Then K made coffee this morning, and when I got up, I asked where it was, and she said it was brewing in the living room. Uh-oh. Seems the kitchen lights were not downstream of the bathroom lights, but the outlets are. Well, it's all going to be redone anyway, but that accelerates the steps towards demolition. It kind of gives me the impression they wired the rooms and outlets in alphabetical order. Maybe organized in a non-Latin based language. Like Klingon.

Today I went over to the building department and got updated permits, as well as trying to do my part to support Oakland businesses that were vandalized by some yahoos in the wake of the Oscar Grant killing. I ran into an old friend I used to work with, who was in downtown Oakland to...go to the building department. He and his wife are considering buying a house here in Oakland, but it's had a fair amount of unpermitted work done, including a garage to family room conversion, major kitchen work, and more. They're nervous enough because it's their first house, but this might be enough to kill the deal.


Jenny said...

We just ran into similar wire situation. Found more than 100 ft. of extra coaxial cable in our attic, so we reran the cable and wiring to the guest bedrooms to be more effecient and actually make sense. Fun isn't it? Shutting off the power was fun - we ended up just shutting off that whole side of the house because it was so confusing. Klingon must be the universal language for labeling those panels, because that's how they did ours too.

NV said...

Jeez. Sounds like we had some of the same electricians!

Larry said...

I've been in the same shoes as you have.

Stay the course and you'll get it done.

BTW - I hate working on electricity!