January 12, 2009

Windows, Doors, and Lights

The glorious custom Lemieux oak doors are installed, dusted and polished, and the door's low-E windows have been cleaned of the residue urethane and cherry stain.
They look so good, feel so solid and heavy, and work so well in comparison to the doors that they replace, that they carry the entire house several notches up the status chart. Even without the siding, they make a huge contribution to the view from the street.

The project includes window size reduction in the Unit 1 and Unit 2 sun rooms, converting a wall of windows overlooking the driveway to a mostly insulated wall that could be lined with bookshelves, or upgraded with a wood stove, or simply a space to hang a poster showing your basic cuts of beef. The sky's the limit.

The plan was to re-use the trim so that the new low profile windows look like they were always just that way.

Notice the beige surface mounted outlets below the window in the first photo? Now seems like a bang-up time to rip those out and re-locate 12" higher in the new window voids. Only 3 outlets? Heck I can do that myself. I even know to shut the circuit breaker at the service box so as not to jump-stop my already beating heart.

The sunroom is directly over the basement electrical box, so I plugged a work light into the sunroom outlet and dangled it out the window 12 ft to the ground. In the basement, I switched off the circuit breakers until the light outside the basement window went out.

Circuit breaker 11 did it. Great. Returned upstairs to do my electrical magic only to find to my surprise that most of the house was dark. Breaker 11 is one busy little circuit breaker, with its tentacles secretly controlling nearly everything we do. Just look at this inventory of its domain:

  • 2nd floor sunroom ceiling light + all of its plugs
  • 3rd floor storage room
  • 3rd floor front bedroom ceiling light but none of the plugs
  • 3rd floor stairway light
  • 3rd floor master bedroom and one of its plugs
  • 2nd floor dining room light and one of its plugs
  • AND the power to the kitchen range hood and gas oven

How have we put most of our lives in the hands of breaker 11? Were we asleep at the switch?

Since all the lights are now CFLs the electrical load has never been lower, but still this is kind of whacky, and needs to be fixed. If only we can keep breaker 11 from learning our plans.

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