Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lighting Upgrade, Part 2

The job is complete (unless the boss notices the tiny little scuff mark just sticking out from under the edge of the face plate covering the fan control), but I'm not real happy about it. Stick around and I'll tell you all about it.

First step is to fold up the wires that connect the switches and stuff them into the switch box. The power is on, after all the power will be on when they are all in the box, and if I have done my wiring properly, there should be no exposed wires in this mess, so it should be perfectly safe, or so I thought until I got a handful of wire, started folding the whole mess zig-zag fashion so it will all fit in the back of the box and KAZAP! Giant frigging spark! I let go of that mess in a hurry. It didn't shock me but it still gave me a heck of a jolt. Turn the power off, pull the wires back out as far as they will go and start looking for the culprit. With the size of that spark (it was huge, I tell ya) I expected to find some kind of evidence, a burnt spot, soot smudges, even a hair of copper sticking out in the open. Nothing. I even used a mirror a decent flashlight and still couldn't find the spot. Oh, well, maybe it's cured itself (ha). Stuff the wires in the hole, push in the switch, screw it down and turn the power back on. No sparks, no smoke, everything is apparently hunky dory.

Stuff a little dab of spackle in the gouge made by the drill and leave it to set.

Turn off the power, take apart the old light fixture and unpack the new one. Well, now I know why it cost $45. It comes with 3 color-coordinated washers and nuts for the glass bowl and knobs for the pull chain. Didn't really want all that, but it does make it possible to put the whole thing together today.

The light bulb socket assembly is connected to an intermediate mounting plate with a couple of screws, screws that are too long and will prevent this intermediate plate from mating properly with the fan's mounting plate. Also one of the holes that is supposed to be threaded to accept this screw is not, so I go root around in my vast collection of metal bits and find a pair of short screws with matching nuts and fix this thing.

The fixture has connectors crimped onto the wires. I have two bare wires hanging from the ceiling fan, they don't have matching connectors, so I cut them off. Now I get to hold the fixture up in the air while I try and hold two wires in alignment so I can fit a wire nut over their ends and twist them together. This requires a certain amount of determination. After I have the light fixture connected and mounted I discover a two short pieces of wire with crimped on connectors. Doh! You are supposed to connect these to the bare wires in the fan with wire nuts and then when you go to hang the fixture all you need to do it plug them in which shouldn't require nearly as much fortitude.

Now I all I have to do is mount the big glass bowl which wouldn't be a problem, except I don't want the pull chain showing and stuffing it into little bit of space available is a bit of a trick, but I get it done. I could have just cut the chain but that would have limited my future options (that's my OCD showing).

Today was much easier than yesterday, I think mostly because I didn't have to make two dozen trips up and down the stairs, most of which were done while trying to figure out just which circuit breaker to trip.

All done except the bowl doesn't look level. Climbed up on a chair and I was able to bend it to my will, but I'm still not sure it's level. That will probably take consulting with my advisers. I blame it on the shoddy / flimsy light bulb holder.

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