AC/DC

…so that was what the band was named after!

The past two weeks we’ve been wiring the electricity, which has been rather slow going, since we had to learn everything as we went. Here Sebastienne deserves a lot of credit (as her proud wife, I feel I can brag of my “wifey”) for being such an excellent autodidact, who can learn anything by researching and reading. From not knowing the first thing about electricity a couple of weeks back—she now talks (and works) like a pro. Well, almost. Close enough for us to able to wire the house ourselves!

We do like to do as much as possible ourselves. When we first thought of “building” a house a year and a half ago, we thought we would buy a ready-made one from Tumbleweed, or hire a constructor…then we thought we would buy a kit, or at least the frame… Soon we wanted to draw our own blueprints, and thought we might as well build it, too. At least we would hire someone to do the electricity and plumbing, we thought…but now we can’t help ourselves. Or, actually, that’s just what we can.

It’s amazing, really, how much you can do if you read instructions carefully (everything has instructions, even the smallest outlet part!), work slowly, think twice (or ten times), and work with appropriate tools. We like to figure things out ourselves, it becomes a game, a puzzle. It was fun to imagine ourselves drinking tea on the sofa (oh, we need a light there, a plug for the computer there), or reading in bed, hanging out in the kitchen, etc., so as to decide exactly where to have all outlets and light switches. There are standard heights for everything (48” from the top of the light switches to the floor, 18” for the outlets), and as much as possible we tried to stick with the norm, since it has come to feel intuitive.

We have only done the regular AC wiring, so far, but we’ll wire the DC next week for the propane heater, kitchen vent, and toilet vent—all RV or boat models, which require DC. We’ll borrow Paul (who knows a lot about this, as well a lot of other things) and his generator to check it all out, since we won’t get any actual power until we buy the solar kit.

Back home in town, we flip the switches with new awareness and appreciation – there’s a whole world hidden in the walls and behind those outlets.

figuring out the circuits
figuring out the circuits
tools...
tools…
drilling holes for the wires
drilling holes for the wires
...with a paddle bit
…with a paddle bit
nail plates to protect the wire
nail plates to protect the wire
attaching the outlet boxes
attaching the outlet boxes
a whole lot of wire (from local Southwire)
a whole lot of wire (from local Southwire)
wire through the holes with nail plates
wire through the holes with nail plates

ele (9)

attaching the ceiling fan box
attaching the ceiling fan box

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light box over kitchen sink
light box over kitchen sink
more stuff to figure out
more stuff to figure out

ele (14) ele (15) ele (16) ele (17)

stripping the wire
stripping the wire

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bending the ground wire
bending the ground wire
...and attaching it
…and attaching it
more stuff to measure
more stuff to measure

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first outlet
first outlet

ele (25) ele (26)

tada!
tada!

ele (28)

first light switch!
first light switch!

ele (30)

bathroom wall light
bathroom wall light
bedroom lights and outlets
bedroom lights and outlets

3 thoughts on “AC/DC

  1. This is amazing. I would blow the place up… or myself. I mean, when I hung the chandelier in the dining room I electrocuted myself, but to my credit I did turn the power off to the room, but I don’t think the house was wired correctly. Then there was the time I tried to rewire this awesome lamp from the early 1900’s. Oh, the sparks! They truly were quite pretty.

    Wonderful job, keep going!

  2. What a wonderful post!!! Holy Crow!! You didn’t electrocute yourselves!!! I would have frizzled myself into a heap of ash!!! Cynthia Warren said it perfectly; “Deep Bows to you both!!” I can’t wait to devour more of your posts and progress!! I am now Following your blog :D <3

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