If you've been following along with my exciting blow-by-blow series on our kitchen remodel from the beginning, you know the overall scope is to change a U-shape kitchen to a galley. I've already lopped off one side and the bottom of the "U". The first side is nearly complete, the second is in shambles.
I decided to take advantage of some gorgeous weather and go outside to work on a project to support the new door I'll be installing at the far end.
Since our family room is an addition, our predecessors saw fit to run electrical for the west end of the room through a conduit outside the house. I crosses knee high, right across the door location.
I don't have to tell you what that means. I want to take my morning coffee out this new door to a future patio sometime without, .... you know...
As it was, I still managed to find an opportunity hurt myself. After removing the wiring from the electrical panel, pulling it back to the family room junction box (Sorry, I screwed up the photos), and disconnecting the conduit coupling, I bashed the hell out of my giant head.
Stupid single pane bay window, planter. I'd stood up, full-speed right under that thing. It strongly disagreed and had me sit back down.
There's no direct route from the family room addition to the attic, so at least some of the electrical route would still have to run on the exterior of the house. I'd get it up, into the attic as directly as I could. An auger bit in my cordless drill punched through, into the space above the northwest corner of the kitchen.
I installed "raintight" conduit (EMT - Electrical Metallic Tubing) connectors on an outdoor grade, electrical junction box. One connector was to attached to the conduit, the other poked out the back, through the wall. I'd use it to enter the box from inside the house. I'd caulk around it with silicone to be sure of a good seal.
After I spun the existing conduit upwards and screwed the box to the wall I took an extra moment to bash my head, this time on the roof edge facia board. I don't have photographic evidence to support it, but I did manage to pull this expert maneuver twice in the same location within my 10 minutes atop the ladder. Full disclosure friends.
I climbed back down to terra firma with my battered noggin. Since the conduit was still attached to the family room box, I simply pushed the original wires right back through it. Instead of hanging a hard right turn at the corner, they climbed upward to the lofty salvation of the attic.
I'd already pushed a piece of #12 "Romex" electrical cabling up from the electrical panel into the attic. I popped up through my handy, dandy DIY attic hatch and pulled the wiring across the space to connect the panel to the new junction box.
This is exactly the type of situation I created the hatch to help with. It would have taken 20 minutes of walking around the house and pain-in-the-ass, belly crawling through itchy insulation from the access hatch in the garage ceiling to reach this end of the house.
With the cable pulled to the box, I reconnected the two family room circuits.
I sealed the box with a weatherproof cover and re-strapped the conduit. The path is open, no more electrical trip hazard at shin level. I'll just have to pull the empty conduit from the panel.
The weather-battered siding is going to have to be addressed when I put in the new door. This is the west end of the house, the side that takes an absolute beating from the afternoon sun. Why some mental giant decided to install a protruding box of single pane glass out into the horrors of an Arizona summer's setting sun, I'll never know. There's serious air conditioning money literally blowing out the window here.
On the other side of the fence, I started feeding the wires down into the panel.
It's the point in our story where I ask you to pop over to AZ DIY Guy's Scary Electrical Warning.
Honestly, this is easy stuff, but high risk. Once upon a time, I was a commercial electrician, thus the bad-ass 13 pound Sparky's tool pouch on my hip. I'm comfortable mucking about in a panel like this.
Here's the thing, even with the main panel breaker turned off, once the dead front is removed, there are exposed lugs inside where the electrical utility's meter feeds into the panel. Between those two lugs there is 240 volts and untold amperage, enough to lay some serious hurt on you. Be super careful, or call a pro.
I landed the neutral (white) and ground (bare) on the grounding bar and the hot (black) on the breaker. With that, I flipped the breaker and and restored peace (television and video games) to the household. I'm a damn American hero, I tell you.
I'm sorry to rub your noses in our beautiful Arizona weather, if you're still battling winter. I assure you, we'll be paying for it this summer. Back indoors next time friends.
Like a Marvel superhero movie, you've stayed through the credits for a final, delightful tid-bit. You're cool..
DIY Blogging is a little more intense than most other types of blogging. Not only do we get the writing, social media, and web site stuff, we have to actually do all sorts of hands-on grunt work,... and photograph it,... hopefully with some degree of success and quality. Most of us are amateur photographers developing our skill as we go.
I'm pushing my way out of the automatic modes of my second DSLR camera and getting great results with the manual settings. At least I was, until this post. Your's truly decided to cart his camera, tripod, and infrared trigger outside, while leaving the aperture settings wide open from indoor shots. I did a third of the project before I realized it.
Enjoy my pain.