Friday, August 01, 2008

HISTORICAL DAY

TA DA!

Let the Royal Chronicles show that Wednesday was a historic day.

FIRST, THE RUN

Yes, it was just Wednesday, but I had promised myself that I would start doing a short (three miles) run at mid-week to see if it builds up my endurance for the longer weekend run.
I am aware that there is a risk that this extra running will simply overpower my diminishing ability to recover, which will have the opposite effect on my running overall.
Wee shall see.

I hit the street at 5:25 AM in warm, steamy weather.
It was cloudy and about 72 degrees and about 90 percent humidity.
As if to validate my fears, I had to seg into accelerated breathing the last half mile of the jaunt.
But this is a building effort so I expect to start out weaker and become stronger.
At least, that is the plan.
The party ended almost exactly thirty minutes later in front of my humble abode with me doing my best imitation of a slug - leaving a trail of bodily fluids as I walked my cool-down loop.

MO NUTHA MILESTONE

The new bathroom fan has been installated and woiks poifektly.
This item finishes my bathroom project. (when I get the sheetrock patched and painted around the switches, it will be done done.)

At the risk of TMI, some extended elucidation:

According to common residential building codes, a bathroom that has a window that opens, is not required to have additional ventilation.
Thus, my humble pottitorium had no fan.
But soon after moving in, I found that even with the window open, not enough air circulated during and after a shower to remove all the steamy air, thus causing the growth of lovely brown mildew in my tub/shower.

To address this problem, I purchased a simple box fan which I located in my hallway pointing into the bathroom (I always keep my b-room door open while showering).




I ran the fan during my daily ablutions and for a few minutes afterward, which reduced my mildew problem to a manageable level (but did not eliminate it).
I continued to do this even after I installed my new tub/shower earlier this year to forestall any mildew problems in the new unit.
I knew that the ultimate solution to this issue was to install an exhaust fan in the bathroom to suck out all the damp air.

I took my sweet time and shopped for the quietest, most suckish fan at the most reasonable cost. (you can get a really noisy, almost useless fan for about $10.00, or a really quiet, efficient fan for $200.00+, and many variations of these two attributes at many prices in between.)

I did not want the fan to run only when the light was on so that required that I change things at the light switch....
...Only to find that the gas line to the heater was run next to the light switch.




This meant that I could not simply install another switch next to the existing one.
In addition, the wall here was only two inches deep, so the electrical box that I had purchased would not fit. |-(
I went looking for a more shallow double box but the big home improvement store, of which I own stock, did not have any.
Singles, yes.
Doubles, no.
So I took my saw and chopped the bustle off the double box I had.

Then I cut my hole in the wall bigger and installed the box on the other side of the gas pipe.
Phooey, I know how to patch sheetrock....




Finding an existing wire to supply electric current to the fan proved to be another adventure.
I knew that there were some "adjustments" to the house wiring above the hallway from some previous explorations in the attic (when I removed the whole-house fan, and some wires that were poking down through my hall ceiling).

To properly access the disposition of the electric supply I needed a multimeter.
I used to have one, but apparently I have donated it to someone, kuz it wuz gone.
So, I had to buy a mo nutha won.

Having procured a meter, I then set about trying to figure out what **someone** had done to the existing wiring.
It took almost an hour of trial and error to find the breaker in the box in my utility room that turns off the power to the rats nest of twisted and taped wires in the attic.
But I found it.
I unwrapped and untwisted and removed a couple of stray conductors which led to nowhere and re-twisted and attached with wire nuts the two bunches of wires.
In the process, I removed the wires from the switch in the hall that had been installed years ago to run the attic fan.
Then I ran the wires that were going to supply my bathroom fan with power from the dam.

In spite of my best plans, inserting the two extra conductors into the small hole in the wooden plate in the top of the wall above my new switch proved to be the task from Hades.
I pushed gently then hard, pulled out and re inserted, pushed again, pulled out a little, pushed in a little - you get the idea.
Even though it was barely ten oclock, I was as sweaty as I was when I finished my run.
(note to self - schedule extra shower after switch is installed.)
Anyway, I FINALLY got the wires down into the wall and to the prospective switch location.

I had been thinking about how the various conductors are to be joined together so that electricity flows to the fan only when the switch is in the "On" position.
And not burn down the house.
Or fry the breaker.
This may be muy simplistico to a practicing electrician, but I, your humble servant, need remedial House Wiring 101.

But I managed to figure it out on the first try.
It was with a feeling of satisfaction and relief that I closed the breaker in the utility room (and it did not pop open again), walked into the house and flipped the light switch (it worked!) and then... (trumpets play here...)...I flipped the switch for the bathroom fan.
Haaauuuummmmm.
It worked! (show smiling people dancing in the street with index fingers pointing in the air)

With that part done, I applied sheetrock tape and the first layer of joint compound to the hole next to the new switch box, and called it a day.
Some tool and trash pickup (each with different dispositions) ended the This Old House episode for the day.

And it was with a mixture of nostalgia and satisfaction that I unplugged the faithful box fan and turned on my *new* bathroom ceiling fan while I took my attic-sweat-cleansing shower afterward.
.
.

1 comment:

jessimen said...

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Thanks
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