Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Handyman Within

I've been working for several months trying to get my cabin wired so I can have electric out there. Normally this would be a job that might encompass a few days, but... it's me working here, so that kind of explains the delay. But just in case you really want to hear about it, this is the reason it's taken so long.

To begin with, I'm a self-proclaimed handyman who's acquired knowledge of such things as plumbing and wiring through years of working on my house, along with several years of working in a home improvements section of a store. Wiring a building - an empty, brand new building, should be a cinch, and so it was. By the end of last summer I had the inside wiring completed and was using a DC converter connected to the wires from the breaker box to light the place up when we we needed light. The only thing that I needed to finish the job was a pole and a box for the outside. I was told by the guy from the electric company that "any old pole will do as long as it meets the requirements". So, I made use of the natural resources available and cut down a tree, stripped all the bark off it (do you know how much work that is?!) and let it sit to dry. Within a couple of weeks the pole I had cut began to split down the middle and was obviously not going to be able to be used, so I cut down another tree, stripped the bark and let it dry. The more I looked at that pole the more I discovered how crooked it was, so I got another tree, a nice big, straight oak tree and got it ready. Then I proceeded to go get my outside box at the store, at which point I mentioned that I'd cut a tree into a pole to use. The clerk gave me a dumbfounded look and said he'd never heard of anyone doing that, and that he was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to use it. So, to be sure, I called the guy from the electric company to ask him and he said that the pole would need to be pressure treated, that I couldn't use the one I had. That started a two month long hunt for a pole to use. You can't go anywhere on the planet (except maybe the middle of the ocean) and not see telephone poles sticking out of the ground, but do you think I could find one used pole that someone was willing to sell? Nope. I finally called the power company and asked them if they ever had any used ones that they sold. Oh heck no, they had a big pile of them that anyone could have... for free. I got the pole, got it in the ground, wired up the box to it and ran wires into the cabin, ready to hook up. About this time my brother-in-law stopped at the cabin and pointed out some things that might not be quite right about my wiring job. He brought down a former electrician to look at it and he noticed a few things that needed changed, like almost everything, before an inspection could take place. Mr Handyman Tim with all his vast knowledge wasn't thinking of things like building and electrical codes when he wired things up. Hey, they worked, right? Anyway, I decided to start all over and pulled all the wiring out and have been redoing the inside - with the help of a couple of electrical wiring and code books. So that's where I am, about halfway done with rewiring the inside, then, hopefully, it will be ready. Or not.


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Blogger Michelle's Spell said...

Hey Tim,

Hope your week is going well! And good luck on your project!

3:39 PM  
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