Friday, August 30, 2019

Four Trips

This one's dedicated to Phil and Angus , who can probably relate.

As legend and lore have it, no DIY project can be completed in anything less than three trips to the store. Yesterday and today, I improved on that.

About a month ago, the local merchants were flogging perfectly spiffy UHD TVs at ridiculous prices, so they could get the newest models in with even more features I don't want, at prices I won't pay. So a big screen for less than half price for a NIB set was worth the trip.

Where, due to work schedules, it sat on the floor for about a month.
So with a few days off, it was time to upgrade my movie viewing (I have not watched broadcast TV since Fat Bill was president, and miss it not a bit).

Having assembled most of what I needed, it was time to get to work.
I've got three cordless drills, and two chargers.
I could find one drill, the battery was dead, and that manufacturer has planned obsolesenced that voltage out of stock forever. I'll deal with the hunt for the drill, batteries, and chargers another time, but I need to install the wall mount for Big TV today, as planned.

So Trip One:

I needed a couple of odds and ends, and some coax and HDMI, and to get around cordless stupidity games, I wanted an old-fashioned hard-wired simple drill for light work. Went to Lowe's (who thoughtfully killed my go-to OSH harware store chain with malice aforethought, after rescuing them briefly from oblivion). Lowe's has the HDMI and coax. And they have the perfect hand drill.
Except they're out of the one I want.
They have plenty of the bigger ones, starting at from 2-3X the price of the simple one that's perfect for my needs.

So, gritting my teeth, I go to Big Orange Hell, where they have the exact same drill, for a buck less than Lowe's. And five of them sitting right where they should be, on the shelf, unopened.

Mirabile dictu!

Chalk up one for Homeless Depot.

I dodge the 200 migras shilling for day labor in the parking lot, and return home to put up a stupid simple wall mount that's perfect for the TV I have, and the space intended for it.

Except, goddamn them, GE has selected hardware made from Chinesium (an amalgam alloy of zinc, recycled beer cans, Prius body panels, and seagull shit, apparently), which strip, while simultaneously destroying the Phillips bit used, at both ends, while only going halfway in.

And the size hole their instructions say to pre-drill for the anchor screws turns out to be laughably optimistic.


Trip Two:

Homeless Depot winning by a nose, and being a wee bit closer, I return thence on Thursday afternoon, this time for actual hardware.
I selected a double complement of marine-grade stainless steel wood screws equivalent in size and length to one of the cheap-ass Chinesium pieces of $#!^ I managed to hand unscrew from the wall, with pliers, where it had lodged hallway in, totally striped. Because I needed a bicep workout anyways.

Then, not trusting things, I also secured large deck scews, heavy-duty common nails, and fender washers, in case it became necessary to explain the facts of life to GE's wall mount.

And a bit 1/32 larger than GE's recockulous instruction specified.

Thus supplied, I returned home for the next round of battle.

With the larger holes, the actual steel screws fly into the holes, and seat firmly.
The mount is nominally rated for 50#. The TV is maybe 10#. But I was putting it into mature seasoned studs, in a wall I'd added myself. And I weigh a bit more than 50#.

So after hanging on the mount myself, it didn't budge a millimeter.
That sumbitch isn't going to be dropping the TV on me this century.

Now the easy part: putting the TV on the mount.
I've done this with smaller monitors, and the mount itself is simplicity.
Line up the holes, and screw it down.
Easy peasey.

Flag on the play.

In their wisdom, the makers of a $400+ (sale price) wall mount television, have elected not to include the $2 of hardware for wall mounting.
That would be 4 screws, and 4 plastic adapter plugs.

What The Actual FUCK?!?!?

Maybe they thought I'd just carry it around on my shoulder like a ghetto blaster boombox?

I don't know.

But this is, bar none, the stupidest effing thing I've seen someone do.
And I live in Califrutopia, and lived in L.A. for most of my life, so that's saying something.
But they have a handy 800 number, for me to order the Wall Mount Kit for the giant flatscreen TV, it's lack being mentioned no-fucking-where on the package exterior when I purchased it. (I'm going to use that 800 number next week alright, but not to order the kit in question. I'm wondering how many times they'll hang up on me before I finish what I'm going to tell them.)

Who would do such a fucktarded thing?
That would be Samsung.
Samsung, you (insert the most vile racist anti-Korean slur you can imagine here, then triple it), as my old man used to say when he was alive, "the sonofabitch who thought that up should have the TV shoved up his ass, sideways." No, really, and actually.

At this point, I am this:[] close to taking the set to the range, and experimenting on it with 12 ga. slugs. But the mount is already installed, and I want my damn video.

So Trip Three:

But, I know the Three-Trip Rule, so I am only half surprised. So, I trot down to Best Buy, since they have a Geek Squad that does installations, where maybe I can buy, beg, or steal the celebrated un-included mythical legendary Wall Mount Kit that the (insert the most vile racist anti-Korean slur you can imagine here, then triple it) idiot f**kers at Samsung didn't include, to save themselves $2 cost.

But no, Best Buy has never heard of it.
Neither has Le Boutique Targét.
Nor WallyWorld.
I tried them first, this trip.
Don't even think about Sears; their aisles look like Florida after a hurricane, every day, as they lurch towards bankruptcy in a death spiral. They make K-Mart Big Lots! look good, neat, and well-run by comparison.

But the sales chick at BestBuy calls their Samsung rep (but diplomatically, doesn't tell them what I called their company, from CEO to janitorial staff) who used to be one of their Geek Squad installers, who is sure that my wall mount or TV must have the right adapters and screws to clamp the TV in place.
(He's as wrong as he can be about that.)

But, he suggests checking Homeless Depot, because that's what they used at Geek Squad, because their TV mount kits always have everything.

Ready to defecate kittens at this point, I've got no pride left, and nothing to lose, so I swing by Orange Hardware Hell yet a third time, as the sun sinks into the horizon.

So I go to their home electronics aisle, pry open a similar wall mount kit, and there inside, are the very screws and adapters needed.
Along with screws and adapters for every TV set known to man, in all likelihood.
And for the helluvit, an HDTV antenna.

I return home again, this time long after the last Julio or Pedro has departed the lot, to undertake Round Three of hand-to-hand combat with a simple TV installation.

The screws and adapters fit like a glove.

The set is now anchored and perfectly aligned.

I plug it in, screw in the broadcast TV antenna, and the set works like a dream. (At least Samsung got that right.)

So, on a roll, I put in a couple of other thingamajigs for another pair of projects, plugging into the nearest outlet, in the bathroom.

I get them finished, and settle down to check online, satisfied with accomplishing (finally) what I set out to do that day.

After taking a bloody day to get it done.

Except...the computer has re-booted.
Funny, since I didn't turn it off.

Try to re-start it.

Then everything in the room goes deader than canned tuna.

And the microwave clock is out. Looking around, I find scoring on the bathroom outlet.
It's old, and not GFCI, predating that requirement handily, but it's never given me any trouble.

The kitchen light is flickering, like the bulb is going to fail. Then it comes on full.
But the demand heater is dead in the bathroom. And so is one side of the kitchen.
And everything downstream from there, including the Blog Command Central room.

And the front room A/C?!?
Now this is serious. No A/C in August?

And the breaker won't reset.
Despite multiple tries.

This now officially sucks. And it's too late to do anything, because everyone is closed.

So Trip Four:

Back to the store again, this time for the multimeter I never had, some wire strippers, and a new commercial-grade outlet.

Get home, turn off the outlet breaker, confirm it's cold with the new multimeter, and open 'er up.

And find 2" of white neutral wire charred and burned away (it dates from the 1970s), which has cooked off all the insulation, and the neutral is touching the bare copper ground wire.

Which shorted out the breaker as intended, and killed 1/3 of the house circuits.

Happy to have tracked down the problem without needing to get a new bus for the panel, I chop all the wire back, re-strip and feed them into an outlet 50 years newer, wire it in, throw the breaker, the multimeter confirms 120V, no smoke issues from the wall, and the breaker resets.

I have spent every penny I saved on the big screen TV on toys and supplies to plug it in.
And rewire a bathroom plug that was about to burn the house down.

Without burning the house down.

Or paying an electrician a couple hundred more $$ for a service call.

IANAElectricain by any means, but I rewired my first switch when I was a teenager (I wanted a dimmer in my bedroom, so I read how to do it, and did it). I generally don't play around with anything electrical more complicated than plugging something in, on principal, because gas (octane and natural) and electricity send more people to the emergency room every week than I want to be. (It's also embarrassing to be treated by your co-workers for Stupid.) And my primary use for electricity is to defibrillate dead people, and let me tell you, they jump when you yell "Clear!" and hit the button. I don't want to do the home version, especially accidentally. I can still remember the experiment at age 3 with the table knife and the wall outlet, and as I recollect, it stung a bit.

But I had the book learning, and most of the toys, so I'm happy about doing the repair myself, and getting the TV ready to rock. But I'm happiest that some union electrician 50 years ago did his frickin' job right when he ground wired my outlet properly, so I could save it and not burn the house down last night, or today.

For an encore, I'ma get me a GFCI outlet next week, and re-do that job one more time.
The skills will come in handy when I start building the Castle Anthrax and Camp Snoopy, probably next year.

Which is my explanation for why my homework is late.

And I think I've earned a nice dinner out.
Followed by Zulu or Lord Of the Rings on a wall-wide TV in UHD, as God intended.

And I've got an extra TV mount now.


Phil said...

Allow me to be the first to welcome you to, The Club. My name is Phil and not only am I a member.....

So after I quit giggling while reading of your misfortunes, I gotta ask, don't you have a Horror Fright nearby?
They sell a wall mount kit cheap and their corded hand drill is like twelve bucks man.
Even I have one of those.... somewhere.
Oh btw, ain't that Chinesium some shit?
Whenever I buy something that has Chinesium hardware in it anymore, I take the damn package, UNOPENED, right down to the friggin' hardware store and match everything up with Grade two fasteners at a minimum. Grade five is better and if it is going to be real important, Grade eight and be done with it.
Grade two is pretty soft but is still five times better than Chinesium anything.
Well, enjoy your TV anyway and yes, as much of a pain as those GFCI outlets can be for tripping for no damn good reason, it beats the shit out of burning your house down without one.

Unknown said...

The best thing you can do for the circuits in your house and the expensive stuff that pugs into them is simple.
All electricity goes to the shortest path possible. Burnt wires, failed circuits, flickering lites, are all caused by positive electricity that cannot get to ground.
If your panel box is not grounded to two or three ground rods (rebar will do)driven at least 4' deep in the earth, spaced a minimum of 10 feet apart, connected by bare #8 copper wire, you are doing it wrong. Many folks panels are still grounded to their water pipes, or to incoming gas pipe. NO.
That gfci is nice, but only protects what is plugged into it, and what is wired behind it.
Grounding the panel right protects everything in the house. Makes your circuits work more efficiently thereby reducing your powerbill. Reduces the risk exponentially of a fire caused by cooked wiring, which is a leading cause of house fires.
A small pro tip: IF you ever have to work on hot household circuits, only use one hand. You might get bit, but it's highly unlikely you will complete the circuit and get shocked, unless you are barefoot.

The Neon Madman said...

One thing doesn't sound right. White neutral shorting to ground shouldn't trip the breaker. More likely the neutral wire had a poor connection at the outlet, and overheated/burnt from the higher current being drawn thru it.

RHT447 said...

I miss OSH as well. Especially miss their train calendars.

We bought our Samsung flat screen at Costco, along with a third party mount. Sales guy advised getting flex mount as it makes it easier to maneuver TV to hook up wires. That was good advice. Mount came with 5/16th lag bolts to go into studs. Worked great.

I was a fan of Black and Pecker in my younger days--right up to the point when I needed a replacement battery for my cordless drill. Switched to DeWalt, got this set--

--and love it. Not too heavy, and all the torque a homeowner could want.

We escaped Kali for Texas in 2016. Our first summer here in DFW area, the A/C quit on a 100 degree day. Date on the ground mount was 1999. Call the home warranty company (translation--lowest bidder). "Yeah, we can have somebody there day after tomorrow". Sure, you do that. Meanwhile, Google is your friend, and I start looking at A/C how-to videos. Hey look, that one looks just like ours. Guy in the video says to first check the capacitor. Alrighty, then. Pause the video and go have a look. Our capacitor is right where it is in the video. And will you look at that--the orange wire has burned off the tab connector on the capacitor. I cut back to fresh wire, install a new connector, and ta-da, we're up and running. Have since installed a new Trane HVAC system.

Side note: Our house is all electric. You get to shop for electricity in Texas. Our current plan (not including delivery and taxes) is $67 for the first 1000Kwh, $26 for each additional 1000Kwh, pro-rated. Just got our August bill. 32 billing days. Total bill--$146.

Unknownsailor said...

3rd thing I did after closing on my house is install new electrical in all the rooms I use most often. This was after stripping my 40 year old finished basement, and stripping the plaster off most of the walls on the 1st floor.

My office has nice 20 amp service, properly run on new 12-2 Romex, with pigtails and everything. I also ran CAT6 all over, and terminated it at my wall mount network rack in the basement.

The old wiring is all 2 conductor alligator insulation stuff from the 1940s. The stuff without a ground.

Next year, after I graduate from college, I'm going to totally strip out the electrical and re-do all of it from scratch

Aesop said...

The panel is properly grounded.
And Unknown, you're probably right about why the neutral charred, but it was connected to the ground when I opened it up. I figure it was both things, but the ground short was what killed it completely, until replaced.

And I can't re-do the 1970s wiring here, I don't own it.

I figured you, for a certainty, would truly appreciate the sufferings described.

I'm thinking of having business cards printed advertising super-low home loans, and others offering adult escort services, putting Samsung's 800 number on them, and dropping them around town.

Phil said...

Aesop, I absolutely feel your pain.
Have any plumbing projects in the near future?
Four trips is just average for me on those.

Warthog said...

Aesop...I can relate. I was hanging an outdoor ROKU TV a couple of months ago. While on a ladder I was holding the TV away from my center of gravity and just couldn't get it to engage the wall mount. Finally got it latched after my shoulders felt like they would explode.

Net/net..I'm scheduled for Rotator Cuff and biceps tendon repair on Wednesday. Some savings Yeesh!

Jim Scrummy said...

Piker! I've done a 7 trips to "Homeless Depot" for a "one hour" project that lasted two days. Mr. Murphy is a pleasant fellow who decided to take up visiting me that blessed day. But, still did the job. The way it goes sometimes, particularly with 50+ year old homes.

John in Philly said...

We bought a wax seal ring (for toilets) and put it into a small plastic container.
We use it to lube screws that are going into wood and it seems to work great.

I learned my electricity lesson when my machinist father showed my how to change a switch without turning the power off.
Some sparks later, we turned the power off, and I kept that screwdriver with the melted spot for a long time.

Anonymous said...

I got a belly laugh out of chinesium. That e act thing happened to me mounting speakers on my patio. Had to get my vicegrips to get it out. I waddled into the garage and dug through my screw collection for stainless. The chinesium screws were like 2”. I only needed 3/4” tops, luckily, I had 4.

The worst thing about the 3 trip rule is I usually go during the week to get what I need, since I work at home. And damn if I don’t wind up at homedepot on a Saturday after all, worst time to be there.

SiGraybeard said...

Don't want to be too "me too!", but me too! Same "three trip minimum" story on various projects. Sometimes I beat the the average, sometimes worse, which just means it's an average.

On GFI outlets, I've been troubleshooting a GFI that goes off randomly for three freaking years. It's not the GFI itself, that has been replaced. It's not the surge protected strips plugged into that circuit, as many thought. The ground rod for the house has been replaced, 8' long. Nothing has fixed it.

It seems to be the power feed from the utility. They have a special focus on flickering, but they mean actual power outages that last less than one minute. What I get is called fluctuations. That's where the light bulbs' brightness changes without actually going out. The UPS for this computer hiccups on bad light fluctuations. Only that GFI pops and does it at least once a day. Sometimes several times a day.

That's the circuit my machine shop is plugged into. If it goes out while running a CNC program, everything just stops and the cutting starts over in air for a while.

A real PITA.

John the River said...

If the white charred I'd check the polarity of the outlet, the "white" may be hot. HD sells a cheap little circuit checker that you plug in and it instantly detects and shows all faults.

Lowes is in big trouble (I'm happy to say), planned layoffs of thousands coming. They just closed a newly built Big-Big-Big box store near me.

I also rewired my entire house, and though it did burn down, it wasn't the electric that started it.

Farm.Dad said...

Armatures The nearest big box store is 170 miles from me , and the nearest hardware store is 30 miles . The drive time give one the opportunity to self reflect on your inadequacy and incompetence at stocking your shop .

RandyGC said...

Previous owner of my house was a DIY type. And he had just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

When we first moved in (20+ years ago) we found lights and "extension" outlets wired in with zip cord.

Had a electrician come in to survey and remove the dangerous stuff, put in GFCI in the kitchen and bathrooms and wire in some new circuits so that the computers didn't dim out every time the refrigerator compressor kicked in.

After things had settled down from move in and new job I decided I need grounded outlets in the basement ham shack.

Previous owner had finished half the basement with paneling. I took out the ungrounded outlet thinking I could put in a GFCI. Found modern, up to code romex. And testing it found that it was wired correctly. A miracle! (maybe he had a friend do this part).

Best I can guess he wired it up correctly, but was too cheap to buy grounded outlets and just used the old outlets he had lying around and left the ground wire hanging. One new grounded outlet from Lowes later and Bob's Your Uncle. Only wiring I had to do was running a station ground outside to a ground rod and bringing in coax for the antennas.

Aesop said...

@Farm Dad,

I don't live on a farm in BFE, and I don't have a "shop" to stock, let alone incompetently or inadequately. So much for that pointless rant. If I lived down the road from you just outside Hooterville, you'd have been on target.
So I sure as blistering fuck don't have acres of space for tons of shit I'll use once every fifty years. I don't have a cow yet either, nor chickens and pigs, nor even crops (which grow poorly in solid concrete) yet somehow, don't feel nearly as inadequate as you seem to think one should. And despite that lack, have quite the assortment of well-used tools, and no lack of facility for fiddling with things without injury or catastrophe.

What I don't have is a lot of patience for companies that should damned sure know better than including shit-cheap parts in lieu of actual hardware, or skipping it completely.

Perhaps you and Rick/Dick from the prior post may be cousins?

Hooterville lives!

And say "Hi" to Eb and Arnold Ziffel for me.

RCPete said...

No mounting hardware for the TV happened with Vizio, too. The console/mount from Costco had a universal kit, with decent fasteners. Being paranoid, the extras are stored away.

Our "high quality" manufactured house used the cheapest 15A receptacles known to China. One failed and tried to start the living room on fire, but we caught it at the scorched plastic stage. They had the stab-in-the-back connectors, and the connection was bad enough it heated a lot. I ended up having to replace all those outlets and the cheapass light switches, too. Somehow, the idiots getting parts for the house got decent 20A outlets, so the kitchen and laundry room weren't going to cause trouble.

We tried to avoid the 3 trip hell when we fixed up our house in San Jose in 2003. Got a U-haul truck and filled it with stuff from Home Desperate, so I had enough lumber, plumbing and such. I still ended up needing to do Big Orange trips once a day, especially at the end of the project.


Anonymous said...

Had a good experience with Crutchfield when we purchased new monitor and articulating wall mount. They go the extra mile and make sure you have everything for the install. Everything.
If you have existing equipment, they'll also walk you through the install process and help.
(I have no affiliation with said company)

Henry Lee said...

Local Home Depot has what looks like a double wide car shelter way away from the store which the undocumented have decorated with old sofas and chairs so we don't have to run the gauntlet to get into the store.

jackalope said...

@Aesop @Farm Dad
Aesop, I believe Farm Dad was engaging in a little self-deprecation. This sentence is the tell:
"The drive time gives one the opportunity to self reflect on your inadequacy and incompetence at stocking your shop."

At least, that's how I read it.

Anonymous said...


In fraternity, here are a few suggestions for your prospective Camp/Castle enterprise:

1. Whole "house" (panel) surge suppression. Best practice is tertiary redundancy: meter, panel and appliance. For practicality, panel and appliance is sufficient.

Panel: Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA or Siemens FS140

Appliance: These are self-sacrificing/Replaceable so Tripp Lite SK5TEL-0 is fine.

2. Instead of wire nuts, these are quite convenient: Wago 221-412 LEVER-NUTS (connect solid, stranded, and fine stranded wires ranging from 24-10 AWG)

3. Good ground, starting from scratch is a Ufer Ground. You can, as you are wont to say: "look it up"

Just a few tips from an oldsteer who genuinely lived (past tense) in BFE, raised, branded and ate beef:), and had the entire Mel Tappan on steroids.

Aesop said...


I'm open-minded on that, but if so, such nuance seldom transmits well on the internet.

@Anonymous 2:57
Step One with my electrical (which is around #27 on a list of 101 things to be done) will be building a solar system with battery storage, off-grid, from the ground up. Getting browned out on a whim by SoCal Edison or PG&E isn't in my plan set. Them and the horse they rode in on, AFAIC. Buy once, cry once.
The last electric bill I'll ever get will be the last one before I move in.
And no meter readers poking around the digs once a month.

The rest will fall into place when the timing is a wee bit closer, and only after careful research and due diligence.
I appreciate the tips.

MrGarabaldi said...

Hey Aesop;

I laughed my ass off, because I feel your pain because I have been there. I have learned the hard way that the Chineseium screws and hardware ain't worth crap. That stuff strips out like a M*****F****R. Loved the description of the Orange store, and the others.

Farm.Dad said...

Yes .. my earlier post was intended to be tongue in cheek humor though the drive times are factual . It was also intended to illustrate that no matter your or my struggles with diy projects and included or excluded items some poor putz has it worse . I guess my hayseed humor was missed completely by some . Likely that is because I am just barely smart enough to own a couple million dollar business where I find myself doing everything from turning wrenches and diagnosing gas and diesel equipment problems to building structures and earthwork . Hootervill isn't a place for the meek you know LOL
Aesop If you get out Colorado way drop on by and Ill treat you to some great grass fed beef and a libation or two as well as a little hunt or range session if desired .

RCPete said...

A good source for information and hardware is Northern Arizona Wind & Sun ( I've used them for 4 systems, two small and two in the 1.6 -3.6kW range. (I used Outback Power integrated inverter/controller/monitor modules. YMMV). Wind&Sun has links for the information on the equipment, and a wide range.

My last project, I bought solar panels and mounting hardware through Platt Electric. I don't know if they'll do retail in Cali or Arizona, but they do in Oregon.

Aesop said...


Explanation accepted, and my sincere apologies for teeing off on you unjustly.
After the other gratuitous swipe (not yours), which was beyond any attempt to explain away, I was in no mood for anything in the same vein.

I have no reason to doubt your skills nor net worth.
When the Bundy brouhaha was going on, I looked up the price of steak on the hoof, and a quick tally showed Bundy the Elder was worth somewhere in the low millions, just on herd size, which is a lot of things in America, but it ain't poor.

And the whole point of Green Acres, Beverly Hillbillies, etc., was the long way around to show people that country folk may not be city smart about some things, but they're generally no dummies.

And thanks for the invitation. If I get up around Colorado anytime, I'll give you a shout out.

"Specialization is for insects."
That quote is more or less my bucket list.
I still have a few I hope to check to check off.
And a couple I hope not to.

Anonymous said...

Kinda OT but Samsung --
If you think Samsung electronics are a pain, give their refrigerators a try. I deployed and (of course) the old fridge died while I was gone. The wife unit got a new counter depth fridge. Okay I thought, how nice. A week later, the ice maker froze up. When I went in to look at it I discovered that (add your favorite Korean epithet) Samsung had put the ice maker for that model in the refer section -- not the freezer. What kind of thought process went into that bit of genius (rhetorical question) ?

Bear Claw Chris Lapp said...

Bundy. He owed the gubermint 1 million of our tax dollars in grazing fees. He is a POS. I know lots of people grazing government land to scale up as the gubbermint causes our cost in everything to go up and I want the steak price as low as it can be. They pay their fees while he thinks he shouldn't have to. No quarter for them and their kind.

Aesop said...

Agreed; my point was he was not the poor man he claimed to be.

Night driver said...

There is NO SUCH THING as a "Little Plumbing Job"!!!

While removing the near totally clogged cast iron length of pipe feeding the copper running to my upstairs bathroom, I had several close encounters with the basement brickwork and the laundry chute wall next to which these were run.

Yep I got the pipe perpetrator removed, but, on the way to the hardware store (long enuf ago it WAS a HARDWARE STORE, I stopped to assist at an accident, and, after Primary & secondary exams (or as close as I could without extrication, I was asked by the nice ossifer which car I was in when it happened. Had to tell him I was in the middle of a "Little Plumbing Job" and not an MVA. We both laughed and went our separate ways...
Didn't QUITE understand until I got a look at me in the mirror... Yup. looked like I WAS in one of the cars.

Ref yer list. We could spend a few bourbons playing SHALLANGE!! I'd lose by a nose (the whole animals part) but I'd START with "I'll see you and your nursing stuff, doing it upside down, in the dark, with freezing rain and snow trickling down my neck." A discussion I actually HAD with a DYNOMYTE ortho surgeon at 2 one morning. He rattled on me as to how to PROPERLY apply a HARE splint. I said I'd HAPILLY carry on the conversation but we would have to step outside where we would be conversing in sleet and freezing rain. Doc Mina got the message WITHOUT needing to get froze.

Mike-SMO said...

People can be so "creative" that it is frightening.

General rule of thumb; never stick a paw into a hole until you have "scoped it out" with a good light and a mirror if necessary. There be monsters in thair. e.g. splices in Romex made by folding the copper over and "hammer welding" it all nice and secure then insulating the mess with masking tape [maybe 20 years earlier].

I ran into 2 instances of added outlets and fixtures fed with 16 ga "bell wire". Good enough for a few light bulbs and they were both protected by new circuit breakers [20 Amp]. Hey both had a ground wires in the mix!

The outlet testers with the blinky lights are OK to see if there is power, but the first tour, pull the cover-plates and take a look inside the box. Remember, people are "creative"....

Ray - SoCal said...

I would stay away from Samsung refrigerators, lots of cool bells and whistles that cause problems.

The wiring tester, $7 I have a Klein, is a lifesaver. They have one for $10 that tests gfi’s.

I bought a set of Mak it’s drill and impact driver, 12v, and it has saved me a huge amount of time. Big orange has them on sale for Labor Day. Not too big, and can be used in tight spaces. Ryobi is a better value, but I doubt you need a full too set of cordless tools. Ace hardware, if there is one near you, can save you a lot of time, but pricier.

Ray - SoCal said...


ghostsniper said...

Got all the stuff last week (Korky's) to rebuild 3 shitters this weekend but my wife wanted me to wait til Tues cause it might be hard to find a store open due to the holiday. After 35 years she knows me better'n I know me.

Anonymous said...

Hold up. The bathroom was another project. In this case the counter is reset to zero and three more trips are required. So, your fourth trip is really only one. You got off light.

Before you start installing GFCI outlets, maybe you can learn from my 3 trips from installing them as part of a punch list to sell my old house.

1. Those old electrical boxes may not fit a Gfci and all the wires. You may need to install a deeper box, sucks but can be done. Or use a wiremold extender box, which looks like shit. Measure the outlet and the box. I used an e tender because fuckit, letter of the agreement.
2. If you wire them in line, when they trip, they’ll take out everything down line.
3. Dumb wiring from 50 years ago downstream will trip it also. In my case it was shady wiring of a 2 way switch.
4. No way to fix that easily, I wired the down steam leg in, and pigtailed off the gfci. So, try to find a few extra inches of Romex

Ray - SoCal said...

Some gfi’s are shallower, and wrapping electrical tape helps when putting into older metal boxes.

Ancient Motorman said...

Don't forget, gentle readers that the companion to the metal 'Chinesium" is that almost all of the directions for assembly of various and sundry Asian crap is written in the language of "Chinglish".

I have experienced both.

Anonymous said...

If you get really stuck for space, there are breaker/GFCI combinations. I've used them in Square D/Siemens panels when there wasn't a good way to put a GFCI outlet in a box.


Anonymous said...

The wife is always asking "how long is that going to take". Since she wasn't grasping that any time estimate on any job is a SWAG at best I've taken to giving her expected time and how long its likely to take with the caveat 'if nothing goes wrong'.

Had mucho fun the first year in our house finding the next job to add to the list whist doing another job. Lots of trips to the local Home Cheapo and/or Lowes if the local small hardware store (formerly ACE) didn't have/couldn't get/was close and it couldn't wait.

I've got my trips down to 1 extra usually. But that is after lots and lots of planning/thinking. Yeah, not making the extra trips but not sure I'm really saving anytime overall.

Oh well. At least we can look around and take some pride in a job well done.

The Freeholder said...

After renoing two houses (mostly, #2 is still, and may ever be, a work in progress), I am right there with you. Every time I go to Lowes Blows I note that it would be a great location for a hardware store.

Thank God we have a real hardware in town. Not as good as when the original owner was running it, but I can still get non-Chineseum fasteners if I'm willing to pay for them. We also have a Fastenal, where I can do the same in shop quantities when needed.