Trimming and wired

This weekend P and I spent two days working on the Crap Shack. I no longer have a 1950’s era circuit panel in the house. It has now been replaced with a modern panel complete with ground bar. This means I can run modern circuits as I work on the kitchen, and take some pressure off of the *single* circuit that runs all the outlets in the house (except the kitchen and garage) by splitting this circuit into two separate wire runs.

The old 1950’s panel was something called a Stab-Lok panel, using circuit breakers of the same name. These were manufactured by Federal Noark and Federal Pacific. Since I had disconnected all the baseboard heaters circuits used to heat the Crap Shack prior to the installation of central air, I figured I had spare capacity. The obvious solution to wiring the house was to hunt for new circuit breakers for this panel. After all, the inside of the panel looked fine.

Instead I discovered that many agencies in the USA have said that replacing this panel as quickly as possible was the better alternative. Why? These panels are prone to electrical fires and the circuits apparently fail to trip on overloads about 60% of the time. So even though the panel never turned the Crap Shack into an opportunity for a marshmallow roast, I decided it was better to replace it.

In the 1950’s the electric code also didn’t seem to care to much about how big the circuit box enclosures had to be and the new one was 2 1/2 inches wider than the original. So, off to the big blue hardware store we went to buy some framing lumber so we could re-frame this opening to accept the new circuit panel. We got it done and now I have a modern circuit panel from which to run new circuits when I remodel the kitchen. This is one of the *huge* projects that needed to get finished so that I could progress to others.

That was the project Saturday.

Today P worked on finishing the trim work on the windows we installed a couple of months ago. Finally, I can sand down the frames and paint them. Once that is done I can finally say the painting on the exterior of the house is finished. Much thanks to P for his hard work.

While he was doing that, I was busy re-wiring the light circuit in the garage. I will eventually move the exterior lights onto this circuit. This will also take some pressure off of the whole house lighting circuit. The circuit currently running most lights in and out of the house will be split in a similar fashion as splitting the other outlet circuit mentioned above.

While I don’t feel like we got much accomplished this weekend, I sit back and look and realize just how far we got. The changes to the house that will have the biggest impact should begin to occur soon. *fingers crossed*


4 Responses to “Trimming and wired”

  1. YAY! I think I like P. He really seems like a gem. Not to mention he must really like you to put in all that hard work 🙂 yay magical penises! 🙂 xoxo

  2. I agree, P is a keeper. So, you have those newfangled circuit breakers in your house. I have fuses but now only two of them as I had to remove the ones for the kitchen and ceiling lights since they stopped working and I was afraid leaving them might cause trouble. The fuses didn’t blow the lights just got dim and started flickering. If P wants a challenge send him over. He might even be able to work on my house;)

  3. Yes, P is a great guy. I think he’ll be sticking around for quite a while. He’s very helpful and good at many things. 🙂 Though I think we are putting such a push on the house right now because we both want to get the heck out Conservative Hell.

    I think we may make it two weekends in a row and work on getting that last brick wall out next weekend. Then we can drywall and finish the porch remodeling.


  4. Hmm, the NEC requires at least two dedicated 20 Amp Small Branch circuits in a kitchen to feed the counters only. The fridge can be on it, but if not, it requires a dedicated 15 Amp. And all kitchen counter receptacles have to be GFCI protected, not just the receptacles by water.

    Then dishwasher, garbage disposal, microwave (if it is not one of those counter top models) all require their own circuits and the amperage depends on the individual requirements of the appliance.

    Lights can be shared, but only with other lighting circuits.

    When you replaced your panel, did you upgrade your service too?


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