Sunday, September 29, 2019

Letting the Sparks Fly

... Or trying not to, as the case may be. Today's project was repairing a loose outlet. Why was it loose? Well, when it was originally installed the workers put in a 4x4 bakelite junction box in the wall, used the space to join a bunch of wires together because why not, and then put a bakelite mud ring on top to mount an outlet to. Bakelite is, of course, quite brittle, so obviously it's the material of choice for something that people will regularly smack into.

Somehow they didn't see that coming. it's a good thing they don't make 'em like they used to. And here's the mess that was hidden inside:

Naturally all the wires were cut way too short, and many of them were spliced in questionable ways, so before I could install the old-work box I had to clean things up and extend them all. That was a fun time.

It's a good thing crimp butt splice connectors exist. If you're wondering why there's two different sizes, it's because this old style romex uses an undersized ground wire. And since they don't make a splice that fits both 12 and 14ga wire, I not only had to use two different sizes of splices, but also go out and buy some 14ga wire.

Anyway, after the usual amount of struggling and cussing I got the new box in, a pair of outlets wired up, and everything buttoned up nicely once more.

Job well done.

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