I am Powerless

December 2, 2023

As you probably inferred from my weather station post this morning, I am out at the house in Clendenin. I came here to get some work done, and also some cleaning (I forgot to mention that my contractor fixed the plumbing a few weeks back).

My remodeling skills are limited compared to that of a contractor, but I can do some of the work. I am a decent painter, I can assemble furniture or replace a light fixture, and finally, i can demolish.

Which brings me to today’s project.

The trashed unit in this duplex had already been gutted to the studs back in June, but all the electrical wiring was still there. This includes both the wiring from when the unit was updated in (I think) the 1980s as well as some of the original wiring which was put in when this place was built in 1950 (it was no longer hooked up, but had been abandoned in place).

The wiring was suspect, so it had to go. And since this was something I could do, I decided to save money by not hiring a contractor.

And it turned out to be easier than I expected. In the space of about two hours I ripped out all the switches, outlets, and light sockets on a 3 bedroom apartment. I cut all the wires, dragged them out, and then bagged everything up. (Yes, there’s still wiring in the crawlspace, but I can get that another time.)

One reason it was easy was that I came prepared with the right tools, including a drill, a hammer, a prybar, and a heavy duty pair of diagonal plyers (past experience has shown that regular-sized diagonal plyers struggle to cut electrical cable).

BTW, the title of this post was intended as a quip, but that unit has actually been without power since Appalachian Power came by in April and removed the meter. This was why I felt comfortable doing this bit of demo work; I knew there was a minimal chance I could electrocute myself (but not zero – there was always a chance that one or more outlets were actually connected to the other unit’s fuse box).

That’s done. On to the next project.

This blog was launched in order to share one newbie home buyer’s experience in buying and remodeling a wreck of a house.

Like the house itself, this blog is a work in progress.

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