Tag Archive for 'attic_fan'

4-Way And Other Switches

I just have to first off say that I am an electrical genius. In the course of the weekend, I actually wired the attic to turn on a light bulb when the temperature reached 100 degrees. Yes, this was to be my first ‘real’ electrical project outside of replacing receptacles, adding dimmer switches and adding those neat timers in our house.

So you heard about the install of the attic fan last week with David R. It was all installed sans the electrical work. That was for this weekend. Props David!

So I got started Saturday afternoon going back and forth trying different concepts with how to work the circuit. The trick was that the writing to the attic already had a single-pole flip switch for the existing light fixture up there. Which was fine, but we’d have to leave the switch on all the time for the light, and the soon to be fan, so the fan could work when it needed to. (It kicks on when the temperature gets to a set hot temperature.)

So the first purchase was an attic light fixture with a pull switch. You gotta love them. That wasn’t hard, expect I originally purchased one for a ceiling fan at Home Depot, so that didn’t really work. The alignment of the screws were slightly off. I finally found the right kind at Strosniders and attached it beautifully to the new ceiling box. Next was running the armored cable which had 12 gauge wire in there, including a ground. Yay green wire. So fancy. It’s like a nice neat little package. But the trick wasn’t installing the handy box or the light fixture. It was getting the correct circuitry. And it all came down to the simple ‘tandem’ wiring. Duh. It only took me an hour or so. But I figured it out and once it was correct and tested, I used my old speaker wire pins to secure the armored cable to the studs.

So the cost for all the parts couldn’t have cost more than $100, even with the actual attic fan costing around $60. And the cost to bring our an electrician most likely would have cost us $300. So all in all, I saved ~$200, didn’t get electrocuted and had a blast.

Oh and for this project I decided to up the ante in my career as an amateur electrician and finally bite the bullet with a pair of wire strippers. I have to tell you, I feel like I have no control with those cheaters. I used it twice and was back to the wire cutters in no time. Old school and patience and keeping it real. Yo.

Yo, MTV Raps!

Mat installing the attic fan - matatticfan.jpg
Saturday David R. came over around dinner and we picked up some Mark’s Kitchen. Yum. Then we worked on #4 SISA. It’s gonna be a wild one. We’ll finish it up this week, ideally.

Sunday David R. came over around 11am. And we headed to Home Depot to pick up some supplies to install the attic fan. Tortoise was in his CD player. It’s sweet when other people listen to Thrill Jockey bands.

Normally it wouldn’t be a huge deal, but there was never an attic fan installed with our house like all the new houses have. Well there was. But it was from the 40s or something. And it was sorta attached to an awning and it’s really non-functional right now. Except for a family of squirrels calling it home. So I finally got to use the circular saw we bought a year ago for an actual home improvement project.

After a few measurements we had the wood all set. And then again, for a few more. Then we installed the fan to the frame. Hurrah for drywall screws. Next we added two side support beams. That wasn’t too bad. Then we got to staple gun the screening in so furry creatures can’t come in. All this and it was only 1:40pm

Then we went in to the attic and realized why we were actually installing the fan. It must have been 120 degrees in there. And it was only 75 outside. God forbid it was a typical DC summer and was 96 degrees and 75% humidity. We would have died. But needless to say, opening that window to nail it shut open was the nicest feeling that today. We got the fan installed and in position after a few wiggles and minor window frame adjustments. After the 4 L-brackets were screwed in to secure it’s position we were set. It was in! Yay!

Next week I will run the electrical wiring from an existing lamp to the fan. This will be my first real electrical project, aside from adding dimmers and changing outlets. I can’t wait. I heart my volt-meter.

Thanks again, David, for all your help. And for making a nice new home for my old Yo, MTV Raps! hat.

All the while, Emily was at her wordworking class building a bookshelf. Her next project might be speaker stands for the studio. I sure hope so and I hope they look half as good as her bookshelf.

David installing the attic fan - davidatticfan.jpg