Tag Archive for 'home-improvement'

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.