Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Outlets To The Ready

Here we have a lineup of tools-n-stuff in preparation for the next mini-project-within-the-big-project.  Which is, getting the AC outlets installed.

This should be fairly straightforward, but you never know.

In the picture, we have, from right to left: one El Cheapo blue plastic outlet box from the Despot, one coax cable stripper, one actual AC outlet, one Black and Decker rechargeable screwdriver, and one RJ- type plug crimper tool.

If you are really smart, you are probably saying, "why do you have the coax stripper and crimper tools there?"  The answer is simple.  They were in the area because they'll be used on the next phase, which is connecting up the cable TV (actually FIOS, but the cable is the same) and the data drops.

Step One is to pry out the tabs in the box where the AC cable will run into the box.  This looks like an easy task for the trusty Destructo screwdriver.  And it is, except I find that the hole is a bit too small for my 12 gauge wiring to go through.  Sigh.

So, it's on to Step One, part two, in which I suss out a way to make the holes bigger.  Way bigger.

In my, I take a drill to them!

This actually worked well, except for the first one.  I had the box laying on the floor, on top of the canvas tarp I put down.  When the drill went through the box, it kept going down onto the tarp and grabbed the tarp, twisted it around itself and spun the box around!  Yikes!

Fortunately, no drill bits, boxes or tarps or Yr Fthfl Blggrs (me) were harmed in this goof.  But a lesson was learned.

After enlarging the hole, I can run the AC lead through the box.  At this point, I am Darn Glad I labelled the cable way back when.  A couple of the holes also have the heater lines going to them and it might have been a mess trying to figure out which was which.

Fortunately for me, the terminals on the outlets are actually labelled with actual labels about which lead should go where.

Now I just need to read French.

Ve streep zee insoolashun off zee wires....

And we hooook ze wahres up to ze outlet!

See, I CAN read French!

I used my new B&D rechargeable screwdriver for this task.  Review of this device coming soon.

Part of the way through the job I thought it might be a good idea to check and insure the outlet boxes were actually level with the ground and with each other.  This is the sort of thing that will make me crazy if they aren't.

So I grabbed my Ryobi laser level and checked it out.  There's enough wiggle room in each of the rectangular holes I cut that I can shift the outlet box as needed.  Then I'll put a wood screw through each corner of the box to hold it in place.

Closeup of an outlet mounted into a box - have yet to mount the box to the wall.

There were four?  five? outlets total.  They all went smoothly.

OH YES.  I should have said this first.  Be sure you have your circuit turned off when doing this.  Otherwise you will get zapped.


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