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Journal Journal: My New Word of the day

I've created a new word for today:

Home Cussprovement. It's when you take a simple home repair, start it and end up cussing the previous "handyman" for doing such a half-assed job at it the first time that it takes you 5x longer to unfix his crap and do it right.

For example:

Everything's perfect with the lightswitches in the room, except for the one that turns "up for off" (everything else is down for off) A simple turn of the switch body should fix that: a couple of screws, a twist, and everything's happy, right? Except that the previous bright spark of an electrician used six wire nut junctions feeding just-too-short bits of cable (in such an entertaining variety of colors) so that loosening any of the switches causes at least two wire ends to pop out of their former homes with such an amusing brownout* that ensues. That's a Home Cussprovement.

Or today's discovery that the bathroom vent fan is not exactly installed correctly. it was making noise when the fan was on, so i think "motor bearing or vibration in the shaft". These are fairly simple systems: hole in ceiling, wired to switch, vent to outside... I should be able to knock this problem out quickly. Guess which of the three components our previous handyman had gotten wrong? I'll give you a hint: All of them. The hole in the ceiling is 2" too long in one direction and 3/4" too short in the other. The wire from the light is not marked as switched (blue rather than black, but I can forgive that one) and is made of the wrong metal for the fixtures at both ends (both are Cu-only, the cable isn't). And the "outside" to which this great installation is vented simply means "above the ceiling drywall". Of course, none of these features were visible without removing the vent cover, which is what was really causing the noise in the first place (the motor shaft was hitting one of the cover fins), but now that I know about them, I have to do something about them.


* Since this is such an "easy" job, I don't mind doing it live, but when half the house goes dark after the first screw comes out, I get worried and pull the main breaker. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. NEVER WORK ON MAINS VOLTAGE LIVE. KEEP ONE HAND IN YOUR POCKET. TAKE YOUR PHONE/PAGER OFF VIBRATE! THIS IS VERY DANGEROUS, IF NOT DEADLY. DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME. EVER. NEVER WORK ON MAINS VOLTAGE LIVE. Seriously.

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