I have to say, doing a month by month list does keep us focused, even if we don't accomplish everything. It's all about laying out those goals.
Anyway, Ted did manage to tackle item three, which sounded simple at first: Install new light on back porch. It turned into an all-weekend project. Rather than have me try to describe exactly what he did, here it is in his own words (more or less):
To Start: We're replacing the light bulb that illuminates the landing leading to the upstairs porch. Click on any of the following pictures to enlarge them. At present, it's a bare bulb. We need to get out our big ladder to even change it. The light is controlled by a switch in the kitchen of our unit. The tenants cannot control this particular light from their unit, although it would benefit them the most to be able to do so.
Here are the steps to this project:
- installed a heater cable in roof gutter, bringing cord into top of enclosed porch
- ran conduit from the porch light to a new electrical box accessible from the landing
- The GFCI receptable, in addition to providing power at the landing, also supplies power to the heater cable receptable so that the heater cable has GFCI protection.
- The switch/pilot light is wired to the heater cable receptacle, allowing it to be controlled from the landing. The pilot light is wired so that it is lit when the switch is on, in order to make it obvious when the heater cable is in use.
- All the newly installed electrical stuff is powered temporarily by the BX cable that powered the old porch light, but that will eventually be replaced by a new circuit, run through more conduit leading down into the basement.
- Sought out extensive validation.
So, quite the endeavor, eh? We had picked up the porch light, normally $70, at a going-out-of-business sale for $10. In the near future, Ted will replace the rest of the flexible BX cable with conduit and install the rest of the new lights; we only paid between $7 and $15 for each one.
I can't show you what the top porch itself looks like, the one this landing leads to, because it is used by our tenants. But here's what our porch looks like, when it isn't covered in junk accumulated over the winter. If you're fairly new to the blog, the gray thing between the chairs is the back of our ice box.