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You're kidding me, right? - Paint It Black
Living the American dream one heartbreaking piece at a time
feren
feren
You're kidding me, right?
Somehow (I don't know how exactly) I broke the lightswitch in the kitchen for the fixture over the kitchen table. It's stuck in the ON position and won't turn OFF, opting instead to jam halfway down each time I try to toggle it. I have an illustrious career of breaking things (though not as illustrious as doomsey as I'm sure I've never crashed a remote control) but this is a first for me.

I'm going to unscrew the bulb from the fixture and leave the switch up in the "on" position. I hope whatever broke inside will refrain from arcing and catching fire before I can replace the switch.

Could we leave the lights on this time

[Edit 7:59 PM] I've replaced the switch -- fortunately I live near a number of home improvement stores, so securing a new unit wasn't too hard. Copper-clad aluminum, besides being crappy for wiring, also makes your light switches more expensive. This one was $3.27! For a single 15A two-position switch!

PS: Looking in the wall box as I replaced the broken switch made me sad.

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Current Mood: grumpy grumpy
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captain18 From: captain18 Date: October 14th, 2005 01:39 am (UTC) (Link)
Looking in the wall box as I replaced the broken switch made me sad.

What's this, then?
feren From: feren Date: October 14th, 2005 02:05 am (UTC) (Link)
First, the wall box is not properly mounted to a wall stud -- it's just sort of floating in space. That's bad. Second, the way things are wired up in there (snarled, shamelessly mixing pure copper with copper clad aluminum, twist caps three sizes too large)? It removes my faith in a higher power.
yotogi From: yotogi Date: October 14th, 2005 02:06 am (UTC) (Link)
To say nothing of the fire marshal.
feren From: feren Date: October 14th, 2005 02:10 am (UTC) (Link)
If my father ever sees that I wager he'll give birth to three boxes of kittens and invent a new language based entirely on vulgarities. Simultaneously.
captain18 From: captain18 Date: October 14th, 2005 02:25 am (UTC) (Link)
You'll be charmed to know that my grandparents' house originally had an honest-to-goodness cigar box for a fuse box.
yotogi From: yotogi Date: October 14th, 2005 03:41 am (UTC) (Link)
When my brother got his house his grandfather and I spent most of an afternoon replacing the house wiring. All 1950s knob-and-tube stuff. It horrifies me that there was a time when that shit was state of the art.
rustitobuck From: rustitobuck Date: October 14th, 2005 04:02 am (UTC) (Link)
When my ex-wife moved into her house, a friend helped rewire some of it. Some of it was done right, although due to the age it had threaded iron pipe for conduit.

The light on the stairs to the attic was wired in with a length of air-conditioner extension cord, though.

And when the friend removed one of those decorative covers from a disused ceiling box, there was a flash and the breaker popped. On inspection he found that when he removed it, the hot wire, which had not been cut, capped, or taped, had contacted the brass cover and had welded itself to the metal.

So this isn't so bad.

Anything aluminum in the wiring, even copper-clad...scary.

captain18 From: captain18 Date: October 14th, 2005 09:06 am (UTC) (Link)
I know the aluminum wiring thing was due to the rising cost of copper at the time, but still, why did anyone think it was a Good Idea?
From: tetragon Date: October 15th, 2005 09:22 am (UTC) (Link)
There isnt anything wrong with aluminium as a conductor. Its has almost as good electrical conduction as copper, is both lighter and stronger, and the effects of oxidization are not too bad. (Just requires a little preparation, as does copper.)

It probably has to do with the cost and economics of the manufacture, if they were already having to cut corners in the first place.
feren From: feren Date: November 5th, 2005 10:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
[There isnt anything wrong with aluminium as a conductor.]

It turns brittle in a ridiculously short time and has caused far more fires from overheating than copper has. That's reason enough for me to hate it.
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