Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Almost, But Not Quite...

I wandered into the back bedroom yesterday afternoon, idly looking for where the feed from the junction box outside the kitchen door came into the room, and wondering if I wanted to move the light fixture into the closet (No). I noticed that neither the light switch on the wall nor the light in the closed seemed to have been looked at when Ron and I surveyed the place last month. So, being curious, I  did some disassembly:

The switch looked just fine.
I removed the light in the closet, and found this:

Mostly bare wire. Not. Good.
A bit of ripping and tearing revealed this:

Someone had nailed a bit of scrap siding(?) between the two joists, and ran the wires thru it. This gave him something to screw the lamp base into.  The post in the background was not in use for this.

Further ripping revealed some interesting water damage, Also Not. Good.
 And you can see the wires meandering off into the bay above the ceiling:

So, bare wire from the fixture, over the (lath & plaster) ceiling, thru the joist, to places currently unknown:

My guess is that the debris was originally the insulation.
Those 'grommets' are over the bedroom ceiling, so that was it for me.

About two minutes into the job, I wished I'd worn a turtleneck.
(That's a dark Navy blue shirt.)
I called Ron in the middle of this, to tell him what I had discovered - the bare wire. That was before I pulled out the patch of ceiling and discovered nothing but bare wire.

E-mails to the owner ensued, which pretty much tell the whole story.

This is what I wrote before calling Ron:
As we suspected, the skwirlz did it. (Or that's the way to bet!)

Bored, wanted to look at the (light) fixture in your room to see if I wanted it for the closet.  Got to wondering if Ron and I had looked at the light switch in your room, and at the light in the closet. I noticed water stains in there, too, so.

I unscrewed the switch from the wall - looked fine.  But! when I undid the closet light, well whaddya know? Miles of bare wire. Don't know if it was chewed thru or *just* rotted off, but there is a boatload of bare wire on both leads to the light.
 We had this exchange after I called Ron:
WOW!!! I paid those electricians a boatload of money to find the problem back when. I just knew it had to be the squirrels. Maybe. Maybe not. But I was at least right about the location -- my bedroom.

Thanks for letting me know and thanks for tracking it down. I'll let folks here know...

Ron suggested that I short the two wires in the closet ceiling, turn on the breaker, hook up one pair of wires together, and touch the other two.  I did.


Being a curious fellow, I wondered what would happen if I un-shorted the closet wires, and then put everything back together.  So I did.

There be power! All of the lights and sockets on the second floor work.  I haven't poked around on the third floor, but I don't doubt that it works, too.

The only thing *not* working are the lights on the (first to second) floor stairs. That, I suspect, was a result of the re-wire of the living room.  I believe that it is a *relatively* easy fix, along with recommissioning the XOR light switches at the front door and the bottom of the stairs.

Money and effort just undid themselves a turn or two or four!!

Yet, after all of that, I still don't know where the short is, or how all of working circuits are  tied in to the main breaker box in the basement.  And I'm thinking that the whole bedroom ceiling needs to come down for crud remediation.