Lights, Camera, Fire Hazard

My husband and I had a few conversations this weekend about our home renovation. As I’ve said before, this home is great, but it’s been in need of love for several years. We keep running across things in need of repair while we’re trying to tackle the list of things to completely gut and change.  The previous bitter owners took light fixtures, ceiling fans, and built-ins leaving us with a blank slate to work with. I’ve said thank you to the bitter gods several times now as they left us in a position where we have to choose new items for these spaces instead of accepting what is installed.

I imagine there was once a ceiling fan here. And instead of leaving a mess of hanging live wires, they were forced to put something in there. So we got this.


We’ve noticed a few switches that don’t seem to do anything. They turn nothing on. They turn nothing off. We have two empty spaces over our patio roofs with live hanging wires where ceiling fans probably used to exist and two light fixtures in those spaces that don’t work.

Since my husband was planning on looking at these lights, he decided it was also time to look at the two hallway can lights that appeared to be connected but only one worked.

We had conversations that, from my end, sounded like this.

“Three way….switch to light, light to switch or light to light to one switch and then to the other….light to switch to light to switch…switch to light, switch to light but then it wouldn’t be a three-way, each switch would operate one light and that doesn’t make sense….”

Okay, really not much of it made sense to me. But since I helped my husband wire our previous home’s basement, I remembered him explaining how three-way switches work. First, their name is deceiving because there are only two switches. It’s the kind of wiring where there is a switch on one end of a hallway or room and the other switch on the other end also turns the lights on or off so you don’t have to run through a dark room where you know suddenly you will find an axe murderer who only lives in the darkness of your hallway and only in that moment you turn off the light before running through the darkness with your breath held.

Bottom line here? We have two canned lights in a hallway that should be three-way switched, one light worked, one light did not, making the switches appear to not work properly. All of this assuming the two switches were actually three-way switches. The first thing my husband did, of course, was replace all the light bulbs. Bitter owners might have been bitter because they had old fashioned (whatever they are called…incandescent maybe?) light bulbs in every fixture. Our first month’s electric bill was about $1,000. I’m curious to see how much that changes once every light bulb is changed over to LED. I might be bitter too if it’s $1,000 every month.

With the light bulbs changed, the fixture still didn’t work. Out come the ladder and my husband trying to play with live wires. We go through another conversation with all the wires hanging out about the switches and the wires that don’t exist which should exist if it were wired switch to switch or light to light to switch….yes, this again. In the end, my husband has the whole fixture rewired, wrapped again with the wire nut in place, and he says to me, “I don’t know how this house hasn’t caught fire in the past twelve years.”

You know those emojis with the mouth open and the eyes wide? That was me in that moment. Evidently the electricians or bitter owner, whichever, twisted the wires in such a way the hot wire slid down from the wrap when the wire nut was twisted on until it finally sparked leaving black marks in the ceiling before tripping and leaving the fixture disconnected. Fire hazard. It takes a couple more hours for my husband to fix the lights over the patios,  but they all work. And they are all safe.

My husband tells me all the other lights are fine unless they stop working. And if they stop working, he’ll know how to fix them. This house was meant for him.

In other renovation news, we got all the stone off the castle wall in one evening.


Then it took my husband another hour or more to tear down the wire mesh holding up the rock and mortar.

Next up we tear down the drywall and make it a flat wall.



And after an xray earlier this week, I learned my foot is indeed broken. But that didn’t stop me. I think removing the stone with my husband’s tool, whatever the hell that thing is, was easier on my broken foot than standing below him while gravity dropped stones near my broken foot and on top of my good foot…and head.


Happy Renovating!

Now I’m going to take a break to write.