Tuesday, April 2, 2013

I've seen the light. It's on the dining table.

I think I've mentioned before that my husband G is not a handyman. I'm the practical one of the pair.

However, I don't like doing DIY stuff on anything electric. Stuffing up things electrical can lead to blown fuses - a minor complaint - up and onwards to electric shocks or house fires.

Having worked on a DIY partworks magazine 30 years ago, G believes he has absorbed things that the DIY people working on the mag did and explained (G's job was to actually write the articles). Sometimes this works well. Other times it's nightmarish, and he's bitten off more than he can chew.

You'd think simply wiring in a cheap array of downlights would be an easy job.  It SHOULD be an easy job, theoretically.

You undo the existing light fitting, note which wires went where, and install them to the new.



Where do I begin? Do I start with the swearing, a superb display of invective ending up in "You f*cking c***ing bastard of a c***!!"?

Do I mention the mouse shit that poured out of the light fitting hole when we removed the existing fitting?

Do I focus instead on the fact that instead of a simple array of one each of red, green and black wires we had multiples of same with the black wired into two holes not just one?

Do I talk about the excruciating half hour we spent on two ladders with G sweating and swearing and trying to force those bloody wires into the new fitting, head on one side because of the ceiling, before finally realising you could take out a couple of screws in the new fitting and free up the wiring section so you could fit in new wires much more easily?

I should certainly complete the tale of the hour's work with the information that once the wires were correctly installed and a bulb fitted for testing, that flicking on the electrical phase that controlled the lights turned the bulb on. Hurrah. Except the light switch was set to OFF. And when we turned it ON, the bulb went out and the safety switch clicked on, turning the electrical lights phase safely to off again.

That's when the swearing hit a new crescendo.  (See above)

Cue another go at the wiring in case the L and N were the wrong way around. Same deal. Bulb went on when it was supposed to be off.

That's when we gave up on the new light fitting and decided it was dodgy. No wonder it was cheap! Where was the receipt? Was it in the drawer?  What the hell, let's just put the old light fitting back for now.

So we did. Or G did. And we had the same problem with the light bulb being on when it should be off.

So now the light fittings old and new are sitting on the dining table, and I'm looking up electricians on True Local. I'm hoping that our wires aren't buggered because of the mice (which are no longer with us, I hasten to add).

G has forsworn all things DIY. Until next time!

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