Kitchen Light Fixture Rough In

Day #194

January 23, 2021 – I was off to the cottage at some point after 8:00 AM. My Lowe’s receipt puts me at the Mechanicsburg Lowe’s at 8:57 AM.  I know I was there earlier and it took me a while to shop for what I needed. I got a new 8 foot step ladder to work in the new kitchen area and a bunch of ceiling boxes to rough in the kitchen light fixtures.

On the way west, I stopped at the Duncannon Sheetz to get a coffee refill. That was at 9:30 AM.

Continuing on the way to the Cot-Taj-Mahal I stopped at the Lewistown Sheetz for a bathroom break. I know it’s taking forever to get there! 

When I arrived I fired up the three (3) electric heaters and started to heat the place up. I worked all day on the kitchen light fixture rough in. It went pretty well. I cut a couple of pieces of the 1″ green insulation board to close off the attic access hole. Of course I had to draw a face on it. LOL…

Around 4:30 PM I started cleaning up and getting ready to go home. I shut off and unplugged all the heaters. Don’t want a fire!

Three Way Switch Rough In

Day #193

January 17, 2021 – I got off to the cottage right around the same time today, 8:00 AM. Driving straight into Lewistown I stopped at the Sheetz to a get a breakfast sandwich and a coffee refill. I’m working on the three way switch rough in today. These switches will work the lights from both sides of the kitchen. Sitting in the parking lot I made a mental inventory of the materials I needed. Lowe’s was the next stop.

At Lowe’s I got a couple of four gang switch boxes, 250 feet of 12/3 wire and a 25 foot fish tape. I hoped to get a half gallon of Colonial Maple stain to start the kitchen floor. There was none to be found. I got a floor applicator and a bamboo pole to screw into it. I’ll have to get the stain later.

After Lowe’s I went to Bossert’s Hardware to see if they have the stain but they were not open. Off to the cottage.

Four Gang Switch Boxes

I worked on the three way switch wiring between the coffee station and the television wing wall. The four gang switch boxes are installed first.

Three Way Switch Rough In
4 gang switch box at the television wing wall.
4 Gang Switch Box
4 gang switch box at the coffee station.

Three Way Switch Wiring

It took a little time to run the wires but I got them it roughed in. Drilled a bunch of 3/4 inch holes to pull the wire through.

Three Way Switch Rough In



Between installing the switch boxes I had to go out to the outhouse. Always worried about the splash 😥🙄😯but it worked out good. LOL 😁😅


Opening up the outhouse.

After I put my tools away, I vacuumed up the sawdust from the hole drilling operation and then left for home at 4:30 PM. Good day at the Cot-Taj-Mahal!

Beverage Refrigerator is in the House!

Day #172

October 13, 2020 – Over the years we have come to realize that we never have enough refrigeration. For a long time we only have had one refrigerator for all the food and drinks. When Ryan graduated college we brought his small dorm room refrigerator down and placed it on the porch. The only thing that was good for was Arlene’s Jell-O-Shots. For the most part anyone who came and visited had to bring a cooler and constantly restock it with ice. Saturday afternoon became the “ice run day”. When we designed the kitchen, the idea of a separate beverage refrigerator was a no brainer. It was quickly added into the layout.

Well, today is beverage refrigerator delivery day!

Before the delivery truck showed up I worked on some electric rough in underneath the big picture window.

Electric Rough In - Picture Window

Around 3:00 PM the Lowe’s truck pulled in. The delivery guys off loaded the beverage refrigerator and brought it inside. It’s a Premium Levella Beverage Cooler.

Beverage Refrigerator 01

Unfortunately they left before I noticed that the fridge had some damage at the top side panels. From what I gather it looks like it was knocked into something and the side panels got dented.

Beverage Refrigerator 04

Beverage Refrigerator 05

Beverage Refrigerator 06

Beverage Refrigerator 07

I took it apart and discovered that the damage was cosmetic only. The refrigeration unit and piping are in the bottom of the unit. Rather than have Lowe’s pick it up and wait another bazillion months for a replacement I was able to have them issue a discount.

Beverage Refrigerator 02

Bud Light 01

So there you have it. Our new beverage refrigerator is in the house!

Electrical Demo Above the Hallway

Day #172

October 4, 2020 – It’s Sunday and we decided to make it a short day at the cottage. I did a little more exploration and electrical demo above the hallway. Slowly but surely I am working may way towards the back of the cottage.

We have two, three way switches in the hallway, which control two light fixtures located at the bottom of the wall. We hardly ever use the lights so I totally forgot that we have these switches. While I was in the ceiling it took me a long time to figure out what is going on with this wring.

Electrical Demo 01
Electrical Demo

The picture above shows the wire for the three way switches. I guess they did not have three conductor wire back in the day. The white wire from one cable splits out and goes to a completely different box than the black wire. The black wire is wrapped in cloth tape. It is the same tape that we used to wrap the blades of our hockey sticks with. Pretty insane rig up! Once I figured it out I disconnected the power, removed the three way switches and the old wire.

It is amazing that we haven’t burned the place down. I’ll be happy when the electrical demo is complete and new wiring is done!

That was it for the weekend. We’ll be back next weekend with Jess, Phil and Henry plus the drink refrigerator is scheduled for delivery on October 13th. I think Phil’s birthday is coming up so don’t be surprised if we don’t do any construction work.

New Panel Wing Wall and Happy Birthday to Me!

Day #148

July 28, 2020 – Continuing the electric rough in with a wing wall for the new electric panel and I finish the end wall insulation. Plus, it’s Happy Birthday to me, Gyeem Raj Du-Kamar. It has to be a good day, right?

As part of the electrical renovation we are going to upgrade the electric service from 100 amp to 200 amp and relocate the main panel from the kitchen to the living room. The framing below is a “wing wall” between the kitchen and the living room. This is the location for the new 200 amp panel.

New Panel Wing Wall
Wing wall framing for new 200 Amp electric panel.

All the electric wire will be pulled to this location and eventually terminated in the new panel. The wire dangling in the image below will power the new refrigerator along the end wall.

Panel Wing Wall
Wire for a new refrigerator receptacle.

Most of the overhead wire show in this image (below) is powering the cottage from the existing 100 amp panel. Eventually, I will disconnect this wire from the old panel, drop it down into the wing wall and reconnect it to the new panel.

Electric Wire
Electrical wire rough in.

After the rough in of the refrigerator outlet is complete the remaining wall insulation in the end wall can be installed.

Wall Insulation
Insulation in the end wall of the kitchen.

The new refrigerator will be located in the center of the wall as you see the old one below. There will be cabinets and countertops below the windows, on both sides of the fridge.

Kitchen Wall Insulation
Kitchen End wall insulation.

What’s up for tomorrow..? Well, you guessed it, more electric rough in and more insulation. Oh joy!

Electric Rough In and Insulation in the Kitchen

Day #147

July 27, 2020 – The electric rough in continues today with the installation of eight outlets in the kitchen. These are in the outside wall along the driveway side. Outlets along the river side were roughed in a week or so ago. It takes quite a bit of extra time because we are trying to keep something of a kitchen in service. I have to move stuff back and forth, out of the way until it gets in the way, and then repeat. I was able to start the exterior wall insulation in the kitchen and the new ceiling insulation in the living room. So there’s that too.

Electric Outlet Boxes
Electric Rough In – Outlet boxes and wire.

There are two outlet boxes under this window on the left side, and two boxes under the window on the right side. Each box will house one duplex outlet giving us a total of eight outlets along this outside wall.

Electric Rough In - Outlet Boxes

Lots of clutter in the kitchen makes the going sloowww.

Wall Insulation
Exterior wall insulation above kitchen window.

Wall Insulation 02

The wall insulation proceeds left to right. These are basically 2×4 stud walls so the insulation is R-13, three and a half inch thick fiberglass batt.

Kitchen Clutter 02
Electric Rough In – Outlet boxes under the kitchen windows.

One of the outlet boxes under the right window is visible in the photo above.

Ceiling Insulation

The insulation in the ceiling is a bit thicker. It is R19, six inch thick fiberglass batts. Yes I was watching tv as I insulated.

Eight Receptacles for Kitchen Power!

Day #144

July 12, 2020 – Yesterday I completed the electric rough in for eight outlets on the outside porch. Today I am roughing in eight outlets for the inside of the cottage. This includes four receptacles in the kitchen proper, two “high” outlets for a TV mount and two receptacles next to the sliding entrance door.

Receptacle Rough In 01
Outlet next to entrance door and “high” outlet for TV.
Receptacle Rough In 02
Electric Rough In -North Wall New Kitchen

The process of roughing in electric wire through wood studs requires drilling a bunch of holes. Sometimes the stud spacing is not wide enough to accommodate a drill and the drill bit so a right angle attachment is a necessity. I’ve been using Dewalt’s Impact Ready Right Angle Drill Attachment. It’s been working out very well. You can also add magnetic bit holder extension bars to lengthen the distance that you can drill.

Receptacle Rough In 03
Close up – High TV Outlet & Low Outlet at Entrance Door
Receptacle Rough In 04
Close up – Receptacle Rough In – North Wall Kitchen

Next weekend we will be continuing the siding demolition on the outside and the living room ceiling demolition on the inside. I got the dumpster back in a week ago to take care of the debris.

Eight Outlets Roughed In for Power on the Porch!

Day #143

July 11, 2020 – I’m back on the electrical rough in this weekend. I have eight outlets (four duplex receptacles) planned for the outside wall of the cottage. Today I’ll be roughing these in, on the inside of the cottage, to provide electric to the outside of the cottage.

Two outlets will serve “Brenda’s Deck”. Anyone renting space on this section of the porch will have to negotiate electric pricing in their contract with Brenda. I hear through the grapevine that she is nearing her IPO date. Keep an eye out.

Two of Eight Outlets
Electric outlet to the left of the sliding door.

There are two general purpose outlets to the left of the new sliding door. I put a quad outlet box under the almost 7 foot picture window. These outlets will provide power for the deck bar, now, and the new bar in the future. By the way, for the astute electricians out there, these are not the receptacles that I am using. This area could get wet, so by code they need to be Ground-Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI) receptacles.

Quad Outlet
Quad outlet box for the deck bar.

Up in the attic I am labeling the junction boxes so the various cable runs can be identified easily. It’s still a mess up in the attic but as the renovation continues the old wire, outlets and switches will be replaced.

Junction Box label
Junction box labeling in the attic.

After I closed up the junction box I flipped the breaker and voila, I have power to porch. Right on!

Pretty boring stuff this electrical rough in. I know. Tomorrow, I’ll continue with some outlet boxes for the inside the new kitchen. Hold yer breath!

Electric Upgrade and Relocation – Living Room

Day #89

August 17, 2019 – In order to continue the exterior wall repair and framing for the new sliding door it is necessary to do a little electric upgrade and relocation. Near the front door we have two switches. One controls the overhead living room lights and the other controls an outside light. We can remove the outside light but the overhead light switch needs relocated.

Living Room Wall Switches
Living room wall switches.

Originally there was a 30 amp fuse box to power the entire cottage. I upgraded the 30 amp fuse box to a 100 amp panel way back in 2004. When the old fuse box was in service there was a circuit for the well pump, a circuit for the electric range and only three other circuits to power the remainder of the cottage. I knew at that point that an electric upgrade and complete rewiring was in our future.

Electric Panel Upgrade
Old 30 amp fuse box and new 100 amp panel – 2004 Electric Upgrade

Original Wiring

The cottage was wired back in the 1950’s with two conductor cloth covered wire. In this type of wiring there is a hot wire and a neutral wire but no ground wire. There are numerous junction boxes in the ceiling. In some of these, the connections are soldered and covered with fabric based electrical tape. In others the connections have wire nuts. Some of the wire looks like there is burn marks on the outside of the insulation.

Electric Upgrade - Attic Junction Box
One of many junction boxes. The yellow wire is a new part of the electric upgrade.
Electric Upgrade - Wire Burn Marks
The “Toaster” outlet wire, cloth covered two conductor wire with burn marks.

After spending most of the day up in the attic I figured out the routing of one of the circuits and I was able to begin replacing old wire. I relocated the overhead light switch and added a new outlet by the front door. I was also able to replace the “toaster” outlet wire that Fanny used to blow the circuit breaker on. That one had some serious burn marks. It’s a wonder we haven’t burned the place down!

Relocated Switches & New Outlet - Electric Upgrade
Relocated switches and a new outlet in the living room wall.

The electric upgrade is well underway!

Tomorrow when my Demo Crew arrives we will continue the demolition on the exterior wall. In addition I am hoping to finish the Trex decking installation in the last section of deck, i.e. “Brenda’s Deck”.

Kitchen Ceiling and Electrical Demolition

Day #48

October 7, 2018 – Today I completed the kitchen ceiling removal and started the electrical demolition. There was work on both the inside and outside of the cottage.

Inside Demolition

I removed the batt insulation and ceiling fiber board. The insulation was very dirty and covered with nut shells and mouse turds. I am really hoping that the mice are long gone because, as we know,  mice are a real pain in the ass!

With the ceiling removal complete I started on some electrical demolition and re-wiring. 

I removed the old school fluorescent light. This light fixture only worked about half the time! To take the place of the fluorescent light I rigged up some temporary construction lights.

One wall in the kitchen and one wall in the living room will be removed for the kitchen expansion. Therefore, on these two walls, the outlets and wiring were removed for demolition safety. With the living roo exterior outlet removed we will use the new exterior GFCI outlets.

Kitchen Ceiling Demolition
Preparation for the removal of the kitchen ceiling.

Kitchen Ceiling Demolition
Removal of the kitchen ceiling. Plastic to contain the dust.

Old Fluorescent Light Fixture
Just prior to the removal of the old florescent light fixture.

In the process of removing outlets I opened several junction boxes in the ceiling. It is surprising to see the connections inside are soldered and wrapped in old style fabric electrical tape. I don’t know if this was common practice in the 1950’s or not but I’m sure it takes a lot more time to install!

Electrical Demolition - Kitchen Junction Box
Kitchen junction box with soldered connection, old fabric electrical tape and burned wire.

The outer jacket on the old wiring is brittle and comes right off. On some of the wire there appears to be burn marks on the insulation. I don’t know if this is from soldering or overheating but it confirms our suspicions that the old wiring needs replaced. 

Electrical Demolition - Kitchen Junction Box
Close up – Kitchen junction box with soldered connection, old fabric electrical tape and burned wire.

Outside Demolition

I removed the old motion-activated flood lamp from the corner of the cabin. As it turns out, this light was not installed correctly. The installer did not use a weatherproof junction box. For this reason, the internal wiring and connections can exposed to rain and snow. This could have caused a short circuit and possibly a fire. We have another light just like this at the other end of the cabin. You can bet I’ll be removing it on the next trip.

Old Flood Light
Old motion-activated flood light removed from cottage exterior.

Old Flood Light
Improper installation with the interior circuits exposed to the elements.

Cottage Exterior - Old Flood Light
Old flood light removed from this corner of the cottage.

Next weekend I hope to remove the remaining wing wall and open up more of the living room ceiling.