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New bath hardware (a seemingly simple task)Monday, June 11, 2007
One would think that installing new bath hardware would be a relatively simple task. I never imagined that it could take four hours! What I'm realizing is that each thing I do opens up something else that needs to be done first. Adding a hand-towel ring by the sink and a robe hook to the door were quite easy. Then it came time to put in a new toilet paper rod (to see the old one, check out the entry for May 27th - it needed replacing, trust me). But when I took off the old holder, it left some rather large holes, and then there was the telephone cable running down the middle. I didn't want to leave those, so I scraped the wall down and got out that trusty can of spackle again...

Then it was time for the towel bar, which we wanted to place above the toilet. Only problem is that there's a non-functioning light there that we already knew we wanted to remove. How hard should that be? Well, first there was finding out what circuit it was on. And that brought up the larger project of trying to map out all the circuits... two hours later, I've got a complete circuit map for the house (with only a few question marks scattered around).

Now that I knew which circuit to turn off, I was ready for some demolition...

The craziest thing I think I've seen so far in the home was the bracket holding the light to the wall. It wasn't just screwed into the stud (which happened to be right there), but rather it was attached to a thick copper pipe that extended down probably three feet through the wall. While it was loose, no matter how I tried to twist and pull, I couldn't get it out. So, I ended up cutting the bracket off the pipe. We can also see that this was one of the few remaining knob-and-tube fixtures in the house (possibly why it didn't seem to work in the first place). One of my top priorities for tomorrow is extracting these old wires back to the nearest junction box, but for tonight I cleaned up the area, added some new lath, and got back out the spackle. I imagine that it will take a few coats, but soon I'll be able to hang that towel bar!

On a whim, I decided to pull off one of the old-school switches in the hall on the third floor. While quite an ingenious design for a three-way switch, I was quite struck by the patent date inscribed on the inside of the cover (Dec 18, 1900!)

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