I have been busy over the last month with other things than sewing.
I had to make progress on sorting out some lighting and power points to complete a room rewire I have been doing for just ages! In the process I also decided to sort out a horizontal surface crack on a wall that just stood out when the lights were on – it had been that way for years!
Anyway I hacked the wall out along the crack, used PVA and filler to fill it to below surface level, then used Wickes ready mixed skim plaster to do the final finishing. It is wonderful stuff and so much easier to use that filler. The skim plaster sands very easily by hand and you get a perfect finish. Seal it with diluted PVA and then paint over and you don’t see it at all. I have been using it for at least 20 years during my DIY jobs! It’s great for filling in holes when you remove a screw if you don’t need that particular point in the wall to be extra strong.
The electric points were a pain – I was replacing the original fittings I put in 18 years ago with flush mounted ones – this meant digging out the shallow back boxes, and hacking out a bit of the wall around to be able to move the cables out of the boxes and get the boxes out. Then more hacking of the wall to make the hole deeper before putting the new boxes in.
It wasn’t make easier by the fact I was fitting two boxes side by side for the light switches – 1 with a dimmer, and the other with a 3 gang switch – and they needed to be level. There is some adjustment on the back boxes and some on the fittings but it’s still tricky.
The 3 gang was a nightmare to wire up with all the wires because of the limited space – there were actually 4 cables as one of the switches is an inline switch meaning it needed a power cable to come in to the box and a lighting cable going out of it, which itself means you need to connect their live wires to the switch and their neutral wires to a connector, so that had to fit in as well – plus an additional earth wire from the fitting, because it is metal, to the back box. Oh and I forgot one of the other cables is a 2 way switch cable so has an additional wire in it to connect! You can see the nightmare!
Anyway I eventually succeeded and here is the finished result!
The 13amp connector on the right was another nightmare. It has 3 cables – two for the ring circuit and one for the load, plus the earth for the accessory. It was fiddly and took me 3 attempts to get it all wired and the fitting actually screwed back in to the wall.
I will be tiling behind them at some point this winter so I didn’t have to paint the wall – just seal the skim plaster with the PVA.
When I do the tiling the fittings will be further out from the wall which means I need longer screws. I had lots of long screws for the normal fittings where you can see the screws, but none for the screwless plates where the screws fit under the plates. The heads need to be flat for the covers to fit. Normal screws have a rounded head.
I searched and searched when I bought the fittings last year but just couldn’t find any longer screws anywhere – eventually I contacted the manufacturer to ask where I could buy them. They asked how many I wanted – I said 20 – they sent me 30 free of charge – I call that a result. I still don’t know where I can buy them from though! But then again I don’t envisage ever needing any more.