Day 12: It’s Electric – Our First Project

Today is electricity day.  It’s the second attempt .  I found out our electric company is Cleveland Public Power last week. This throws a bit of a wrench in the works because I was doing all of my rebate math assuming we were with 2013-10-11 14.31.46First Energy.  That’s what you get for never living in a city.  The awesome news in that setting up an account was super easy . When they made their first pass at turning on the power  we discovered that the ground cable was pulled out. That means our first official job in the house was running a new #6 wire from the box to the rod outside and the water main inside.
The ground wire provides a path for the current that is a shorter route to get to ground than say your body.   The wire running to the water main will in most cases provide a secondary path to ground but also serve to ground your pipes if your plumbing were to be electrified like in a lightning strike.
We now have working power in the house.  The job was as simple as buying about 40ft of copper wire and stringing it from the rod outside to the box and then the box to the water main.  Inside the box it was clamped into the neutral bus.  That’s a stripe of connections that sits to the left and right, and a little behind your breaker switches.  Usually it’ll be populated with white neutral wires and bare copper ground wires.  A little sanding on the existing clamps for the rod and pipe, and we were in business.  CPC spend all of 15 minutes popping out and double checking the meter and confirming the box was grounded.  Whoever stripped the house of it’s copper did a piss poor job of it.  They took the copper pipes and the ground wire, but most of the wiring is safe inside conduit.  There was one length of romex that runs from the

2013-10-11 14.00.05

#6 copper ground wire in green sheathing.

breaker box to a GF outlet on the other side of the basement.  It’s where the sump is plugged in.  We’ll need to get that up and running eventually (especially because the sump drum is currently full of water), but it’s not an immediate concern.  Besides the wire, the 8ft copper grounding spike is still in, just outside the north foundation wall, and most of the pipe was cut at the point where it went up into the house from the basement.

Our house has some really neat electrical features.  A previous owner did a serious job upgrading from old nob and tube.  There’s no less than 4 grounded outlets in every room of the house (the dining room has 6).  All the alarms are wired in.  There’s two wired doorbells.  There’s even some things we can’t identify (some kind of exterior lighting system that either doesn’t exist or is hidden from us).  We checked it all out and save for a few outlets that need rewiring and fixtures we’re planning on replacing, all the electric is in great shape.  If we didn’t want to substantially change anything about the house, we could leave it alone and be just fine.


About Nathan

Originally from central Florida (near Orlando), I've lived in the Cleveland area since 2008. When I'm not caught up in the life project de jure, I paint, sculpt, play games (mostly board games and video games), and run a small hobby import/export business.

4 thoughts on “Day 12: It’s Electric – Our First Project

  1. Harrumph… “we”??
    I thought that I was going to get all the credit for work on the house?!? *wink*

    I am super excited that the electrical is in as good shape as this… I was hoping, and I think minor modifications as we move some walls around will be a lot better than trying to troubleshoot problems *somewhere* when we don’t know where they are.

    Plus, now if it gets freezing, we can run a spaceheater until HVAC is in. We also have the ‘incinerating toilet’ option.

    • No no, it’s about criminals with a solid respect for their craft. It’s like the difference between kids who just jam a gun in a bank teller’s face, and seasoned professionals who meticulously plan a heist and take the vault for all it’s worth. Sheesh, kids today!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s