Last weekend Andrew and I worked on fixing the switch that turns on the lights in the backyard. Late last winter the switch stopped working. Turns out it was old and rusty from the previous home owner not caulking properly. But since it was getting warmer and lighter longer each day we didn’t bother working on the switch. We had intentions of fixing things over the summer. Good intentions, right?
This is the old switch. When the lever was flipped nothing happened due to rust inside. It also wasn’t a practical switch. It’s under the eaves of the screened in porch. I can’t even reach it. I had to use a shovel handle and whack the switch to turn it on and off, which I’m sure wasn’t good for it. And it was outside the porch. We’d have to go outside to turn on the lights in the backyard. Having something right outside the sliding glass door would be much more appealing.
At the base of the screened in porch below the flood light switch was an outlet. It was covered up and in better condition than the switch. Over the years when we’ve worked on things around the house we’ve discovered that the previous home owners took lots of short cuts and didn’t focus on attention to details like we tend to do.
We’ve never used this outlet so we decided to just take it out. Cap off the wires and let them sit in the box. If we ever decide that an outlet would be nice there it’s not hard to put one back in. As we were looking at this plug we saw an extra electrical wire. It went under the deck but we couldn’t see where it ended up. It didn’t go to the other plug box we have on the side of the house where the main electrical wire for the lights went.
So Andrew crawled under the deck to see if he could figure out where the mysterious second wire went. It turns out that it went nowhere! Just under the deck to nothing. The other end was tied off so it wasn’t dangerous but we don’t know what it was used for and why it wasn’t just taken out when it wasn’t needed. There used to be a pool in the backyard. I guess it’s still there, just filled in. So the wire may have been used for something that had to do with the pool.
Most of the time we were outside working Haven was with us. She likes hanging out with us whenever she can. She became curious and concerned when Andrew was under the deck. In the beginning she would whine.
Andrew was under there for a while because once we determined that we didn’t need the extra wire it took a while for him to be able to pull it out from below the deck.
Eventually she must have realized that Andrew wasn’t in trouble and wasn’t going anywhere so she decided to chew on sticks in the sun. She’d still come over from time to time to check on us and see how we were progressing.
Because we were working on fixing the switch and capping off another section of wire we decided to move the switch to right outside the sliding glass door. First we thought about putting it where the plug was because then I’d be able to reach it. But that would make it harder for Andrew to reach (at least bend down to reach). And it would still be outside the screened in porch.
Andrew ran a wire and created a switch spot inside the screened in porch right outside the sliding glass door.
At times it felt chilly outside, especially if you were in the shade. Haven would come over and sit next to me. She’d hunch and look sad. She was getting cold. So we solved that by wrapping her up. She was content after that. She looked like a green blob on the screened in porch watching as we worked. No, she’s not too spoiled! Beacon wasn’t around during all of this. He doesn’t like to hang out with us and watch unless he feels like he has a job to do. He’d rather be inside.
Finally the switch is completely installed. And it works! It has been really nice being able to stick my hand out the sliding glass door to turn the light on. The dogs can go out through the dog door we have in the screened in porch to the backyard. It’ll be really nice in the winter when it’s cold and snowy out. And Andrew and I can both reach the switch with ease.