Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Hurricane Sandy and New Light Switches

Hello! I hope all of my East Coast friends and family have survived the storm. We are doing fine. We had a lot of rain and wind, and we briefly lost power last night (my guess is around 3-4 hours. The lights woke me up, but I didn't pay much attention other than turning everything off again). However, my thoughts and prayers definitely go out to those on the coast line who are dealing with down trees and flooded homes. Our house has stayed dry for both Irene and Sandy, so I am guessing we are up pretty high (though it's hard to tell). I ventured out both Monday (before things got bad) and today. I mostly saw lots of leaves and branches down. There were a few trees down in the more wooded areas. Overall, I think our area had it worse during that freak storm over the summer. Here's a picture I took this morning of one of the cars across from us. The pine straw absolutely covered that area.

I'm hoping some of my facebook friends don't mind me sharing a few of their photos (please let me know if you do). My parents house was very close to the storm center (5-10 miles, but inland). Their house is doing okay, but their power is going to be out for a while. This picture was taken by one of my facebook friends/my parent's neighbor. That tree took down the power line into their neighborhood. They don't expect to get power back until Friday at the earliest.

And another photo from a facebook friend in West Virginia. I don't think WV is getting much news coverage, but they really got a lot of snow.

Last photo I'll share is from a friend in NJ. I think the photos coming out of New York and New Jersey are probably the worst, especially when you consider the amount of cleanup work it will take to get everything going again.

I mostly worked from home the past 2 days. Today, I worked a half day and got something done that has literally been sitting in my foyer for about 6 months now. And that is changing out some of our light switches. When we bought our house, all of the outlets and switches were an almond color. This was fine because the previous owners never deviated from beige, from the walls, to the trim, to the ceilings, to the carpet. All varying shades of beige. In fact, they could probably write a book called 50 shades of beige (which would probably be better than 50 shades of grey). Anyway, since we have been using more cool tones and whites, the almond switches and outlets have got to go. So, I have been working on it slowly. I tackled the half bath when we had that remodeled. And I had bought three more switches thinking I could do a few more. And then I procrastinated. Until today! So without further ado...

Here is the set of kitchen switches before. You can see how awkward the almond one is.

These are the staircase lights.

Switching the switches out is super easy. You'll want to turn off the breaker going to whatever switch you are working on first. The easiest way to check if it's off is to try and turn the light on. If it doesn't go on, you are good to go. You then will just mimic the connections from the old switch to the new. Make sure you put the switch in in the right direction (the on/off letters should read correctly. If it says "no" instead of "on", it's upside down).

The staircase one had an extra hot wire exposed in the back. So, I used a wire nut to cover it. I expect it was okay hanging out (it probably has to do with the fact that it's a 3-way switch), but it made me nervous.


See how much better that makes the switches?

I had one more white switch left, so I decided to grant it to our bedroom. We see this switch everyday and it annoys me everyday. Not only does it not match, the switch was actually painted beige by the last owners.

Much better!

I'm hoping to make the same improvement around the house. The switches and outlets are cheap in ones and twos, but they do add up, so I expect we will change out the others gradually.

Stay dry, friends!

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