Bathroom Update (part 2)

Now it is time for the electrical rough.  The bath fan needs to be GFCI protected, so we settled on adding a “dead front” on a wall that will be covered by a picture.  That was a good idea until I realized that my Home Depot doesn’t sell them anymore.  So, I improvised and bought a GFCI outlet instead, which accomplishes the same protection, so long as no one removes the picture to plug something into it.

 All of that became a moot point though because about this time is when I was reminded of what I already knew but chose to ignore the last 20+ years.  The laundry room lights and outlets (including a deep freezer), bathroom lights and outlets, and bedroom lights and outlets are all on the same 15amp circuit.  Staring at a ceiling already removed, and walls that will eventually be removed, I decided it’s time to make things right.  I’ll run a new 20amp circuit for the bathroom with a GFCI protected breaker, a new dedicated 20amp circuit for the deep freezer in the laundry room and leave the bedroom on its own 15 amp circuit.  Then Stephanie pointed out that with the ceiling opened up, it would be “easy” to add can lights to our master bedroom.  Something about 40+ year old eyes need better lighting than our 20+ year old eyes did.  That project will wait until the shower is done, but I will tackle it before we close up the ceiling.  We may have a new house before this is all done!

Of course, I already bought the wrong size wire to use on 20amp circuits.  Side note:  Home Depot now keeps wire under lock and key.  $120 later for a 25’ roll of wire, an outlet, a switch, and wire strippers, I understand why.  To run new circuits, I’ll need to get into the electrical panel, which I know how to do and have done many times over the years, but I always feel like I’ve cheated death when I walk away alive.  The priority though is figuring out why there are buzzing sounds coming from the panel that I just noticed last night.  It is most likely more 45-year-old breakers going bad, I just have to figure out which one(s) and swap them out.  That’s tonight’s project, along with figuring out HOW all the wiring is run to the laundry room, bathroom, and bedroom, so I can come up with a game plan for separating out the wiring to get new circuits installed where needed and keep everything else working.  I have a newfound appreciation for what my electricians go through when coming into a house and having to make sense of what they are up against with wires hidden in walls and attics.  “Demo and discovery” they call it on my bills.  I call it a pain in my…. Never mind.  These are the joys of renovating older homes and when it is all said and done, everything will be safer and function better, but I never intended on this much electrical work.  “Add 2 lights and outlets”, she said. 

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