Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Non-Food Post - Let There Be Light!

OK, this may indirectly be food-related. Because now that there's light in my kitchen, I may actually be able to take better pictures. Or not.

The lights in my kitchen had been buzzing for quite some time. At first I thought it was the bulbs, since two of them would flicker or not come on at all. So I borrowed a couple bulbs from work to check. Well, guess what? I've probably got the only kitchen in town with 6 foot fluorescent bulbs, instead of 4 foot. So off to Home Depot to buy 6 footers. Apparently 6 foot bulbs are pretty rare, because they had about 10 boxes each of 4 and 8 foot bulbs, and one lonely box of 6 foot ones. Got my bulbs home, got the stupid plastic grates out (what a pain!), new bulbs in, and....still buzzed.

OK, so it was probably the ballast. Bulbs out. Metal cover off (poor fingers). Bulbs in. Switch on. Buzz. Coming from the ballast. Yup. OK, get a new ballast. Easy, right? Nope. This one's 30 years old. Find an equivalent. Not so easy. Find an equivalent of an equivalent and pray it works.

So the "equivalent" shows up, and I'm immediately worried. It's shorter. That's going to be a problem. And the current rating on the new one says 0.91A, the old one says 1.45A. Hmm...And what's this? The new one has 2 blue wires. The old one only has one. Oh well, what's the worst that could happen?

So, armed with wire nuts, wire cutters, pliers, a drill, a screwdriver, and a couple screws, I got to work. Cut the old wires, stripped them back 1/4". Red to red, blue to blue (well, one of them, anyway).

Black to...crap. Can't reach. Black and white weren't long enough to test the new ballast without removing the old one from the fixture and putting up the new one. I grabbed the pliers and removed the screw holding the old ballast to the fixture. Slipped the new one into the metal tabs, marked the points where I had to drill, drilled a couple primer holes through the fixture and into the ceiling, slid the new ballast in, screwed in the screws.

Black to black, white to white.

Bulbs in. The moment of truth...


Hubby came home and said "you're in charge of all electrical stuff from now on."



Linda Bob Grifins Korbetis Hall said...

How is everything?

Hope that you keep up your work on blogging, have a happy holiday!

smart post.

Vicki said...

Hi Ji - Happy Holidays to you, too :)