Tonight I received another sign that I shouldn’t even attempt to do projects around the house.
For reasons unknown to mortal men, the electricians who wired our house put several light switches in places you’d never expect to find them. The worst is the dining room, which actually has TWO switches: one in the kitchen and one in the stairwell (?).
Almost as annoying as their placement is the fact that since they’re double switches, either one can be used to turn on and off the lights. But the way they were installed, if the lights are off one switch is up and one is down. So you might have to flip the switch up to turn on the lights– or, you might have to flip it down.
A minor thing? Sure it is. But it sure gets annoying after a while. So I decided I’d be a manly man and fix the problem. It’s a simple concept: remove the faceplate from the light switch, flip the switch itself and screw it back in, and put the faceplate back. Surely someone with a college degree can handle this…
As I was mucking around with the switch (keep in mind there were TWO switches in this particular wall box; one controlled the stairway lighting) I must have bumped the wrong wire into the wrong other wire. There was a crack, hiss, and (no kidding) a shower of brilliant orange sparks flying out of the receptacle. Not surprisingly, the lights went out with it.
Okay, lesson learned: I should’ve gone to the breaker box and turned off the power. But– and this is the icing on the cake– the electricians labeled the breaker switch “kitchen lights”. I would’ve never even known which breaker to shut off!
Yeesh. I should stick to web programming.