Today has been consumed by the quick job of installing an electric outlet. New work, outside. 20A. 120VAC.
A job like this will usually take about an hour, maybe two if you hit a snag.
If you hit several snags, that’s gonna work out to anywhere between 14 hours and 6 years. I won’t bore you with the harrowing details, littering the web with phrases like “a spade bit shouldn’t dull so quickly on brick” and “I could’ve swore the drill was level when I did this.” I won’t trouble you with pointless chatter like “they were serious about this PVC cement setting quickly” and “can you even sharpen a wire stripper?” But I will say that it’s almost done because Mac and I had to stop and eat dinner.
Mac is a brilliant helper. Sure, he wants to do something else most of the time, but a bit of fatherly arm twisting (“listen, I’m your dad, and you need to learn this stuff, so I’m teaching you, so put your phone away) usually does the trick. He’s fun to have around and has a sharp sense of humor. I like him. Plus, he’s now certified in unlicensed electrical work, just like his dad.
The best part of any home improvement project? Going to Home Depot again and again. Here’s a few tricks I’ve learned along the way, especially when it comes to that big orange box of a store:
- Yes, you can park in “Pro” parking because you’ll end up making several trips to Home Depot in a day, and your accrued experience will classify you as professional.
- They serve coffee at the contractor entrance. No one has ever stopped me to ask for my contractor ID, but I do get second glances for drinking coffee on 85 degree days. What can I say? It’s how I was raised.
- No one at Home Depot can help you except for the lady who works at the kitchen design center. My hunch is that she ends up answering a lot of questions because she’s there, sitting down, and can’t run from customers as fast as the orange aproned on foot. (Sidenote: I once asked her where the propane cylinders were, and she answered in perfect Hank Hill vocal font. Delightful.)
I’ll keep you updated on project outside outlet. Projects at home are like long hikes: you appreciate the trail once you’re done with it. The journey is about maintaining your sanctification. In other words, if you’re looking for an opportunity for spiritual formation, consider installing an outlet on the back wall of your house.