Bathroom Upgrades – Part 2

Last week I wrote about installing a vent fan in our bathroom to help with the humidity (and smells). This week is about the chandelier that we installed.

All of the wiring in our house when we moved in was ungrounded, including the lighting. I spent a couple weeks after we bought the house, but before we moved in, to run new wiring to all of the outlets with grounding. At that time I got an electrician to put in a new 200 amp service to our house and add the grounding rods. What I did not do, however, was upgrade any of the lighting. At the time I didn’t want to open up any walls or ceilings to access the wires. Honestly, the lighting circuits worked fine and there wasn’t a big rush to upgrade them. 

That all changed when Allyson asked me to install a new chandelier in the bathroom. Our original lighting was pretty terrible. It wasn’t properly aligned to the vanity and the light it provided was exceedingly mediocre. 

It still annoys me that someone installed the lights and thought it was okay they weren’t aligned.

Because we were going to add ceiling fans and lights in our bedroom and office, I decided to run a completely new circuit for that side of the house. It provides the lighting and fan power for our bathroom, hallway, office, and bedroom. Luckily, this was relatively straightforward, as I could run the wiring through our crawlspace and then up and back down through the walls. It took a few hours, most of which were me in the crawlspace with a push stick while Allyson tried to guide it into the switch boxes in each room. 

Once I was able to get the push stick in place, I could use it to pull the wire from the crawlspace, into the switch box. 

I marked the “hot” wire from the electrical box with black electrical tape so that I could keep everything straight.

You may notice there are 4 different non-metallic wires here. This switch box acts as a junction box for the hallway as well. So one wire is the power from the electrical box, one goes to the bathroom light, one goes to the bathroom fan, and the last one goes to the hallway light. You may also notice that one set of wires is white, meaning it is 14 gauge, while the yellows are 12 gauge. It’s not perfect to mix wire gauges, but in this case I was using what I had in my house, so it made sense. The circuit is only 15A, so the 12 gauge wire is oversized, which meets code.

I had to cut a fair amount of holes in our walls and ceiling to run the wires up to the chandelier location, so I’m sure there will be a post in the future about patching drywall holes. Allyson wants to skim coat our entire bathroom to get rid of the texture, so it will be a fairly large job when we get to it.

I had to cut a large square to give space to hammer/screw in the new fixture box.

Once the wiring was in place through the new ceiling fixture box that I had hammered into one of our ceiling joists (which was located perfectly as luck would have it), the rest of the install moved quickly. Allyson cut a hole for the circular light box using the drywall pieces we originally cut out. She then screwed them into place for future patching using drywall screws. I followed her directions carefully and cut the chandelier chain down to length. It’s just high enough that my friends who are around 6’ 3” tall should have a couple of inches of clearance. We got soft white, 500 lumen, clear glass LEDs to put into the new chandelier and the results are fantastic. It really adds a focal piece to the room that helps highlight the high-ish ceiling. 

Looks great! Don’t mind the old wires in the background, I’ll fix those eventually.

Goals Update

A couple of weeks ago I posted an update regarding my weight loss and workshop goals that I set last fall. The weight loss goal in particular had gone poorly, so I’m adding more frequent updates to try and stay accountable to my goals.

Weight Loss – I have done well the past 2 weeks, dropping 2lbs to 174. I’ve exercised consistently and have been eating healthy, reasonably sized portions. I’m hoping to continue the trend despite having cake in the house for my birthday.

Workshop – No progress yet on the faux beams. I have been making progress with the dining room table I’m building though, so I feel like I am still on track.

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