Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pics of Spigot and Electrical

Here are the pictures of the spigot and electrical finished. Still need to get a piece of cedar to put above the lattice, but looking good otherwise :)

I am a firm believer in quarter-turn valves everywhere. Being that our house was built in the 50s, there are a lot of "infinite turn" shut-off valves (as I like to call them) that seem to take forever to open or close.

Because I have made changes to plumbing over the 3 years that we have owned the house, anytime I have to close and then reopen one of these old infinite valves, it is guaranteed to leak and end up meaning I have to replace it. This requires an additional 2 hours of work because I have to shut off the water, drain the pipe, go to the store and get the valve, get home and figure out I need an additional part, go back to the store for the right part and then coming back and finishing.

So, I replace anything or add anything using a quarter-turn ball valve. These use a nylon ball valve instead of a rubber washer. The rubber washer ends up drying out over time and when you turn it, disintegrates and thus stops working.

So, the spigot is a quarter turn spigot which means that you only have to turn it a quarter of a circle to get it full open or closed. I added an interior shutoff (again quarter-turn) for the winter time when we shutoff our outside spigots. We shut them off even though they are frost-free spigots.

As to the electrical. In the front of the house, there was a 20-Amp GFCI outlet when we moved into the house that stopped working and the box it was mounted in was not an in-used box where you could leave your power cords plugged in. Something that I needed for the front landscape lighting and timer.

I replaced the broken one about a year ago. New GFCI outlets have a miswiring and incorrectly installed indicator that will cause them to not provide electricity to the actual outlet if they are incorrectly installed. After working successfully for 6 months, the indicator light illuminates and the outlet no longer works. I take it apart and can't see anything wrong. I put my meter and still 120 volts across the hot and neutral wires. Maybe the GFCI outlet died? I don't know. Back to Lowe's for another $20 20-Amp GFCI Outlet. Wire it up, put the box back on and everything is working fine.

6 months later, exactly the same thing has happened! Ok...not cool :( What is going on? Why do they keep dying? Again, the wiring is still providing the voltage. No corrosion present. Styrofoam gasket still present protecting from water damage?

Ok...done with GFCI Outlets (aka Receptacles). I am going to put in a $40 GFCI breaker and use the $3 20-amp outlets instead. We will see how it holds up.

So, although the outlet by the deck may look like a normal outlet, it is actually a GFCI protected outlet. Tested and working fine.

Will replace the front outlet and tie it into the same circuit.

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