Of all the tasks associated with house renovation, wiring certainly is one.  Our kitchen contained, until recently, a down-at-the-heels ceiling fan.  As our house has central air, a ceiling fan is not a thing that we have any particular use for so it has served as the kitchen light and little more.  Apart from the central air thing we’ve also refrained from putting it to use because the actual light up portion of the fixture was hanging from the spinning part by wires alone.  There was no mechanical fastening between them.  We felt it would be unwise to add torsional stresses to an already precarious situation.

Our breaker panel is labelled in a very haphazard manner.  By labelled I of course mean chicken scratched in a vaguely Cyrillic code.  For future reference, the kitchen (and apparently hallway light and carport lights) are on breaker 18 which is labelled ‘fridge & freezer’ as near as I can make out.  Eventually I will draw up a rough sketch of our house with all switches, lights and outlets labelled and work out which breaker controls which sections. 

I actually pulled the fan from its shaky moorings on Monday night (this whole endeavour is part of a larger project that I’ll discuss on Friday and into the weekend).  Unscrewing things above one’s head while simultaneously trying to hold 20 lbs of fan in place is tricky at best.  Based on the quality workmanship to be found throughout the rest of the building, I was fairly surprised to find that the safety cable was attached (though the tenuous connection of lights to fan would have made even that three-inch drop precarious).

This evening I learned first-hand that at some point in the last 50-odd years, the standard size for light-fixture mounting boxes has undergone a change.  Here is a hint: they aren’t any smaller now than they were then.  The mounting hardware for our new light (pictured below, “Langham 4-light Track Fixture by Canarm) is a good eighth of an inch too wide for the box in the ceiling.
courtesy of rona

This presents a considerable problem as it is intended to sit flush with the ceiling.  The problem was eventually solved by the age old method of forcing it and then bending to fit with needlenose pliers.  I started when I got home at about 9:15 and wrapped up close to 11 whereupon Amy, my mum, my sister and I all sat down and had some pie which was highly delicious.  The old fan had four incandescent bulbs in it which were each about 30W.  The new track has four 13W fluorescents so it is nearly blinding.  I count this as a wild success despite the hardship in getting it fitted.