Do-it-yourself ideas, bargains and resources for all around your home.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Archeological find.

This afternoon I picked up new outlet covers for John's bathroom, and I figured I might well buy new covers for the other bathroom too (Dad, you'll be replacing the receptacles on your next visit). The master bath ones went on with no problem, but I was quite surprised to find this wallpaper in the main bath when I took off the cover.

When we moved in, this bathroom was painted two shades of yellow (neither of which match the three shades of yellow tile in the room) and I've never done anything to it. I was surprised it was there, and also surprised it wasn't totally, completely hideous, like other stuff I've found. Alas, it will have to go. I'm still sorting out my plans for this room and wallpaper is not making the list.


Michelle W said...

Marci, I can't believe that you are not tackling to job replace receptacles. It is true easy. Just make sure you have the power of and as long as you put one wire on each side and the ground wire hooked up you have got it. I did my whole house.

Glad to hear you have past your talents on to your children.

gary k said...

With all due respect to Michelle, replacing outlets isn't as simple as she said. Especially in a bathroom, where you're supposed to upgrade them to GFCI outlets. And even in other rooms there are several things you must be aware of to make sure you do it correctly.

For example, it is possible for a duplex outlet to be fed by two separate circuits (this is rare). It is also possible for half of a duplex outlet to be switched while the other half is not switched (this is more common). If you have either of these situations and you blindly replace the outlet you'll cause breakers to trip at a minimum and at worst you could hurt yourself or others.

You also have to make sure that the outlet is grounded correctly. In an old house like yours, with ungrounded outlets (as shown in the picture), there may be no ground wire. Or you may find that the metal box isn't properly grounded. Putting a grounded outlet where there is no true ground is dangerous.

And, Michelle, which wire you put on each side matters. Swapping them will work, but it's not right and can cause some dangerous situations.

gary k said...

Oh, and assuming that you're not going to remove the wallpaper you should cut it so that it doesn't overlap the outlet box. No combustible materials are allowed in outlet boxes.