February 28th, 2008



The garage door opener has been giving us fits for months. While I was away at FWA, it decided to give up the ghost. We took a quick trip to Sears and bought a new one. We decided to pay for installation because I wanted to make sure it was working properly. If there were any problems, I wanted a "professional" to be responsible for correcting them. Yesterday the installer showed up, saw that the previous owner had direct-wired the unit, turned around, and walked out telling us he couldn't deal with a system like that. We would have to have an electrician wire an outlet for the new unit to be plugged into. Well shit! I remember when I bought the house my real estate agent FORCED the owner to fix the opener because it was wired with an extension cord. I guess that was more up to code than the setup I was given. *grumbles*

Now I could have paid an electrician $$$ to come over and fix the situation, but I'm handybear! I hate home improvement stuff especially electrical and plumbing, but I had a little experience in electrical stuff when I did a remodel in my old house. I'm surprised the house has not burned down because I cut a lot of corners. This fix looked fairly straightforward. I would detach the old opener and replace that wire with a pigtail. I would then wire up an outlet and have it come out of the ceiling.

I shut off the power at the breakerbox and climbed up into the crawlspace. I started removing wires, but something didn't feel right. I touched 2 wires with my metal flashlight and got a small spark. WTF?!? I quickly touched the 2 leads with my finger and ZAP! WTF! The power was off! The circuit must have been broken at the box, but one of the wires was still hot! Fuck this! I shut the power off to the whole house. I then got back to work and finished all of the new connections in a few minutes. I sawed a small hole in the ceiling and inserted a new outlet box. Everything was all connected and working properly in about an hour.

I'm happy I was able to do something like this myself. Now I just have to get the garage guy to come back out.