Tuesday, June 28, 2005

More Handy Man Than I Thought

The longer I am at my new position, the more opportunities I have to "fix stuff". I have a fluorescent light in my office and it has not been working properly. The light was working, but it was not very bright so I figured it needed a new bulb. Two new bulbs did not fix the problem, so I figured it was the ballast. I've helped Harry change out a ballast in the youth building, so I knew it was not too difficult to replace. A trip to Lowes and 15 minutes later I had the ballast and all seemed well...until the next day when I turned the light on and it looked just like it did before two new bulbs and a new ballast! Apparently the problem was the little clip thingies on the end where the bulb posts make contact. Now that I got the "clip thingies" fixed, new bulbs and a new ballast, that light out to be "good to go" for quite a while now!

After that, I went out and changed out light bulbs in our security lights around the Sunday School building. Five bulbs were out (90 watt security bulbs) and appeared to have burned out within two days of each other. There is a fixture at each corner of the building and each fixture has two bulbs. When I replaced the bulbs, I noticed the light sensor on two of the lights was broken and the lights stayed on all the time (with it being daylight, they were supposed to sense this and be off). A trip to Lowes revealed that the fixtures were too old to replace the light sensor, so I bought new fixtures.

I tackled my first task dealing with electricity. I knew the first thing I needed to do was turn off the power to the lights I wanted to replace, so after a brief search of the building and the partial removing of a bulletin board, I found the power box and threw the correct breaker. Inside the old lights were eight wires and I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new lights contained only three wires that needed to be connected...black, white and green. The old lights needed three wires for each light and three for the sensor. The new lights had the sensor and two bulbs wired together so all I had to do was connect black to black, white to white and connect the green ground wire to the proper place on the box (where the incoming power was grounded). The second light took about half the time of the first and when I turned the power back on they worked like a charm! When it's dark they are on, when it's light they are off.

So far, taking stuff apart and fixing it has gone pretty well. We'll see what happens when I have to build something. Maybe I'm a more handy man than I thought.


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