Category Archives: electrical

“Hot check”

The lights are on. Almost. It’s a milestone.

Steve and Beau from Capstone Electric are testing every outlet, switch, light and fixture at Emerald Hill — up and down ladders, flipping circuit breakers, tracing feedback.

For the first time, the lights are on, ceiling fans are spinning, outlets have power. They are preparing for the final electrical inspection — possibly tomorrow.

Here’s a photo essay.

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Notes, 30 Jan. 2016

Saturday morning. Jacquela and Steven visit Emerald Hill.

Above, Jacquela set the correct time on the oven. It’s the only appliance that is powered, so far. Along with the GFCI circuits. The electricians are scheduled to arrive next week to test everything, now that the residential meter is installed and power is delivered to the house.

 

Above, we started in the garage, where the painters have stacked trim lumber in two locations -- moving it all to the side of the new bay, clearing obstructions away from where the garage doors are on schedule to be installed next week. We're also creating storage space -- we hope to start moving in and stacking boxes as Ranserve finishes construction. In the photo above, at left -- painter supplies. Lumber stacked along the back wall of the new bay. Ladders leaning against the pole that helps to support the beam that carries the weight of the new structure where it joins the existing garage. Drywall supplies to the right of the ladders. Old lumber taken out of the back wall of the existing garage when it was removed, stacked here in front of the original two-car garage door for removal by Ron Dahlke, who plans to recycle it. That door is trashed after decades of use, and it will be replaced.
Jacquela and Steven started in the garage, where the painters built two stacks of trim lumber in two locations — blocking everyone’s ability to move easily through the garage. We picked up everything and shifted it all to the side of the new bay, clearing obstructions away from where the garage doors are on schedule to be installed next week. We’re also creating storage space — we hope to start moving in and stacking boxes as Ranserve finishes construction. In the photo above, at left — painter supplies. Lumber stacked along the back wall of the new bay. Ladders leaning against the pole that helps to support the beam that carries the weight of the new structure where it joins the existing garage. Drywall supplies to the right of the ladders. Old lumber taken out of the back wall of the existing garage when it was removed, stacked here in front of the original two-car garage door for removal by Ron Dahlke, who plans to recycle it. That door is trashed after decades of use, and it will be replaced.

David Garcia and his team of painters are pulling up the heavy paper that has protected the floors through construction, sweeping out debris and vacuuming the baseboards, then rolling out new, clean paper. It’s amazing to see the hickory floors exposed, however briefly.

The master bedroom.
The master bedroom.
The loft.
The loft.
Rolling out the new paper to protect the wood floors.
Rolling out the new paper to protect the wood floors.
Late Friday, the team from Gilsa Construction transplanted three bushes to the left side of the house. They were located at the right side, where Gilsa built the new walk. Steven soaked the roots. We'll see if these survive.
Late Friday, the team from Gilsa Construction transplanted three bushes to the left side of the house. They were located at the right side, where Gilsa built the new walk. Steven soaked the roots. We’ll see if these survive.
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Meter in, power on

It’s a very big milestone day at Emerald Hill. Austin Energy installed the residential meter early this morning. Power is on, inside the house, routed through the breaker box. Capstone Electric has to come out to test all the circuits.

Above, the oven control panel is alive, powered, for the first time.

Here's the meter, installed, with bar codes obscured.
Here’s the meter, installed, with bar codes obscured.
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Notes, 26 Jan. 2016

Above, Luis from Landers Flooring is back to remove and replace one stair tread. The balusters for this tread were drilled in the wrong place. Today, Luis removed the balusters and existing hickory tread, then fitted the replacement. At the end of the day, he clearcoated it with polyurethane.

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Mauricio and the team from Gilsa Construction today began to install the heavy steel edging for the deck off the kitchen door.
Mauricio welds the straight metal edging to a rebar post he sledgehammered into the ground.
Mauricio welds the straight metal edging to a rebar post he sledgehammered into the ground.
Joel from the City of Austin inspected the boxes and location for the new residential electric meter. Steven called Dispatch to ask the City to install the meter.
Joel from the City of Austin inspected the boxes and location for the new residential electric meter. Steven called Dispatch to ask the City to install the meter.
Binswanger Glass today delivered and installed the obscured glass door to the water closet in the master bath ...
Binswanger Glass today delivered and installed the obscured glass door to the water closet in the master bath …
and the second door to the shower in bath 2, Jadin's bath -- the panel at right, with the long chrome handle.
and the second door to the shower in bath 2, Jadin’s bath — the panel at right, with the long chrome handle.
The tankless water heater is installed upstairs in the laundry/utility room.
The tankless water heater is installed upstairs in the laundry/utility room.
Ron Dahlke asked Steven to start a "punch list" of items that need attention. Here's the first one -- this is one of the showerhead fixtures in the master shower. It's missing an escutcheon. As a result, the cutout in the tile is exposed.
Ron Dahlke asked Steven to start a “punch list” of items that need attention. Here’s the first one — this is one of the showerhead fixtures in the master shower. It’s missing an escutcheon. As a result, the cutout in the tile is exposed.
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All Cris all the time

There is nothing that Cris from Ranserve can’t do. Framing. Drywall. Concrete. Electrical. Plumbing. Hang fans. Think ahead, plan how to do it.

Today, above, he’s up on the roof, trimming limbs back to clear the route that the City of Austin will use to connect the house to electrical service at telephone pole behind the house.

15 minutes later, back on the ground, armed with multi-tool, Cris has already trimmed drywall away from behind the vanity counter in bath 2. He will inset the backsplash into the slot in the wall. This allows the faucet handles to turn free, without banging against the backsplace if the quartz were mounted against the drywall, instead of inset into the drywall -- an idea that Ron thought of.
15 minutes later, back on the ground, armed with multi-tool, Cris has already trimmed drywall away from behind the vanity counter in bath 2. He will inset the backsplash into the slot in the wall. This allows the faucet handles to turn free, without banging against the backsplace if the quartz were mounted against the drywall, instead of inset into the drywall — an idea that Ron thought of.
Upstairs in bath 3, Cris deploys the multi-tool to cut around the backsplash. He will remove the drywall from this location, as he did in bath 2, then inset the backsplash quartz into the wall, allowing the faucet handles to swing through a complete arc without obstruction.
Upstairs in bath 3, Cris deploys the multi-tool to cut around the backsplash. He will remove the drywall from this location, as he did in bath 2, then inset the backsplash quartz into the wall, allowing the faucet handles to swing through a complete arc without obstruction.
Before Steven arrived, Cris removed one of the two metal straps bracing the horizontal and vertical framing of the new garage door, turned it vertical, nailed it into position -- per instructions from the structural engineer. The City of Austin requires this to prevent uplift when the wind blows strong -- kind of like today, with 30mph wind gusts.
Before Steven arrived, Cris removed one of the two metal straps bracing the horizontal and vertical framing of the new garage door, turned it vertical, nailed it into position — per instructions from the structural engineer. The City of Austin requires this to prevent uplift when the wind blows strong — kind of like today, with 30mph wind gusts.
Heres' the same strapping change at the left side of the garage door.
Heres’ the same strapping change at the left side of the garage door.
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Electrical inspection part 1, passed

Emerald Hill today passed one of the biggest final hurdles — step 1 of the electrical inspection. Ron and Capstone Electric are now permitted to power up the house — after Steven gets Austin Energy to send its crew to connect power from the pole.

Atop the new roof for the new garage, the City of Austin will connect power to the house at this power pole.
Atop the new roof for the new garage, the City of Austin will connect power to the house at this power pole.
The inspector asked for one correction, according to Ron -- locating the ground screw about one inch to the left.
The inspector asked for one correction, according to Ron — locating the ground screw about one inch to the left.
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Headed toward electrical inspection

Ron Dahlke and the electricians are aiming to call for the inspection this week that allows us to turn on electrical power inside Emerald Hill.

Everyone’s pulling hard. We want to turn the lights on.

Above, Steve and Beau from Capstone Electric installed the track lights in what will be the model train room, aka bedroom 3. The light in the center of the ceiling is temporary — inspection apparently requires installation of a fixture, not a blank plate for the owner to come back later to install a ceiling fan, which is Steven’s plan.

All six fluorescent light fixtures are now installed in the ceiling of the garage.
All six fluorescent light fixtures are now installed in the ceiling of the garage.
The wireless doorbell chime from Ring, which works with the wireless doorbell from Ring, is now installed above the closet door in the entry hall. Steve the electrician converted the wall plug into an outlet before installing the chime.
The wireless doorbell chime from Ring, which works with the wireless doorbell from Ring, is now installed above the closet door in the entry hall. Steve the electrician converted the wall plug into an outlet before installing the chime.
Ron and Jacinto from Ranserve installed the lighted mirror medicine cabinets in bath 2 -- Jadin's bath.
Ron and Jacinto from Ranserve installed the lighted mirror medicine cabinets in bath 2 — Jadin’s bath.
And similar lighted medicine cabinets in the master bath.
And similar lighted medicine cabinets in the master bath.
And one more lighted mirror medicine cabinet in the mudroom bath.
And one more lighted mirror medicine cabinet in the mudroom bath.
Ron needed two vanity lights for bath 3. Steven drove to Lowe's to pick up these two beauties; we'll see if we keep them.
Ron needed two vanity lights for bath 3. Steven drove to Lowe’s to pick up these two beauties; we’ll see if we keep them. At least they fit the theme — brushed nickel or stainless steel, and white everything else.
Steve the electrician shifted up and to the right the electrical outlet that Barry the plumber needs for the tankless water heater. Where it was originally located, the outlet would have been directly behind the tankless unit, making it impossible to plug in.
Steve the electrician shifted up and to the right the electrical outlet that Barry the plumber needs for the tankless water heater. Where it was originally located, the outlet would have been directly behind the tankless unit, making it impossible to plug in. See the two exhaust pipe fittings at the top? When the wind blows, these act like pipe organs, generating groans and howls that, honestly, are really annoying. Steven hopes the harmonics will disappear when the tankless unit is installed. We’ll see.
The power pole is ready at the back of the new garage bay to be connected to city service.
The power pole is ready at the back of the new garage bay to be connected to city service.
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Just another Monday

Above, Celis hung drywall on two walls in the garage — the front wall closest to the street, and the back wall around the exit door. This should be the final sheets of drywall to go up at Emerald Hill.

Beau, left, and Steve, right, begin installing track lights to the ceiling in the train room.
Beau, left, and Steve, right, begin installing track lights to the ceiling in the train room.

We counted out the runs of track. There are four 8-footers and two 2-footers for the train room. That’s correct. There are four two-footers for the office downstairs. That’s wrong. Tracy at Lights Fantastic stepped through the paperwork to discover the error. Two 8-footers and two 6-footers will be delivered early next week.

Which means … Steve the electrician and Ron are pushing for an electrical inspection tomorrow. The electrical boxes in the office must be populated with lights. Ron advises he will locate temporary fixtures.

Steve the electrician and Ron dispatched Steve for a run to Lowe's, because the lights purchased from Ikea on Saturday for above the vanity in bath 3 will not install properly with the boxes in the wall. Steven purchased two conventional vanity lights and, because it was on sale and might be needed, one LED ceiling light, along with the blank two-gang faceplate that Steve the electrician needs.
Steve the electrician and Ron dispatched Steven for a run to Lowe’s, because the lights purchased from Ikea on Saturday for above the vanity in bath 3 will not install properly with the electrical boxes in the wall. Different shapes. Different sizes. Different wiring schemes. And way too much exposed wire.  At Lowe’s, Steven purchased two conventional vanity lights and, because it was on sale and might be needed, one LED ceiling light, along with the blank two-gang faceplate that Steve the electrician needs.
If the bathroom lights from Ikea will not work, the Striberg LED strips installed perfectly in every closet. Here's a shot from inside Jadin's closet -- two Stribergs connected with a jumper cable, plugged in at the ceiling outlet to one transformer -- per spec.
If the bathroom lights from Ikea will not work, the Striberg LED strips installed perfectly in every closet. Here’s a shot from inside Jadin’s closet — two Stribergs connected with a jumper cable, plugged in at the ceiling outlet to one transformer — per spec.
Shane and Peter apparently put in time at Emerald Hill over the weekend, nailing up the accent lumber on the exposed wall of the stairs. The horizontal joints line up just as planned with each tread.
Shane and Peter apparently put in time at Emerald Hill over the weekend, nailing up the accent lumber on the exposed wall of the stairs. The horizontal joints line up just as planned with each tread.
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Ikea field trip

Jacquela and Steven arrived at Ikea in Round Rock as the store opened. Steven wrestled two orange, yellow and blue Ikea Family cards from the kiosk in the lobby. Bridgette arrived. She works with Jacquela at Schwab — and is probably just as much a fan of Ikea as Steven; she showed pictures of the closet and desks that she and her husband planned and assembled as we walked the store.

Steven had a shopping list. Long. Detailed.

We configured Pax closets for the master closet and for Jadin’s bedroom. We configured Stuva storage and benches for the mudroom. We picked up the Striberg linear LED lights with motion sensors needed for closets throughout the house.

Bridgette offered to help transport everything to Emerald Hill in her new Ford Explorer. As if we would say no.

Bridgette filled a cart with items on her shopping list.

And then we hit the warehouse armed with “pick lists” and two flatbed carts.

At checkout, Ikea Family saved more than $200 on the bill.

We loaded Steven’s Honda Element to the weight limit. The Explorer got the really long boxes; this is one of the few times Steven misses the old minivan.

We took lunch at In-N-Out, sitting outside. “Vitamin D,” exclaimed Bridgette, showing pictures of the house in Baltimore she grew up in.

At Emerald Hill, Jacquela gave Bridgette a tour, Steven prepped space in the garage, and we built the stack of flat-pack boxes in the photo above and below.

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The clothes rods, baskets and other accessories are stacked neatly in the pantry.

Steven propped each light against a door where it needs to be installed, to help Ron identify precisely what goes where.

Now we need permission from Ron to assemble and install cabinets …

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Counting down to ignition

Ron and the electricians are working toward the inspection that allows us to turn on power inside Emerald Hill.

Steven and Steve the electrician walked the house today, talking through electrical questions, fixtures, the track lighting fittings that are not correct; the niche lighting in the entry hall that Steven has to think twice about; the exterior lights with motion sensors that Steven has to purchase for the kitchen door, back door and new garage bay; the stair lights that have to be cut into drywall and mounted …

Above, working at the back of the garage, where the power cable from the pole will connect to the house, Steve slices the shielding away from the master cable that will supply power to electrical panel in the upstairs electrical closet.

Steve’s team of electricians climbed all over and through the house today.

Labeling the electrical panel.
Labeling the electrical panel.
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