Adding Surface Mount Electrical Boxes To Our Log Cabin

I am not often a smart man.  This is another tale to illustrate my point.

In the kitchen, which is an outside wall, I had previously just put up my electrical very ramshackle with the intent of hiding it behind the cabinets and eventually some sort of wood panel “cover” to bridge over any exposed areas.  Oh, need I remind you that on outside walls, which are log, I don’t have any space to hide the wiring within the wall?  (Notwithstanding people who do pre-drill metres long holes for wiring as they assemble their homes, or companies that have pre-prepared (is the first pre redundant in the word pre-prepared?) spaces for wiring…)

On this go though, I realized that it would be more convenient to have the boxes located where they were – you guess it – most convenient!  Less important became how I could hide the wires.  So I started to prepare myself and Donna for the notion of surface mounting the electrical work there.  First I talked about the almond coloured conduit boxes I grew up with in my public and secondary schools.  Those passed her approval quite easily.

Then I realized that I was going to need a fair number of conductors in the conduits, and had to go back to her seeking permission to go with the more “industrial, loft-type, reclaimed factory” look of galvanized conduits.  This too met approval (it’s all in how you sell it perhaps?  Then again, she’s a tremendously understanding person!).  So that’s what I purchased, and the other day layed out and mounted.

Looking good from this angle.
Working my way around the corner.

Timers for the pump and well heater.
GFCI outlet for kitchen appliances

Outlet for the washing machine, and light switch for the kitchen and stove.
Now it’s coming together!

The next day, bright and early, I added in the switches and recepticals, and headed back down under the cabin to wire it in.  With Donna up above, and me down below, I called out instructions for her to flip various switches and report back with the results.

Ugh, It’s a challenge not to be crabby coming out of here.

The good news – the breaker never popped!

The bad news – the GFCI outlet would pop whenever it was hooked up to the well pump.  I suspect that the very humid conditions there are allowing a few mA of current to seep out.  When I get a chance, I will revisit the connection between the wiring and the pump itself, and maybe spray some plasti-dip over the whole thing to really try to make a nice dry connection.

I removed the well pump as a “load” from the GFCI outlet, and everything worked just fine!

Yes, the Naked Electrician is available to rewire your next party!

Later in the day, with Kenny helping on my next project, I asked him what he thought of my conduit wiring.  As children often can do, he cut right to the heart of things.  “It’s okay, but I think you should have put the wires in the walls”.  I took a breath to explain about the outside walls being solid and not realistic for me running wiring in, when I realized that I had only recently finished strapping and adding paneling to these walls.  It would have been quite manageable to have hidden the wiring in behind that layer!  Oh hindsight…

As a consolation, I proceeded to add an extra LED “work light” over the stove for extra lighting there when we are cooking or working on the fire.  That has always been a challenge in the dark.  At the moment though, I’m thinking of switching out the work light for puck lights again, as I wouldn’t mind having the light spread out a bit more over there, rather than all focused right on the stovetop itself.  I’ll run it by my ideas girl later and see what she thinks.

Sandy, please don’t let George see this!  (My excuse is that it isn’t finished yet…)

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