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Five DIY Wiring Projects That Mom Will Love You For

Is there anyone you can think of that deserves a special day more than the mothers of the world? There is no gift that you can give to her that can equal what she gave to you – the gift of life.  That being said, don’t let that discourage you from getting her something special for Mother’s Day!  It doesn’t have to be flowers, chocolates, or a card.  A phone call, or better yet, taking the time to get together with her is most likely what she would like best.  This will be my second Mother’s Day that I no longer have the privilege of visiting my Mom in person, only in my heart.  I’m thankful for the 50+ years that she was with us.  Some aren’t so lucky; Sandy lost her Mom over 40 years ago.  While they may be gone, they are never forgotten.

I always struggled with what to get Mom on the special day, and usually defaulted to flowers and a card.  Wouldn’t it be nice to do something unique and special for her instead?  How about giving her the gift of your talent?  Consider something you could do for her that would make Mom’s life just a bit nicer, better, or easier!  I scoured our website and came up with a list of great projects that you can do for mom that will not only make her day, but will add years of enjoyment and value to your home for years to come.

 Give Her More Light – Consider Adding Under Cabinet Lighting in the Kitchen

Under Cabinet Lighting

One of the biggest gripes in kitchens is a lack of lighting, and more specifically, task lighting.  This is critical in an area of the home where virtually everything you do in the kitchen is task related.  An easy way to improve this is with the addition of under cabinet lighting.

While there are many types and styles of fixtures available on the market today, my personal preference is to look for the LED options available.  They simply can’t be beat for energy efficiency, lumen output per watt, and for the physical size.  There aren’t really any decorative options for under cabinet lighting, so the less obtrusive the better.  If properly installed, task lighting can add value to a home.  Experts claim that the biggest payback on your renovation dollar is in the kitchen!

Here are links to two posts where I show you how to install under cabinet lighting:

http://www.electrical-online.com/installing-under-cabinet-lighting/

http://www.electrical-online.com/how-to-install-led-under-cabinet-lighting/

Give Her More Comfort – Install or Upgrade a Ceiling Fan

Ceiling Fan

There are so many benefits realized from having a ceiling fan in a room. The most obvious, with spring and summer upon us, is that ceiling fans help cool down a room by circulating the air.  Experts agree that this can reduce energy costs for air conditioning by up to 30 or 40%!  In the cooler months they help push warm air down from the ceiling to where it’s needed most, again reducing heating costs.

Ceiling fans can be installed in almost any room in the house and can add some style and functionality when you include a light kit.  Fans come in a variety of colors and styles to match any décor.

http://www.electrical-online.com/how-to-install-ceiling-fan/

http://www.electrical-online.com/how-to-wire-and-install-a-ceiling-fan/

While on the topic of ceiling fans, if you have an existing one, but don’t have full control over the functions without pulling the chains, or using the wall switches, how about converting an existing fan to a remote controlled unit, or a new installation of a remote controlled ceiling fan and light?

http://www.electrical-online.com/how-to-install-a-ceiling-fan-with-remote-control/

http://www.electrical-online.com/converting-an-existing-ceiling-fan-to-a-remote-control/

Give Her Peace and Quiet in the Bathroom – Add a Bath Fan Timer Switch

Bath Fan Timer Switch

If your mom is like my wife, having a bathroom fan run for hours (or even days) on end drives her crazy. Not to mention the waste of energy.  A bath fan is essential, but you can solve this problem by installing a bath fan timer switch in the bathroom. You can do this with a simply spring-wound timer, but those can be as annoying as the fan running as the time winds down.  However, that may be the best solution if you don’t have the correct existing wiring scenario.  The best solution in my opinion is an electronic timing device such as the one I use in this article.  Click the link to access.

http://www.electrical-online.com/bath-fan-switch-electronic-timer/

Give Her Mood Lighting – Install a Dimmer Switch

dimmer switch

It has been stated that most homes have more televisions than dimmer switch controlled lighting.  Televisions cost at least a couple hundred dollars and beyond.  The price of a dimmer switch may be $9.95 – $30, depending on style, type, and quality.

The benefits of a dimmer controlled light are many, including toning down the ambient lighting while watching those multiple TVs!  You will realize greater energy efficiency, longer lamp life, can set the proper mood by softening the light, or ramp it up for task lighting.

Almost any room in the home can be improved by adding a dimmer switch or control.  Just remember to use the proper lamps that are rated for dimming.  Most incandescent and halogen lamps can be dimmed, but CFL and LED must be labelled and rated as such.

Click the link below to see just how easy it is to change out a standard light switch to a dimmer.

http://www.electrical-online.com/install-a-dimmer-switch/

Give Her Updated Bathroom Electrical Outlets

New GFCI Bathroom Receptacle

If you are living in a home that still has the old “razor only” electrical outlet, it’s time to change those out for so many reasons, the least of which is that they won’t provide enough power for anything but a toothbrush or electric razor charger.  Don’t even try the blow dryer or curling iron!

The advent of the GFCI breaker and subsequent receptacle devices made these obsolete years ago, yet many still exist today if they haven’t been upgraded.  What they are is a one to one isolation transformer with a low power output capability.  This was the best protection from harmful electric shock available and was compliant to the code of that time period.

So what’s the solution?  If you don’t want to do an electrical renovation involving changing out the 4” x 4” box (which will require some wallboard patching), and putting in a deep device box and GFCI receptacle (you could put in a double receptacle – watch for a subsequent video/article on this), you can purchase a GFCI conversion kit.  See this post from a few years back that outlines the procedure step-by-step.

http://www.electrical-online.com/how-to-replace-a-razor-only-receptacle-with-a-gfci/

Do you know of a home wiring project that Mom is thinking about that you would like to see covered on the website?  If so, send me an email and maybe I can include the project in a future YouTube video and website post!  And feel free to comment below – maybe you have a great Mother’s Day story or a DIY project that you did for the wife or mom that you can share with our readers!

Happy Mother's Day

So this Sunday, do something nice for your Mom, but be sure to tell her how much you love and appreciate her.  Remember, every story of your life begins with her as chapter one.  Wherever your Mom is this Sunday, maybe only in your heart and memories, Happy Mother’s Day Moms!

The Basics of Household Wiring DVD

Not quite comfortable or feel confidence enough in your DIY skills to take on these projects?  We have a first-class tutorial DVD that will provide you with everything you need to know about home wiring DIY and will have you tackling wiring projects like the ones described above – safely and competently.  Check out “The Basics of Household Wiring” DVD.  Click here for more information on this great tutorial and to view a promo video that describes everything you will learn.

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The Basics of Household Wiring DVD

"If you're looking for a good reference to help you understand simple home wiring, I personally recommend 'The Basics of Household Wiring' DVD".

Terry Peterman, the Internet Electrician
 
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