Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Why am I not surprised

Let's talk Boozy Susie.  If you are a new reader, Boozy Susie is what I like to call our home's previous owner.  Her name was Susan, and I felt compelled to give her this nickname after fixing 75 of her 'renovations' that included painting over several rooms of wallpaper and painting all the trim (and banister) in the house either terra cotta or maroon.  This latest discovery occured a couple weeks ago when I was on a kitchen-cleaning spree and decided to remove this crazy light that we've lived with for the last three years:  
It didn't really look that bad the way we had it set up, but I was pretty excited to put up the new fixture I had purchased about a year ago, the Bryant flushmount from Rejuvenation.
I spent about 30 minutes running up and down the stairs to the basement, flipping off breakers trying to find the correct one to turn off the power to this stupid light.  None of them did.  I finally got smart and turned off the main power to the house because I was sweating and pissed off!  Then I started removing the fixture. 
Uh, what the hell?  What is this?
Is this really old, a commercial thing, or what?  I've never seen anything like it.  And I've also never seen anything like this:
This is a couple wires, that apparently aren't on any of our circuit breakers, are fished through a tube, with no electrical box, and no support whatsoever, with the previous crossbar SCREWED INTO THE PLASTER CEILING.  No wonder the old light used to sway in the breeze.  DAMN YOU BOOZIE SUSIE!!!  Needless to say, there is no light by the windows anymore because I'm too cheap to call an electrician.  On a happier note, here is my cat Lucius in a box:
You're welcome. 

43 comments:

  1. lol! At least the cat looks cute :) ahhh, knob and tube wiring, boozie susie gave you a GREAT present :)

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  2. No!! Boozy Susie strikes again! Sadly, that probably won't be the last surprise she has in store for you. LOL

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  3. oh ick! that sounds (and looks) horrible! I hope you get it fixed soon :)

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  4. boozie suzie strikes again!! we have a similar issue with our homes previous owner...Heavin Steven. Tres stupido!

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  5. hmmm, is boozie suzie related to my previous homeowners? See my solution to the wires out of ceiling problem here: rubberducky26.blogspot.com/2010/06/grumbling.html

    but I don't have a cute cat for distraction ^_^ Good luck!

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  6. LOL. Like an ACTUAL laugh out loud. :-)

    We have our own boozy susie issues (painted over wallpaper? check! weird, nonsensical electrical issues meaning that every box and receptacle we open is wired differently? check!), but none come close to your lighting discovery. WOW.

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  7. Woo wee! I bet you were pissed!

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  8. Never mind the disaster of no box or structural support OR the damage to your ceilings. How does one have working light that's not attached to any circuit breakers? It's magic. Black magic, I tell ya.

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  9. Wow. Just....wow. What a mess. I really wonder what people are thinking. And why it seemed like a good idea to them. Ugh.

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  10. Our prior home owner's name is Susan, we have similar stories. Painting crystals on chandeliers white, painting door knobs, painting over wall paper glue. Boy can I sympathize with you!

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  11. wow. I thought my house was the only one wired that way!

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  12. Ugh, I'm glad I'm not the only one with previous owner "WTF were they thinking" moments! I actually had a light fall out on me when tearing out a closet to make it bigger. Yep, sheet rocked right over a freaking closet light.
    At least the kitties adorable!

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  13. Ugh, I hate finding stuff like that! I found all sorts of bare wires running in my attic, which had no vents so it was 150 degrees in the summer and they left all the roofing debris up there too. I'm shocked the house didn't burn down one summer.

    The new light fixture is gonna be gorgeous. :)

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  14. What the hell is that???
    I'm glad to know that we're not the only ones who curse our former home owners.
    And I always take comfort in the fact that one day when we move someone will no doubt be cursing us too...

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  15. That's insane!! Did you cap it off, or are you going to have an electrician come out and sort it all out? By the way, there is nothing cuter than a cat in a box - or maybe a bag. :)

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  16. OMG! We've come across some wonky wiring in our house, too. Our whole house is on three breakers (one breaker turns off roughly half our house, but they're not all in the same room, half of the kitchen, one outlet in one bedroom, overhead light in another room, etc). Good luck addressing your wiring issues!

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  17. Ugh, I feel your pain! I think the number of times we've used the previous owner's name + a curse word while doing home improvement projects must be nearing the thousand mark now.

    Did I mention that we found wiring in the walls - and instead of normal electrical wire, it was a cheap $2 extension cord? Yeahhh.

    ~Chelsea

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  18. Ugh, how frustrating! Your light would've looked so nice there! Just a note on your wiring...we had similar issues where we could not find the breaker to one of our lights. It ended up that some wires were crossed meaning that you had to turn off two breakers to shut the light off. If that's the case for you, you may want to get it checked out...I don't think it's safe!

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  19. That wire looks like Knob and Tube wiring... Though I have no idea what the heck that pully-thing is.

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  20. Looking forward to how you fix this. We have knob/tube in our house that's live in spots, along with more modern wiring. We are in a kind of denial about what to do about it mostly because we fear how much it's going to cost and how many holes will have to be punched in walls.

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  21. you got me with the cat in the box. AND i laugh at the name "boozie suzy"! but WOW holy crap - that fixture was .... wow.

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  22. Boozie Susie strikes again.

    I love your new fixture, though. I'm pretty sure that's the one I picked for our entry. (maybe)

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  23. I feel your pain! We had Drunk Al!!! He painted over every electrical outlet in this house as well as NAILING laminant flooring. ya...the kind that locks into place..nono, not Drunk Al..lets nail 'er down!! IDIOT ahhh, just a few of the moronic things people do.

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  24. I feel your pain - the wiring in our house is all messed up. We have a switch in our living room that when you turn it on, it turns on the fan above the stove in our kitchen! umm yeah. I refuse to call an electrician as well cause it's going to be so pricey. Good luck and I hope you get to hang your new light soon!

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  25. I get that stuff a lot as well even though our house was built in the 50's. They told us the house had been recently rewired. What this really meant was they put a new breaker box in. The wiring is still mostly original. And none of the breakers match the description, so I end up turning the main breaker off every time I need to work on something.

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  26. lol - hooray for the Boozie Suzie history lesson! ;)

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  27. WHAT? That seems ridiculously unsafe. Geez.

    And thank you for the cat. Too cute.

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  28. Hey Sara! I don't remember how I stumbled onto your blog, but I Am Hooked!! First of all, I love your decorating style--it inspires me. Secondly, you are HILARIOUS! You have me so hooked that I have spent the evening going through your posts from the very beginning. I'm almost to 2010 and am so excited to keep seeing how your house is transformed. Thanks for the fun read and the beautiful and fun design!

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  29. Okay, I left the last comment, but apparently I am signed in under my husband Bob's account. He has not been reading your blog all night, but trying to work on another one of my crazy diy projects. Again thanks,
    BECKY (aka Bob)

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  30. She really was something else... So you're just gonna spackle over the hole then?

    Lucius is adorable!

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  31. Ha awww man that sounds like every other project at my house. Maybe we need to name our previous owners Boozie Susie too! Ha!

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  32. Becky (AKA Bob!) you are so funny, I can't believe you are going through all my posts, I'm going to have to bak you a cake! Feel free to comment on my older posts (as Bob of course) it would make my day! ha

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  33. Oh wow.

    She strikes again. We had a ceiling fan hanging by two wires but nothing as awesome as that. Sometimes it is scary to take down old light fixtures because it makes you wonder what the rest look like!

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  34. Oh, no. That is just bizarre. Bless your little heart for having to go fix all Boozie Susie's screw-ups!!

    I did enjoy the cat picture, though.

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  35. Ahh, that looks like the same "knob and tube" wiring that's in my house (about 60% of it has now been updated... slowly but surely). What a pain, though. Electrical work is not nearly as rewarding as say, ripping down wallpaper and repainting to transform an awesome room.

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  36. We had similar issues in our old house. We bought a flip...I will never, ever again buy a flip. Flip basically means cover up rotting floors with new carpet, cover over knob and tube wiring with sheetrock, install outdoor lighting fixtures indoors, put new siding over clear structural support problems....the list goes on.

    My next house is a house where somebody's grandma lived there from the time it was built and it hasn't been updated since 1954. I don't want to repair anyone else's "repairs".

    The new light will look lovely, I'm sure. :-)

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  37. I think Boozie Suzie and Tricky Dick (as I sometimes call our previous hone owner) may be related...

    Are you just going to block off the fixture completely, or do you think you'll put another light there one day?

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  38. I promptly forwarded this post to my electrician... we recently went through an entire house re-wire (to get rid of knob & tube) and I thought we'd seen some crazy stuff. I'm really glad you guys didn't get hurt. Call an electrician. For real. Inactive or not, the wiring needs to be sorted out. Do it for us.

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  39. I am a new reader, and let me tell you i am right there with you. Our previous owner had no idea what they were doing and were dirty about it too

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  40. That green thing is the pull down mechanism; that strap isn't all that uncommon. I don't think it's knob and tube wiring, just conduit or flex cable (can't remember the proper name) of some kind. You can test it to see if it's grounded and then reuse the strap (maybe with better anchors for plaster/drywall) rather than getting an electrician in to install a box. I had a wallsconce like that - it was just screwed into the wall with the end of the conduit exposed. Not being on a specific circuit is stranger though.

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Thanks so much for reading....your comments mean a lot to me!
Sara