Monday, August 26, 2013

Some nasty (and a few expensive) surprises that come with a new house

2 years in to living in our new house and I seem to still be finding unexpected surprises.

One of our ceiling fan-lights had recently died in the lighting department and being a cheap import the ballast proved to be an impossible item for our electrician to replace. Biting the bullet, we decided to replace 3 existing fan-lights and install another 2 in the kids rooms. Buying 5 units in one hit proved quite attractive as the supplier was practically throwing a 20% discount at me (I did not even mention it) but couldn't argue with getting the 5th fan for nothing.

The main reason for replacing the existing fans that came with the property was that they were all equipped with very dim circular fluoro bulbs (16 watt T4 style) which proved difficult to replace and provided barely enough light to read by. Although the fan function still worked well enough ,upgrading to 80 Watt halogens mean we would actually be able to see what we were doing from now on.

The nastiest surprise however was the installation of the existing fans - all 3 units were improperly mounted and none were earthed. Whoever had installed these fans in the past clearly saw no reason to actually screw them into solid timber nor to run any earth wires. Getting my electrician to do the job properly (which ended up requiring a touch of carpentry in the roof to install new timber battens (not to mention yards of new earth wire) cost me more than twice what I paid for the 5 replacement fan-lights ($700 for the lights, $1600 for the installation which included a few other bits of electrical tidying up).

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