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rewiring lamps

Tonight is going to end badly if I don't find some electrical tape, and fast!
I have a great ikea lamp with six halogen bulbs, but something went wrong with it: whenever I turned it on, with a little step-on switch, both of the cats immediately go stare at it. Noses less than an inch away, two large cats, staring intently at a motionless piece of black plastic. When this became repeatable, I decided the switch was bad, maybe emitting high-frequency noise or a smell I couldn't smell, and that the lamp would have to go. I really like the lamp, though. So this evening I got out my tools, snipped the cord before and after the switch, then opened up the switch. (Yes, dear parents, it was all unplugged.)
I discovered the switch was just a simple rocker, and a single cat hair was inside the mechanism, touching one of the contacts and the live side of the switch. Aha! The cat hair was conducting a tiny tiny bit of electricity, and it was heating up a tiny tiny bit, enough to make a tiny smell that only cats can smell.
This light actually plugs into an outlet with a switch of its own, so I don't need a switch; I just need to reconnect the two ends of the cord, where the switch used to be. No problem, just... oh no! where's the electrical tape?
I do not have any electrical tape in the apartment. I've got velcro and gorilla glue, but I left my electrical tape behind in Providence and haven't needed any since. My WRONG BAD DON'T TRY THIS AT HOME impulse is to make the splice without electrical tape. Thus the thought:
Tonight will end badly if I don't find some electrical tape, and fast!
I could drive to the all-night everything store and pick some up... but clearly what I really need is to hit the home depot and stock up on electrical tape and duct tape, and replace that utility knife I accidentally gorilla-glued closed last weekend. And, um, what other hardware tinkering stuff am I missing? Maybe this calls for a trip to Fry's!

Reader Comments (1)

Glad to see you are staying safe!


6.3.2006 at 06:39 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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