Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Earth rod box

I'm not a gifted handyman. In fact, using today's educational parlance, I think I would be referred to as a handyman with 'special needs'. I can barely do the basics and even then I rarely do them well.

Yesterday I finally got around to a task that has been staring me in the face for a week. In reality, I've actually been trying to ignore it for a couple of years at least.

The Earth rod is in a small box set into the cement path that goes around the side of our house. The lid of this plastic box has been cracked for a long time, but last week it opened right up.

First I had to drill the stripped screws that hold the lid on. Once the lid was off I had to remove the clamp. Of course, the box was full of water (probably for a long time) and the clamp was totally corroded. It took me forever to get thing off. Once I had that done I had to get the broken box out. That also took a long time because (I think) the box had been inserted into the hole before the surrounding cement was dry.

Finally, I was ready to put in a new box. Off I went in total innocence to the local electrical supplies store. I figured I'd get another box that would slot right into the existing hole. Fool.

For reasons that I'm sure are clear to someone with greater insight, the boxes available today are slightly smaller than the one that was used when our neighborhood was built ten years ago. And the placement of the rod and wire were not quite right for the box I bought so I had to make different holes. ERRR.

After about 4-5 hours (for a job that I thought would be 20-30 minutes) I had the box in. The hole is still slightly too big, which means I'll have to put in a little cement – someday. For now, I have wedged some slim rocks between the hole and the box to keep it fixed in place. It'll be full of water again soon, but that's not a bad thing – as long as I never have to change the box again.

All of that is an explanation as to why I had no time for the Irish Eagle yesterday.