Adventures in home ownership (part 1)

So, yesterday I enlisted the help of a neighbor and we installed new lights on the front and back porches.  Now, one thing I learned from this experience is it pays to read the instructions first.  Still after a few do-overs, we managed to get the front light hung.

The second thing I learned is that electricity can be a pretty unforgiving thing.  Now before you jump to any conclusions about my intelligence, I want to state right up front that I did in fact turn off the lighting breaker at the panel before starting the project.  And we got the front porch taken care without anything, ahem, shocking taking place.

As we installed the back porch light, the exposed wires touched and they made a pretty impressive spark.  My neighbor was incredulous when I assured him I had in fact thrown the breaker.  But before continuing I did the smart thing and turned off the main breaker and the install was completed without further incident.

Except when we were finished the porch light didn’t work.  I checked the breaker panel and saw that the switch for the great room was tripped.  I reset it and the lamp was lit.  So, I also now know that the back porch is not on the lighting circuit after all.

But the biggest surprise came this morning when I attempted to turn on my television.  Because it no longer works.  I can only surmise that despite being on a surge protector, that spark on the great room circuit must have done some internal damage to the TV.

Now, this is a 47 inch flat panel I purchased at the PX in Korea.  It’s a Korean brand I’ve never seen anywhere else (AVOL).  I looked up their USA service number on the Internet and called about getting it fixed.  They said they’d be glad to take a look if I shipped it to California.  Did I mention this is a 47″ flat screen?  The AVOL folks helpfully suggested I contact AAFES (the retailer) to see if they could suggest someone for local servicing.

The way things are looking I may have the most expensive back porch lighting fixture in the neighborhood.