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I need an outlet

2011 December 29
by Katie

No…not a shopping outlet.  Have a couple of those…just ask my debit card.

And not the kind of outlet that implies I need to vent.  Have one of those too…just ask anyone that reads this blog.

The kind of outlet that provides juicy electrical currents for spotlights, speakers, twinkle lights and microphones needed for wedding toasts.

Yup.  One of those kind of outlets.  And yes, we may be rewinding a bit so that this post makes sense for all you new-to-Bower-Power-people.


Let’s begin with this…

This year we were asked to be part of the True Value Blog Squad.  That meant that we were gonna share some projects (like our chair makeovers, and our basement overhaul, and Will’s sushi colored wall reno) and our pals at True Value were going to help us with supplies and sponsor each post.  Awesome gig, huh?  iknow!

Well, then my only sister decided that our house would the spot for her summer nuptials.  Her decision to get hitched in our backyard spurred some quick renovations and basically meant that we had three months to get our foreclosure into shape to host 100+ of our family and friends.  Talk about bridal bootcamp!

One such change that absolutely needed to happen was to add an outlet to the light post that stands over the smaller-than-regulation tennis courts.  Yes.  It sounds pretentious that we have tennis courts in our backyard…but in the end, it was actually a god-send because it happened to be the perfect spot for Nornie’s reception tent…

See that little gray box directly above the tennis net and just a smidge above the green fence?  That’s the light that we are talking about here.

And since the tent was planning on sitting directly above the courts, we needed some power to plug in lights.  That would be helpful at an evening wedding that lasted till 11pm, huh?  Although, eating barbeque in the dark sounds like a sure-fire way to make things fun :)   So literally the day before the wedding, my darlin boyfriend installed the outlet in the existing electrical box.

Here are some of the tools he used.

And some other supplies he picked up at True Value.

Oh and please note that we do not recommend being like us.  We used a non GFCI outlet…you should always use a GFCI outlet when having an outlet that is closely exposed to moisture (this this one being outside or in your kitchen or your bathroom)…but we used this kind of outlet because 1. it was the only one that would fit in our already installed box.  2. we installed it temporarily for a special event and 3.  this outlet is on a separate breaker and a switch…that stayed off till the time of the event…which prevented the box to have both power & moisture.

As you can see below – we started with an already installed electrical box.

Jer removed the face plate and double checked that all the wires were dead with his tester.

Then he pulled them out and prepped them for the outlet.

This particular type of outlet is easy…you just plug in the black wires into the right holes in the back labeled HOT or BLACK.  And the white wires went into the ones labeled WHITE.

Then you use the screwdriver to secure them into the box by tightening the screw on the side.

After that – you just push everything back into the electrical box, screw the outlet face tightly on the box behind it and then put on your outdoor box.

Attach the lid and you are ready to go!

And for a full blow-by-blow – check out my boytoy getting this installed with this here video…WARNING: you must understand I was sleep deprived from wedding prep…trying to video and take photos at the same time…while having no idea where my toddler was…not my finest moment…so excuse the random interuptions during this video :)  Also – I would like to be the first to say….I married a total hottie.

“I was one of the bloggers selected by True Value to work on the DIY Squad. I have been compensated for my time commitment to the program as well as my writing about my experience. I have also been compensated for the materials needed for my DIY project. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.”

22 Responses leave one →
  1. December 29, 2011

    Very impressive. My husband is like anti handy, you are so lucky!

  2. December 29, 2011

    Confession- I just listened to the whole video for your accents- love, love, love! I am pretty sure I still know nothing about outlets.

    • Cindy W. permalink
      December 29, 2011

      Me too! I’ve heard Katie talk many times, so why was I surprised that Jeremy sounded a bit southern?

      • December 31, 2011

        HAHA! Same here, love the southern accents. And I wasn’t paying attention to the outlet process either.

  3. December 29, 2011

    You need to tick your ‘add outdoor outlet’ on your to-do list!


  4. April permalink
    December 29, 2011

    I love having a handy husband too but he is very leary of electrical stuff. Thankfully my Dad is an elecgtrician :) . I love how at the end you told him good job and he was like “Thanks! So glad that’s over!”

  5. Nancy permalink
    December 29, 2011

    No apologies for a tennis court. I’d love to have one.

  6. December 29, 2011

    What a handy Hubby you have! Mine can be handy, but only if it saves him money and isn’t too hard ;)

  7. December 29, 2011

    I’m also so nervous about doing electrical stuff. So glad you were able to make a quick/temporary fix for your sister’s wedding!

  8. Elena permalink
    December 29, 2011

    I think I missed the full wedding post. When was it posted so I can go back? Thanks.

    • December 30, 2011

      It’s still in the waiting box…I might post the few photos I took…but I’m still waiting on the ones from Nornie’s photographer.
      xo – kb

  9. December 29, 2011

    You have a tennis court!?! The video cracked me up – nice job! :)

  10. Meaghan permalink
    December 29, 2011

    Hi Katie! Are you going to do a wedding post? With lots of photos? Inquiring minds want to know!! Xx

    • December 30, 2011

      I want to DESPERATELY…but I’m waiting on getting a copy of the photo cd from my sister after she gets it from the photographer.
      xo – kb

  11. December 29, 2011

    You are so lucky that your husband is so handy. And yes, he is a total hottie. Good job! Haha :)

  12. Pip permalink
    December 29, 2011

    Love Will’s cameo appearance – making those toddler growling sounds (hurry up and play with me!).

  13. December 30, 2011

    I can totally sympathize with how emPOWERING adding outlets can be :) In our old home, we had maybe one or two working outlets per room. In the rental, when they remodeled, they even put outlets above the cabinets in the kitchen and in all of the bedroom closets. However when we went to put up the lights outside for Christmas, I realized that my plans to be seen from space were to be thwarted by a lack of outside outlets. Curses!

  14. Randa permalink
    December 30, 2011

    Such a handy husband! Mine has just started working with wood – we haven’t gotten to electrical stuff. :0] Also, you’re outdoor sounds are very similar to my outdoorsy sounds. This is probably somewhere on your blog, but are you in North East Georgia? I’m in Barrow County, if you’re near by!

    • December 30, 2011

      Nope – the closest big town is Loganville. If you can call that close…or big :)
      xo – kb

  15. December 30, 2011

    I’m glad I’m not the only woman who loves to watch her husband work. I just sit and watch and watch. It’s the forearms, man. They get me every time.

  16. Crystal DuBois permalink
    December 30, 2011

    for any readers with the same problem, but no outlet box…only a light, here is a handy little fix. For my Christmas lights, I bought a little adapter that you screw right into your porch light socket. There a few different kinds…some that convert it to only an outlet, and some that convert to a socket AND and outlet. I spent $3 on two. Super Easy!

    similar to this…

  17. December 31, 2011

    you two make ‘hot’ home videos…

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