Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Greensburg Part 2

Dale on the left pastor's a little Southern Baptist church in Tekamah Nebraska, a little town just north of Omaha. Dean on the right is retired and lives in Fremont Nebraska. We saddled up about 2:00 PM on Mother's Day Sunday and headed out across the plains of Nebraska and Kansas. The drive was enhanced by the conversations and the beauty of spring time in the midwest. Field after field of wheat was lush and green. Oil wells that I didn't know existed were pumping away in the Kansas wheat fields. Dean explained how the oil was pumped out of Kansas from the shale rock as he had worked on the pumps before retiring. We arrived at Pratt Kansas where we would sleep each night at about 10:00 PM.


We hooked up with another three people from the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Association. These three were the leaders of our team as well as being in charge of other projects going on in the town. We had the job of doing the electrical wiring in the house we were working on. Now I've attempted wiring before but found that there's a better way. One night we actually had a class on how to wire three way switches and how to trouble shoot circuits that just don't work quite right. Touch, that's the Master Electrician that was in charge of all of us, explained how to connect wires together that would identify the wires on the other end of the circuit. This trip was not just a working trip but a learning trip as well.

Wall sockets that I'm working on here were pretty simple, but it really got interesting when working on a double gang switch box that had a three way switch and switches connected to a ceiling fan, regular light, and night light in the bathroom. It really intrigued me and because of my background in electronics I started catching on to the pattern of wiring by the end of the week. One thing I learned is that when wiring a house the blue print is just a suggestion. It's up to the electricians to actually decide how and where the wires are connected to the different circuits. Lots of rules go with wiring, like a staple to hold the wire no more than 8 inches from the box and then every 30 inches after that and every wall that is 24 inches or more has to have a electrical outlet, then there's only four wires in a junction box, arcfault circuits go in bedrooms, and ground fault circuits go in kitchen and bathrooms.

Who says old dogs can't learn new tricks.

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