Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Installing Outdoor Christmas Lights and the First Snow

This is the lamp post in front of the Jarvis House.  It was made from a modern metal light post with the added feature of an outdoor outlet, and an antique metal lantern.  Over maybe thirty years, birds love to make nests in the space just below the lantern.  During that time time they have compromised the electrical outlet, although the lamp continued to work.  A new outlet needed to be found.

Now that may sound simple but the outlet is attached to a metal pole, so the shape of the outlet needed to be curved to hug the pole.  I was able to find a pole with and outlet, but not the separate part that I needed.  The pole was priced at $59.00 or so.  This picture shows the old and new outlets.
At the big orange hardware store, Kevin was able to buy some of the parts needed for the repair.  A helpful worker there directed us to a local electrical shop.  Although he knew the part,  all he could do was to order it on line and it would have cost about as much as the whole pole.  He did give me the part number and I was able to find Win's Lighting Supply Co. that carried the part by Googling the part number.  I ordered three for a total of 37.60!  Don, the agent in Michigan, even sent me a metal housing for the part that he found leftover in an old box of parts.  The new housings were  plastic, but that wasn't too bad.  I have two light poles that are the same age which is why I ordered more than one of these outlets.
 I waited for days to receive the package.  Nothing, then I looked at my e-mails and discovered that UPS had sent me a message that the box was delivered, and they gave me a tracking number.  I called them to report that indeed, no package was delivered to me.  The web site said that it had been delivered to my front door, and that there was "proof of the delivery." They persisted, and said that if I wanted to start an investigation, I should call the vender.  He was the only one that could initiate the search which would qualify for any reimbursement claim.  They stated that they worked for him.  I said that it worked both ways and that I was their client too.  They asked me to check my yard, which I did, and my neighbors too.  No box.
 Finally a few days later I was walking around the Jarvis Garden and saw the box perched on top of my cast iron chair in front of my large barn.  (This photo was taken after I opened the wet box.)
My house has its number clearly showing on the "front" door as does my mailbox.  The Barn is hundreds of feet out back!   I called Don at Win's and reported that I found the box.  Fortunately he had not sent another unit out.
 Long Island weather is constantly changing.  We get weather from the north, west, and from the south.  We say,  "if you don't like the weather when you walk out the front door, walk out the back door."  Which was why I needed that part.  Our weather was still warm enough to get outside and fix the lamp post and put up the lights, but it could change quickly.  My son, Kevin, having grown up in the Jarvis House, is used to fixing things that need attention. 
 As soon as the parts came he went to work replacing the outdoor outlet.
 Looking at this picture I should sand and repaint the pole next Spring.

 The shape of the outdoor outlet part is specifically formed to wrap around the pole.  It comes with a foam piece that fits between the pole and the outlet. 
 Since Don at Win's Lighting sent us a leftover metal housing, Kevin popped out the new electrical  portion  from one of the plastic components and matched it up with the metal housing. 
 The lamp post lit,
 and extension cords plugged in.  Perhaps I should get an additional outdoor outlet installed next year on my foundation to share the load.   We did use grounded cords.  I kept all the old  housings and perhaps this summer when I have some time I can re-paint the old ones for future use.

Today the first real snow fell, and the lights were up!
With one flick of this switch, the lantern and all of the outdoor lights can be turned on and off.
 The electric Reindeer,
and twinkle lights on the boxwoods.  Job done. Thanks Kevin and Don.


JC said...

Seriously, how could they have gotten that mixed up. Were they thinking it wouldn't be taken away if it was in the back. At least they could have let you know they did that.

Love the red barn by the way. wish I had one.

We have new lamps, sort of like your old one, that line the walkway at our beach place.

Your snow. You can keep that. We've had frozenville in the 20's for weeks now and I just want Spring to come back. lol

By the way, did you see my note about wanting to get your address.

Merry Ho Ho Ho,

elizabeth said...

Festive and seasonal!
Good job, Lori (and Kevin?)

lisa hermanson said...

What an odyssey ! Shows the persistence needed to make those household/property repairs !
The house looks lovely in the snowy setting.

Bernie H said...

Maybe the delivery person thought the box would be safer out the back!! I have to admit I've found boxes stashed in some strange spots sometimes here too.

I bet the house and garden look fabulous all lit up. It's great to see that the job was done before the first real snow fell.

The Tablescaper said...

Always a great feeling to get things done.

- Alma, The Tablescaper