Can You Turn on Your Attic Lights From Your Toilet?

12:28 PM Katy 10 Comments

It took months after I moved in here to figure out the electrical system. For a while, we had no lights. Like, when it got dark, we were using flashlights.

That is because prior to the pipe bursting/flooding/ServePro events, this house was completely run with a system called "X 10".  No electrician I've talked to has ever heard of entire house like this being outfitted with X 10.
Basically, every single switch on the walls is capable of being programmed to operate ANY light fixture/fan ANYWHERE else in the house. Does this make sense? So if you are sitting on the toilet (where there is a cable modem installed - weird) you could throw the switch on the wall and turn the lights on in the kitchen.

Or, if you're in the kitchen, you could turn on the bedroom lights in one of the guest rooms.

Did I mention the man who built this house was a Lunatic?

So for a while, when we first started trying to re-program all the switches and organize everything properly, I would be in my closet getting dressed and the lights would go out.

Routinely I would yell at the kids to turn off lights and they would say "but we did! we swear!!" And sometimes the portico lights outside or the attic lights would come on, and we would try to figure out WHO had touched a switch and WHERE in the last 30 minutes. !?

It's like playing Clue, except if you guess the right relay, you still might not be able to make it work.

PC has programmed the foyer/kitchen/bedroom lights to the correct switches, but we are only about 70% of the way done.

Part of me finds this entertaining, because I bet Bob Vila never did any of THIS crap on tv

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10 comments:

  1. Those things you are calling random cable modems? are all over my house...we have old fashioned land line and cordless telephones plugged in them?...the previous owners had the house built and wired for telephones(including 2 outlets for 2 telephone lines in every bathroom next to the toilet) and in every other room b/c they had a huge/prosperous 'in home' business before cordless phones and/or cell phones? They obviously didn't want to miss an important call due to nature 'calls'...:)) not sure if that is what you have, but they look almost identical from your picture...surely enjoy your ventures with your 'drill'...

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    1. oh, that is a good guess! we have different sizes, PC told me some were for old computer modems and some were telephone, but we also have LOADS of cameras wired all over every room in the house (and all over the exterior), plus the 9' satellite dish in the attic... this guy was wired for a lunar landing and armed home invasion. :/

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  2. I was just reading about x10 systems for the first time today as I was researching home automation. But, I really don't want the individual wireless bulbs they have now, I just was that camera that shows who is ringing the doorbell so I quit running across the house for random package depositors.

    We have lots of light switches we are unsure about. We haven't figured out what they go to, or if the thing they go to works or not.

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    1. aren't these kinds of houses fun? ;) we have a camera on the front stoop, but I don't know how to make it work so that is another job for PC. although we have about 50 cameras to remove first.

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  3. I used to be able to turn on my daughter's bedroom lights beside the downstairs kitchen sink. Still can't figure out that routing connecting other than the rooms are directly above each other on separate floors.

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    1. hahaha that's nice, all I remember from college is basic circuits, so I decided to leave all this mess to PC. sometimes things just aren't worth the energy to try and figure it out.

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  4. Seriously, you should apply to HGTV to give you a show, I would totally watch the many adventures of this insane house.....

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    1. forget hgtv - if Bob Vila called me I might consider it!!

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  5. I have never heard of this. Sounds almost futuristic and Sci-Fi like. Kind of a cool challenge you have ahead Katy.

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  6. So have you found the panic room yet?

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