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Looks like a very cool project. How about you dispense with the idea of carpet altogether and get some alkyd paint in a color you like or more of the epoxy and add a couple handfuls of sand or purchase some sort of paint texture additive (same thing more or less) and paint the floor for a non-slick surface? If you regularly check Lowe's or HD, you can find mistinted paint cheaply. Sometimes you can even talk them into adding a bit more tint if it is an off color. I bought a gallon of alkyd paint once for a dollar.
 
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Fort Collins, CO
@Tony: Oh, that's a good idea. There aren't any down there right now. My understanding is that you only need one GFCI unit per breaker, is that correct (assuming you know)? If so, I'd be more than happy to replace one of the outlets with a GFCI outlet. I'll even replace them all if need be, that's probably something worth investing in. Better to be safe than sorry.

@pearldiver: Hmmmm, now that is something to consider for sure. One concern that comes to mind is resale value. We won't be living in this house forever and were planning on selling it down the road. One random patch of textured paint might be kind of a "WTF?" to potential buyers. But then, we were planning on putting carpet back in down there before selling anyway... Mmmm, this is a great idea indeed, and one I will certainly look into. Thanks! Oh, it will definitely have to be barefoot-friendly too since I am rarely caught indoors with anything on my feet. XD
 
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Far Away NY
@Tony: Oh, that's a good idea. There aren't any down there right now. My understanding is that you only need one GFCI unit per breaker, is that correct (assuming you know)? If so, I'd be more than happy to replace one of the outlets with a GFCI outlet. I'll even replace them all if need be, that's probably something worth investing in. Better to be safe than sorry.

Depending on how much you know about the wiring in the room, there are a few options. One is certainly to just replace each outlet with a GFI outlet. Kind of a pain though and shouldn't really be necessary. The GFI outlets allow you to either protect that single outlet or to wire a series of outlets into that single outlet and protect the whole string of outlets. Just need to read the wiring instructions that come with the outlet. The trick with that though is figuring out which is the first outlet coming from the breaker and making sure the rest of the outlets are wired to the same circuit from that initial outlet box.

My personal preferential choice however is to use GFI breakers. Much simpler and easier to deal with.
Most likely there is just one breaker supplying power to the outlets in the room. If that's the case then you can simply replace the breaker with a GFI breaker and everything on that circuit is protected.
 
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@Tony: I just looked up a GFCI breaker at Lowes: $40. Sounds like a worthy investment to me. I have limited experience with any electrical work, but I can't imagine replacing a non-GFCI breaker with a GFCI breaker can be very difficult. Would I be correct in assuming as much?

I just noticed the only GFCI breaker Lowes is showing me is not the same type of breaker currently in the box. I haven't opened it up yet to check the amperage or anything, but the one in the box has got two switches and the one Lowes is showing me only has one. Hmmm.

EDIT: Scratch the one-result issue on Lowes. Searching for "ground circuit interrupt breaker" produces many more results than just "gfci breaker".
 
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Far Away NY
Here is some good information on breaker types, models etc
breaker info from HD

Replacing them is not that hard no..once you get the correct breaker to match the one you are removing with respect to panel maker, amps etc. The ground fault breaker has an extra wire that gets hooked to the ground bar in the box. Other than that it is hooked up like a normal breaker.
 
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*starts reading*

Thank ya! I'm starting to think this thread may have to become its own entity and my picture thread will be separate. 'cause this is turning out to be pretty non-picturey, LOL! That's fine, though, I'll just see if Andy can't rename it for me. ^.^
 
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A picture is worth a 1000 words ;> so more pictures are in order!
Will keep an eye on the thread cuz I like projects! I am a big time DIYer and love to tinker with stuff. Any other questions just ask.
 
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Well, after reading that page, I've surmised that the breaker currently in the box is a twin breaker. Two switches that are not connected and therefore, I assume, do not share a breaking mechanism. The page, however, lists those under single-pole breakers and not double-pole breakers. The breaker says on it that it's a 2-pole breaker. It also says double-pole breakers typically occupy two slots, but the one in there right now only occupies one. The description, basically, matches that of a single-pole breaker (according to the HD page), but it says on it that it's a dual-pole breaker. It also has two wires coming out of it, if that means anything. o_O

Methinks I will just have to bring the breaker into Lowes with me and tell them I want to replace it with a GFCI breaker. Can I just cap the wires and flip the main breaker back on in safety? That way the house isn't without power for the who-knows-how-long I'm at Lowes. LOL. I'll be buying everything else I need for the project at the same time so I can 0%APR finance it all, yay. Speaking of the main breaker, is that the only safety precaution I need to take when removing the old breaker? Just turn the main breaker off, and I'm good?

Thanks again, Tony, all your advice and input is greatly appreciated and will, with any luck, be put to good use. XP
 
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Sounds like you have a duplex breaker.. 2 single pole breakers crammed into a slot that normally would fit one single pole breaker.
duplex breaker

They are independent of each other and not the same as a double pole breaker that has the two breaker switchs connected. They use those duplex breakers when they need more single pole breakers than the box can hold normally.

Is that what you have?

Turn off the main breaker. Remove the breaker from the box. Remove the black wire/s from the breaker and the breaker should be free (on a normal single pole breaker there will be a single black wire connecting to the breaker and that is all) There is no need to cap the wire that you remove from the side of the breaker (although if it makes you happy there is no harm in doing so). That is the wire that goes to the room circuit. Once you remove the breaker from the box there will be no power going to anything that was connected to it.
Put the main breaker back on.. go reset digital clocks etc hehe The main danger zone inside a breaker box is the metal plate that is behind the breakers and has the metal tabs sticking up.. that is what is connected to the power lines via the main breaker.

---------- Post added at 01:43 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:38 AM ----------

AHH I just saw the other part of your question!

Yes turn the main breaker off BUT and it's a big BUT.. The main power line is still HOT HOT HOT. Those the are the big honking cables that connect directly to the main breaker.. DOOOOOO NOOOOT touch!!
 
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Nope, that doesn't look like what I have... I'll run and get a quick picture.

Sorry it looks terrible, but here ya go:

2011-12-24_23-51-23_483.jpg


The particular breaker in question is the third from the bottom, but as you can see, they're all the same thing (not EVERY breaker, but all the ones in the picture).
 
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Huh.. can't say I seen them before. Single slot though so it's only 120v. Looks like 2 independent 15A circuits in a single slot breaker but in a different orientation instead of side by side. Single set screw for the hot wires.. odd. Are they separated electrically from each other? Have you tried flipping off one side vs the other and testing outlets and lights etc to see if they control different circuits in the room?

You are probably correct it might be simplest to take the breaker out and see if you can find a replacement that matches but is a GFI style instead. Might have to look for an electric supply store though for something like that.
 
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Well, after fiddling around with it, I discovered the breaker that was LABELED for the basement actually is for... well... nothing, as far as I can tell. O_O Flipped both switches off, went around the house, can't find ANYTHING that it affected. Soooo... no idea there. But I did find the switch that shuts the basement down. It's the same breaker that controls the garage, but the garage is on one switch and the basement is on the other switch, the entire basement controlled by the one switch on the breaker. Would probably be nice to have both on a GFCI breaker anyway, but it doesn't feel right that the garage is controled by the same breaker that controls the basement, which will be drawing a LOT of power with the greenhouse down there. That coupled with power tools and the shop lights in the garage sounds like a recipe for lots of tripped breakers to me, but maybe not since they're on separate switches. I don't know. LOL.

Another question, though. I assume the ground bar is where all those white wires come up and are screwed down in the bottom of the above picture, right?

I'm starting to wonder if this all will just necessitate the hiring of an electrician. When we bought the place, the inspector noted there were no GFCI outlets anywhere in the house - obviously a safety violation. So before we even moved in, an electrician came through and did his own inspection and installed a bunch of them throughout the house. Unfortunately, he didn't install any in the basement, which is required according to that HD page. Interesting...
 
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The fact that you could flip a switch and turn either the the basement or the garage off independently tells you they are not on the same breaker. Even though it looks like they are, it is really two independent breakers in the single unit. So power draw to the basement isn't affecting your ability to draw power to the garage. Looks like they are all 15A circuits so you can draw up to 15Amps in both the garage and the basement at the same time without tripping either one.

Yes the ground/neutral bar is where the white wires are connected. That is where your white wire from a GFI breaker would get connected.

I don't know all the codes on where a ground fault circuit would be required. It can vary from place to place so not sure I would take what HD has on their website as the final word.
 
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Well, here are the results of today's work. Just a few hours today (we had our Christmas today). I didn't end up getting a GFCI breaker, no luck there. I'll get it figured out in the next month or so. At least I got a giant power strip that is a surge protector.

Two racks magically made into three:
IMG_7915.JPG

IMG_7916.JPG


And that half of the greenhouse wrapped up in double layer mylar bubble wrap (hammer for scale):
IMG_7917.JPG

IMG_7918.JPG

IMG_7919.JPG



As Butch recommended in one of his threads, I used foil tape and, man, am I happy I did. You can honestly feel the quality in it. I can already tell it will stand up much better than regular duck (duct) tape. It's a little difficult to work with at times because of its rigidity and the paper you have to pull away from it, but it's very manageable in, say, three foot sections at a time. And if you peel the paper back as you go as opposed to all at once and then trying to place it.

All in all, I'm very happy with the direction this project is going. ^.^
 
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*whistles* Don't know about you.. but I can't wait to see it up and running.
 
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Yeah, dude, totally friggin' stoked. LOL. My collection isn't NEAR big enough for it, though, so I guess that's my next task. XD
 
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