Another hole in the wall.

February 27th, 2009 by Chris

In the continuing saga of “What were they thinking when they did that?” we’ve discovered another interesting construction artifact in our house. Let’s back up a little.

A few days back K announced that she was fed up with the paint in the master bath and that it had to go. “I’m painting the bathroom!” she said with that just-dare-to-defy-me-this-fundamental-right tone.
“Ok” I said.[1]

So yesterday after work she informed me that my responsibilities in this effort were to:

  1. Remove the toilet tank so she could paint behind it, and
  2. Remove the mirror so she could paint the edges behind it.

No sweat. So this morning (as I decided to take a day off to spend with the fam), I quickly remove the toilet tank. [2]
Now time for the mirror…. well, I better remove the light fixture too, I think, otherwise what’s the point. It’s a box style with four individual protruding sconces. There are two screws on top which hold the front panel (and the lights) to the cheezy[3] sheet metal box mounted to the wall. K flips the breaker and I detach it… and the metal box for ultimate painting convenience.

Now for the mirror… it’s simply a rectangular piece of silvered glass with two metal supports on the bottom and two plastic supports on top. Turn the two plastic supports, tip the glass away from the wall and I’m golden. K helps spot me through the door as it’s surprisingly disorienting to be looking into a mirror as you maneuver through a confined space.

We walk back in the room and… there is another random hole in the wall behind the mirror. Wha?!

The hole is the size that might be made with a large fist or medium size sledge. Neatly visible in the hole is the wiring for the light fixture and the side of the stud. Weird. So what, they lost the cable and decided to punch a hole in the wall to retrieve it? “Who cares? It’ll be behind the mirror!” The current obnoxious glossy navy blue paint was clearly applied AFTER the hole was made… Who just rolls the paint right over a 4 inch hole in the wall? I turned to K and said “Well, at least we know mice weren’t getting into the house through THAT hole. If they can chew through the mirror than we’ll move out and let them have the house.”

Thankfully, I’m actually pretty good at drywall repair so I cut the hole out square and size a piece of green board to fit there. With the stud exposed, there was no problem making the mechanical connection. As I was fitting the new piece I noticed that there were actually TWO wires in the hole… (another) huh? So I tug on one gently and the electrical box for the lighting flexes. “Ok, so that’s the lights” I think, but then I tug on the other one and it moves easily. I pull the loose end and find in my hand the cut off end of a piece of 3-conductor wire. The other end disappears into the hole firmly connected to something else in the house. I tested the conductors with the circuit restored… nothing. I flip all the switches in the bathroom… nothing. OK… whatever.
So I punch out another hole in the electrical box, run the seemingly useless cable to it and tighten down the strap. At least now if I figure out where it goes some day I’ll be able to get to it…

without punching a hole in the wall.

  1. It hasn’t been almost 12 years of marriage for nothing. []
  2. It is handily mounted with wing-nuts, brass and rubber washers as I refit hardware a year or so ago. []
  3. yes with a Z []

3 Responses to “Another hole in the wall.”

  1. Bill Ruhsam Says:

    Yay home repair! At least you didn’t get sucked into a time/space vortex. You never know with those things you find behind walls of houses…

  2. Marion Says:

    (cue Pink Floyd music here)

    Ahhh, the joys of home ownership!!!

  3. Heidi Says:

    Yeah, I would’ve had time/space vortex concerns as well … something from a horror movie, perhaps. Now I’d be looking askance at everything mounted on the wall that’s been unmoved since moving to the house … “Is there another hole behind *that*?”