Kitchen Need Plug

Sunday | September 30th, 2012

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After MS & J left, I was fiddling with something and started working on another project. This one somehow got left off the list of Super Reno-guy (not to be confused with the dastardly, Reno-guy).

There aren’t any plugs near the kitchen counter. We could cobble something together with an extension cord to trip over and clang my head on a door jam in the middle of the night … or … or find another way. That other way was concocted when Reno-guy was doing his “work” and I was poking around trying to figure out if there was a way I could put a power line on the counter.

Above the range is a fan and light unit. It’s a pretty cool system where you pull a sliding tray outward, which triggers the overhead fan with the sliding out tray extending the filter coverage and sucking up as much burnt soup as one can make. This unit gets its power from a haphazard, precariously dangling electrical socket in the cabinet above. This space isn’t meant to be used, so maybe Son of Reno-guy didn’t care enough to make it pretty or safe. My solution was to run an extension cord from the extra socket here, down to the underside of the cabinets and then screw the sockets in there.

Somehow, while watching more Boardwalk Empire, the three-socket, switched extension cord laying on floor of my dirty, still un-unpacked room paid the ultimate price. When one wants to make sugar toast (thanks to all the healthy Chuseok food), one will do whatever it takes apparently.

Once the cord was cut, I was surprised to see the ground wire in there. I’ve been under the impression that the electrical system of Korea is without a ground for probably ten years. In the States, the ground is the third prong on a plug, but once I cut this puppy open (above left), it was clear that newer plugs use that funky metal strip, which I had thought was some kind of clip to hold the plugs in, is actually the ground. Doh!

Common sense told me that the green wire with the yellow stripe was the ground wire. But I didn’t want to take chances with a 220 system and I also wanted to know which sides the brown and blue wires went to. They should be interchangeable, but again, why mess with 220 and risk being wrong? I spent a good twenty minutes prying into the rubbery plastic with a variety of tools until it was possible to see where all the wires went (above right).

When the wires were sorted, the next step was to get the cut-off end with the sockets threaded behind the cabinets and coming out near the plug. I ran an untwisted hanger up behind the cabinets and out the hole without any problems, but the first time I tried to pull the orange rope through and bring up my electrical line I ran into resistance from somewhere. Rather than give it a good tug, I figured the cord was too fat and immediately went to plan B: drill a hole at an angle into the corner of the cabinet and thread the cord through there. This didn’t work at all and the holes in the picture above are an exemplification of the word impatience. I made a huge mess and only succeeded in drilling through the cabinets, through their supports, and into the cement wall behind them. I could have drilled all night and probably not had any success. I went back to plan A, rethreaded the rope and gave the cord a nice tug (above). It came right on through.

The plug-thingy was on another line to a light we aren’t using. I wouldn’t have thought to buy something like this otherwise for at least a few weeks. It took some doing and guessing and redoing to get the wires all done up right instead of the messed up way I was trying to put things together (above left). Fortunately, the design of the plug-thingy is wicked good and keyed so trying to smash it together and screw it up tight the way it is in the first picture didn’t work at all. The brown and blue wires need to go in the holes so they are inside the prongs, then they are screwed down. Brilliant. Idiot proof, too. Once that was settled, it went together crazy-easy (above middle) and plugged right in where it was envisioned to (above right).

Now we have three powered sockets in the kitchen that can be turned off.

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This Old Hanok



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