Lockdown home improvement

Call it what you will, but spending 2+ months in the same 500 sq foot space definitely reminds you a lot about all the little projects you’ve meant to tackle around the house. In our case it’s some very minor, mostly cosmetic electrical work. The TV cable plate has been broken for some time and was improperly sized – it was a 4-port Quickport plate instead of just two that were actually needed and had cabling in the wall, another outlet needed to be covered up because it was too close to the kids play area and the plugin covers just don’t have the aesthetic (even if you can get a rather odd 38 of them to a pack). Finally that bathroom could really use a nightlight…

Let’s do these in order, so the network plate first. There were two terminals in use, the coax cable for TV and an RJ45 port for Internet service. The latter was in good shape, but the cable port was broken before we moved into this place. Helpfully Amazon is ready to ship anything we might need for this project: including an F-Type Quickport adapter, that is the coax cable and a 2-port plate. If you’re in a similar situation, but you need both, you can get this combination pack which also happens to be a great deal. We opted against it, though it was cheaper, just to get what was necessary. If you do get the combination pack, you will need a punchdown tool like this one from TRENDnet, unless you have it already. Once the pieces arrived it was a quick job to get this all connected an installed for a clean look. Another nice thing was this F-type right-angle adapter that made the cable stick closer to the wall.

Moving on to the nightlight, the bathroom already had a 2-gang box and plate used for the lights. We decided to consolidate the switches and to add a separate light. If your wall plate only has a single opening, there is single combination switch with an integrated light. To connect all this together we need wire nuts, the colorful twist tops you might already be familiar with. This one also appears to be UL-listed, which is quite important for safety and home insurance. There is however a nicer, more space-efficient solution from Wago. We used this 2-wire version for the light installation, but they have various sizes available and we ordered several.

Let’s not forget about that blank plate and some electrical tape for good measure, it’s certainly on topic for this list.

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