Sparks Fly (Literally)

Sparks Fly (Literally)
Photo by Carlos / Unsplash

That was one busy Sunday for me. I'm sorry for posting late, and on a Monday, at 12am in the morning. But hey, it's better late than never, am I right.

So, last weekend, I had a lot of stuff to do. I was crammed with my physics project, my Prezi presentation for English, I had to download the background music for the Live News Reporting competition (in which my friend, Mariah, is going to report in), I also had to print my research on the purposes of a sales letter, and make a summary of this story and turn it into a PowerPoint presentation.

The task that took the most time was my physics project. I was supposed to make a circuit connection for physics using 2 bulbs. I could've used batteries instead of using a plug and a wall outlet (which was much more dangerous than I thought), but I wanted to use a plug and an outlet, with the 2 light bulbs—just to be different from everybody else.

As it turns out, I wasn't that good of an electrician as I thought I would. I screwed the copper wires into the plug and the outlet and, to my surprise, it worked. I felt relieved when the light on my charger lit up, indicating that it was getting energy from the flimsy outlet that I bought.

On my next attempt, I was going to add a switch, just to control the flow of electricity to the bulbs and to the outlet. And so, I went to a store (which was far away) and I bought one incandescent light bulb, two sockets (for the light bulbs), and one switch. After getting home, I realized I only had one incandescent light bulb instead of two. I was shocked and I was somewhat annoyed when the lady at the store gave me two sockets and only one light bulb. Nevertheless, I continued on and I planned to come back to the store and buy another bulb.

I used a plug, that I had bought on Saturday from another, more shady store, and I found out that it didn't have any screws on the plugs. "How am I going to attach the copper wires now?" I asked myself. So, I used a plug (which was bought from the same shady store) and took the screws from it. After connecting and screwing back the copper wires and everything into place, the next task for me was to connect the switch.

I had difficulty taking the switch apart and blah, blah, blah. Long story short, I destroyed the switch when I opened it and I didn't know where each part was originally placed. I didn't care and I just tried to figure it out myself and connected the screws and copper writes into place.

I closed up the switch, plugged it in the wall socket, and then, BAM! Sparks flew like it was the 4th of July again. I was shocked to death, I thought my index finger came off because of the sparks. Thank God there wasn't anything else plugged to the wall outlet and that I was alone and nothing was using any of the wall outlets in the living room.

The plugs were burnt to a crisp, but it was great to see that the screws were still intact, just the ends of the plugs were horrifically burnt. I had to use the new plugs (the ones that didn't have screws) and I just recycled the old screws. After a few moments connecting copper wires and tightening screws, I was ready for the wall outlet test again.

Also, the wires from the plug to the switch were burnt, so I had to use another pair of copper wires I had bought on Saturday from the shady store.

This time, things turned out differently.

white and black electric wires
Photo by Nguyen Dang Hoang Nhu / Unsplash

When I inserted the plug into the wall outlet—you guessed it—SPARKS FLEW AGAIN! This time, giving me a short electrical shock and burning the inside of the switch itself, also making the new wiring from the plug to the switch very hot. The metal plugs were burnt, but the screws were intact, surprisingly again.

At this point, I had almost given up. I had a short break and went to the store to buy an incandescent light bulb and a new plug. After coming home from an exhausting trip, I decided to not include a switch anymore, since it was a stupid idea in the first place anyway and I just went through with the project and connecting the sockets of the light bulbs. I connected the first socket to a part of the wiring that I had made and I connected the plug.

For the last time, I was ready for the wall outlet (yet again).

I figured that I "screwed up" with something, so I decided to use safety precautions. I got the 4-plug outlet with a switch that I use in my room and I plugged the incandescent bulb and the outlet there. I turned off the switch from my outlet and plugged it in the wall outlet. I wore a motorcycle helmet, my jacket, my Adidas rubber shoes in my hands, and I was ready to go.

My hand (which was inside my shoe) pressed the switch and I heard a silent popping sound. But, to my surprise, nothing exploded and the light bulb worked fine. At that point, my other family members saw me doing my project and my aunt helped me out with the rest. I did most of the work, she just fixed it up and tied up all the loose copper ends, in the wiring, of course.

I got an 1/2 illustration board—which was too big so we had to cut it in half—and plugged in the rest. At that point, everything was working perfectly and I was able to use the outlet and run a few tests. It did work on all of the wall outlets in the house and I was happy to say that my project in physics was complete.

Welp, that was my Sunday. Thanks for reading, I guess.