Re: overwhelmed w/ electrical
What did you use in the Navy?
"Butt splices are a guaranteed point of failure and source of endless headache."
Only if they were made by someone who didn't know how to make them properly. If you use a good tool, good quality butts, and use them properly? They are 100% reliable and that's pretty much "forever". Use the "500 for $5!" set from the auto chains and use them sloppily, and they're land mines.
I'd also side with the chorus, that once you've found enough wire which has deteriorated from age or moisture, it doesn't pay to screw around trying to save one run here, one run there, measure and test and pull everything apart and put it back together again. It winds up being faster, cheaper, and more reliable to just replace it all because you know whatever hasn't failed, is going to. All the time and trouble to pull wiring runs and access panels winds up being more productive if you just get it all over with at the same time.
If you can.