Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 9.4 In The Dark

It's the elephant in the house we can not ignore any longer.

But the elephant is tired of being ignored and has reared up on its hind legs and bellowed: We are currently without power to more than half the house. Have been since Saturday.

It's an old house. (Well, OK, it's not that old. It was built in 1949. But when we're talking original wiring, it's old.) There are precisely four breakers for 1200 square feet, not including the two separate breakers for the dryer and stove. I drew up a quick schematic of the outlets and overhead fixtures to show you what's working and what isn't.

Circle with X: overhead fixture
Box: electrical outlet.
Big Black Square in back entry: Electrical breaker box.
Red: in the dark
Green: A-OK.

Not shown:
The entire upstairs. It's in the dark.
The Basement: 1/2 is OK (the part under the green), 1/2 is in the dark (the part under the red).

Fortunately all the appliances (including the washer and dryer, computer, TV, etc) are connected to the green circuit, and the furnace is working.

Side note--It's a mystery to me, though, why there are four breakers--perhaps the furnace is one? But that would only account for three. The parts marked in green always go out when we have Christmas lights up--and given the heavy appliance load on it, it trips every so often--so I'm familiar with its breaker. (And believe me, all that is marked in green, truly is one circuit). Everything marked in red is obviously one circuit--and one breaker. So, just what are the other two?

We have known for ten years we need to re-wire the house--at the very least we should have upgraded the electrical panel by now. The house is no where near code--no outlets in the bathrooms (which, actually, is fine.) There are supposed to be outlets every sixteen inches in the kitchen--I have happily lived without those, too. What would be nice, though, is outlets in the hallways and another ceiling fixture in the stairwell. Oh--and maybe another two outlets in each bedroom. The basement, with only two overhead fixtures and two outlets could use a few more electrical service points!

But for the immediate future, all we need to do is replace a fuse. We cannot figure out how to do that. We took the panel off the breaker box, took one look at those thick, old, nasty wires and called an electrician. He's no longer doing residential, so we've a call out to another outfit. Let's hope they can help us right away! I can't take much more of this.

There's candle wax everywhere.

update at noon: the fellow we've been playing phone tag with is no longer doing residential work. The contact he gave us is booked solid for the next four to five weeks. But the contact that company gave us "may send a guy out this afternoon." I think my shoulders have dropped about 6 inches. Let's hope he can get here today.


smallcitybeth said...

Oick. Ack. I hope this gets fixed soon!!! This is bad. There's got to be someone out there that "does residential" -- good grief, there's enough "residential" around any given place to make it worthwhile, I would think.

Here's hopin'...

Alana in Canada said...

You know what province we're in, scb. This is one of the "down-sides" to a boom. Everyone, and I mean everyone is short staffed.

But we did get the house tidied up (and liveable again) and lots of dishes done. So, it's been a good day, right?

smallcitybeth said...

I hadn't thought about that downside to a boom. Good point.

smallcitybeth said...

Speaking of doing all those dishes, inquiring minds want to know -- when you finished the dishes, where did you put the dishcloth? ;)

(You'd asked on my Flickr where I got the thingy I put my dishcloth & towel on, I don't know if you saw the response -- it's one of the less expensive ones that Home Outfitters has.)

Alana in Canada said...

So NOW you tell me where you bought it? But maybe you did already and I just forgot, cause the husband and I spent an hour (or more) wandering around in HO looking for it.
We got one and returned it because it was just too big for space. It completely overwhelmed the new faucet and we couldn't have that! I got another one and it's holding my dishtowel now, but I'm not sure it's staying.
By the way, I left two different responses to your picture--one on your blog and one at flickr.

smallcitybeth said...

On one of my responses to one of your comments, maybe on the Flickr one? I left detailed instructions about where I found the towel rack dohickey. Sorry you missed the instructions. I shoulda emailed them to you. They're in the bathroom gadgets and doodahs section, (in our store, that's completely separate from the fancy dancy bathroom stuff at the front of the store, this part's tucked in back across from the rugs and drapes, it's in the back of the section where the suction-cup soap holders, and the clearance toothbrush cups, and the towel bars, and the hampers, are.) Mine is just plain and basic -- there's a better picture of the same gizmo (I bought two) in the bathroom pic that shows the rolled hand towels, on my Flickr.

john smith said...
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