Saturday, November 8, 2008

Electricity. EEEEE-lectricity.

So, we had a pretty eventful week here in Washington Park. First and foremost, we (the community at large) helped make history on Tuesday. My voting experience was lovely. As I am used to crammed makeshift booths at the Department of Public Works or the local fire station, you can imagine my delight when I was informed that I would be casting my ballot at the Botanical Gardens in Roger Williams Park. I got there pretty late in the day, so I had no line to wait in. I passed by several folks on my way in and we all grinned widely at one another - like we knew. The path I walked on leading up to the building was softly lit and a few pine needles were strewn about. Wafts of lush florals gently greeted me at the threshold and I was immediately ushered into a large, glass room with trees lining the parameter. I voted, the machine sucked my ballot in and Jere and I went home and watched CNN until our new president-elect was announced. It was glorious!

This was all in the midst of a minor electrical crisis here at the homestead. On Saturday night, I cuddled up on the couch with a nice bowl of pasta, grabbed the remote to turn on the television when *zap* the television and everything else plugged into that receptacle went out. I noticed a little later that the ceiling fan and light in our bedroom had also been affected. All the breakers in the basement were fine, so I concluded that the receptacle needed to be replaced. My step dad gave me a quick tutorial in changing receptacles and I thought we were on our way. Nope. So, I figured - no problem, we'll get an electrician on Monday.

On Sunday evening, the heat stopped working.

Jere contacted an electrician on Monday morning and called me with updates throughout the course of the day. After searching the whole house (including the attic), he located the area where there was faulty wiring. He pulled it out of the wall (a large ball of wires that was warm to the touch) and told Jere that personally, he wouldn't be able to sleep at night had he done this. He claimed that it was a fire waiting to happen. Nice. He fixed the wiring.

They went into the basement to try to assess the heating problem. Jere and I forgot that you are supposed to fill the gas heater with water once a month. The electrician saw the lever and said, why is this up? He pulled it down and water rushed into the heater, causing the heat to turn on right away.

Except, he forgot to pull the lever back up. Jere called me at one point during the day and said, "You're not going to believe this ..." and went on to explain that the basement was covered in a half inch of water (soaps and everything are fine - thank heavens) and that one of the radiators upstairs had overflowed, forcing water down into the basement. I heard the "vrroooooooom" of the electrician's wet-vac in the background.

Long story, short, everything is okay. He came back the next day and replaced our circuit panel entirely (which we knew we had to do anyway) and put lightening rods in the ground outside to protect the meter. And now, Jere and I are safe and sound and that much wiser.

If only the pipes would stop knocking ....

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Blogger anna said...

Ahhhh...the joys of home ownership. But seriously, dude, that sucks!

November 9, 2008 at 3:16 PM  
Blogger Kim said...

Yeah, I guess you have to figure some things out the hard way.

November 10, 2008 at 9:44 AM  
Blogger bless_cyborgs said...

We almost burnt down the house due to having a faulty electrical box on the outside of the house. Everything was "buzzing" in the house. So freaky.

Glad you are OK and safe now!!

Oh and how about your magical voting experience! That's incredible!

November 10, 2008 at 6:07 PM  
Blogger JS said...

You take the golden 'AN'...

November 29, 2008 at 1:32 PM  

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