Monday, January 2, 2017

All's Well That Ends Well

The title of this post pretty much gives away the plot, so if you're pressed for time here's the summary: the house did not catch fire (but it very well could have) and for the first time in nearly a month I simultaneously have heat, normal electricity, and awesome water pressure.

Never again will I take those things for granted.

Shortly after I wrote my last post, whilst sitting up late watching television with Louis Cat, I noticed it was a mite chilly in the house again. (This was about 3 a.m. Thursday morning the 29th.) The furnace had stopped working again. Since it was a transformer the time before, and since the electricity was all wonky in the house, I decided to unplug everything in the house except the refrigerator. Everything. All the appliances both big and small, and every single thing plugged into an outlet anywhere in the house. I don't know if this really had any practical effect, but it made me slightly less fearful that we'd have an electrical fire.

Then I sat awake in the cold and dark wearing three layers of clothing and a stocking cap and waited for the plumber to show up. He didn't. Instead, he sent an electrician who works for him. That guy said "fuck" three times in the first ten minutes and then told me, "Call KCP&L [our electric company] and get em over here right away. You should have 120 coming in on both sides. Instead you've got 145 on one side and 106 on the other." I don't fully understand that, but I know it's bad and dangerous.

KCP&L just happened to be around the corner on something totally unrelated and the guy showed up five minutes later. He took the cover off the meter on the side of the house, fiddled with it for about 30 seconds, then said, "Go turn on something big in the house, like your washer." I did. It worked. Turns out the neutral was almost completely loose from whatever it's supposed to be attached to. This has nothing to do with the plumbers, because they were nowhere near the outside meter. "You're all fixed up now!" he told me.

Well, not quite. The furnace still wasn't working. The HVAC guy came out later that afternoon and replaced the transformer he'd just installed on Christmas Eve. When I left for work Thursday night, the cats were huddled together on a register purring.

I feel like purring, myself. Calamitous house fire avoided, electrical repairs free of charge, relatively inexpensive HVAC bill, furnace working, and better water pressure than I've ever had.






7 comments:

  1. We had a weird electrical thing at this place years ago. Power would wane and spike, with fire shooting out of a kitchen outlet at one point. Emergency situation, to say the least. Electrician determined that there was a problem, but couldn't diagnose it. Called the power company. Everything was okay at the meter, but was it? Turns out that the problem was a deteriorated line between the meter and the panel box in the brick wall of our house, which had been installed decades ago without any sort of conduit. Electrician coordinated with power company to remove meter, huge power line was replaced (in conduit this time), everything was hooked back up, and power returned to normal.

    I just sat here, cat in my lap, and scrolled backward through time to catch up with you and the odyssey that is your house. I identify with every single sentiment and swear word! Our old houses are incredible, and infuriating. Happy house anniversary, sorry about the plumbing and electrical, and I am very, very glad that you share all of this with us!

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    1. Fire shooting out of a kitchen outlet--YIKES!! Incredible and infuriating about sums it up.

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  2. I'm so glad the fix is done and it didn't cost you a kidney and a second mortgage!

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  3. You have really had a run of (insert swears of your your choice) luck with your house lately, and I'm sorry; I can sympathize. We spent the summer fixing our roof, our foundation, and a rotting porch, and spent months in a nervous financial and emotional wreck. I raise the drink of your choice in your direction, and hope you and I both have a much less dramatic (at least in this way) 2017.

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    1. Drink raised right back to you too, Laura, and here's hoping we have only happy drama from here on out in 2017!!

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  4. On the other hand your electrical issue was easy to repair and all you lost was a furnace transformer - it could have fried just about anything electronic (TV, phone chargers, etc. etc.). So I'd say while you did have some bad luck, in the end you came out of it very well!

    I once witnessed a similar situation at my gran's and they lost all the sensitive electronics in the house! We first noticed because the fridge didn't want to start up and then (it was bright daylight) we turned on some lights and realised the bulbs went incredibly bright! That was on her side of the meter so no point in calling in the power company.

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