September 7, 2005

Working on the electrical

Posted in Uncategorized at 12:00 am by dgcombs

I think every kid ought to see his dad (or his grampa) working on the wiring in hishouse. It’s an interesting concept. I remember when my dad rewired the electrical inthe back porch in our home on Fort Dodge Road in Kansas. The only thing we had forcompany was the Indianapolis 500 because that radio ran on batteries. We turned offthe electricity and pulled that funny stiff wire all around. I thought it was a prettycool thing to do. You could make light appear wherever you wanted!

Linda’s Basement Wiring

I was all ears when Linda told me that the washing machine was popping the breaker. Itried to find out which breaker, but she was frustrated. The wash had been sitting inthe washer half spun dry and now she had to do the load over. So I went to look. I wasnot surprised. The old refridgerator now shares the electrical outlet with the washer.But it’s just not that simple. There is a power strip plugged into the the singleoutlet behind the washer. In the power strip is the plug for the washer. Because therefridgerator is so far away, it has an extension cord which plugs in and goes to thepower strip. Another powerstrip plugs in and is on a board above the freezer. From thatpower strip two plugs go to the work bench to power a light and a grinder. OK, now I’minterested. I keep following wires around until I get dizzy.

So I head over to Home Depot and get two outlet boxes, outlets and 50 feet of that funnystiff wire. I check carefully and realize that the only breaker that will fit in myBryant (a division of Westinghouse) breaker box is a Honeywell. I’m happy. So I warneveryone. the power is going off in five minutes! Tyler was fascinated. Why? What willwe do? No TV, no clocks (except the one over the now non-functional microwave which runson batteries – the clock, not the microwave). So he asks me, “”How long will it take?””””oh, about half an hour,”” I guess. So I pull the breaker, and start stripping wire.After about fifteen minutes, Tyler has realized that electricity is an important thingto have in a house. His computer won’t compute. The Playstation won’t play! His Gameboyneeds charging! I hear a little voice in the dark basement, “”how much longer?”” I ama bit more confident now. “”Fifteen more minutes.”” I plug in the new breaker. I put onthe metal cover and flip the main breaker on. It pops off. Oops! not enough force. Ipush it one more time and yahoo! Power is restored. As quick as you can say “”Bob’syour uncle”” (whoever he is), I hear Tyler turning on the TV and heading to CartoonNetwork. and not a moment too soon!


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