Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Who Wired This Place?

Some of you have been to my place. I think it's a nice place. Great size, lots of windows. I was even impressed by the number of power outlets when I moved in. 4 pairs in the kitchen alone, plus two on the stove.

But from early on, I knew something was screwy.

Pretty much the entire time I've lived there, it's been with 2 plugs gone. One on the stove, and one (but not both) of a wall socket. They used to work, then one day, didn't. I assumed blown fuse, but couldn't find one. I lived with the minor inconvenience.

Then last night, after some rearrangement of small appliances, had the toaster oven and microwave going at the same time. Now, they are plugged into completely different outlets, on opposite sides of the doorway. There are other things plugged into the same outlets as well.

They turned off. Just the microwave and toaster oven. The other half of their respective plugs kept pumping out juice to my phone, router, modem, and cat fountain. So I went to the fuse box, flicked on the light in that closet... and nada. No light.

Huh? The light in the storage closet across the hall is on the same circuit as the bottom plug on one socket and the top plug on another? WTF?

I mean, I kind of understand separating circuits between dual sockets, since people tend to group appliances together. So you wouldn't want the mixer and the toaster on the same circuit... so you share two sockets on two circuits, minimizing the chance of a break.

But the storage closet light too? Maybe the bulb burnt out concurrently and I didn't realize... who knows?

So I go about checking the fuses. None of the usual screw-in ones were burnt or had a broken filament, but I took them out anyway in an attempt to figure out which went where (nobody labelled the diagaram properly, and the place is 26 years old). Some seemed to have no effect on anything. I wonder if my upstairs neighbour wondered why his lights were turning on and off. In the end... no change.

So then I moved to the cartridge fuses in the box. Pull out the first, pull the fuses and check them with a multimeter. They're fine. Repeat with the next. Fine.

Next cartridge... wait.. there's no handle on it. The plastic is broken. How the hell do I get this out now? Oh, there's a slot. Screwdriver in slot to pry out... plastic breaks. Well, I'm fucked now. Next cartridge.. no handle, but plastic is in one piece. Not going to try prying it out too. Next two have handles, but are the BIG cartridges, with double the ampage. I assume they're for the oven and fridge, and possibly the heating/cooling, and likely not my problem.

So I've got two (4) cartridge fuses that I can't get at. Anybody have a tip on how to pry those fuckers out without a handle? Alternately, anybody know a good electrician? It's high time I switched to breakers.

1 comment:

TenMile said...
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