Electricity freaks me out (it probably has something to do with my totally unnatural fear of spontaneous combustion) so whenever there is any electrical work being done at my house, my already high levels of neuroses tend to climb even higher. 

The work in question was cosmetic: simply replace several old, dark brown outlets and light switches with new ones that are shiny and white.  This is not a complicated process and truth be told, it doesn't actually require an electrician - just someone with a working knowledge of electricity. Fortunately for me The Angel's son, D, has more than a working knowledge of electricity (although he is not technically an electrician) and when I moved in a year ago he was kind enough to swap out about half of the ugly brown outlets and switches.  This was basically the second half and oh gee the timing couldn't be better since it's the half that's recently been redone.

Because no one has ever taken the time to label the breakers and indicate which areas of the house they are connected to, D and I had to start randomly flipping switches in order to power down the right rooms.  Flipped the first switch off. Nothing happened.  Flipped it back on.  Flipped the second switch off. Nothing happened. Flipped it back on.  Flipped the third switch off. Nothing happened. Flipped it back on. AND THEN HALF OF MY HOUSE WENT DARK. Yes flipping the switch off? Nothing. Flipping it back on? Every single light went black, every single ceiling fan stopped spinning and OMG THAT'S NOT HOW IT'S SUPPOSED TO WORK. And what's worse, no amount of switch flipping seemed to make things right.

Cue panic attack and massive melt down.

D assured me he could figure it out and while I tried to stay calm, he took out his drill and got to work on the breaker box and then he made a call and I paced around the house frantically because OMG nothing was working and then there was some tinkering and then the alarm powered off and an outlet in the living room stopped working but another outlet was still on and OMG the fridge isn't getting power and how did one flip of the switch knock out lights in 4 different rooms and who the fuck wires a house like this and OMG can we get it fixed and fuck me because I'll never find an electrician on a Sunday and FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS HOLY GIVE ME XANAX AND POWER NOW. 

Seriously? I brought neurotic to a whole other level.

Also? I noticed how dirty my ceiling fans are.  When they are constantly whirring you can't see the shit that builds up on the blades but when they are at a dead stop the six inches of dirt and hair that's accumulated becomes painfully obvious. So I set about cleaning all of my ceiling fans which proved to be a worthwhile distraction because finally, finally, finally D did something and suddenly lights were on and fans were spinning and I breathed a giant sigh of relief.

Of course I also asked about 100 questions - like why did this happen and will it happen again and what do I do to fix it, etc. - and D gave me half of an explanation which is basically that this house is a fossil and my breakers are fossils and something about pushing them in in to jiggle something and I then I sighed because really  - this is so not my thing. 

It took a little longer than expected but eventually we got 2 light switches and 3 outlets swapped out and in between I had to run to Lowe's because did you know that in any room where there is water like a kitchen or a bathroom you're really supposed to have the grounded outlets that have the test and reset buttons and I just had plain outlets (because that's what was originally installed) and those really weren't up to code so yeah - I had to go to Lowe's and spend $30 on new outlets - thirty freaking dollars - which hello? RIDICULOUS. Especially because as it turns out 2 of the 3 outlets don't even have ground wires - whatever that means.

But it's one more home improvement project checked off the home improvement to do list. Next up? Dealing with my ceiling which will be epic on account of the fact that my house is made of plaster and when plaster has been sitting around for a really long time it starts to crack. Either that or fixing my ghetto screen.

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3 Comments

Electricity freaks me out too. That shit can kill you, yo. We had a house wired like that too. They had the heat wired to the light switches right inside the door. They taped it in the "on" position and then covered it up. We called those people the Half-Asses because every type of home improvement/repair they did was done half-ass.

Oh your house is really old. A woman that moved here from away had ot have her's all rewired. The whole house was wired with the wrong kind of wires. It took a bit of time. It might not be a bad idea, to get an electrician in and rewire the place, that way when and if you sell? it's easier

Yeah, dude. I'm totally afraid of the dark, so that would be my own personal hell, but hey, you cleaned your ceiling fans. Mad props!

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