Today, three of the more egregious electrical issues I've been putting up with at home for years were finally addressed. I am living proof that a person can learn to ignore pretty much any problem around the house.
The longest-running problem was the ceiling fan in our bedroom. When the motor started going out, it would periodically stop moving and refuse to start again without a little push. I could live with that, but when it developed a horrible, high-pitched squeak (think hamster wheel), I did the sensible thing and purchased a new fan.
Then that fan sat in its box in our bedroom. It sat and sat and sat. Do I know how to install a ceiling fan? Yes I do. Did that make any difference? No.
I have the receipt for the fan here. The purchase date was January 10, 2009. Procrastination: It's not just a hobby, it's a lifestyle.
Late last summer, I was lying in bed with the windows open and the attic fan on when I heard a loud "thump." The attic fan shut off and no amount of fiddling with the timer dial (which, incidentally, had never worked as a timer the entire time we'd lived in our house) would get it to turn back on.
I called our electrician to arrange to have him come out to repair the attic fan and install the ceiling fan. We had a little trouble finding a date and time that worked for both of us. I stopped calling him, he stopped calling me and we both forgot the whole thing until this week.
In the meantime, the ceiling light in our kitchen was getting wonky. It would be on and then randomly turn itself off. The switch was inoperable when that happened, although if you happened to graze the metal switchplate with your finger, the faint tingling feeling you experienced made it pretty obvious that there was a short somewhere.
So yes, it was completely ridiculous that we lived with so many electrical issues for such a long time. That's why, when the electrician called today at 5:00 p.m. to say he could head to my house right then, I didn't hesitate to shut my laptop, shove it in the bag and head out the door immediately.
It turned out that the attic fan had some bad wiring, which he fixed promptly. Because the timer didn't work anyway, he put in an on/off switch in its place, and that will serve us just fine. Incidentally, the person who installed the original timer switch had made a note of the 1969 date on the back of the switchplate at the time. No wonder the timer didn't work anymore.
The new bedroom ceiling fan is delightful, but the lights on it are so bright that it makes the room look even more hopelessly shabby and horrible than it did before. There is no way I'm letting this summer go by without renovating that room.
It took the electrician less than five minutes to swap out the kitchen light switch and now the switchplate doesn't carry a current anymore. That's something else I could have done myself, but by now you have a pretty good idea of my home improvement work ethic.
The charge was very minimal for all that work and now we'll get a lot more enjoyment out of the spring and summer weather, not to mention the joy of steady kitchen lighting.
Now I can concentrate my SEP field on the screen door that slams every time it's opened.
Photo credit: F Delventhal