[livejournal.com profile] madbodger's recent posting regarding GFI outlets reminded me of my own electrical adventure last night...

For some mysterious reason, the doorbell transformer quit working shortly after the electricians moved it to the new breaker panel. No prob, that's easy for me to fix... down to Home Despot, pick up new transformer, open breaker panel, pull wires aside, pull out old, swap in new, connect connect, done.

After this, I decided I wanted a bowl of ramen noodles, and for some reason I decided I wanted to prepare them on the stove rather than in the microwave... they boil better on the stove. Noodles, water, and chicken-flavored salt in a pan, put on stove, crank burner up to high, wander off to do some other things.

Several minutes later, "OMFG! The noodles must be boiling over by now!" Race over to the stove to see... nothing. Stove clock is flashing, burner is cold, wtf?

Check the breaker... breaker's fine. Check the manual, no there's no seekrit fuses inside the stove. Pull stove out, put meter on connection lugs... hmm, only *one* leg of the 220 is getting power? Back down to the breaker panel, open it up, start poking around...

...and one of the conductors pops right out of the stove breaker. Basically, the electricians had forgotten to secure one conductor. The only reason the stove worked until now is that it was sitting in the right spot. My doorbell work disturbed things and broke the connection.

It's all of two minutes' work to put the conductor back in and secure it properly, but out of paranoia I checked all the other breaker connections Just In Case.

Now admittedly they did a lot of work (filled 35 slots in a 40-breaker panel) but still... this could have been Bad. The unsecured wire could eventually have started arcing, which could in turn make things mighty toasty in the breaker panel...

It's nice to have Clue, but it's frustrating to have to use it to pick up after the guys who are supposed to do this for a living...

March 2015

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