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MKR: Still the Beginning

March 24, 2008

See My Kitchen Renovation – The (Real) Beginning here.

We didn’t get far on Day 2, which coincided with the day before I had to leave for Boca which basically meant I was a hot mess already and did not need the added aggravation of packing and getting ready for a meeting in Florida sans power. But that’s what happens when you start poking around 68 year old structures; you find double ceilings and end up blowing your fuse box.

To be fair I did not lose power entirely. No, at the end of the day my fridge was still running along with two random wall outlets–one connected to my television and the other in my bedroom. So it’s not like I was cavemaning it.

Things started off mildly enough, the ‘rents came over along with my sister and her hubby (who is going to be doing my electrical work). We quickly got busy with priming, yes the super fun oil-based priming. Since last week it was the cabinets that got it, this week we needed to hit up the newly repaired doors and drawers. What a messy job. I took everything outside but in the cold and the wind, I kept freezing my ass off and getting wind-blown drop sheets and dead bugs stuck to the fresh paint. I was just glad it was just primer, no need for a perfect finish…yet.

As the cabinet doors basked in the cold sunlight, brother-in-law and I headed to Home Depot for a shopping spree of electrical paraphernalia. $150 worth of new outlets, switches, hoses and stuff came home with us and he promptly got started ripping out the old hardware.

“Flip the power off in the kitchen.” he yells.

I comply and flip the breaker we think controls power to the kitchen. A non-responsive electrical gauge proves my guess right and he proceeds to make the first switch. Out with the old dingy, yellowing outlet, in with the shiny, new white one. Enter: Mom. She needs the power back on to check out some of her paint-work. Breaker gets flipped back on. Work is checked. Exit: Mom.

“Flip the power off again.” yells my make-shift electrician.

Dad, beating me to the punch, flips half the breakers on the panel to the off position. More is better in Dad-World I guess. Another new piece of hardware goes in, this time the switch for the disposal. Ooooh, it’s so exciting!

“Let’s test it!” I exclaim.

Dad goes for the breaker and flips the lot of them, “on”. Funny thing happens this time: nothing. Breakers are flipped off and then on again…still nothing. We rush around to the other rooms, checking for signs of electricity. Just the TV, my alarm clock in the bedroom and the refrigerator. Nothing else. No lights, no phone charger, no disposal, nothing except those three outlets.

While there is still sunlight, I go and finish priming the doors and drawers. My mom and sister finish painting the interior of the cabinets the creamy white I picked out for them and the boys run to Home Depot for new fuses.

Thirty minutes later, the boys return crestfallen. Home Depot is closed. No new fuses. No power for Marci. I start freaking out about packing for my trip in the dark and usher the fam out of the house. My dad leaves me with an 80-foot extension cord to which I connect my one and only table lamp with my one of three working outlets. By 9pm, I have removed the shade from said table lamp and am walking around the house like Paul Revere. Well if Paul Revere had had a 60-watt bulb instead of a candle-lit lantern.

Having no power is not such a big deal when you are working at a resort in Boca Raton, FL for a week. But the boys were good to me and while I was gone took it upon themselves to do some research and made a closer inspection of the fuse box. They came to the conclusion that it was dead. (Joy.) There was power coming into the box, but aside from those three circuits, there was none coming out of it. And even more research found that these lovely 68-year old fuses are $45 a piece and come with a 60% failure rate.


Next up, Exactly How Long Does It Take For One To Get a New Box, Really?

(Betcha didn’t even know you could buy new ones, heh.)

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2008 8:29 pm

    Oh Marci, how did your box ever get older than you?

  2. AUA permalink
    March 25, 2008 2:00 pm

    Not performing scheduled maintenance?

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