Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The money comes in, the money goes back out

First up, a bit of Buster news.  He's back from the vet and the limp is gone.  We kept him inside for a day because we were afraid he'd run off if we let him out and we wanted to make sure we could medicate him and his limp had healed.  He was really not happy about being locked in a room for a day.  We let him out today and 2 minutes later he came back inside.  And we've let him out again and he's been out most of the day.  But I called for him this evening so I could give him meds and he came running.  He's so awesome.

But the real drama has been the electrics in the house. 

Yesterday we finally got the electrician here to do a consultation about upgrading my pottery studio.  The studio electrics are a luxury in our household.  Because it's not my primary living, it's been low on the priority list.  But we finally got the money together and decided to go for it.

While the electrician was here, we discovered that the electricity for the whole house is in the process of blowing up.  Now before you cry shenanigans, I watched him the entire time he was here.  He didn't even lift a screwdriver or flip any switches.  He did nothing that could have possibly sabatoged things.  We talked, that's all.  He was referring to the main power box to the house and gave it a little tap, and all the electricity in the house blinked.  Now I know the tap didn't do anything, because I tap even harder when I flip the circuit to turn off the power going to the kiln.

So the next two hours were spent kneeling at the box.  He'd touch the breaker and we'd listen to it buzz and a few sparks would fly while the house power blinked.

The wiring in the house is really old and has been jerry rigged numerous times prior to our purchasing the house so I'm not very surprised.  That's why I've been so paranoid about getting an electrician in to check out the studio before even plugging in a space heater.  Well, since the last time we got the electrics inspected, we've added an industrial size treadmill and a big ole freezer to the load.  So by increasing the load so dramatically, we've pretty much blown the circuit.

What's also odd is that there are actually 2 breakers bringing power into the house.  One of them is being pretty reliable while the other is completely burned out.

So now we're in emergency mode.  He patched the power as best he could and we lightened the power load in the house by unplugging the large freezer and all sorts of other things so it would be safe overnight.

The primary electrician came out to check on it today.  We're going to have to get the power company involved, take out permits, have the state inspect the work, blah blah blah.  We're looking at $2,200 just to fix the emergency stuff and probably another $1,500 to upgrade the studio.  As much as it hurts to do so, we're going to go ahead and do both.

So at the moment, half of our house has power and we have extension cords running all over the place so we can have tv, my computer, and a few lights.  The power company says it's going to be about a week before they can get someone out here but the electrician is trying to light a fire under them and speed up the process.  We may be without power completely for a few days.  When they are able to start work, the power company has to shut off power to the house completely and they won't be allowed to turn it back on until the state can come out and do an inspection of the work.  The electrician is doing his best to get everybody streamlined so hopefully it will just be about one work day but we'll see how that goes.

So the bad is that we're looking at spending an unexpected $4k.  So much for our vacation in the spring!  But here's the good things - if the electricity in your house is going to blow up, you really want it to happen when the electrician happens to be standing there watching it happen.  And because he was right there when it happened, he was able to secure things enough to prevent a fire hazard that might have otherwise killed us.  And my parents were very generous with Christmas this year.  They know what grown-up kids want, cash.  So usually this kind of thing would completely wipe us out and put us into debt, but at the moment, we have enough to cover it.  Also good, while we've got this sudden emergency expense, my husband is wonderful and even though he's as frugal as the day is long, he's decided we should also invest in the studio at the same time even though it's a luxury.  So I'll be getting my upgrade.

That's the drama around here.  Oh yeah, it's fun.

1 comment:

The Snarky Stalker said...

When it rains, it pours! I've noticed in my life, nothing happens little, we always have to go big. At least you're able to think positive about it and you're getting an upgrade. Good luck!