Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'm living in the stone age.

I live in an old house (turn of the century) and it's great because it's rock solid and all that shit, but the plumbing and electrical systems are pretty weaksauce. Last week, we had a new water heater installed (well, landlord did, I didn't pay for shit) because the old one was leaking like a mofo.

We've always had trouble with power. Our distro in the basement is an old school screw-type fuse box and they blow all the fuckin time. A couple weeks ago, we had an electrical storm that knocked out our wireless router (fried the power adapter, it was the only thing that wasn't plugged into the surge protector). Ever since that storm, our power had gotten flakier.

That, coupled with the fact that one fuse controls the living room and dining room, meaning it has a saltwater aquarium pulling 750W, a plasma TV with a 800W sound system, an XBOX 360 as well as a window air conditioner and the beer fridge (fortunately, it hasn't been that hot lately, so we haven't been using the AC). Whenever the aquarium's pumps cycle, the lights flicker, same with when you turn on the TV or the fridge kicks on.

On Friday, my roommate turned on the xbox and it threw a RRoD, fuckin great. Luckily, the power supply was just being a bitch due to the terrible power and it worked after having a nap. The other night, we turned off the TV and the fuse popped. It's been a mess.

Well, the landlord showed up last night with some really old-ass electrician and determined that the entire box needs to be replaced (and probably upgraded to breakers). He wasn't comfortable putting two of the circuits back in action, so until we have some new electrical in the house, we don't have TV, Internet, video games, or any of that shit. The other fuse he deemed unstable handles the kitchen, so we have to run the fridge off an extension cord so our shit doesn't go bad.

It's a real mess. I guess the moral of the story is that 100 year old houses can't really handle the 1.21 gigawatts that three 26 year olds will tend to throw at it.
Then I got antifreeze in my mouth, but that's another entry for another time. Good times, indeed. Perhaps the worst part is that I don't have any cold beer to go home to, it's all warm.

2 comments:

James said...

Warm beer is better than no beer at all.

Tomas said...

Indeed, old house wiring can be frightening.

My parents house was an old craftsman style built in the early 1900s, and the wiring was all old knob and tube with a mix of blade fuses and Edison base screw-ins.

When they wanted to add some outlets (old houses have very few outlets), the electrician went up into the attic to check out the wiring (and of course I went with him).

When he touched one of the runs between rafters it snapped like uncooked spaghetti. The copper was so old and brittle it could barely support it's own weight.

Needless to say there were electricians crawling all over the house the next morning, and by the end of the week there was new wiring, new outlets, a new 200A breaker box, and new light switches throughout the house (I still miss those old 1900 vintage push-button switches, though).

It's a PITA to have power unavailable in parts of your house, Ian, but it is better to get it fixed than it is to wait for the fire...

Hopefully the fix won't be delayed for long.

Take care,
Tom

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