Monday, June 05, 2017

What more can go wrong?

When we returned from holidays the air con circuit had tripped. Also on that circuit is the four socket computer power point, and the computer was the first thing I turned on, rather than the air con as we were still hot from airport exertions. Odd, but all seemed ok. A few days later it tripped again. I reset it and all seemed ok. Fingers crossed, just one of those things.

This morning, Sunday, it tripped again and I reset it and it immediately tripped again, and again. What is causing it to trip? I want to watch the disaster happening in London on tv, but our heating is more important.

I isolated it to the air con. There is a separate switch on the air con unit to switch it off, which I did and reset the circuit again and it remained set. I switched on the air con switch and I saw a flash and heard a bang in the evaporation tray. What is that, I hear you not asking.

The air con unit sits in a steel tray. When it makes water, as air con units do, the water goes into the tray. When the water reaches a certain level an element like you would find in an old kettle comes on and steams the water away. This is where the flash came from, somewhere in the tray. There is an electric box attached to the tray where a power cord goes in and could I disconnect the tray electrics from the air con? I repeated as above with R watching and he spotted the flash as in the tray, not in the electric box. It looked like a plug to connect the box, as it had two tabs to pinch before either pulling or twisting the plug. I could not get it to do either. I took the cover off the box and there were wires and it was clear it was not a plug but just a crimping on the entering power cord.

Right, no plug, so I will disconnect the active power wire. My experience with electrical wiring ended in the 1980s, though I did install a couple of power points here, god knows how. What colour is the active wire, as opposed to the negative wire and the earth wire. The earth wire is always green or yellow and green. What a nightmare. The computer wasn't working of course, so I used my tablet to discover that Australia has many standards for wire colouring. So active is no longer red and non active no longer black. Right, brownish grey colour for active in such appliances. There is that wire! I unscrewed the screw on the wire, pulled out the wire and taped over the exposed part of the wire with insulating tape and put the cover back on the box, and turned the switch on and then the circuit breaker and all was well, except the evaporating tray has water in it that will not be steamed off.

We have heating. I changed the problem from an emergency to something we need an electrician for in the near future. The electrician will probably roll his eyes when he finds out what I did, maybe even tell me off, but I don't care. I hope the lovely Damien comes to fix it, he who installed our bedroom ceiling fans, some other electrical work, installed our very heavy oven and marked our new cupboards when his screwdriver slipped. We can't even find the mark now.

The bill from Mother's house rewiring arrived today. The written quote was $9,000. It came in $7,360. He did a first class job; a full house rewire, new power points and light switches, disconnected a dishwasher power point that has not been used for 20 years. The dishwasher stopped working and the door has not been opened for 20 years. Hehe, maybe there are still dishes in there. He replaced three exhaust fans, moved an outside light switch to inside and installed a wired in smoke detector. He moved the bathroom light from a wall to the ceiling. He cleaned up very well. Pakenham, Narre Warren, Berwick electrician Gary Romp. First class.

Though we were reluctant to spend the money, $1840 for each sibling to keep Mother in her home for a while yet is perhaps not money badly spent. $1840 each to keep Mother away from any of us is money well spent.

We then went out for a dim sim or two and coffee at South Melbourne Market and then took the car for a wash, drove to local park and dried it, vacuumed it and cleaned the windows and interior surfaces, and noticed that we had a scrape along the side at the back. Who knows where that happened. Maybe we will get it fixed, maybe not. It is not so noticeable. Scum person who did it. Note to self, always check the car for damage every time you park in a public space. I suspect the Prahran supermarket carpark, with its very tight parking spaces. The rest of Sunday was 'chilling', as the English say, an argument about my family, with roast lamb and vegies for dinner. I hoped to get out and take a couple of photos, but it was not to be.

27 comments:

  1. My electrical work does not extend beyond changing light globes.

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    1. Victor, the electrician will probably tell me I should do the same.

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  2. I am with Victor on the electrical front.
    Glad (and impressed) that you achieved a temporary solution though.
    The rewiring on your mother's house is impressive too. A job being completed for less than the quote is almost unheard of.

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    1. EC, he seemed like a very decent bloke. He was certainly concerned for Mother's welfare.

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  3. "We have heating". Just as well! Yesterday morning the temperature dropped to (? an all time low) of 5c. Bed was the only warm place in the entire state.

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    1. Hels, that was why I really wanted the heating working. We have two small electric heaters for emergency use, but they cost a fortune to run.

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  4. Sorry I'm with the rest of the gang. But have you thought of googling it...It been damp and rainy here so 2 blankets on the bed.
    Coffee is on

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    1. Dora, yes I did do some googling. Amazing what you can find. It should be becoming very warm for you.

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  5. I'm impressed that the electrician charged less than the quote. Hope your electrical troubles are sorted soon Andrew.

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    1. Sami, they will be sorted soon.....but at how many dollars?

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  6. It's worth doing a little jig now your mum's wiring is done. Amazing price was under the quote, but isn't that great!
    At least you didn't blow anything up with your wiring..

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    1. Truly Margaret, I do feel a bit like that. Ihave blown up at least one thing in the past.

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  7. You are very clever to figure a fix. My cooling is not working well. Last year it didn't either and it turned out the thing was under charged. It's a heat pump that takes cold out of the air to cool the house. So the guy says means there's a slow leak of coolant somewhere and since its a short ten or twelve feet from the heat pump to the furnace its leaking in that 12 feet somewhere. And now its leaked enough to be inefficient again. Oh well, so far summer weather is very unfortunately cool.

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    1. Strayer, I know full well you would have done the same. Yes, I saw your mention of air con not working, after all the to do last year.

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  8. I do not know a electrician but most guys I know know how to do small jobs is there a shortage of electricians, the beer fairy is not allowed to touch wires he is not very good with anything electrical.
    Merle...............

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    1. Merle, DIY electricians are dangerous folk with a little knowledge but not enough. I once cut through a live power cord to shorten a lead to an in wall air conditioner. Lucky we had the latest electric fuse box and the circuit tripped before I was deaded.

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  9. I'm glad you were able to do a temporary fix on the air con. there's nothing worse than being rugged up like an Eskimo and you probably don't have fur-lined suits anyway.
    Good to hear mother's house is once again habitable and for under the quoted price too!
    Keep an eye on that scrape, you don't want any rust getting started.

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    1. River, I don't even have a jumper. Winter outside for me is a jacket over a long sleeved shirt. I am quite pleased with the outcome of Mother's house. The car scrape is low priority at the moment.

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    2. Not even a jumper? I like winter but I still wear about ten layers when going out on a frosty day.

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  10. With all that electric fumble around it's a miracle that you are still alive, lol !

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    1. Gattina, doesn't Mr G do a bit of electrical tampering at times?

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  11. Kudos to you, Andrew, for having a basic knowledge of electrical workings. It would be like trying to read and speak a foreign language for me.
    You and your sibs are going above and beyond for your mom. Kudos again:)
    Have a great one.

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    1. Thanks Sandra. Too kind.

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  12. Blimey Andrew! Leave the electrics to the delectable Damien from now on.. I'll miss you too much if you fry yourself 😊 Was a good idea to get mum's electrics sorted, will add value to the house I imagine!

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    1. Grace, ad value to the house that will be bought by a developer, that is the woman who owns the house next door, and demolished. I spoke to Damien and he told me the best company to go to for service.

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  13. ugh, people who hit other peoples cars and don't own up/leave notes - I have a special place in hell reserved just for them!

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    1. Fen, I have never hit anyone's car, so I don't know how I would react. Someone hit our car in our carpark and he left a note, but he must have realised he would also be on cctv.

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