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another disaster

lauram

By lauram

19 comments


A few months ago I wrote a blog about a major electrical problem I had. Well, it’s happened again. I’ve been sick with the flu, so on Wednesday morning I decided to turn up the heat a bit. No response – the heat didn’t kick on, no lights on the thermostat. So I wandered outside to look at the heat pump……as if I could figure out what was wrong with it and fix it. And I saw this:

The shut-off panel on the side of the house had literally burned up, and the siding had melted. Clearly the wire inside the wall had burned also. I shut off the circuit breaker and called the heating company. The heating guy came out and said it was an electrical problem, so an hour later an electrician came out. He walked around the side of the house, saw it and exclaimed, “Holy s**t!” He poked around a bit and determined that the heat pump had been incorrectly wired – they used the wrong size wire for the job, and that shut-off panel – which is supposed to have circuit breakers – only had an on/off switch. It’s been so cold this winter, and the heat pump has had to work so much harder, that it finally just blew. The electrician told me he had to fix the same problem for somebody else yesterday – faulty wiring caused her unit to just burn up.

This is now the second time that this house has narrowly escaped burning down due to the stupidity of the former owners. And it’s going to cost me a lot of money to have a new panel put in & everything rewired back to the main board. It’ll be fixed on Tuesday, but right now I’m living without heat except for space heaters. It’s so cold that I’m spending most of my time in bed, loaded up with cats for warmth. Sorry to vent, I’m just freezing and frustrated.

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Comments

 

very sorry to hear that, we all worry about the boiler breaking in the winter and it sounds as if you had a very narrow escape.
i hope they fix it very quickly. does insurance cover something like that?

7 Jan, 2011

 

No, it won't cover it. But I suppose I'm very lucky - just imagine how easily that could have turned into a real fire. Well, obviously it caught fire, but the fire stopped before it burned down the house. That panel - even though it wasn't and never has been up to code - at least shut the system off. My mom - always one to see the bright side - said, "I'm glad this happened. There was a problem, you didn't know it, and you found out about it before it did a huge amount of damage or killed you." Sometimes I feel like I'm cursed and other times I think an angel has her little hand on my shoulder, you know what I mean? The last electrical problem was major & I discovered it by accident; the house probably would have caught fire within a couple of days if I hadn't. This is a hundred year old pine farmhouse and it would be in ashes within 15 minutes if I had a fire. So yes, I'm lucky and I dodged a bullet.

7 Jan, 2011

 

Poor you Laura.....you have been very lucky that it wasnt worse.. Keep warm and snuggled up.......lol

7 Jan, 2011

 

Gosh you were lucky. At least once sorted you will be warm and safe. Stay in bed were you are warm.

7 Jan, 2011

 

What a worry and a lucky escape. perhaps having a look at everybodies summer photos will cheer you up :-) and dream of summer.

7 Jan, 2011

 

Good grief! You were very lucky indeed. Somebody has been watching over you....
I can understand your frustration at the previous owners.
In the first couple of months after we moved into our present house, we got fleas 3 times, were nearly electrocuted (loose and live ring main), blown up (gas leak), flooded out (leaking hot water tank and as we discovered after we had started to decorate, a leaking radiator pipe under the floor boards), dog or cat poo or possibly both under newly laid laminate flooring (it was like walking on a water bed down stairs as it didn't fit properly: that went into the skip and thats when we found the cat/dog mess), back garden covered in dog and cat mess (had to hire a skip so that I could remove the top layer of what was left of the grassed area, then apologised to neighbours as I had to use a 5ltr tin of Jeyes fluid in garden, on paths etc to sterilise and get rid of the smell), holes in downstairs walls that had been covered over with cladding which was stuck on with no more nails instead of tacked on, dried blood upstairs on the floor boards, stale urine in all the rooms, and evidence of mice in the kitchen, though they must have been suicidal to live in that place! Bear in mind that when we looked around before we bought it, we had to look around at night and couldn't go in the garden.
For a 5 bedroomed semi it only cost £77,750.00 and with 6 of us we needed the room.
Still, after 4 and a half years, we only have the bathroom to do, our bedroom and the computer room to do. And the block paving to the side. And the guttering.
And the outside of the house to paint agian as I dont like the colour now....

7 Jan, 2011

 

You're lucky it wasn't worse. Sometimes we have to count our blessings, but it's very frightening you were put in danger of your life. I'm glad you found it before it got any worse.
I hope you're coping the best you can until it's fixed.

8 Jan, 2011

 

I certainly sympathize, Geranium......after I moved in 4 years ago the roof began leaking immediately, cost $5,000 to fix. The roofer said it had been going on for a long time. All of the appliances had been picked apart & damaged, there were termites, and of course the electrical issues. I've had to sink so much money into this house but I think you had it worse than I did! I hope this is it, for a while anyway.

8 Jan, 2011

 

Lauram and GD you should both award yourselves a medal ~ for still smiling!

8 Jan, 2011

 

Lauram, you had a lucky escape alright! It looks horrid, but you and your house are still here, and that's what counts. Sorry to hear your tales of woe, Geraniumdad, but you got that house at a bargain price!

When we moved to Cornwall we had our family of 6 in a 2 bedroom cottage, til we built an extension and had 3 bedrooms. That's still not roomy, but it was cope-able with.

8 Jan, 2011

 

Now I don't know if it'll be repaired Tuesday as scheduled, since a significant amount of snow and ice is expected Sunday into Monday, & the roads will be a mess. Even a small amount of snow shuts everything down here, and if we get icing nobody's going anywhere. The cats, dogs and I will be fine, but I'll have to get my hatchling tortoises relocated into the garage where there's heat (a big propane heater....thankfully I had another hundred gallons delivered yesterday). I was just at the store - couldn't even buy potatoes or bread, people are in a panic and stripping the shelves - but I have plenty of tea, oranges and cereal so I won't starve. I just want my heat back!!!! No space in the garage for me, it's full of tortoises.

9 Jan, 2011

 

id like to see those baby tortoises ~ have you got a picture ~ please?

9 Jan, 2011

 

Oh Lauram! So sorry to hear the weather's adding to your problems. People here are just the same, panic buying loads of food if the weather looks as if it will snow, so there is a shortage for a while.
I'm pleased that you have plenty of propane so at least you and the tortoises will be warm enough, even if you are eating cereal and oranges for a while.

9 Jan, 2011

 

Sticki, I think I have a blog about the Burmese tortoise hatchlings from the summer. I had 70 or so eggs, 8 hatched but only 4 survived.
I haven't heard from my electrician....so I suppose, so far, tomorrow's repair will proceed as scheduled. I hope so, I'm freezing, sitting here with layers and a hat, drinking countless cups of tea and hot chocolate. It's 45 degrees F in here. I keep a space heater running in whatever room I'm in but it's still cold. My dog is refusing to go outside. All of Georgia is shut down.

10 Jan, 2011

 

just found your blog ~ arent they amazing ~ i had never seen them hatching before!
i do hope your heating gets fixed very soon ~ hope you are wrapped up in your quilt

10 Jan, 2011

 

Ah tortoises! I would be careful letting them out during the summer as you might not have much garden left....
We have one at work that flashes its 'thingy' at very inappropriate moments, bites when able and eats like a horse! Its a small cherry headed tortoise.

10 Jan, 2011

 

its a very naughty tortoise!

10 Jan, 2011

 

Its a pain in the rear!!

12 Jan, 2011

 

its a wonder its still alive in your garden!!!

12 Jan, 2011

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