Living Dangerously

Well looky what we have here!

What in the world was the electrician thinking when he put this in? What were the people in this house thinking when they said, “Here you go, Mr. Electrician. Your bill is paid. Thanks it looks great!”

 

OMG! The guy who wired this put the electrical on a piece of wood! A PIECE OF WOOD! Wood burns, people! Electrical stuff catches fire, people. What the heck! Look how this was put together. Dude and I just marveled at this for a long time. He was really stumped and wanted to figure out how this thing actually made it this far without being fried.

Oh wait, I have to back it up, because the whole reason we found this little gem is due to a new hot water tank that we had to buy (the existing one was super tiny and ancient). So the story here is that we couldn’t ever get hot water while we were working on the house (before we moved in). No matter what, we couldn’t get the old tank to work, so Dude and I went out and bought a new one a few days before moving in cuz there was no way in heck that I was going without hot water (I already did that and wrote about it, too).

Well, the day before the big move we were here trying to hook it up. It’s located in the garage, of all places. Dude was such a professional and the thing was ready to go in no time. Then the directions said to wait for the blinking green light to work and that’s when you know it’s good to go. Ok-Check. Then the directions said that it could take around 4 to 6 hours before hot water would miraculously appear. Ok-off we went to do some more work.

Around 5 hours later I decided to do the big test and went to the kitchen to turn on the hot water. I let that thing run for 10 minutes with no hot water to be found. So I did what I always do when something doesn’t work right, I called Dude and told him to fix it.

Back into the garage we went. Dude looked at it and said that the green light was blinking and the bottom of the tank was hot so it must be working. Really? Cuz I thought that meant hot water would come out of the tap! Yes, folks, I’m a smart ass, I admit it.

Dude took the cover off of the bottom of the tank and discovered that in the short time span of 5 hours, one of the wires touched the heating element on the bottom of the tank and shorted it out. What kind of idiots make a hot water tank that doesn’t put any protection on the wires and has it sitting snug next to the heating element? Give me a break! New hot water tank already busted.

Well, he managed to fix it and got the thing going again with the green blinking light. So now we had to wait a few more hours. It’s a good thing we had stuff to do.

I gave it around 2 more hours and went back to the kitchen to see if we now had hot water. Guess what??? It was a big “NOPE”. Ahhhh! This was super frustrating and all the while I’m looking at Dude to get this thing taken care of cuz I’m not doing without the comfort of a hot shower (especially when I just purchased a new hot water tank to ensure that).

That’s when we found the little gem that I mentioned a bit ago. Dude said that he didn’t think anything was wrong with the tank and that it must be something with the electrical. So we hunted around for the source and found our little piece of “junk on wood”. You should have seen the look on Dude’s face when he saw that. He was like, “What the hell is this?!” Then he proceeds to take of the cover to investigate (while the thing was live, I might add) and see if the problem lied there. I finally told him to shut the power down cuz I was freaking out.

So he gets on this kick about checking this piece of junk out and we kind of lost sight of why we were even investigating it. We were that dumbfounded. Dude kept talking about how this would be so illegal in the states and only an idiot would put a man-made electrical gadget like this on a piece of wood and to just look at the foam coming out of the top and the way the wires were (they had a black wire and a brown wire, but no blue wire which is a neutral). He just couldn’t stop going on and on about it. Luckily we were kind of laughing about it, too. It helped relieve the tension of the fact that we still didn’t have hot water and didn’t know why.

Finally after a full investigation, which included Dude getting out his tester to make sure it worked, he decided that all was well and it was working properly. He also came to the brilliant conclusion that he was going to have to change this Mickey Mouse set up that we had going. Like I’ve said before, it’s a good thing we have a house made of stone.

Finally after some more detective work, he followed some pipe around the garage to a valve. On a hunch he turned the valve on and voila, it magically gave us some hot water. Now this is not scalding hot water like I want, but it was hot none the less. I decided it was good enough for us to move in. It’s a good thing to cuz the next day we had to leave our rented apartment.

Dude still tells me he has no idea what the heck that contraption is on the wall. All he says it that it’s called, “Major Code Violation”. I guess the original owners were never investigated on the electrical in this place (either that or it was the owner’s brother who did the work and he didn’t care about lighting up his kin and passed it off as great).

In any case, that scary thing is still in the garage and we still have semi-hot water (I’m still waiting for scalding level). One of these days he’ll get to fixing it and I can be proud to boast a real professional job was done. For now, I’m just glad that we haven’t heard a pop and sizzle, cuz that would mean our “Major Code Violation” went bad. That in turn would mean no hot water for me and that in turn would be a major nightmare for Dude……

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About backyardprovence

I was finally able to realized my dream of living in France when I moved here in 2010. I love to read,I love history and road trips. I want to be doing anything outside in the fresh air. I want to have an entire room devoted to a personal library.

Posted on September 21, 2011, in The House of the Farmer and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Our hot water heater is the thing that given us the most problems at our home in Sablet. Hot water in the morning but not at night, sometimes no ho twater at all. We had the electrician out multiple times, sometimes in one week before he finally decided we had a bad thermostat on the hot water heater. Hey, so far so good. Of course, I could have bought a new hot water heater with what I paid the guy before he finally figured it out. I’m just glad he did because I don’t like taking cold showers, even when it is super hot outside. You are way more patient than I would ever be. You are lucky to have Dude to respond to your fix it orders.

    • Dude and I were just talking about this (due to my post) and he just said that maybe there is a mix-it valve somewhere that we haven’t found, yet. I guess we’ll be home tonight searching for it. The strange thing is that the apartment that is attached to the house has scalding water so I know it is available somewhere! Hope the water is hot for your guest this winter and your house! I’m like you, I hate cold showers even in the summer. I want a bit of warm water even then!

  2. Dude must be pulling his hair out with all of the work you are finding for him. I think the electrician was trying to create a work of art (but failed). Go for it Dude. Good luck

    • Dude actually has gotten a bit greyer since we bought this house! Believe me, there is so much to fix we will be doing some kind of work around there forever. He keeps telling me “If we would have bought a new house….” and my response it, ‘I didn’t move to France for a new house, I could have gotten that in the states. Just fix this one!”. He says I’m a pain in the butt. I do agree with him, but I am there everyday helping to fix it up. I haven’t left him to do all the work so I guess I get some points for that 🙂

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