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Speaking of burning it down...

June 28, 2009 11:38 PM 6/28/09

We got the window A/C unit installed today. It’s an 8k BTU unit made by Sharp that’s not too bad but a little loud when the fan is running. (The fan itself is loud not the compressor.) And we found out something new about our house.

The three bedrooms, the bathroom, AND the living room are all on the same circuit. Wheee!

I found this out when the A/C unit was running trying to cool the room to 77 and I kicked a page out of the LaserJet 8150N printer.


Me/Wife: “Crap.”

So I unplugged the empty fish tank (no fish in it at the moment) and reset the breaker and everything seems okay for the moment.

(I’m a geek and you expected me to unplug my B-Size laser printer? Riiiight.)

Anyway there are a ton of breakers in that box and only one of them blew so I’ve got to wonder what else is on those circuits. For instance the one that blew is only labeled as the three bedrooms.


This means more crawling under the house and running new wires - something I hadn’t planned to have to do this year.

It also means taking a panel out of the drywall beneath the breaker box so I can see where the wires are going into the crawl space. Not thrilled about that but it’s necessary.

(And before anybody gets on my case about licensed electricians I have a certification in electronics from the local college which included AC and DC wiring in the home. I also have 19+ years of wiring computer rooms that have to be inspected by fire marshals among other things. So I’m quite qualified to do the work. Permits on the other hand might have to be obtained. Depends on what they say needs a permit. I’ll have to check.)

However I’m not going to start any of this until we get back from vacation. In the meantime I’m going to leave the fish tank unplugged and power everything except the servers and wireless down when we go on vacation. I’ll probably even turn the laser printer off when I go to work tomorrow just to be careful.

Nice to know the breaker works though. ;-)

This also means that we’re going to have to be careful with the second A/C unit we’re picking up from my father tomorrow (via my sister’s house) and likely we’ll place that one on the library circuit that we know is separate. I just don’t know if it’s separate from the servers in the basement though.

There are at least 8 breakers in the box not counting the big 35A 220V one that runs the garage feed. If five rooms are on that circuit then I’ve got to wonder what the hell the other breakers are connected to. Maybe appliances. That would make sense.

If that’s the case then it’s going to be a little annoying trying to separate these circuits out. Not hard just annoying.

If it turns out we’re over the load of the box though I’m going to just pay an electrician to upgrade the box. The arial feeds in this neck of the woods are all 200A service anyway and if mine isn’t then ComEd has to replace it by law as it’s violating code.

Regardless I’m just going to plan now and see what materials and such cost before starting anything.

Wheee....the joys of owning an older home... ;-)

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 29th, 2009 09:15 am (UTC)
None of the breakers in this house are labeled, but I've found out by trial and error that one handles only the outlet for the refrigerator, and one handles only the stove (which is a gas stove with electric igniters). In addition, there are two extra breakers upstairs; one handles only the furnace (also gas, with electric water pumps), and the other handles both upstairs rooms. I have window A/C units in both rooms, plus all the computer equipment in one room. Twice, now, I've had to pester the landlord to get an electrician to come in when the power to the two rooms went out and it wasn't because the breaker tripped. (In each case, he found it was because a wire burned through at an outlet. Scary.) I couldn't run both A/C units at once without the lights going dim, and if I then turned on the laser printer... that's when the power would fail. This last time, I gave up and plugged the printer and the UPS into the outlet in the bathroom, which shares a circuit only with the lights in the bathroom and the hallway. Problem solved!
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
Yeah I might have to do something similar here until we get the circuits straightened out. Depends on how the one unit does in the library window this afternoon after I pick it up.

The current unit was set to 77 last night and _never_ shut off from what I can tell which means that it's working beyond its capacity. Hopefully having the second unit will fix that because I don't want the electric bill from these running 24x7.

Also I found out our brand new thermostat is brain dead and won't just run the fans like I want so I'll probably have to replace that or rig something up.

So far though without the fish tank it seems to be holding.
Jun. 30th, 2009 11:43 am (UTC)
You've got forced-hot-air heating with a central circulating fan, but not central A/C? Weird. The thermostat definitely ought to have a "fan only" setting.
Jun. 29th, 2009 10:14 pm (UTC)
If you want to label those breakers I suggest keeping an eye out for this:


I have one of the same model that cost me $14+shipping. Now I just need to make use of it more than casually. It's a very "analog" device which means it takes some finesse to use properly but it does work as advertised.

As for burning outlets I live in fear of those. It's the one thing I can't fight in the home - fire in the walls. Everything else I can do _something_ about.
Jun. 30th, 2009 11:50 am (UTC)
I'd love to have one of those gizmos, but I can't afford it (not even for $14). Instead, I just have to make an empirical note of what part of the house goes dark, and correlate it with which breaker is tripped. (And I only found out about the fridge because I've also got the answering machine plugged into that outlet, and the stove because it has an electric clock/timer display.) I ought to schedule some time when my husband is home and awake, and just trip each breaker in turn while he hollers "That's the spare room and the porch light," or whatever.
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:30 am (UTC)
*hugs* I've been fighting entropy house since I started this journal, so I know precisely what you mean about owning an older home. I HOPE to get the last major thing done before Christmas & then there's only 5 zillion minor things (plus constant yard maintenance in a sub-tropical climate -I'm now mowing every 7 days & it could usefully be oftener.)
Jun. 29th, 2009 11:57 am (UTC)
*nod* Thanks. Yeah I almost titled this post "When did I move into E-House?" ;-P

Seriously though I'm way behind in a lot of things. The Funk is not helping one bit but since the temps are supposed to be down for this week it looks like I might break ground on the fence today without a problem.

It's looking disturbingly like I will get the garden all set up and nothing but the existing tomatoes planted until next year. :-/

I did get a couple of pepper sprouts finally by putting the tray outside but I'm pretty sure it's only a couple and the rest are cottonwood seeds.
Jun. 29th, 2009 12:03 pm (UTC)
Sometimes it just doesn't pay to beat yourself up for not meeting schedules. You'll keep trying and suddenly one day, stuff will start working out smoothly.

I live in hope that the pool repair contract I signed Feb 20 will get fulfilled before Christmas==this Christmas with luck. :^) But it doesn't seem likely any work will happen on that any time soon as the weather is stuck in a daily thunderstorm mode.

Oh, well... on the brighter side, I made honey orange ice cream last night. MMMM...
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )



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