My EE almost killed himself a week ago. And it began in December.
A month ago we found out that our dishwasher was leaking. It was a small leak that we discovered due to floor damage (boo floor damage). We called in a plumber to find the leak since it wasn’t obvious and we have no idea what we are doing when it comes to finding leaks behind walls and under floors.
The plumber poked and prodded around. He went into the crawl space and he cut into the back of our cabinets. In the investigation, he nicked a cable. The plumber tells my EE that it’s the cable to the garbage disposal switch. Naturally, my EE turned off the power to the garbage disposal. And a month later he had the time to fix that cable.
Last week I’m upstairs trying to get my 5 yr old to sleep when I get the following message.
My EE: Good news / bad news time. Good news is the garbage disposal works. The bad news is found this out by trying to cut a live wire…scared face Yay insulated tools!
My EE: The dining room sockets are no-workie.
My EE: I wanna buy an AC detector from Home Depot before I try that again.
My EE: Imma take a shower now.
Me: Yay. worried face
My EE: Yeah. It made a pretty good bang when I tried to cut the wire.
My EE: This means I was running the vacuum cleaner on bad wiring last week.
My EE: Or perhaps this is further south of the socket I was using
He cut a LIVE wire. My sarcastic comment doesn’t explain how I felt in that situation. I was shocked and scared. I wasn’t sure what to say and I did not hear the bang. It’s without saying that I was relieved that I did not go downstairs to find him dead on the floor. He maintains that he would not have died since he did not have both hands on the tool, that he might have been severely shocked. Maybe passed out. It was a ‘holy shit’ moment. (Also, I disagree. Death was probable).
I also think we should call some of my co-workers who ran wires through houses professionally before we proceed in fixing the dining room sockets.
The wire he cut, turns out, does not go to the garbage disposal. The garbage disposal was never in danger of electrical harm. We spent all of the holidays with guests thinking that it would be dangerous to use the garbage disposal.
Mind you, I grew up without a garbage disposal, so it’s not that big a deal, it was just a mild inconvenience that I will now tell you was a terrible inconvenience and our lives were so much harder without it.
And now the dining room sockets do not work. We have no idea why that wire that is located under the cabinet beside the kitchen sink connects to the dining room sockets. Here, let me draw you a diagram.
All of the lights and sockets in the kitchen, living room, hall, and bedroom work. None of the sockets in the dining room work. The breaker is closer to the dining room than the kitchen. I am confused, but that’s how it is.
Surprisingly, I can give you a before shot of the nicked wire. I had to send pictures to my EE while he was at the hardware store. Since I work with wiring, I could give an approximation to wire size.
And this is AFTER my EE tried to cut it.
You can see the black marks on the insulation where the electricity arced. He didn’t even cut completely through the wire. This is dangerous stuff.
Now we will hire someone to fix our floors and maybe with a bit of sweet-talking they will fix the wiring. Of course, my version of sweet-talking is to say please and beg. A lot. Also, I will pay them. Money helps.
Thank you for reading my post. If you have any thoughts or suggestions, please comment below. If you need advice on how to do “at home” wiring, please consult a professional. Click here for more “Adventures of an Electrical Engineer” stories.
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