The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

That wasn't necessarily broken …

I figure it's time to fix the switch to the garbage disposal. A week ago I was using it when it stopped working. Even hand-cranking the unit wouldn't bring it back up and my first thought was the switch had gone. It's been pretty flakey for the past few years. I borrowed a voltage detection device from Rob and yes, it did appear that the switch was dead.

So the other night at Wal★Mart I picked up a new wall switch for the disposal (they had switches for 59¢ yet no pocket and tang folders (but Publix, a grocery store, had them). Yet when we went to Home Depot we couldn't find any to save our life. Sigh). And I finally remembered to do the fix during the day, when there's light.

So I shut down the computers since I have no clue which circuit breaker is which—they're all labels “General Lighting” like that helps any. Once the equipment was shut off, I go to the circuit breakers (fortunately, they're in the kitchen. Less fortunately they're in one of the cabinets. Nice location) and shut one off.

The lights in the kitchen go off. Good, I thought. I picked the right one. I then remove the face plate to the switch, and pull the switch out. I check it with the voltage detector and it lights up. Great, it's on another circuit.

Flip. Beep beep beep beep. Flip. Beep beep beep beep. Flip. Beep beep beep beep. Flip. Beep beep beep beep. Well darn! I'm out of breakers.

By this point, Rob had wandered out of his room, bleary eyed from just getting up. “Did we loose power?”

“No, I'm trying to fix the garbage disposal switch and I'm trying to locate the proper circuit.”

“Ah.” He then starts to wander back into his room.

“Oh wait! While you're up, could you look at something?” He used to do concert lighting in a previous life and tends to know more about electrical wiring than I do. He follows me into the kitchen. “This switch is still live.”

“It's usually on its own breaker—garbage disposals suck up a lot of power.” I go over to the circuit breaker panel and start rattling off other breakers. When I mentioned the dish washer, he said that was probably the one. It was.

I started replacing the switch when Rob called out, “Could you please turn the lights back on!”

“Oh, sorry,” I said, flipping the “General Lighting” switches back on. I then went back to replacing the switch. I got it installed, flipped the circuit back on, flipped the switch and … nothing.

Sigh.

The switch needed fixing anyway.

Obligatory Picture

[It's the most wonderful time of the year!]

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

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