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.


The switch needed fixing anyway.

Obligatory Picture

[The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades]

Obligatory Contact Info

Obligatory Feeds

Obligatory Links

Obligatory Miscellaneous

You have my permission to link freely to any entry here. Go ahead, I won't bite. I promise.

The dates are the permanent links to that day's entries (or entry, if there is only one entry). The titles are the permanent links to that entry only. The format for the links are simple: Start with the base link for this site:, then add the date you are interested in, say 2000/08/01, so that would make the final URL:

You can also specify the entire month by leaving off the day portion. You can even select an arbitrary portion of time.

You may also note subtle shading of the links and that's intentional: the “closer” the link is (relative to the page) the “brighter” it appears. It's an experiment in using color shading to denote the distance a link is from here. If you don't notice it, don't worry; it's not all that important.

It is assumed that every brand name, slogan, corporate name, symbol, design element, et cetera mentioned in these pages is a protected and/or trademarked entity, the sole property of its owner(s), and acknowledgement of this status is implied.

Copyright © 1999-2024 by Sean Conner. All Rights Reserved.