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Home & Garden > The House Electric

The House Electric

Sometimes you get lightning inside your house. That happened yesterday after the landlord installed a defective sump pump that began sending small explosions through the electrical system of the entire house. The first couple of booms and then buzzes happened when the landlord and his worker were both in the basement fiddling with or replacing one of the wall switches, and they didn’t even hear what I heard. I ran down and told them whatever they were doing was having disastrous effects upstairs. When I went back upstairs I could smell burning plastic.

My computer was powered down at that time, but accessories and the router/modem were still on. I shut down everything. They couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and eventually landlord said he’d call an electrician. (He and his brother earlier had tried to get their non-electrician worker to replace outlets, and he told me it zapped him and sparks flew. He then refused to do it.)They shut a couple of circuits off and left.

After they left, another small boom-flash happened, and the power blinked off for a moment. By this time I was yanking all electronics from the power and checking things.

The electric surges had burned out 4 surge protectors, 3 of them from one room. This was where the burned plastic smell came from.

Thankfully, my computer was safe because of the big backup battery/surge protector it’s plugged into. But now I want to get a 2nd to plug in the printer, other accessories, and the lamps and fan. These big UPS batteries are the only things that protect beyond one lightning strike or electrical event.

For some reason, the 8-outlet surge protectors I use for the TV were fine, still working and no burned smell. This was a surprise, because.. I don’t think I’ve ever put a photo of my TV cords up, but here is my shameful cord mess:

And this is after I removed 4 cables from the back of the TV a month or so ago. (I’m not the one originally responsible for setting this mess up; it was Mike, who wired up the TV with all these alien cables so he could edit video and do alien computer things only he knows how to do.) This is where trouble should have come calling, but it didn’t. I believe I’m going to get another backup battery thing and put it here. So that’s 2 I’ll need, but they don’t have to be so large; I think about 100 bucks will do it.

My landlord is replacing the 4 surge protectors. I plan to check the house again for any more burned out ones.

The house inspector comes again in a week. I hope I survive this sale. I’m not sure my vacuum cleaner will, however; this is the 2nd busted bag in a week of cleaning up bits of plaster, nails, and screws on floors. On the other hand, by cleaning up daily after the workers it’s not so arduous and makes me not so irritated at the mess they leave. (The garbage cans, however, remain a source of irritation. These men like to dump wood pieces, hardware, empty caulking tubes and crap into a bare can, including into my recycling bins. So I get to take each can and dump it out on the grass and paw through it with my hands and rebag it all. Fun. Even the local sewer inspector decided he could toss his broken metal tape measure — all bent up and extended — on TOP of my tied up garbage bags that were waiting for garbage day. What is that about? Does he think garbage men go up into everyone’s yards and gather loose trash?)

My complaining aside, my house hasn’t been this clean in a decade. I do like it.

posted on July 25, 2019 8:52 AM ()


I think I would have moved into a hotel after the first boom-flash.
comment by janett on Aug 15, 2019 8:43 PM ()
I'm not showing anyone our cord messes. We have several and, well, it ain't pretty!
comment by jerms on July 28, 2019 8:33 PM ()
It's really annoying when people in charge try to save on essentials and go with non professionals for important jobs. They could have done a lot of damage.
comment by tealstar on July 26, 2019 11:01 AM ()
These guys should have gotten an electrician. Your shameful cord mess is about like the one behind my computer. My grand daughter who lacks one year being an engineer is the only one who can figure it out. Good luck
and I feel your pain.
comment by elderjane on July 26, 2019 5:22 AM ()
It was an engineer who made a lot of that mess... I guess some are more organized than others.
reply by drmaus on July 26, 2019 9:52 AM ()
I go as wireless as I can!!
comment by greatmartin on July 25, 2019 7:26 PM ()
Ha ha, there is really no such thing as wireless, when the base of any device is wired. Bluetooth doesn't work for many of my things anyway.
reply by drmaus on July 26, 2019 9:51 AM ()
Spaghetti land behind the TV is a hoot. Lucky all that fiddling with the juice didn't fry the refrigerator.
comment by traveltales on July 25, 2019 12:31 PM ()
Yes, I didn't even think of that one. The biggest appliances were fine.
reply by drmaus on July 26, 2019 9:48 AM ()

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