We are getting our bedroom painted and picking out the color was the easy part, we were just going to paint the walls and leave the doors and trim the same color, you noticed I said were didn’t you, now had we left the doors and trim the same color the brown wall switches and outlets would have matched, and so would the brown ceiling fan, you noticed I said would have matched didn’t you.
Now that my lovely wife decided that the doors and trim color had to be changed and picked a “Dove White” to cover the brown wooden doors, all the things mentioned above just don’t work anymore, well they all work just fine it is that the colors just don’t match anymore, so after a couple trips to the Home Improvement store I have just completed changing out all the outlets and switches without turning the power off or unintentionally curling my hair.
There have been times when I wasn’t as lucky; I once went to my Granddads house to change out the outlet that powered his refrigerator, I searched the fuse box until I found the one marked “Kitchen” and flipped the switch, the lights in the kitchen went off so I knew I was now safe, I unplugged the refrigerator and began the task of removing the outlet, yes about half way into removing the wires I got the shock of my life, literally I think my eyes popped out of my head and I said a whole string of words I didn’t know I knew to go along with a few new dance steps.
I regrouped and after inspecting the fuse box I decided that this plug was on the same wall as the living room, I flipped the proper switch and the living room was now dark, grabbing the outlet again and getting back to work I was soon speaking in tongues, shaking all over and dropping tools, I was ticked now so I threw the main switch and knew for sure I was absolutely safe, to which I soon found that I was absolutely wrong about this whole being safe fantasy, I still haven’t figured this one out but was told “Oh yeah I forgot to tell you about that” when I asked about the reason there was still power to that plug when the rest of the house was dark.
During a visit to California I went with Cindy’s Dad to a house they owned to help him with a few repairs, these repairs included changing out a few light fixtures, a couple outlets, and hanging a ceiling fan, my vast electrical experience told me that I could handle the job, the power was turned off and I was on a roll, changing outlets in record time, I just knew I would soon be hanging light fixtures like a professional and the ceiling fan would go just as quick as a flash, the power was turned back on and the switches were in the off position on the fixtures I was working with, the first one went like it was supposed to and worked great, you remember me mentioning quick as a flash, well the next one gave me a flash that traveled up my arms and caused me to speak those words I forgot I had known, yes I was off the ladder and flipping the switch marked for the room I was working on, I was beginning to remember the refrigerator plug incident and learned a couple new curse words when the memory flashed back into my mind during the ceiling fan install.
My next bit of electrical work came at our own house during the remodel before we moved to California, I said to heck with cutting the power, I decided to just pay extra close attention to where I placed my hands and watch where the wires were located, I did good for the most part and learned rather quickly that you can pop a breaker when you turn your head to look at your wife rather than keep your eyes on the wires when she asks you a question, the wide eyed look of fear on her face told me that I wasn’t the only one who saw that ball of fire in front of me, I don’t suggest turning off a breaker in this manner but I do suggest that you don’t go out to the breaker box to reset it only to mess up and pop it once again, just leave it off and hope that the electrical gremlins don’t throw you a little extra surge again just for laughs through a supposedly dead circuit.
I never claimed to be an electrician but have always enjoyed working on things around the house, just how hard can it be right…about as hard as the floor when you hit it, or as hard as your head when you decide to turn the power back on before the job is finished, heck I have even started working on wiring only to realize that the little spark bouncing off the side of my screwdriver is the answer to my question, “Did I turn the power off or not?”
Looking back I am beginning to think that next time I need any electrical work done, all I have to do is walk out to my shop and lock the doors because there are good electricians out there who know how to not do all of the things I have done, but yet I have done them already and it shouldn’t happen again, right… I do have a ceiling fan to hang yet.