Saturday, December 8, 2007

I never wanted to be an electrician

I never wanted to be an electrician. But ranching and living in the middle of nowhere have a way of bringing out underdeveloped skills that one never knew one had. Certainly, it helps to have a highly skilled father just a phone call away and a cadre of orange-aproned experts at the Home Depot to offer their advice. So this week, I managed to fry the GFI outlet at the barn, into which the stock tank heater was plugged, via an extension cord running through buried conduit, which I was convinced I had installed properly...WRONG...the first time I dumped the tank to clean it, the water ran right into the conduit, flooding the connection between heater and extension cords. The heater no longer worked, the outlet no longer worked, but mercifully the temperature did not drop below 32 degrees and I had several days to figure all this out. I mustered the courage to attach the circuit tester to the wires, isolate the problem, go to Home Depot, purchase a new GFI outlet, and today I will replace the outlet and once again have a working stock tank heater...I another storm is moving in.

And if the planets align, the recaulking job I did yesterday will prove successful. New houses settle – it's a fact of life. Rather than panic at the wet spot on the garage floor adjacent to the master bathroom shower, I removed the old caulk and replaced it. In my younger days, this would have been cause to sell the house. As a mature adult, I have confronted the problem head-on and am feeling rather proud of myself.

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