Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I never wanna be an electrician.

Lemme get you up to speed. We sold our house. Buyers inspected. Inspector found something he didn't like. They wrote an Electrical Safety Authority sign-off into the offer. ESA comes and inspects. He finds defects. Over to us.

A total of 7 outlets were found to have open grounds and 3 outlets were loose. Both my step-dad (electrician) and the ESA guy said that unless I wanted to start tearing down walls and ceilings, all that needs to be done is to put GFCI outlets in instead and tighten the loose ones. Meh. I can fix that. I sourced the GFCIs from my step-dad. That saved me about $100. But I still had to do all the work.

NOW I understand why my step-dad drinks, smokes and swears as much as he does. I have never been so frustrated in my entire life. There were many times that the walls were in danger of  having pliers, a screwdriver or my fists slammed through them. Maybe a professional would have an easier time with it but I was not enjoying myself. At all. I think the worst thing about it was that in 3 weeks, I won't even live here anymore. All that hardship for the benefit of someone else. Now, doing something for the benefit of others is great for karma but any good karma generated was negated by the profusion of language spewing from my mouth all day. What caused such language you say? Well,......

I used to wonder why some places had plugs halfway up the wall. That's because it's a lot FUCKING easier to work on something at chest level than 2 inches off the floor. I spent the better part of 7 hours, sitting/squatting/kneeling/laying on the floor. Hardwood floor. WIth arms and legs contorted because I had to work 2 inches from the wall also.

5 of the 7 plugs were upstairs. Which means, every time I had to turn the breaker on or off, I had to go down 2 flights of stairs and back up 2 flights. I must have gone up and down 50 times. Add to that the fact that the breaker panel is labelled VERY SHITTILY makes finding the right one to turn off quite "interesting". And by "interesting" I mean pain in the FUCKING ass.

The difference between the outlets I was taking out and the ones I was putting in was this: on the old ones, the bolts/posts that the wire is wrapped around stayed out when screwed all the way out. On the new ones, the posts do NOT stay out. So I had to try and hold it out, hold the outlet steady, and wrap the wire around all at the same time. Last time I checked, I only had 2 hands. Oh, and keep a flashlight pointed in the right spot because when the power is turned off, it's not FUCKING bright enough!! While on my back pretzeled against the wall with my hands themselves blocking the light.

(Keep in mind that although my step-dad is an electrician, I never really stuck around home enough for him to teach me everything he knows. And he wasn't into the whole "Bring Your Child to Work Day" thing. I'm sure there was an easier way to do all this.)

The FUCKING asshat (who shall remains nameless) who rewired the house less than 5 years ago needs to go back to school. a) I shouldn't have had to do any of this work to begin with because he should have done it right the first time. i.e. If you can't remove all the knob and tube wiring, don't just leave it ungounded!! Put a FUCKING GFCI on it!! b) There are 2 posts on each side of the outlet. One set is for the power coming in and the other goes to another outlet. (wiring in sequence vs wiring in parallel)  As far as I know, they should match up. TWICE the wires were crossed. And because I am not a trained electrician, and the person who wired it originally was, I copied them. Guess what? It didn't FUCKING work! And what happened when I matched the wires up? It worked! Amazing!! Meanwhile it took me over a FUCKING hour to hook the goddamn wires up in the first place!!!! I don't even know how they were working before that. Must have been that regular outlets aren't as finicky as GFCIs. c) If there is a ground wire in the box, HOOK IT UP!! I found one outlet (the one my computer was plugged into no less) that came up ungrounded and when I took the plug out, the ground wire was neatly folded up sitting at the back of the box. It's not that it had come off the plug. No no. It was more than obvious it had never been hooked up. What the fuck, dude!!?

The loose boxes/plugs I cannot totally blame Sir Sucksalot for. It's an OLD house and some of the wood is a little soft.  So I can understand how it would loosen up over time. And some was panelling aswell. BUT! Sometimes when there are postions for 4 screws, 4 screws would probably hold better than the 2 that were solely used in every box I looked at. They're only screws. Don't be so cheap.

So, after 7 hours of back-breaking, knee bruising, leg muscle toning, fingertip destroying fucks, shits, cocksuckers, motherfuckers, for-the-love-of-gods, oh-come-ons and just-fucking-work-alreadys, I got everything I needed to done and came to the conclusion that I never want to be an electrician. That was probably one of the easiest things that electricians have to do and it made me want to stangle someone. And I'm a Buddhism practicing vegetarian. I need a fucking drink.