Saturday, March 31, 2012

Good Thing I Don’t Often Cook Anymore, I Guess

A while back my garbage disposal stopped working.
In response, I tried the little “jambreaker” thing on the bottom and hit the reset button and it started working.
A while later, it stopped again.  Did the same thing, and it continued to work for a while.
Rinse and repeat, multiple times.
Finally, a few weeks ago, it refused to start working again despite my best efforts.
I wasn’t that concerned about it, except for the fact that it was causing the sink to drain very slowly.
So I decided to replace it, but, having a fear of electricity, and knowing that Scott had recent experience in garbage disposal repair, I asked for his assistance in replacing it sometime on one of our movie nights.
And so on Thursday on my way home from work I stopped at Home Depot and purchased a new disposal.
As an aside, I had the strangest retail experience ever in that the guy working there was trying very hard to get me to buy the cheapest, builder grade unit available, and would barely even acknowledge the existence of the more expensive units.
After he left, I ignored his insistence that I go cheap and bought the mid-priced one I was actually interested in getting even before I went there.
Shortly after I got home, Scott arrived much sooner than expected, and as I had mistimed the “future date” pizza delivery, we set to work on the replacement.
Amazingly, we found the correct circuit breaker on the first attempt, and despite a few struggles with the unwieldiness of the garbage disposal, we soon had it installed and up and running with relatively little trouble.  Naturally that made us both suspicious.
Sometime after Scott left for the evening, I noticed that there did appear to be a minor leak where the drain trap joined with the drain pipe.  I attempted to resolve this by tightening the fitting…which led to the fitting actually falling apart.
Still, it wasn’t a huge deal, as, being close to bedtime, I had no real need to use the kitchen sink before getting home from work the next day, at which point I had stopped at Home Depot again and bought the appropriate replacements, and was able to properly set up a watertight seal in the connection.
So, yay.
However, it’s worth noting that, after the installation of the new garbage disposal, I went out to the circuit breaker to turn the power to it back on, and I had, in not knowing which one Scott had shut off, inadvertently switched off the breaker for the electric range.  We soon corrected that error, and I don’t know if this is related or not, but this morning I noticed that the display for the range was completely blank and that it appeared to be completely without power.  No oven light, burners wouldn’t turn on, etc..
Tripping the breaker again, multiple times, made no difference.
As it stands, I no longer have a working oven, and I’m uncertain as to where the problem lies.  Is it the range itself, or is it a problem with the wiring of the circuit?
Because it’s a “drop-in” range sitting on a platform, I wasn’t sure how to slide it out to look behind it to find the outlet it’s plugged into.  Eventually I found where it was screwed into the countertop and was able to slide it out to see that it’s not actually plugged into an outlet, it’s actually hardwired via a junction box.
And now I’m stymied.  I have no way of testing whether or not the range itself is broken, as I can’t simply try plugging it into another outlet, and, as previously mentioned, I fear electricity, so I have no intention of messing with the wiring.
So what do I do?  Buy a new range, which I want to do anyway, as the current one is, per the handwritten note on the manual for it, over fifteen years old, only to find that I still have no power to it?  Call an electrician and find out that there are all kinds of other, insanely expensive problems* with my wiring that need to be addressed?
Do I use this as the impetus to finally get around to remodeling my kitchen, as I’ve wanted to do for several years now, but probably can’t afford to do?
I had been planning to see about having one of those Owens Corning sunrooms built onto my patio, which would address the concerns I have there with my leaking patio roof (which is a major concern tied to my house’s wiring, since all of the wires run into the house along a rafter attached to that leaking roof), but I wasn’t even sure if I could afford that.

*For example, whatever it is that led to the burned out outlet in the upstairs guest bathroom.

1 comment:

Merlin T Wizard said...

Yup, that sure is a pickle. I'd say do the remodel if you've got the money, otherwise, get out your multimeter and see if power is running to that wiring in the back of the oven. Barring that, an electrician would be my next choice. If it's a simple fix, it'll be cheaper than a new oven. If not, well, you're scrood.