Tuesday, May 14, 2013

An Expensive Switch

When I got back from my last trip, the sink was full of dishes, and as I started clearing things out, water wasn’t draining. I flicked the switch for the disposal, and nothing happened.


I made do for a few hours, and then went the check the breakers. We have a dedicated circuit for the disposal and it was fine. I checked the two GFCI outlets in the kitchen, thinking one might be on the same circuit and closed. One was fine, the other outlet looked shot. It wouldn’t test or reset. Thinking that might be the issue, I went and bought a new outlet. Cost: $15.

That day I replaced it, using my handy, dandy, circuit tester. I am nervous about electricity and this ensures I don’t do anything stupid. Whether that means starting, or ending work.

Photo May 14, 4 47 09 PM

I got the outlet replaced, and as you can see, I did it correctly. I know have a GFCI that resets properly on the island. However that wasn’t an issue.

Perhaps it’s the disposal, I thought. It’s a standard plug, and I grabbed a strip from the workshop and plugged it in. Sure enough the disposal worked. At least I can do dishes.



I put my tester in there. No lights. Hmmm. At this point, I felt slightly stumped. Not sure what was wrong and not a lot of time to debug. I’d spent a few hours getting this far, and needed to do something.

Well, I didn’t need to. I actually went a week with my power strip running the disposal, hooking it up as needed before I called an electrician. He came over and in about 10 minutes he reported that my wall switch was bad.


I should have checked it, but it never occurred to me it would go bad. He replaced it, a $10 part, + the trip charge for $72.

I feel like an idiot, but I’m slightly buried at work and my focus isn’t there. Plus he’s a Scout parent, and I now know who I can call for electrical work.

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