Since moving into our new place, I’ve noticed a lot has been wrong with our electricity. It’s something I noticed the first week we moved in, but I haven’t really had time to have someone come in and take a look at it.
Today, I managed to get an electrician in to give me a diagnostic.
Let me give you a rundown of everything that’s been going on.
When we first bought this place, the seller didn’t tell us that elements on the stove don’t work. More specifically, one of the large elements doesn’t turn on and the two smaller ones don’t heat up to the temperature they’re supposed to. Another issue, although I don’t know if it’s relevant, is that the oven takes about an hour to preheat to 425°F and even while on convection it takes about 45-minutes. The other thing we weren’t told is that the microwave doesn’t work at all and that the AC/Heating is pretty… well… busted up!
Let’s focus on the microwave and stove though. The day before closing, my real estate agent and I did a sweep of the house. We went in to make sure that everything was working and when we found out those two appliances didn’t work the lady said: “Oh, they broke as soon as I bought them, they’re new!” I mentioned how in our contract it said that everything was going to be in working condition, and she kept making up alternate stories. The final story she told was that she tried to get the stove fixed a number of times, everytime the element would work for a bit, but then it would burn out again. As for the microwave, as soon as she plugged it in she never used it and it somehow burned. Alright.
Since then, I decided I didn’t want to change any of our appliances (while they’re highly ineffective… Ha! The microwave doesn’t even work!) until I got the electricity checked. My childhood home had ungrounded electricity, so I was wondering if that’s where the problem was coming from. A few days into us moving in, I started plugging in my computers and electronics. Suddenly I was met with sparks. They weren’t even little sparks. These sparks were fairly big, and I was worried they were going to start a fire. So, I took a note of what plugs were sparking, and I stopped using them.
The most recent weird electricity thing I’ve noticed is when I plug my fast charger into the washroom outlet. It’s the only outlet in the apartment that doesn’t allow “fast-charging” for some strange reason.
So, what’s the diagnostic?
Today I learned that the sparking was coming from loose wires. Not only that, whoever replaced the fuzes bought the wrong ones. As you’re going to come to realize, I’m truly a millennial who doesn’t have a lot of experience, especially with around the house things. I, for example, have never seen an old-fashioned fuse box where you have to actually change the fuzes when they burn out. Cue first angry commenter saying how dumb my generation is. The Electrician himself said how much he hates working for certain millennials because they’re just so unaware how electricity works. But to cut to the chase, we ended up having to replace all of the fuzes to 15 Amps since all of them were 30 Amps. He said the risk of running on 30 Amps is that wires tend to overheat and may potentially cause a fire. On top of that, there are higher chances of sparks. He was also cool enough to let me know about breaker fuses, which allow you to press a button if there’s a short and it will reset. (Which would have come in handy a few weeks ago when we blew a fuse.)
In regards to the loose wiring, it was a pretty quick fix. He had to change some of the outlets to newer ones, he said that they were safer and that we might want to think about replacing more if other sparks start showing up. But all in all, it was a fairly smooth fix.
The Appliances are Probably Shotty
The electrician didn’t want to focus too much on the appliances. He says that whenever appliances break, it’s normally the fault of the appliance and not the electricity. Electricity pretty much stays the same and never really needs to be “fixed.” He did test out the outlets the stove and microwave are plugged in and saw that they were fine, however, he says the issue might have been a short due to using fuzes that aren’t the right Amp. He then gave us the “go-ahead” to buy new appliances. (Yay! I’ll be able to cook properly soon!)
In Regards to the AC/Heater
Apparently, there isn’t much he’s able to do right now for the AC. Since it’s a system that is connected to the building’s water, he thinks it’s better if I speak to them about who they’d prefer to fix it. He’s more than happy to change the unit (since it’s from the 70s), but he doesn’t want to stop on anyone’s toes. For now, I don’t think it should be a huge issue. We turned on the heat and it seems to be working, so at least I won’t be overly cold this winter. When the summer comes, we’ll deal with the AC problem, but for now, I’m just happy we get to move forward.
Next step. Fixing Walls and Painting.