Fun with electricity, part three

by Michael Alderete on 12/4/2001

As mentioned in the previous FwE, our house heater was broken for a while. We had our neighborhood appliance repairman come by to fix it, and I was the person who got to stay home to meet him.

It was fascinating to see someone who really knows what they’re doing with home wiring (even the low-voltage stuff). He quickly tested our thermostat, found it wasn’t the problem, and headed for the basement. A quick twist of some wire, and the heater came right on, proving the heater itself worked fine.

So the problem was between the thermostat and the heater, i.e., in the wiring. At first this seemed like it would be a hard thing to track down, but after checking the integrity of the wire in the basement, we headed back into the house, where the problem became obvious.

We had hardwood floors put in about half the house over the summer, and as part of that, the installers needed to even up our baseboard. They use a special saw that cuts along the wall exactly the thickness of the wood they’re going to install. Can you see where this is going?

Yes, exactly, as they trimmed the baseboard under the thermostat, they also “trimmed” the thermostat wiring, which was mounted on the wall. In this case, “trimmed” = “cut”, and “cut” = “our house is friggin’ cold!”

Fortunately fixing it was about 15 minutes of work for Mr. Pearson, of Pearson’s Appliance Service, who we highly recommend if you have appliance problems or restoration jobs, and you don’t want to get ripped off.

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