Whalechaser's Musings

No Matter Where You Go...
There You Are
Make the Best of It

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Some of you may recall that I bought a heated bird bath recently, then after resolving minor problems with a timer/extension cord was successful in having it work by providing my local birds with drinkable water in the dead of winter. Not only that...I was able to enjoy seeing them eat and drink just outside my dining room window. It was a win/win endeavor!

Then trouble.

Out of the blue it stopped working. Of course I had to check everything about it before I was willing to give up. I checked the plug under the tray and in so doing spilled the water from the tray all over my sneaker. Then I followed the extension cord back to the outdoor receptacle and then I tinkered with the receptacle. A vague memory of prior troubles with the receptacle danced through my brain (but not enough to provide the past solution)as I was formulating my attack plan. I plugged in my boom-box and turned it on, but nothing happened. Ah, Ha..the receptacle is fried.

I went on line and discovered how easy it is to replace it and got a new one from Lowes and followed the installation instructions to the letter. Electricity really scares me. I couldn't find the breaker for the porch outlet, so I cut the juice to the entire house. Anything to continue living! It didn't take long before I was replacing the faceplate and plugging in the boom-box again.

With a feeling of complete satisfaction, I turned it on. Nothing.

OK, I see I have reached my limit when it comes to electricity. I called in an electrician. Like every other tradesman that I have met here in Arkansas, he was patient, knowledgeable, polite relaxed and friendly. He rang the doorbell and before I could answer it, he was tightening the button so it wouldn't wiggle anymore (I have been trying to fix that since I moved here!)

OK the inspection didn't take long. The solution came in the form of a question: Where is your GFI. Hummnnn, gfi? I seem to remember something about those but where are they? The bathroom? He said yes, you probably do have one there, but there should be others. Now, my brain is hurting. I saw labels in the breaker box with GFI on them. He said no not that.

I went to the garage as if I knew what I was doing and scanned the walls. It all came back to me...yes, there is this one outlet with a reset button and now I see it has a little red light that is all aglow. I reset the button and like magic all was right with the world.

We stood on the porch happy to have the problem solved and discussed gardening. After several minutes I thanked him for his help and asked how much; you can't stay in business by solving these problems for people for free! He was hesitant and charged me very little.

As we were leaving I asked if he could install canned lighting in my living room ceiling. (This is something I have been trying to get done for a while, I got a price earlier this year but the guy never called me back). He looked and said sure. He calculated the total cost mentally while listing all the material that he would need. He said he could do it next week. I am so looking forward to this!

If I didn't have that little brain-fog about the GFI, I never would have gotten the lighting done in the living room.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a scenario that could have easily played out at my home...and now you know a nice, qualified electrician and you are getting your lights :)

Julianna Schroeder said...

Hey, can you send this guy up to Missouri? I have a few things I need to have done--and they're not quite as simple as pressing the GFI button!