I live in a house that was built in the late 1940’s. As such, the wiring may not always be the most current at supporting the amount of current that today’s household demands. Gadgets, appliances, lights…you name it, it’s plugged in somewhere in my house. About a week ago, I was cleaning in preparation for my son’s birthday party, using the detail vacuum to do some deeper cleaning behind and under furniture when I heard a telltale zzzt followed by a bit of a flicker on a light in the kitchen and that acrid smell of burning electric wires. I’d smelled this smell before in the vicinity of this particular outlet, but not as strong as this…and not followed hours later by what seemed like the smell of a smoldering campfire.
I’ve long been one to let my imagination run away from me…and not always in a sunshine and lollipops kind of way. When I feel or know that something is wrong with my house, my mind seems to get carried away…and this time it was to the detriment of my sleep. All I kept thinking about that night was electrical fires and how they happen more often than not in the colder months when people are using more electricity. I feared the worst for whatever reason and spent the night on the couch in the living room, near the affected outlet, prepared to alert anyone in the house if we started to go up in flames.
As you can see my brain is apparently a bit of a drama queen.
The next day I decided I should trust my rather paranoid instincts and call an electrician. We’ve been homeowners for over 6 years now and for whatever reason hadn’t had the need to acquire the services of an electrician yet. Pretty shocking considering we’ve been through two plumbers, an HVAC company, a duct cleaner, a company specializing in foundation repair and a carpenter.
The electrician came this morning, nearly a week after the whole outlet ordeal. I’m incredibly thankful that I trusted my instincts. After figuring out which breaker switch belonged to the outlet (my breaker box isn’t the most accurately labeled), the guys removed the plugs from the wall…melted wires were revealed. Electrical circuitry rather close to the point of danger. I shuddered.
Sometimes I really do think I worry too much about things. That I let my senses get the better of me, especially my sense of smell. In this case I actually felt vindicated. Thankful that I have the means to afford two outlet repairs (a rather inexpensive repair all things considered). Thankful that I trusted my gut and took care of things. I won’t even think about what might have happened if I hadn’t…