Monday, August 24, 2015

damned circuits

Over the past month, I've begun having problems with the circuit breaker in my tiny studio. The first time a circuit popped, I had several machines on at the same time: my clothes washer, my A/C, my microwave, and my regular oven. The next few times the circuit began popping, fewer and fewer machines were on. Today, I unplugged my fridge to allow my washer to run, and even when it was just the washer running, the circuit popped. Obviously, the circuit has rapidly gotten weaker over time.

I told my landlady about the problem three weeks ago. She sent her husband (at least, I think that man was her husband) down to investigate. I demonstrated the circuit-popping problem for him; at the time, I wasn't able to operate my electric range along with the fridge, and there was no question of running the A/C while I was cooking. It took several tries to get the gentleman to understand that I could only run, at most, two machines at a time on a circuit that should have been able to handle many more machines. In fact, I said repeatedly, the circuit had been problem-free until only a short time ago. The message finally sunk in, but I told the landlady's husband that I'd be OK until the end of the month; it wasn't a huge problem. That may have been a mistake.

Today, though, after the washer died twice in a row, I realized I'd need to change the circuit into which I plugged my machines. My circuit breaker has three switches: a master, then Circuit 1, then Circuit 2. Circuit 2 is linked to almost all the visible plugs in the studio, which is an abysmally stupid design: half the room ought to be on one circuit, and the other half ought to be on another. I had to flip some switches to figure out which wall socket was associated with Circuit 1, and I finally found it sitting above the toilet in the bathroom. So from now on, it looks as though I'm going to be plugging my washer and my microwave into the bathroom—but only when the bathroom is dry. I'll have to risk keeping the A/C and the fridge on the weakened Circuit 2 for the next few days, until I move out.

It's only for a few days, so I suppose things aren't as bad as all that.


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