... The Amazing Adventures of Attic Rat and his new side-kicks;Wall Mole,and Basement Mouse,..continues with this week's installment:... "Troubleshooting for Fun and Profit"...
...We were called/summoned to locate the origin of a partial power failure in a single family,Cape Cod style home..
The affected areas were the basement receptacles,and the laundry room lights.,[the only reason she knew something was awry was that her laundry light bulb kept burning out],
... Okay,..we get started taking out the receptacles(well,the ones we could get to,as there literally was wall-to-wall nostalgic detritus covering the floor from at least 60 years of accumulation,..things the geriatric Home-Owner had long since forgotten about, but was way too eccentric to submit them to the un-godly,unholy,dreaded words.."Garage Sale"..that would be the pinnacle of low brow bourgeoise culture shock for her..)
and what we found astounded us,and had poor Mr.Edison AND Mr.Westinghouse mumbling obscenities from beyond the veil...(I actually heard them)..
The circuit breakers were all still on (Federal Pacific,of course)..and there was a light fixture in the laundry area which we took down,we found the feed originating in the switch box on the wall,and there was a feed-out,to the basement receptacles in question in the light fixture box..the only problem was,..the hot leg from the switch leg fed THROUGH the light bulb,and the feed-out to the basement on the shell,or neutral side of the lamp-holder,there was no neutral in that box..a neutral WAS found elsewhere from another circuit entirely,and an old BX wire leading to the basement circuit in question had been found BURNED THROUGH, completely arc'd through the metal casing in the wall. We had to partially demolish the wall in order to trace back the break..The 15 amp. Fed.Pacific breaker never even winced.. We rewired all the atrocities we found,and left Mrs. Pack Rat (no relation to yours truly) advising her that the panel should be changed immediately... She's still pondering the price..Oh well I tried.. I told her "next time she mightn't be so lucky and could really lose her house,and all of her "prized belongings" in the basement".
**The above story was true,only the names of the hired hands were changed to protect the incompetent..
[This message has been edited by Attic Rat (edited 10-30-2005).]