Feeling Powerless

We knew the house was due for a major upgrade of electric service and budgeted accordingly. electircal service enters houseNot only was our panel out of date (cloth insulated wires, anyone?) but we new we needed to amp up in order to accommodate the conveniences of modern life- microwave ovens hair dyers and such. Not only that, but building codes just aren’t what they used to be. Hopefully that’s a good thing; it’s certainly costing us a bundle of money to upgrade. You see, right now the wires that bring service to the house enter the building just outside my son’s bedroom window.

I get tingly just think about it.

Not in a good way. That is potentially very dangerous!

Note: this is the room of the boy who stuck tweezers into an outlet just a few years ago. Thankfully it was a GFI outlet and the tweezers had rubber tips. The circuits were tripped and we might have needed to replace the outlet, but fortunately no other harm was done.

So, yeah, this has to be relocated per code.


This was one of the first tasks on our to-do list. We got three quotes, selected one and then were ready to roll. But need the approval of the power company before we can relocate the lines.

I don’t know if you’ve heard this, but in recent weeks, Chicago has been host to some pretty horrific storms.  Trees down. Hundreds of thousands of people without power (including us at times).

One of my boys on a felled tree.

The power company has been devoting mucho resources to clearing trees and fixing lines. In fact, they’ve been bringing in crews from nearby states to help out.

Which means that piddly matter like inspections for residential service upgrades fall low on the priority list.

The power company is scheduled to come out Wednesday, but guess what? As I write this Friday morning, all hell is once again breaking loose outside- lightning, crashing thunder, driving rain, strong winds. Uh, I should probably shut down the computer….

At least we sealed up the foundation crack in time for these summer storms.

7 Responses to Feeling Powerless
  1. Kristina
    July 22, 2011 | 12:26 pm

    Ugh, this is no fun getting power stuff upgraded but it is SO necessary and important. And good to do before the decorating because it would suck to paint, drywall, etc and then have to patch.

    • admin
      July 23, 2011 | 7:44 am

      True. We hope to get a few plumbing issues addressed when the walls open up, too.

  2. Daisy
    July 22, 2011 | 2:00 pm

    Oh my goodness! The storms have been impressive, to say the least. The old wiring is impressive, too, in its own way. We had some parallel wiring with ceramic knobs when we moved into our house. It was built in 1890; that’s the way they did things when electricity in homes was fairly new.

    • admin
      July 23, 2011 | 7:46 am

      Knobs? Wow. Our house, which only had a single owner prior to us, has probably not had any kind of inspection since 1954 or so. It’s amazing how much safety codes have advanced in the last few decades. I’m all for safety, but, ouch! This is all costing us.

  3. megryansmom
    July 22, 2011 | 2:06 pm

    Makes me wonder if the people who bought my parents’ old house ever updated the electrical. We could never make toast and coffee at the same time. Microwave? Oh please!

    • admin
      July 23, 2011 | 7:47 am

      We had that issue in our old house. We had to have it rewired for the microwave unless we were willing to turn off the lights and other appliances while we used it.

  4. Kristina
    July 22, 2011 | 5:07 pm

    Have you ever watched “Property Income” on HGTV (another show out of Canada)? Anyway, it seems as if they’re always revamping old basement apartments that have scary, potentially deadly type of electrical problems. Power is something you just don’t want to mess with.