Thursday, September 24, 2009

It’s Always Something

We’ve blown up two brand new electric ranges in less than a week.


It’s that time of (life?) (the moon?) (the alignment of the planets?) when stuff goes wrong.  I mentioned our kitchen issues here.  There’s more.  And then there’s more. 

We decided to pursue our original idea of buying a compact range, as opposed to ripping out and replacing perfectly good cabinets and a nice countertop, and making a new big hole in our brick house, etc. to the tune of might-as-well-be-a-million-bucks, just so we could open the oven door like we think normal people do.  We wanted a 24-inch stainless steel self-cleaning oven.  They’re scarce.  And for reasons that are counter-intuitive, they are twice as much as standard-sized ranges.  The most “reasonable” was a GE.  It duly arrived, accompanied by a GE tech and a helper, and our plain old but not very old white range was delivered out of its tight space, barely avoiding a C-section.  The guys hauled it out to the truck.  The new, cute, smaller range was put into place and plugged in.  Burners were turned on.  Good to go so far. 

Oven was turned on.  Ten or 15 seconds passed.  There was a spark and a big bang.  We all shouted.  The new range was dead, and our circuit breaker was tripped.  The technician also had a burned thumb from thinking he’d been shot and laying his hand down on the still-hot smooth cooktop.

Our old range was hauled back in from the truck, plugged in and worked fine, just like always.  We all figured the blowing up thing  must have been a fluke.  They said we’d get another range in less than a week, and we did.

The same crew came back, only this time they didn’t take the old white range all the way out to the truck.  We all joked about it, because we knew the second range wouldn’t blow up.  But it did.  Everyone shouted again but the technician remembered not to put his hand down on the hot cooktop. 

The old white range went into her space with not a little crankiness.  She might have been a little swollen from all the tugging she’d endured.  The technician said he probably wouldn’t order a third range, but just in case, we should have an electrician out to check our circuitry.  Maybe it was a little higher than it should be, throwing off the newer range, he theorized. 

We had an electrician out for just under a hundred dollars.  Our circuitry is fine.  What we had was two defective brand new ranges in a row.  The electrician moved the  old white range forward a little bit (she was really pissed off this time and tried to refuse) so we could open the oven door.  She’s not flush with the cabinetry, but the door opens and she doesn’t look bad.  We’re going to leave it alone now.  Figure we saved at least $700.00. 

Then the air conditioning system went out in the car.  No fan.  The Honda guy said over the phone it was probably a relay switch.  I’m guessing it  probably costs $32.95 and labor is $329.95.   It’s due for a 60,000 mile check anyway.  That’s another $400.00.   We’re taking the car in tomorrow because it’s close to 90 degrees here.

There goes the money we “saved” on the range.  I told Sheila that God had sent us two defective GE ranges because He knew about the air conditioning system.  She said He’s pretty smart.

Then last night we had just gone to bed and all The Pets were tucked in for the night as well.  There was a huge crashing/rumbling noise and the whole house shook.  At first I thought it was Sheila falling into her closet, as last week she fell into the hall closet (she just takes a notion to stagger sometimes and never drinks more than one glass of wine).  We had to have a nice strong neighbor come over and get the sliding closet door back on track.  But it wasn’t Sheila this time, so we chalked it up to an oak tree limb falling on the roof.  They’re “self-pruning” as neighbor Linda says.  It was too dark to investigate.

This morning it was dark when I got up.  Miss T wanted out on the back porch but refused to go outside as usual and seemed to be glaring suspiciously at something out there in the dark.  When daylight came, turned out she had been glaring at an enormous self-pruning oak tree limb which was lying across the yard.  It had ripped the power line completely away from the house and the wires were draped across the grass and walkway.  There was also a piece of vinyl siding lying on the grass.  We had all the siding painted earlier this year.

The power company man came out and fixed the line.  He cheerfully reported that the wood under the place where the siding had come off is rotten.  Just so we know.

It was nice that the electrician mentioned back in the part about checking the circuitry had not yet come back to install the back yard floodlight we talked to him about.  Because it would have come down with the power line.  So that’s a cost savings as well.

Meanwhile, as Gilda Radner once said, “It’s always something.”  And it’s never what you worry about.  So don’t worry.  Be happy.


  1. Oh, my. Well.

    See what all that painting got you?

  2. Well, Sharon, it must be the alignment of the planets because our television, after 12 years of faithful service, met its demise last week, quite unexpectedly. And our washer (which is 22 years old) has been making a very peculiar sound. So I had been feeling pretty sorry for myself until I read about your week. I do hope that you've seen the last of household breakdowns and blow-ups for a while.

  3. 24-inch stainless steel self-cleaning oven never heard of such a thing

  4. Beca says-

    I was going to comment on your recent misadventures when I noticed that you have a UK stainless steel cleaner following your blog. That totally derailed my attention.


    Anyway, I'm glad that the big limb didn't hit your roof. I'm glad the power to the house was fixed. Rotted wood? In these old houses, that's not a huge surprise- maybe it's not so bad. The wood in these houses seems so much harder than the wood in the "new" house we sold to move here.

    Were you able to get the siding nailed back up?

  5. The funniest thing about this was the technician thinking he'd been shot and then burning his hand. Sorry. The strangest things amuse me. I hope it all gets sorted out.

  6. My friend who is a professional astrologer says that Mercury is in retrograde and you can expect this weirdo stuff till it straightens up and flies right on Sept 29.

    Our weirdness is that our house was burgled a week ago today while we were visiting friends in Guadalajara and Ajijic. The burglers only took the good gold jewelry, the little digital camera (I had the professional camera with me), and some cash. They got in through a second-story window. *sigh*

    Love to you both

  7. Yikes!! Well, hang in there...thank goodness you have your humor and each other to make it through these mini-crises!!!

  8. Miss T has very good night vision, I would say. Yes, I have noticed that these weird things happen on Mercury Retrograde. My stove died recently, too. Thank Heavens that I haven't had to turn on my heat with Merc.RX!!! I did that back in 2001 and was appalled at the billows of black, greasy smoke.