Yesterday, my nanny called me into the kitchen. "Listen", she said. I listened. There was a crackling noise coming from under the refrigerator. My first thought was, "It's a mouse". The nanny declined. I banged the basebord with my foot but the noise continued. No mouse worth her salt would do that. I opened the baseboard... and sparks were flying. There was an extension cord with two outlets sitting under the fridge, two plugs running in from the fridge and the dishwasher. It sat in a puddle of water (where from? Well, the sink is right next to the fridge!) and sparked. Sizzle. I unplugged the extension cord from the wall outlet that is, yes, directly under the sink. The sizzling stopped. I went and bought a new extension cord, one with a circuit breaker, just to be on the safe side. We mopped up the water. We reconnected the cords, everything was dandy. I decided to rig up some little propup so that next time water dripped, the extension cord wouldn't sit in a puddle again.
This morning, I opened the fridge and it was dark. The dishwasher hadn't run, although it was turned on. First I thought the extension cord had fried, again. I only found that the breaker had popped but pushing it back in didn't do anything. Experimentally, I turned on the oven that plugs in that same wall outlet under the sink. Bingo - no oven. So now the outlet is fried? Who knows.
We use light bulbs at an astonishing rate. They seem to have a lifetime of about three to four weeks. We don't even replace them much anymore. One per room must suffice. Those giant ceiling light arrangements with six, seven, ten bulbs must suffer. I'm not buying light bulbs in bulk.
The ceiling light in our bedroom exploded a few weeks ago. It made a really loud bang, sparks rained on the (polyester) carpet and if I hadn't been in the room, stomping them out, I don't know what would have happened. Sizzle. We don't use that light anymore. This morning my maid pointed out that sometimes, the washing machine tingles upon touch. Sizzle. It also leaks water.
Our electric gate doesn't budge anymore. It got blown open during a storm a few weeks back. Whenever you push the remote to open or close it, there is a faint clicking sound from the cable box. No sizzling, this time. Which cable box? Why, this one:
This jumble is not connected to any fuse box. It neatly bypasses any safety devices. We have two fuse boxes, and the jumble box has an indicator light. I flicked all fuses off, but the indicator light is still shining brightly blue. Some of the wires look exposed. Not that I get too close to it. It just seems to scream, "Touch me and die!" While sizzling, probably.
I called the guys from Fix it now. Let's see if they can prevent our house from burning down one of these days. Just to be on the safe side, I'm storing our passports in the car...
(Why am I not calling the landlord? Well, who do you think put that clever jumble box in in the first place? Huh?)