Life Skills Part 2: Electrical Edition

10 Jan

Last night I added to my household skill set.

 That’s right, I now not only know basic plumbing…but I know basic electrical.

Well actually, “basic” might be a slight exaggeration…I know something about a fuse box and some breakers.

I went to use my oven (it was a frozen pizza kind of a night), and I happened to notice that one of the burners on the stove was very hot.

Now I know what you’re thinking, someone probably just forgot to turn it off.

But here’s the kicker folks…the dial that controls that burner was in the off position and the little red light that comes on when the burner’s on, was also off.

It was a mystery…

…and kind of a fire hazard.

I couldn’t leave a burner on all night. And I didn’t want to have to call someone to come fix it.

So I turned to my personal handyman (my dad) for help.

I called him and asked if he had any suggestions for what might be wrong with it, or if I should just unplug the stove and have someone come fix it later.

He told me to just cut the power to the stove by flipping the breaker in the fuse box. That would be the easiest solution.

First Problem: Locating the fuse box.

I had never used it before, but I eventually found it. Here it is:


If you didn’t know what a fuse box looked like before and now you do…well, congratulations, you just gained a life skill.

Second Problem: The fuse box contained many switches that were not correctly labeled.

This is what I had to go by:


The fact that most of the original labels were scratched out and written over was very reassuring.

Sure enough, I tried multiple breakers and none actually cut power to the stove.

I gave up and asked my dad for another suggestion.

He said I was just going to have to pull out the stove and unplug it.

There were a couple of difficulties with that solution:

#1. This is my kitchen:


You can’t pull the stove out very far before running into the fridge.

So I had to pull it out as far as it would go, then lie on my stomach on the counter beside the stove in order to reach the plug. It was awkward.

#2. The plug did not want to be unplugged.

If you’ve never seen a stove plug before, it’s heavy-duty. It took a lot of my strength to pull the thing free.

But I eventually did it, and I told my dad that I had been successful.

He then lectured me once again on how I should be learning a trade instead of being so focused on “higher learning”, (meaning university).

For someone who’s paying my tuition, he certainly bashes “higher education” a lot.

But without university, I wouldn’t be living on my own and therefore would not be learning these useful life skills.

And yes, I consider knowing what a fuse box is and how it works a life skill.

Even if I couldn’t actually find the right breaker, I now know which ones DON’T control the stove, and that has to count for something, doesn’t it?

I fixed it the issue, and that’s good…right, Dad?

“I’m impressed that you even discovered the burner issue”.


Thanks, Old Man.




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