DIY Electrical Work and Other Hazardous Tasks

Please excuse me while I rant:

I adore my husband; his “I can do it!” enthusiasm when it comes to figuring out and repairing things can be contagious.  However, sometimes, I really wish he would just bite the bullet and call in a pro. 

Case in point:  We are in the process of remodeling the kitchen in our 1920’s house.  He decided to put in some sort of modern looking track lighting over the sink to replace the dingy old light from the seventies.  Good call, right?  Yes, but not if you know nothing about electrical wiring. 

Now, my house is still standing, so that much is good; however, during the rewiring of the light switch/outlet combo, the microwave would start running when you flipped the light switch.  A few twists and turns later, the lights stayed on permanently, the fridge didn’t work at all, the coffee maker stayed on even with the breakers off, and the microwave would start cooking when you flipped on the PC power supply.  How is this even possible?!  By the end of the day, we had no lighting downstairs at all, but the entertainment system and the Xbox worked perfectly.

When our water heater went kaput in the fall, I had to restrain him bodily to keep him from trying to replace it on his own.  It is a gas water heater.  He knows nothing about piping, plumbing, etc, and even less about not blowing up the house with natural gas.  It took me, his dad, and my dad to stop him, and thanks to my papa the retired plumber/pipe fitter, we have hot water and all our earthly possessions still intact.

I’m not saying that I don’t appreciate the hard work- I’m sure in the end we save a heck of a lot of money, and the final job is professional quality.  But when my husband breaks out the power drill with a 1 inch boring bit and says “This could get ugly!”, I want to run away from home.  Even worse is when he says “I need your help for a minute” and I end up holding a 75 pound microwave on my shoulders for 45 minutes to an hour. 

Now, I do admit, I get a kick out of being better at some of these things or knowing something he doesn’t:

“Why isn’t this solder sticking?!”

“Did you use flux?”

“Never even heard of it, won’t help, yadayada…”

“Flux glues the solder to the wire.  Can’t solder without it.  And you need a solder tip on that blowtorch, it will help you control it.  Here, use Pele and my rosin core solder, it doesn’t need flux…”

“This isn’t going to work (insert grumpy pessimistic ramblings here)”

Three minutes later, soldering well completed, and he’s looking at me like I just grew a third head.  Maybe showing the boy how it’s done makes it all worthwhile…

Coming soon- Fond Memories of the Day the Husband Bored a Hole Through the Main Waterline While Remodeling the Bathroom!  Stay Tuned!! 

Now, onward to tackle the massive mess he has left behind…

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5 thoughts on “DIY Electrical Work and Other Hazardous Tasks

    • I figured other women (or men whose significant others like power tools) would be able to appreciate my angst:)

  1. Oh my, my husband knows what he’s doing but he isn’t too interested in hearing how I want it. And I too get to help for a minute and stand there forever holding something much too heavy for me. I am in true sympathy, empathy with you. Thank goodness you have your dad!

    We have only hired a pro twice in 38 years. Once it was for a cement floor for a garage and the other was when I plugged up the sink (hurriedly cleaning the freezer before my husband saw me throwing out all the old food) and his snake wouldn’t go far enough to clean the clog. I am no longer allowed to put food down the disposal and that really ticks me off because it happened ONCE in 38 years.

    Does your husband cause drill oops in your tables or saw cuts that slip and mar your stools? I get lots of these things too. His response is that I am an artist and I can fix it to look new.

    I do NOT envy you although I know you’ll be happy when it’s all done.

    • He hasn’t cut up the kitchen table yet, but my 90 year old hardwood floors took a bit of a beating with the drywall. And we seem to have lost the remote control completely- it is no where to be found. Oh, and they ripped up all the old flooring with all that drywall dust on it and I couldn’t go in the house for about five hours because my allergies are so severe.
      I am curious, though- what are you supposed to use the garbage disposal for now?!
      It just feels good not to be alone! Thank you!

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