Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Troubleshooting to Hot Tub

Yesterday afternoon Dawn and I took a drive out to Lagrange to Carrie and Patrick's house. Patrick had called because he was having an electrical problem. We've known Carrie and Patrick for years. I use to work with Carrie, who is a Dietitian, and Patrick is Derek's boss.

Upon arriving I went and looked at the four switches where the were having the problem. I took the cover plate off and looked for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing. So we went down into the basement and went to the main circuit panel. I took the outer cover off and checked the breaker. It was mounted good and the wire was nice and tight. I hit the breaker and it tripped immediately. We turned all four switches on and tried to reset the breaker. One by one Patrick turned the switches off and had to reset the breaker it time. Then he got to the fourth one. He turned it off and the breaker did not trip.

I went upstairs and asked what did that switch control? Carrie responded that is was the lights on the front of the garage. Carrie and Dawn were out front with their almost 1 yr old son and their dog.

I went out and took the lights off the garage to isolate the line. I attempted to reset the breaker to no avail. It tripped. I put the lights back up. We ended up going into the garage and looked for any shorts in the wiring. Nothing. A hour had past in the troubleshooting. A neighbor of Carrie and Patrick walked by and they started talking to her. That left me to go inside and think. I knew there was no way that with everything disconnected that the breaker should still trip.

I turned all the switches off and reset the breaker again. I turned switch one on. The foyer lights came on. Then number two, the dining room lights came on. I flipped the third and I didn't see anything come on. Dawn "yelled" from the front yard that the front of the garage lights were on. I then flipped number four and the breaker tripped, but not before Dawn saw a flash of light come from on of the porch lights.

We had been troubleshooting the WRONG area.....I couldn't get upset.....

I went out and we took both fixtures off the porch ceiling and isolated both. It turns out that one of the candelabra bulbs in the chandelier fixture outside the front door had blown/melting into the socket and was shorting out the hot and common wires. I disconnected the wires and will be getting a new fixture for them.

We all laughed at the mistake/miscue. Patrick went into the kitchen to retrieve a couple of beers. Carrie and Dawn had already been walking around with wine glasses in hand.

I got cleaned up and went into the kitchen and Dawn was telling Carrie what we both liked in our salads. I had no idea we were staying for dinner. Carrie finished the salads and asked Patrick to put the chicken breasts and brats on the grill. So Patrick and I walked out onto their patio overlooking hole #11 on the golf course that is their backyard with beers in hand. The sun was just about 30 minutes from setting.

By time the chicken and brats the sun was only minutes from setting. Dawn and Carrie brought the salads out and we ate. Enjoying good conversation and good friends.

After eating they asked if we would like to jump in the hot tub. Dawn and I looked at eachother and decided...sure what the heck.

Carrie got Dawn a swimsuit and me a pair of shorts. She also gave us these very soft heavy Hugh Heffner style robes. We walked out onto the deck. Patrick came out behind us with reserve beers. Carrie was already in the hot tub so the three of us jumped in to join her.

We enjoyed more life stories and conversations. After about an hour or so we decided to get out. It was just about 11pm. We went in the kitchen for a nice bowl of vanilla ice cream with fresh blueberries, peaches and strawberries on top.

After about another half hour we decide we should get changed and start the half hour ride home.

I guess I wrote all this because it was fun to be together, just the two of us, and be with good friends. We both had a good time and enjoyed Carrie and Patrick's company.

It was nice to go over there thinking I was there to do a side job and end up having a nice evening.

Carrie, Patrick, and Broden....from last winter.

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