Miracles, Coincidences, and Other Disasters

Dear Eli,

You’ll be happy to know the house didn’t burn down today. Ella was hanging out in your workshop, which, if you recall, gets its electricity via an outdoor rated extension cord running to an outlet on the outside of the house. She was cold, so she turned on a portable heater. She was still cold, so she turned on another portable heater. This caused a switch on the house’s main electrical panel to break. It so happened that two switches broke.

I was just realizing something was wrong when Dad came along and told me what happened to cause the breakers to go off. So they unplugged the extension cord to your workshop, turned the breakers back on and we went on with our activities.

I took the girls, except Liz, to Valerie’s work for the tree lighting. I also dropped Peter off at his work. Meanwhile, Dad went grocery shopping (Isn’t he amazing? I don’t really like shopping.). We all eventually came home.

When I got home, I plugged the house Christmas lights back in–I had unplugged them when breakers were going off, since they were on an affected circuit. They still weren’t turning on. Next, I noticed that my closet light wasn’t on and the VoIP house phones weren’t working (the base stationis plughed into an outlet in the sewing room). I also checked the freezers in the garage, which were off.

By this time I definitely knew something was still wrong, so I headed to the master bedroom to get your dad to help figure it out. He insisted that he had turned both breakers back on earlier, which he had, but I pointed out all the things that were still off. We tracked down the only GFCI on that circuit, the one in the master bath, and Dad worked on trying to press the test and reset buttons on it. I commented that it must be broken and went to the garage to see if we had a spare with our electrical supplies.

About the time I was wrapping up my fruitless search, Dad called to ask me where I was and let me know that the GFCI outlet was indeed the problem and I should come look at it.

GFCI had clearly caught fire and melted
What the panel SHOULD have looked like when the GFCI caught fire and melted

Tabitha commented that it was a miracle the house hadn’t burned down. We agreed. It also turns out that the melted GFCI was 20 amps, but the breaker is only 15. The houses in our neighborhood are notorious for random subpar builder errors. This is an example of how, even with government oversight, there are still things that are against code, but still pass inspection. 🙄

Fortunately, your Dad knows a bit about electricity, so he was able to replace the melted 20A with a 15A GFCI in the bathroom so our garage freezers, VoIP phones, outdoor rabbit anti-freeze water dispenser, and Christmas lights have access to electricity again. Although, I opted not to plug the lights back in until after I move the freezers to a different circuit.

You may have wondered if all these things are in the same part of the house. Why else would they all be on the same circuit? The answer is no. No, they are not. And this, children, is why we don’t do drugs when wiring a home.

By the way, your Angelversary was a lovely day. People were so nice and thoughtful, sending us messages, flowers, and treats. We continue to feel loved. We drove around the neighborhood a bit to enjoy all the Christmas lights that were on that day.

November 17th
November 17th
November 17th

When I dropped Peter off at work, I took advantage of the family discount and ordered some food for dinner. When the order came, it had your name on it. Not quite what I was expecting, but I’ll take it.

2 thoughts on “Miracles, Coincidences, and Other Disasters

  1. lloyd and Rochelle augustine

    Can I say it was fun to read your Eli Blog! I couldn’t help but laugh at a no laughing matter situation! Soooo glad it all turned out so well! It pays to have a man around the house–a smart one especially! His father would have been proud!! Grandpa always loved working with electricity!

    Looking forward to Thursday! Glad the house is still there!!!

    Love and prayers,



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