YOUR KITCHEN WORKHORSE By jonsig Eirik Right about now you’re probably asking yourse lf, “What is that old

goat talking about?” Le t’s take a look in the kitche n, that’s whe re he hangs out most of the time , close to the food. The kitche n plugs, as most pe ople call them are the busiest outle ts in the house, ofte n in use for ye ars after they have be come a fire hazard. Hang in there with me while I try to e xplain. Be fore WW2 I appre nticed with an ele ctrical contractor, a fine ge ntle man that taught me well, knowledge for my life time. After the war whe n building mate rial be came ple ntiful, my dad and I worked at building ne w homes, re novati ng older ones and ge ne rally de aling with a backlog of wartime ne glect. While many thi ngs in disre pair posed little or no dange r, such was not always the case with the e lectrical wiring throughout the dwe lling. Aging ceiling fixtures tight against the ceiling, a 100-watt lamp inside a white opaque ‘fishbowl’ would ge t so hot that the insulation on the wires would crumble whe n the fixture was disturbe d. These flytraps are in millions of olde r home s, mostly kitche ns, waiti ng to burn your house down; cremate you while you slept. I’ve re placed many of those , mostly for older pe ople unaware of the fire hazard. I’d replace it with a fixture that wasn’t apt to he at the ceiling; a kitche n unit suspe nde d from the base by a short pipe, or a link of chai n was usually my choice . I’d replace any ‘cooke d’ wiring, and the n suggest the lady might call her insurance man. Hint that he should se nd her a box of choc olates for Christmas.

Wall outle ts: anywhere in the kitche n, above the drain board or on a worktable must be changed if the y be come ‘sloppy’---whe n the plug doe sn’t fit tightly, or it ge ts hot. Toasters, blenders, MV ove ns, rotisse ries, all such appliances draw a lot of current. If the plug fits loose ly into the re ceptacle, this is make s a poor connection. This causes he at, ofte n e nough to ‘cook’ the wiring to the outle t. Kitche n outle ts are always, or should be , ‘split’. This me ans the two halve s are on diffe rent circuits. There are three wires, a black, re d and a whi te , plus a ground wire. If you’re replacing one of those , don’t forge t to bre ak out the connecting link on the brass colored side only, or it won’t work. You’ll trip the breakers trying to turn the m on. I don’t like to post advice on ele ctrical proble ms, but I many ine xpe rie nced pe ople can’t afford to hire an e lectrician, so the y’ll consider doing the ir own. The se little tips might he lp. Just for a smile: I we nt to change a wall rece ptacle for an old frie nd; she had the coffee pot on, with the plug held in by a shoe lace! Jonsig

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