The Woes of Homeownership

15 Nov

We bought our house about a year and a half ago, and for the most part everything has been great.  We didn’t have a single problem the first year (we had a home warranty and never had to use it once, which made us hesitate on renewing it, but I’m reeeally glad we did now).  The first problem we had was about a month ago, when our A/C went out.  Luckily it was just a temperature gauge that went out or something and was a pretty easy fix (thanks to that home warranty).

Then, a week ago, I came home from work one evening and noticed something weird as I was turning on lights.  They weren’t as bright as they should have been.  They were turning on, just dimmer than normal.  Then I heard a couple of loud popping sounds.  I made my way downstairs (to the man cave with Jon’s huge TV and various gaming systems) and there was a buzzing sound and an odd smell.. the smell of fried electronics.  I tried not to panic, and unplugged everything.  After some investigation, I figured there’d been a power surge (I had seen some lightning on my way home) and the surge protector downstairs had fried.  The electronics that were connected to it seemed to be ok though.  Later I discovered that the surge protector in our bedroom had apparently fried too, but that TV was also fine.  One of the breakers had flipped off, but Jon eventually got it to turn back on and all was well.

Until Sunday.  I was home alone (Jon was in Vegas remember) and the lights started flickering, and then eventually going dim, then back to normal brightness, then dim again.  I realized that every time the A/C tried to kick on, the lights went dim, until the A/C gave up, and the lights came back on.  The microwave powered off and on each time this happened too.  This kept up for the rest of the day, to the point where if I had too many lights/electrical devices on at one time, everything went dim – even the fan slowed down.  So of course I submitted a service request through our trusty home warranty for an electrician to come out.

The electrician came out this morning (Tuesday).  I waited at the house for him (with no A/C, sweating my face off) just to have him tell me it looked like something was wrong with the power coming in to the house, and I needed to call the electric company to come out, and then take my $60 check and leave.  So fine, I called our electric company, Champion.  They’re just the retail provider, so they had to submit a request for CenterPoint to come out and check the power.  The nice lady I talked to said she had scheduled someone to come out at 2:30, “maybe a little sooner.”  Since it was only 10:45am at that point, I decided to go in to the office for a few hours, then come back out at 2pm.

After getting home around 2:20, and waiting for an hour, I called CenterPoint to see when they were coming out.  They politely told me that someone had been to my house at 10:58am, and checked the power, and said everything was fine.  Besides being irritated that Champion had misinformed me, I was also concerned about the technician’s diagnosis – or lack thereof.  The rep explained on the phone that if the problem wasn’t with their equipment, which it didn’t appear to be, then I would need to have an electrician come out to fix the problem.

Wait, what?! Isn’t that what I did this morning? Ugh.  My best guess is that the electrician figured there was a chance that the problem was with the power company, and that would be cheaper for me than having to fix something else myself.  So it was worth a shot?  So now I am sitting here waiting for a technician from the power company to come back out so I can actually talk to them this time and explain what the electrician told me.  And then it sounds like the most likely scenario will be having the electrician back out (at another $60 of course) to find/fix the real problem.  At this point I am just hoping that the “real problem” will be covered by the home warranty and we won’t have to pay out of pocket.

More to come on the saga of the weird power surges.  I’m still not convinced that the house isn’t haunted by the way.

And since that was a long and depressing post, here’s a fun photo to cheer us all up.  See if you can spot the kitty in this photo:

Sebastian's Latest Trick

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4 Responses to “The Woes of Homeownership”

  1. Kraft November 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm #

    If that $60 was the “trade fee” for the warranty company, most companies allow you call a crew back out at no additional charge if for the same issue within, typically, 30 days, FWIW. Good luck!

    • Samantha November 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm #

      That’s what I’m hoping. Thanks!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Home Woes Continued « she loves orange - November 16, 2011

    […] you didn’t read yesterday’s post about our home’s electrical problems…well, feel free to get caught up if you’d […]

  2. We Have Power! « she loves orange - November 21, 2011

    […] due to a bad wiring situation which we had to pay big money to have fixed, which I talked about here and here) we finally had our power reconnected with everything fixed on Saturday around […]

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