Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A fight that cannot be won

A couple of weeks back I received a letter from the electric company. No, not the kids show on PBS, but the guys who feed the juice into my house. The letter stated that some work that had recently been done on my house was a potential hazard.

Work? Hazard?

I haven't done any electrical work in about 10 years. I thought it was 4 or 5 but it has been longer than that since I had the fuse box replaced with circuit breakers. So I stared at this letter wondering what the heck could be wrong. Had my tenant done something? No way would he go and mess with the wiring. This is the same family that will walk through 3 feet of snow instead of walking an extra 3 feet to the sidewalk.

I called up the electric company to find out what this was about. I spoke to someone who tried to help me but couldn't. I wanted exact details of what supposedly was wrong. The division I needed to speak to was gone for the day so it would have to wait until Monday. I asked the lady what was expected of me. She said I had to get an electrician to come out and inspect the job and get it fixed. Ok......get what fixed? It. What is it? We went through this Catch 22 for a couple of minutes. Yes, they wanted me to fix something without telling me what it is I needed to fix.

I didn't hear anything from the electric company last week. I thought it was over. But I received a new call yesterday. And once again, the game was on. The representative kept insisting I had work done on the house. No matter how many times I told her nothing was done, she insisted some work had been done and it was clearly visible. I asked what their records show for any permits pulled on the property. I figured if work was done, a permit would have been needed. 1998 was her answer. At this point it was beginning to dawn on her that maybe nothing had been done and they may have screwed up.

Seeing how I was in a no win situation, I asked what had to be done. I figure I could wrap this up and get it over with. Apparently I need to call the city to have an inspector look at the situation. At least the electric lady was able to describe where their concern was and give me an idea of what to look for so I could pass it on to the city inspector. I am not sure how much that will cost. The electric company is going to charge me $100 to fix something that has been around for the past 10 years.

I also need to fill out a "Rewire Notification". Not sure why I am filling this out since the only thing I can complete is the address of the property. I suppose I could fill out the "About the Rewire Project" section and takes guesses at Service type, size and voltage, whether it is 100 or 200 Amp, underground or overhead. I think 3 phase must be better than 1 phase so I would go with that. There is also a "Sketch Requirements" section. I could sketch a picture of my cat licking itself. It may not help the project but maybe the electrician would like it.

This whole thing kinda pisses me off. To be told I had work done when I didn't and have to spend a couple hundred bucks to fix something that supposedly is a hazard even though they haven't caught it for 10 years seems quite ridiculous to me.

At least we didn't get pounded with 8 inches of snow like they forecasted. Fucking weathermen. They are as clueless as the electric company.

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