Sunday, August 19, 2012

Pull that Tab

Such an innocent action that lead to more then 15 hrs of labor.

After dinner last night and after the dishes were loaded into the dishwasher, as is my usual routine, I opened the door beneath the sink to remove the garbage container. I like to pull the garbage bag, tie it up and take it outside each night. I have an aversion to odors. This aversion only got worse after I gave up cigarettes.

As I pulled out the garbage can, the electric cord to the dishwasher came out of the receptacle on the back wall of this cupboard. Drats! Now since I can't squat down on my haunches very well since my knee replacement, I plopped down on my butt on the rug and leaned in to grasp the cord to plug it back in.

An explosion of sparks and a snap, crackle, pop and I was scooting back away for the fireworks. The receptacle must have had some loose wires.

For the past 15 hrs the husband has been the one beneath the sink. Turning off the power and replacing that receptacle last night, he grabbed the cords to the dishwasher and the garbage disposal and plugged them back in again only to find the garbage disposal would not "turn off". It ran continously. I was in charge of the wall switch that controls the power to the disposal. I kept telling the husband.."it won't turn off". Of course he had to move me away and test it himself. That's when the next 15 hrs was spent trying to figure out the whys of problem.

This morning I got up and headed for Home Depot. After searching the internet last night, I read that you ahve to pull the tab on the new receptacle. I looked and looked for a tab. Giving up, I decided to ask the electrical folks at HD.

Two young men there and neither of them knew anything about a tab. My next stop was Steine's where this nice older gentlemen explained the tab thing. He said I should have 4 wires and a ground wire to this receptacle. The tabs are on either side of the receptacle and they need to be pried off so the "plug in's work independtly of each other. A white wire runs from this recepatcle up to the switch on the wall that releases the power to the disposal. If this tab is not pulled, the receptacles are getting contant power and that's why the disposal ran continously!

I raced home to tell the husband the news and he took the new receptacle that the nice man at Steins' has so kindly pulled the tabs from each side of it for me and installed it on the wall.

I hit the switch and not a darn thing happened. Now the disposal wasn't getting any power at all. By process of elimination and a little shrewd thinking, we surmised that since we did not have the correct number of wires and a ground that the nice man told me about...we might only have to pull off one tab on the side of the new receptacle. We scrounge around for another unused and UN tabbed receptacle, pulled the tab off ONE side, hooked the wires up and TA FRIGGIN DA!

Yep, this Sunday was spent with our heads beneath a sink.

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