Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Electrical Outlet-less

When I first came to see my apartment it was basically an empty box. The owners had just bought the place a month before and told me to come to the viewing with an “open mind”. I was definitely feeling a time crunch and ended up agreeing to live here based on what they said they would do renovation-wise (side note: the agreement was completely verbal, because while I’m trusting, I’m not totally crazy). I came by every week for the next 3 weeks to make sure good progress was being made on the renovations. I signed my lease a few days before moving in (there were just a few slight finishing touches they needed to work on) and got my stuff ready to move on a Saturday. I brought in my first load of boxes and placed them in the living room. I was showing a couple of my friends (who were helping me move – very nice friends!!) around the place when I noticed there were no outlets in the kitchen. Not a single one.  What the….?? I would’ve expected to see 2-3 outlets on the backsplash – 1 to the right of the sink, 1 between the sink and oven, and maybe one between the oven and the fridge.

So I called down the landlords. They’re a married couple – she’s pretty young (my age) and he’s.. I dunno.. late thirties? Anyhow, her brother did all the kitchen and bathroom renovations while her husband did all of the cosmetic stuff (painting, etc). If you just groaned at the very likely sketchy nature of my electrical work – you are. not. alone. I asked them where my kitchen outlets were and they just looked on, as dumbfounded as I was lol. Then she said, “Well can’t you just use one of the outlets in the living room?” Uh…no. Dear readers, how many small kitchen appliances do you have on your counter? Probably a microwave, a toaster and a coffee maker/kettle, right? How about all of those other small appliances? A blender, stand/hand mixer, food processor, waffle maker, slow cooker… the list goes on. While my landlords are very nice, I firmly let them know no outlets in the kitchen was a total deal breaker and if they want to ensure good quality tenants in the future (not people who are okay with plopping their microwave on the floor in the living room), they should fix this issue now.

Within 3 days, an electrician came by to scope out the job of adding outlets. I eavesdropped on his and my landlord’s conversation. According to the electrician, the electrical work definitely was not up to code and is shoddy work at best, as I (and probably you) had suspected. The lesson here is to definitely get a proper electrician!! I creepily took this picture of the unknowing electrician while he was drilling a hole in my wall… muahahah!
Electrician at work

The electrician originally planned to add in 3 outlets, but couldn’t make that happen. I ended up with one outlet (2 plugs) between the sink and oven that is on its own dedicated line and is grounded. It’s definitely an improvement, but I think this is a case where it would’ve been worth the extra cost to do it right  (with a licenced electrician) the first time!

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