But he almost did.
You see, when we moved in we had two small electrical issues: 1. the light switch in the kitchen had three buttons going to three lights, but one button was missing 2. the bathroom light switch did not work. Number 1 was fine for a long while because there were two other lights in the kitchen, so not urgent. Number 2 was remedied by always using another bathroom, except when the kids needed to bathe (it was the only bathroom with a shower/bath area) when we would use a flashlight. You would think this would lead us to fix the bathroom quickly, but not so. A week after we moved in our landlord showed up with two new switches and said have fun, if you can’t fix it call me. Two weeks after that we had the Roseros over for dinner and I somehow got Rodrigo to fix the one in the kitchen. He made it look pretty easy, and didn’t even holler if he shocked himself, so today Aaron thought he could get project number 2 taken care of. Plus the flashlight batteries were just about dead, so it was time.
It is always very comforting when your husband says things like “I hope I don’t die” and “nice knowing you” and “I am pretty afraid of electricity” and “you shouldn’t watch, just listen for yelling” while working on an outlet wired with Ecuadorian wiring he has never seen before. Oh, and the breaker? Who knows where it is. Rodrigo didn’t have to turn it off so why not just go for it? Right, good plan.
After shocking himself several times (and me panicking in the other room) Aaron eventually declares he is done. Then he flips on the light in the bathroom and somewhere else in the house we hear a crazy buzzing noise. He turns off the light and has blown the power in the entire house. This is great because we couldn’t previously find the breaker, so now when we really need it we are out of luck. We search the house again, meanwhile hoping aloud that he hasn’t fried the fridge or microwave. Eventually we realize it must be in the locked box out front next to the meter box. But we don’t have a key.
After many unanswered calls to the landlord we go eat at our neighbor’s tasty restaurant and tell him our woes. He tells us how to call the power company. I call them and they tell me I just need to flip the breaker and that we (or the landlord) should have the key. Let me pause and mention how nice the guy on the phone was. If someone was calling me to tell me that they blew the circuit and what should they do, I would have been a bit (ok a lot) more condescending. So high-five to you awesome power company guy! By this time we have realized that our landlord is likely out of town for the weekend. Our kind neighbor shows me where his breaker box is (out on the street) and I tell him we don’t have a key. He shows me how easy his is to open without a key, and says if we need help he can come over.
We go home and I try to open the box. Ours has a pretty secure newer lock and it doesn’t go. I decide to try all the keys on the keychain again (I have tried them before) and one magically works this time. We find the magical breaker box, and as Aaron has fixed the wiring (we hope!) we give it a go. Nothing in the house buzzes or lights on fire and when Aaron tries to turn the light on again it works. We later plug in the fridge and microwave and are pleased to find our precious appliances are still functioning.
So, let that be a lesson to you. First find the key to the breaker box, then try and do your electrical work. Otherwise you might look like a fool to your neighbor, landlord, and power company guy. But hey, we now have light in our bathroom and Aaron is safe, what more could you ask for?