Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The ceiling fans of hell

A hot spell was upon us, as it was with every person in North America. I had just received three ceiling fans from my in-laws, Joe & Barb, as they tore down their camp to make a new home (film at eleven).

So, I, being the good and ever resourceful husband, decided to wait until mid-afternoon on the hottest day of the weekend, to install all three ceiling fans. And yes, can you guess how well it went? You're about to find out.

Removing the fans from camp was fairly easy, my good old brother-in-law, Brian, helped me rip these suckers from the ceiling. With all parts safely in the back of my van, I was ready to install them.

The first order of business was to cut the power off at the circuit breakers. Hey, at least I knew enough to do that. But, which breakers turned off the power to the bedrooms was the big question. They were all labeled, well, sort of. As I tripped one switch, it did stop the power to our bedroom but also turned off Thomas clock. Turning off another one labeled bedroom, not only did the light go out in Thomas' bedroom, but the TV as well, which is downstairs, three rooms away. Oh, this was going to be fun, I could tell right away.

I took off the old light in our bedroom and it revealed four wires: black, white, blue and green. I looked at the ceiling fan wiring and it showed: red, yellow, black and white. So, this was going to be easy, huh? Calling the local hardware store asking for help, I was told to just do my best. The worst that could happen was that I would trip the breaker or start a massive fire in the garage. Not to worry.

So, I gave it a try. Hooking up all the wires, all seemed to go fairly well. I hadn't thrown a single tool in the fifteen minutes it took to install the fan. Once done, I went back downstairs to the circuit breaker box, or whatever it's called, and flipped all the switches back on. Coming back upstairs, I flipped the switch, and the fan started running perfectly. I pulled the chain for the light and... it didn't work.

I stepped back thinking, maybe we don't need a light. We have other lights. So next I headed to Thomas' room. The wires in his ceiling light were similar to those of our bedroom, completely different from the next ceiling fan. To make a long story longer, his fan and his light worked fine. And they say miracles don't happen.

Heading to Kate's room, I had a different type of ceiling fan. We had had to take all the fins off to take it down originally and as I tried to screw these back on, they wouldn't go on. The screws wouldn't go in no matter how hard I pushed, how much I swore or how many M&M's I ate on break. I decided that maybe Kate didn't need a ceiling fan, she can keep using the floor fan. So, grabbing her old light, I tried to put it back up. I couldn't get the screws back into the old light either. After a few non-swear words, like "damage!", I sat down to watch some Oprah and ate more M&M's. A bit later, I gave it another try and somehow managed to get the old light back up.

Eventually, I realized that we really did need a ceiling light in our room and Thomas' fan was actually too big for his room, I switched the ceiling fans around. This time, the light and fan both worked in our room but Thomas' light did not.

Now, every night, Thomas yells for me at bedtime to fix his ceiling fan so that the light works. He tells me that he knows the light doesn't work but he keeps switching the switch and is getting pretty frustrated. Welcome to my world.

Anyway, it's on my list of things to do this weekend along with twenty-five other things. I'm hoping by Monday, I'll repeat another one of my Mom's favorite quotes, "Let there be light. And there was light... and it was good."


txgordo said...

ceiling fans are SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO (not) fun - even when you have the instructions.

Pat Henry said...

yeah, and we only need these fans for about one week... but what a week of no sleeping... jeepers, how do people live here?

txgordo said...

And are circuit breaker boxes EVER labeled properly - always one of those projects that I never get around to, because it takes a 3 to 4 person 'holler line'.

Pat Henry said...

my circuit breakers ARE all labeled... INCORRECTLY! it's a project for a rainy Sunday.