New range hood – part 2

Yes!! It’s done!

My darling brother happened to need to come out here for other things, so he was able to take a look at the wiring, and we got it done.

No more exposed wires, and now the entire stove top is lit up. The light even has 3 brightness settings, so we’ll have to pick up a dimmable bulb, so there won’t be any flicker.

The fan also has a variable speed adjusting knob; the previous one had a switch for fast or slow.

Also, here is the mystery wire that perplexed us.

I had a hard time even describing this extra piece of wires. It’s just… a piece. Of wire.

Why was it there?

My brother, once he saw it, was able to tell me.

It’s an extension.

I don’t know when work was done on the old fan, but at some point, the wires from the fan no longer reached the wires from the wall, and this piece was added. It’s about 6 inches longer than was needed, too.

Meanwhile, we tested the wires to ensure hot was hot, neutral was neutral, and we had the right voltage. Going through all the safety checks and precautions took longer then hooking the wires together. We don’t cut corners with that. Then it was just a matter of attaching the ground to where it belongs, applying a bit of anti-oxidant cream (also, it was confirmed that the new range hood wires were tinned copper – thanks, 53old!) and using marrettes to twist the ends together.

It just blows me away that there was that big nest of exposed wires before, when it should have just been two connections and a ground, covered.

So glad this is done!

And we can even keep this one clean.

Ah, the things I’ve come to appreciate since moving here… 😀

The Re-Farmer

New Range Hood – part 1

Yesterday, my darling daughters began working on replacing our old, not working right, range hood.

It’s still not done.

Here is the progress so far – and I apologize in advance; some of these progress photos are really gross!

First up, here is the new range hood that my daughter bought.

Note the placement of the light, at the front of the hood.

This is what it’s replacing.

Continue reading

Wait… what?

Today, I sent in our meter reading. Now that it’s been over a year since we’ve had the electricity switched over to our name, we currently have a full 12 months of billing history, beginning in December of 2017. Keeping in mind that our scheduled meter readings are taken around the 13th of every month (it’s not the same for everyone), with the new bill coming in around the 20th of the month, this means that a bill for December covers our usage from the middle of November, to the middle of December. Also, electricity is our only source of energy, including for heating. There’s no oil or natural gas or anything else like that.

Our first bill in December of 2017 had an energy consumption of 4797 kW.h.

Our December of 2018 bill had an energy consumption of 4799 kW.h

A difference of only 2.

The difference in the cost of electricity?

2017 cost us $434.40

2018 came to $452.14

Those 2 extra kW.h cost $17.74

I don’t recall any notification about the cost per kW.h going up, in the past year.

It’s a good thing we’re on the equal payment plan. :-/

The Re-Farmer

Give it a shake

Ah, what a day!

When I headed into town to pick up prescriptions and allergy medications, it was snowing, but fairly lightly.  It picked up a bit while I was out and about, but not too dramatically.

Then I got a text from my husband.

The power went out at home.

Driving back through our own little hamlet, I could see no lights, anywhere, so I could at least be assured it wasn’t just our place!

Also, it was snowing quite a bit more heavily by then, too!

The power was out for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours in total.  The girls and I were about to head out to town, where we could get a data or WiFi signal, so we could check online to see what was going on.  The power came back on, just as we were putting on our shoes.

So we stayed home, and instead walked around and knocked snow off of the trees.

I had already knocked the snow off of these lilacs, before I went into town, and it had to be done again, later on.

It was just above freezing, which means it was a wet, sticky and heavy snow.  Since it started off as rain, there was also a layer of ice under the snow.  All the trees that still had their leaves were drooping like crazy.  The girls and I went around shaking trees, or knocking the snow off with a rake or broom, as high as we could reach.

It’s a good thing we did, or there would have been a lot more weight on those branches!

It continued to snow heavily for some time.  I was sitting in my crochet corner when a noise out the window caught my attention.

Then I watched as a piece of tree came tumbling to the ground!

Soon after, I went outside to check on the trees and, right outside our door, this is what greeted me.


This is from the Chinese elm, outside our kitchen window.  This is also where we park the van, when we drive it into the yard.

Thankfully, it was safely in the garage at the time!


This is the piece of tree I watched from inside, as it fell.  It took me a while, but I think I found where it fell from.


This is the dead spruce whose top we watched fall down in a storm, last winter.

I really look forward to when we can have this tree taken down!

The lilacs by the house were again heavily covered in snow.


The cherry trees are drooping so much, you can’t even see that they’re there!

The girls had already knocked the snow off of this just a few hours before.  One of the branches was right on the bird feeder platform.  As I tried knocking the snow off, I found that it had broken right off.

I continued around the yard, shaking trees or knocking snow off with a rake, but some things, we just can’t reach.


You can see the lower branches, where I knocked the snow off, but the upper branches are still a risk.  It doesn’t normally touch the roof there.  Hopefully, no more branches will break, and if they do, they’ll be ones that fall into the yard, not on the roof.

Another reminder that this tree needs to come down. 😦



Snow and ice covered willow branches are hanging heavily over the power lines.

And there’s nothing we can do about it right now. 😦

The Re-Farmer

Well, that was faster than I expected

I had sent photos of the clean up I had done yesterday, to my family.  When my brother was out here, working on the tractor, he went into the barn to look around, and found something to use to replace the plastic jug I’d put over the outlet on the fence post.

It worked.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I’ll just have to find something to affix it in a way that will keep it from falling off in inclement weather, but will also allow me to move it easily, to access the plugs.

It never occurred to me to look in the barn; with our focus being on the inner yard, we just don’t go into the barn or out buildings very often.

The Re-Farmer

Power Mapping

Today, I spent some quality time with our breaker panel.

If all goes well, our electrician friend will stop by on his way home from his job in the city to look at our dead bathroom fan, and the one my husband bought to replace it.

Electricity Clipart 011511» Vector Clip Art - Free Clip ...

I am not sure we’ll be able to use it, because it is supposed to have heater lamps in it (the bulbs need to be purchased separately) and there might not be enough power load for that.  Plus, we would likely want to have a third switch installed so the fan can be operated without the heater lamps.  If it’s not appropriate for use, we’ll get another and save this one for when we get a second bathroom installed.

Now, the electricity in this place is quite inadequate to modern needs.  Not enough outlets, and it doesn’t take much to trip a breaker.  For example, we can’t have the coffee pot or tea kettle and the toaster going at the same time.

The breaker panel had not been labelled, so my older brother figured out which were which, as best he could, and printed out a list.  Some were pretty obvious.  When he had the new electric furnace installed, it got its own breaker.  Same with the drier when the entry was made into a laundry room.  Beyond that, he just turned things on and off and figured it out the best he could, printed out the list and put it up on the panel.  He even put it in a plastic sleeve, rather than affixing it directly to the panel, so we could add to it as we needed, since he wasn’t able to find everything.

Since we’re looking at getting electrical work done in the bathroom, I figured it would be good to know which breaker the light and fan switch plate is hooked up to.  I turned on the bathroom light, which I can see from the breaker panel, and checked the list.

Nothing was labelled for bathroom.

There’s one labelled “unknown”, so I tried that first.

It’s still unknown.

I then tried the one labelled Old Kitchen.

I then got an alarmed question from upstairs, asking why we lost power.

There is a breaker labelled “Upstairs”, but it turns out that’s just for the two newer outlets, which the girls’ computers are plugged into.  The old outlets, which their fan is plugged into, is on the same breaker as the Old Kitchen light.  Which means that, while my daughter was working on her computer, the fan turned off, and she thought we’d lost power until she realized her computer wasn’t affected. *phew*


I then tried the one labelled Old Kitchen Plug.  That turned out to be the one our freezer is now plugged into.

Nope.  Not the bathroom.

Then I hear my printer restarting itself and my daughter is asking, why did we lose the internet?

Okay.  So the breaker labelled Old Kitchen Plug is also for my office.

We then shut down our computers (thankfully, my power bar protected my computer from being affected by the breaker being switched off).

I then started working my way through the other labels, trying to figure out which one would be the bathroom, testing different ones that seemed they might include the bathroom.  That included one labelled NW Freezer, which is the outlet in the old kitchen that our freezer used to be plugged into.  (At the time it was labelled, there were two freezers in there.)


Finally, I started trying the less logical ones, like one labelled for the basement, or the fridge, etc.  I even tried the one labelled Septic Pump.


Going through the list again, I found one I hadn’t tried yet.

Living Room TV.

The bathroom light turned off.

My daughter and I were just shaking our heads.  These rooms are about as opposite in the house as you can get.

In the process, I realized we don’t know which breaker the master bedroom is part of.  My husband was asleep, so we couldn’t check at the same time.

Also, while we do know about one outlet and light switch in the old part basement, we don’t know about any of the other switches and outlets in the rest of that basement, or the new part basement.  Plus, since we’ve got extension cords coming up from holes to the basement, there would be breakers hooked up to places in the basement that would affect power cords on the ground floor.

It is so strange.

The Old Kitchen has a light and two outlets, each on different breakers.  I now know one of those outlets is also on the same breaker as the office.  Or at least the two outlets.  The light wasn’t on at the time, so that might be on a different breaker.  Also, it’s one of the rooms with an extension cord coming up the floor, along with a TV cable (this became my dad’s bedroom as his mobility decreased, and a TV was set up for him to be able to watch from bed), which is likely on another breaker. What is sharing the breakers the other old kitchen outlet and the light are on?  I didn’t have the light on in the sun room to be able to tell which one it’s on, either.

We’re going to have to do more mapping in the future.

The old part of the house may not have had running water when I was a kid, but it did have electricity.  When the new part was added on, aside from the stove being on its own breaker, everything else would have just been extended from existing lines.

I would so love to get this place rewired, top to bottom, with each room on its own breaker.

But if we were going to start tearing out walls to do that, we’d be renovating the house from top to bottom at the same time.

It certainly needs it, but we’d have to win the lottery or something, first!

Until then, we’ll just have to keep trying to map things out and add to the list as we discover them!

The Re-Farmer