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Monday, March 16th, 2009


Categories: [ DIY ]

Yesterday late evening I went to the kitchen, switched the light on and… nothing, except a slight buzzing from the switch. I ran to the fuse board and removed a couple of unlabeled fuses (until I found the one for the kitchen, which bore a label). Of course, the fridge is on the same circuit as the light, so I had to pull it out of its corner to grab its power cord, and connect it to one of the sockets in the kitchen (which are on a grounded circuit).

After that, I removed the cover, I took a look at the inside of the swith. It was full of cooked ants… We've been having ants in the kitchen (they came with the house, they visit us at the end of the winter, and should leave when the weather is warmer outside), but I never expects the buggers to walk into the electric switch. Damn stupid animals (which they are, of course, taken individually). So I vacuum-cleaned the switch, then used canned air to spray the last pieces of ant out. But the switch was still not conducting electricity.

The problem was that cooked ants don't conduct electricity very well (I measured about 60 Ω through the switch) and the switch was still buzzing. After a bit of thinking and scratching the contacts with a flat screwdriver (too big for the job), I thought of using a piece of sandpaper, stick it between the contacts, close the switch, and pull. After a couple of times, the switch was better than new (with a resistance of under an Ohm).

Lights are working fine now. But why does this always happen at night, when you have to work with a flashlight in your mouth?

[ Posted on March 16th, 2009 at 21:33 | 5 comments | ]