Ok, I’m scared. Or post-scared. Or scared-for-what-could-have-happened. However you say it – not good. For the last week I’ve been living in a fire risk house without knowing it.

Mrs Hippy got two of her workmates husbands to do some stuff in our house. A nice shiny new bathroom (literally shiny – it’s all chrome and white), various boring bricks-and-mortar related bits, new flooring throughout, tiling in a few rooms, new doors, new skirting boards, new lights.

Now these guys work for a council, doing this kind of stuff all day. One is a tiler/bricklayer and the other a plumber. The bathroom was fine. The various floors and doors will be (when they’re finally finished). The lights – hmmm.

After the lights were fitted in the kitchen, the lights upstairs stopped working. We worked out that we could have light upstairs if the kitchen lights were off. And even weirder, if the bathroom light was on, it turned on the kitchen as well – but dimmed.

After lots of head scratching I called my friendly electrician. It’s weird, but he immediately became “Phil”. Not “the electrician” or “phil the electrician”, just “Phil”. that’s how friendly he is. Anyway, he came, scratched his head for a a bit, and decided to come back when the – er – professionals who did the job were about. That he did. After taking down the lights they’d fitted, and fiddling with the spaghetti they left, he worked out they’d wired the “Neutral” straight to the “Earth”. Serious fire risk. Neutral + Earth = NO NO NO!! Not only that, but the fuse wire had been mysteriously replaced with ordinary non-fuse wire so it didn’t blow as it should. Fuse + ordinary wire = NO NO NO!!

The only reason I’ve still got a house is ‘cos I’m lucky.

The “professionals” are back next weekend – but not touching any electrics!! I’ll let you know what happens if I survive.

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