Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Fire danger: high

Our kitchen has a block of counters that divide it from the dining room; this entire block of counters has only one set of electrical outlets, which are mounted on the bottom of a row of cabinets that hang from the ceiling.

This evening, after we made some almond/rice milk with my SO's new soymilk maker (plugged into one of the above-mentioned outlets), my SO pulled some brown sugar out of one of the hanging cabinets, idly noting that the bag was warm. It was only a short while later that a realization kicked in: brown sugar stored in a cabinet should never be warm.

My SO investigated and found that the brown sugar had been sitting on this very hot extension cord:

Overheated cord
Yikes! (Note the holes melted in the insulation around the plug.)

Upon further investigation we discovered that the electrical outlets in the run of cabinets were not directly wired into the house's electrical system, but instead were plugged into that puny extension cord. The same puny extension cord also provided power to some under-cabinet lighting the prior owners had installed. We're not electrical inspectors, but we figure this has got to violate building codes.

The cord was even hot enough to melt the insulation around another cord running next to the plug:

Melted wire
The cord is melted near the upper-left corner of the picture.

Our wrath towards the moronic prior owners of our home (and the house inspector who supposedly inspected our house before we bought it) has grown to new levels.

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