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Whammo (2555)

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Journal of Whammo (2555)

Sunday June 06, 2004
02:30 PM


[ #19115 ]

"Here comes that rainy day feeling again
And soon my tears, they will be falling like rain
It always seems to be a Monday
Leftover memories of Sunday"
-- The Fortunes

So I'm in the midst of replacing most of my kitchen appliances. The kitchen was remodeled in 1988, when the house had an extension put on. Most of the appliances do fine (considering how little I actually cook here), but they all have some little quirk to them, and 16 years isn't an unrespectable lifetime.

My microwave - a combination microwave/range hood model - seems to lose track of time on occasion, and microwaves have come a long way since the late 80s, so it was the first to go.

It took several weeks to figure out how to deinstall the previous model. Its age made finding documentation almost impossible, and it clearly didn't match any current installation procedure. Luckily, a friend of mine had previously deinstalled a similar model, and he helped me out. (That's a story unto itself.)

So anyway, picked up the new one yesterday, and got it installed today, after spending last night trying to figure out exactly how I was going to do it. (That's also another story unto itself.)

My refrigerator, besides being somewhat inefficient, had the water pump (for the ice maker and the water dispenser) go out. It's also a bit on the small side, so I decided to replace it, too. So off I went to the store with measurements in hand. Now I understand why my fridge was on the small side.

My available space was 36 1/2 inches in width, with 68 inches in heighth. (There's a small cabinet above the fridge hanging from a soffit.)

As it turns out, fridges that are around 36" wide are taller than 68", and fridges shorter than 68" are around 32" wide. Ugh. So I returned home to make sure I measured correctly - an act that got me a $65 discount from a sympathetic salesman. I had.

To the left of the fridge is a 24" deep cabinet extending floor to ceiling. To the right is a counter, with 12" deep cabinets above it. Now, the cabinet above the fridge is a 12" deep cabinet, but it was set flush with the cabinet to the left, meaning it isn't mounted on the back wall, only to the soffit, and not very well at that. So I took it down. I'll mount it in the garage or something. Anyway, more than enough room now. The new one comes next Sunday.

The last appliance I want to replace is my stove-with-a-burner-that-doesn't, and I came very close to doing that as well. The reason I didn't is because it's electric, and I am still thinking about converting it to gas, which is what the water heater, furnace, and fireplace happen to be. (The previous owners didn't convert because they had never cooked on gas before.)

Anyway, I had to pull out the stove in order to install the microwave today, and was quite surprised at what I found. Or, more accurately, what I didn't find.

There's no outlet. None. The power cable from the stove disappears into a three foot gash in the drywall that separates the kitchen from the garage. Even more baffling, this power cable goes up, to at least 6', because I could see it running up past the exhaust for the microwave/range hood. What the...?!

The stove is located along the wall where the door (to the garage) used to be, before the remodeling. My house is a rancher, so they've could have rerouted it either through the basement, which is unfinished under the kitchen but nonexistant under the garage, or through the attic, which is also unfinished over the kitchen and garage (although divided), but would make almost no sense. Cursory searches of everywhere but the attic have revealed no clues as to where the outlet would be.

So now I'm at a loss. If the stove end of the cable has the same power connectors as a new stove would have, I could simply reuse it with a new electric stove. If I can't, then not only do I not know where to plug the stove into, but I can't convert to gas because I can't disconnect the current stove. (Well, without leaving a hot wire laying around. Yes, I could flip the breaker, but I wouldn't trust that for a second.)

Why do I think I'm going to be tearing down some drywall?

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  • Three cheers for gas ranges!
  • I wouldn't go tearing down the drywall just yet.

    Find your replacement stove first.

    I bought a new stove two years ago (dual fuel... gas stove, electric convection oven) and I had to buy the electric cord separate.

    I was told that this was common industry practice, because the stove may actually be hard wired into the electrical service.

    So... it is very possible that you can (after shutting down the power) disconnect from the old and attach to the new.

    And you'll save a bit on not needing to buy the electr