Err, oops?

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So I finally got around to putting down the plastic sheeting, digging out the steam stripper and set to on the final downstairs wall. Well, apart from the teeny one next to the kitchen door. Now, prior to this job, on every wall (I think) the sockets had not been refitted when I was steam stripping. Whilst they were attached, they hung from the walls like alien eyes on stalks. This time, however, having had children and animals in the house, the sockets were neatly up against the wall. This is important. It is, as we shall see, Chekhov’s gun.

When steam stripping, water often runs down the wall. To avoid it pooling on our nice new floor I ran plastic along the floor and taped it to the skirting (base) boards. I did nothing about the socket. I merrily set to with the stripper (uh, err, the steam stripper) and scraped the grotty yellow paint/glue mix from the walls. Mostly it’s been done, this is a final run past before I start liberally throwing filler on the walls and sanding them smooth(ish).

The water ran merrily down the wall and onto the plastic sheet. Yay, I did say, as it pooled there.

I danced my way along the wall (as I’m prone to, when working on the house) and stripped the paint until… Click.

Oh arse, I thought, as I looked down at the socket and across at the RCD*. The water had indeed merrily run into the socket, which, positioned as it was, properly against the wall, meant that the water had actually run into the socket.

I unscrewed the wall plate and dried it off externally, blowing air through it. No dice. After some more rounds of cursing my idiocy and wafting hot air at it from the hair drier (connected to the ultra-long 15A extension lead I made a while ago), I decided to just stuff it and finish stripping the wall. I did so. I wafted more air at it. I blew in it. I waited. I tried again. And again. And finally spent even longer heating it with the hair drier and blowing in it.

It worked. Yay.

Only I actually spent more time on the bloody switch than I did on the actual stripping. Still, that said, the wall is ready to be filled. And sanded. And filled. And painted!

The last wall.

* Residual current device (trip switch, earth/ground leakage switch)


Kate's allegedly a human (although increasingly right-wing bigots would say otherwise). She's definitely not a vampire, despite what some other people claim. She's also mostly built out of spite and overcoming oppositional-sexism, racism, and other random bullshit. So she's either a human or a lizard in disguise sent to destroy all of humanity. Either way, she's here to reassure that it's all fine.