Go to How Not to Build an Addition Index! This page includes notes on electricity and religion.


Electricity comes into the house via the service entrance. This, by the way, is not a back door for the hired help. It is merely some thick wires leading down a stainless steel mast. The electric company's cable and your personal cable usually meet at the top of this mast. Here, the wires are exposed to open air. It is, I am sure, superfluous to caution the average do-it-your-selfer not to touch these bare wires or to arbitrarily lean an aluminum ladder against them. That is, you should be careful unless you consider yourself a candidate for electroshock therapy and are looking for an inexpensive treatment for manic depression. (You don't even need a prescription.) However, the voltage and amperage of these wires might do more than merely assist in attitude adjustment.

From the mast, the wires go through the power meter. What is interesting about this piece of equipment is that you own it, but the power company puts a seal on it. I've checked it out thoroughly, and there is no way you can get into it without "them" knowing about it. The reason for the security measures is very simple: the meter measures your electrical usage, and the electric company gets paid based on how many times that disk behind the glass has spun around. Mine typically resembles a CD of Ted Nugent gone haywire. Without a seal to protect the meter box, it would not take much work to reroute your service wires around the meter, or, better yet, hook them up backward.

I'm not sure that the seal is absolutely necessary. I don't suppose that you could get the electric company to believe that you were contributing electricity to their system. There is a danger, though, that you might be able to rig up a way to send only part of your electrical draw through the meter. But this is stealing, and unless you have daily access to a priest for confessional purposes, it would be immoral to even attempt. Should your ruse prove successful, imagine getting to the Pearly Gates and having St. Peter present you with your genuine power bill. It might take a while to work off that expense washing dishes in Hell's Kitchen.

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About the Author:
W.J. Rayment built an addition on his house, and in the course of the project learned from his many mistakes. This on-line compendium is his effort to help you learn from his experience. The advice and stories are often humorous, sometimes silly, but always informative. for yourself or as a gift for family or friends.

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