I live was Victorian style house that was built in 1904 in Oakland California. My family moved into the home in the early nineties and have been happily living there for the past twenty three years. As with any old home it has its fair share of quirks and peculiarities; our crooked staircase, groaning floors, and flickering lights come to mind. Most of these can be attributed to the industrious previous owners of our home who seemed to enjoy doing home repairs and renovations themselves. The original house only had two floors but in 1965 a basement and sub-basement were added on. My parents then converted that basement into a regular third floor. Despite the sometimes unique work of the previous owners my family has had no major problems in the home aside from normal wear and tear.
I explain this just to give you a little background on what my house is like. A few months ago my family had just finished having dinner. My dad and I were downstairs in the basement watching a movie while my mom was baking cookies upstairs in the kitchen. Over the course of an hour a burning smell begins the permeate the entire house. At first my Dad and I just tried to ignore it assuming it would go away. But it just kept getting stronger. It was the odor of burnt food or an oven left on for too long. Eventually we decided to investigate where the smell was coming from. Our first thought naturally was my mom had burned her cookies in the oven. She is an excellent baker but accidents do happen. We checked with her and she had not burned anything. As we wondered what was going on all of our power shuts off. We had our answer, something was wrong with the electricity.
My dad grabbed a few flashlights for us as my mom lit candles around the house. I began combing through the yellow pages looking for an emergency electrical service. My dad checked the power line going into our house to make sure it was not broken or malfunctioning. He went under the house in the sub-basement to check for fires or burnt wiring. He even reset the circuit breaker but nothing worked and we could not tell what was wrong. We called the good people at Mahaffey Electrical Services
He was very friendly asked us if we were okay and what the problem seemed to be. We told him about the power turning off and the persistent burning smell. My mom was worried there was a fire somewhere in the walls. He assured us that everything was going to be fine and he would do his best find out what was wrong. Sure enough about an hour later our electrical system was partially restored and the burning smell has subsided. He explained that the smell was coming from a faulty wire that would have to be replaced. Some of the wiring the previous owners had done was not up to code and caused the power to turn off. The electrician offered to rewire the house over the course of the next couple weeks. And I am happy to say that once the work was done we have not had another electrical issue.