micke-midlife on July 26th, 2009

broken ovenThat’s the way life goes. A long run on the weekend schedule, but something breaks down and the janitor role is forced to priority level.

It looked so good. 107km accumulated in the first 5 days of the week, until Friday evening. A deserved rest on Saturday. And the Long run would add a heap of km on top of it and lift the max km per week to somewhere around 140km. That was the plan. Of course, something had to go square against it. It was the bloody oven.

It’s is the little princess’s 2-year birthday party with relatives and friends dropping in. Cakes are required. One down - the strawberry cake base was prepared the day before - one to go, a delicious marble cake with marmalade mixed in. The doe was ready. But the oven didn’t start. No light, no heat. All fuses intact, the hot plates on top still working fine. This called for a the electrician-janitor to step out - immediately. It was 10:30 am, the guests would arrive at 3 pm. The plan was to go running at noon, 2 hours out there and then a quick jump in the lake, wash myself and change. But now the oven - this bloody, stupid, old oven broke down and the bakery chef (the queen) running angrily around with the ready dough in her hands and mumbling things about which I decided not to ask for further elaboration.

10:30 - 11:00 am: pulling out the oven, disassembling all mechanical parts to get to the wiring and the switches.

11:00 - noon: measuring the voltage all along the electrical wiring and resistance of the heating elements. Elements are fine, but there’s full 230V everywhere. A switch (thermostat, control unit) must be broken or a wire is off somewhere.

noon - 12:30 pm: (ok, I can still do an almost 2 hour run, when washing and changing quickly afterwards) disassembled the control unit to have a closer look at its connectors, all fine. Built it bak in and then … aaarghhh, broke a mechanical connection to the thermostat. When you turn up the heat from 100 to 200 degrees Celsius, the thermostat that sits at the back of the oven is adjusted over a mechanical axis inside the appliance. This axis is attached to the control unit and knob with a flexible joint of which one side broke off due to my clumsy way of assembling the control unit back into its place. Damn, never try to fox a 20+ year appliance, it’s always more broken afterwards.

12:30 - 1 pm: (f…, I can go for a longer normal run now, if I’m quick) Feverishly running around, fetching tools and pices of strong wire to somehow attach the axis back to the control unit. But it’s just botch, it wouldn’t turn with the control unit. Need to take the axis out, drill a hole into it and screw it onto the control units axis. Meanwhile the actual electrical problem was found, a worn off wire through heat and corrosion at another switch that looks after timed auto on/off for the oven.

1 pm - 1:30 pm: Cutting off the burned part of the wire, putting on a new cable shoe and putting the wire back onto the connector on the switch. Putting back all mechanical parts of the oven’s casing and pushing it back in into place. Fuses all in and a quick test, all works, fine, done. And now into the running shoes.

Went out for 52 minutes, 11+km, it wasn’t much fun. Then a quick jump into the lake to refresh. While hurrying back half naked to the house to change, the first guests arrived and strolled over the lawn. In the end I missed the princess opening her first presents but was in time for blowing out the candles on the nice strawberry cake. The second cake had to be bought from LIDL, they can do good bakery goods as well!

Let’s try to schedule a long run next weekend…

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