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Old 20.07.2008, 10:40
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Help! Where's the switch box?

The electricity in my kitchen shorted out last night. Anyone have any idea where the switch box in an apartment complex is located, or what it looks like? I've hunted around my flat and the public areas, but I haven't seen anything resembling a box full of switches. As it's Sunday, I don't even know who to call. If anyone has any bright ideas, I'd love to hear them...my freezer is melting!

Thanks!
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Old 20.07.2008, 11:17
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Our circuit breakers are in an inset in the wall in our hall. Metal door with round plate which you press to open it (and which always nips your fingers when you try). In Wildegg our fuses were in the back wall of a build-in cupboard in the corridor. Or try the stairway just outside the flat.

Perhaps you could give more info about construction-date of the house (proper double glazing or '"Vorfenster", (second windows you hang in in winter)), is there a lift? wooden stairs? concrete or tiles - it just helps to get a picture of where the fuses or circuit breakers might be.

What have you got in your freezer? If it's something good, I'll help you eat it!
Seriously, hope you find someone soon.
The electricity board will likely have a 'Piketdienst' (someone on call) but it might cost you an arm and a leg if you call them out.
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Old 20.07.2008, 11:20
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Check also the link: Power went off in kitchen
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Old 20.07.2008, 12:45
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Thanks for the replies. It's an older apartment, maybe 1970s? No lift, concrete floors, stairs are concrete.... There is a panel in the main hall with some hard, white, plastic knobs but I'm not sure what to do with them. They don't seem to turn, push, pull, etc. Aiyiyi. How about a plain old switch box?!

Any ideas?

Thanks!!!
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Old 20.07.2008, 12:51
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

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Thanks for the replies. It's an older apartment, maybe 1970s? No lift, concrete floors, stairs are concrete.... There is a panel in the main hall with some hard, white, plastic knobs but I'm not sure what to do with them. They don't seem to turn, push, pull, etc. Aiyiyi. How about a plain old switch box?!

Any ideas?

Thanks!!!
These sound like old fashion fuses (that don't exist according to some ) that need to be unscrewed and the ceramic fuse inside replaced.
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Old 20.07.2008, 12:56
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Do the 'plastic knobs' each have a little coloured blob in the middle?
If they do, they sound like your fuses. Normally the blob falls off if the fuse blows - but sometimes they are nasty and seem to 'stick' in place.
You should be able to turn them anticlockwise to take them out.
If they are in your flat (you say main hall, but it isn't quite clear to me) I'd unscrew the one without its blob. If not, I suggest you go a neighbour and say that the fuse (die Sicherung) has blown (ist kaput) and hope that he/she has a spare.

All these IT specialists and electricians and no-one has any better ideas... Tut, tut, tut

Come back if this doesn't work...
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Old 20.07.2008, 13:02
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

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I'd unscrew the one without its blob. .
Or more specifically the one labeled Küche...
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Old 20.07.2008, 13:11
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

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All these IT specialists and electricians and no-one has any better ideas... Tut, tut, tut
Well there is a way of bridging a burned fuse if no replacement is at hand, but it is not recommended at all!
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Old 20.07.2008, 13:21
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

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These sound like old fashion fuses (that don't exist according to some ) ...
Don't rub it in. He has been very helpful and friendly to Newbies since those posts!

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Well there is a way of bridging a burned fuse if no replacement is at hand, but it is not recommended at all!
Even to breathe that idea will get us all into trouble with him again.
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Old 20.07.2008, 13:26
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Thanks Longbyt, I think we're on to something. There aren't any colored blobs, but they do unscrew and a little fuse-like thing comes out. Those suckers have a small colored light, none of which are glowing for any of the flats. The lights in my living area ARE working, so I have no idea why none of the lights are glowing, but I can't imagine what else these knobs would be for. So the next question is, are these something I can get replacements for at Migros or Coop? Nobody seems to be at home at the moment, so I'll report back on borrowing...
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Old 20.07.2008, 14:03
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

As Jacek suggested, try reading through the Thread this is linked with and see if it comes up with any more information. I think most places like Migros and Coop will have fuses, but these sound MOST PECULIAR to me!
I'd screw anything you've screwed out, right back in again though, before everybody else's freezer contents melt!
Hope all goes well...
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Old 21.07.2008, 19:12
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Hi Erin,
What happened?
Did you manage to find a replacment fuse?
Did you bridge the burned fuse and burn half the house down?
Are you preparing to spend another yet one more evening in the dark?
Did your neighbours eat the contents of your deep freeze or did you get it sorted before everything melted?
I am really quite interested in knowing what those fuses looked like and where you can get replacements from. You're not the only one these things happen to and usually it happens when no-one is around to help.
EF to the rescue again.
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Old 21.07.2008, 19:31
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Re: Help! Where's the switch box?

Yes indeed, EF comes to the rescue again! Of course it happened at about 11 pm Saturday night, just after I returned from a loooooong bike ride...but fortunately, I didn't fall prey to my ravenous neighbors, nor did I burn the apartment down. I couldn't get a replacement until this morning, but my freezer survived!

So for anyone caught in a similar situation, in these older (1970s?) apartments, the switch box contains nothing resembling a switch. Rather, as Longbyt guessed, it's a big panel in the wall, apparently on each floor, containing a mysterious collection of knobs. In my case, they were hard plastic, but apparently they come in porcelain as well. If you turn the knob counter-clockwise, it comes out, as does the "Sicherungen" inside. The Sicherungen are little ceramic things with metal on each end. You can get them at Migros Do-it+Garden, but I did not find them at Coop, Coop City, a normal Migros grocery store (of the MM variety), or in the Migros Electronics store. So save yourself some effort and go straight to the Migros Garden store! In my case, a pack of 5 6 Amp fuses cost 2.20.

You pop the fuse back into the knob, screw it into the panel, and the refrigerator starts humming again. Thank goodness.

Moral of the story: check out the location of your fuse box BEFORE this happens, and get a pack of plugs so you're ready...because of course the electricity will go out on a Sunday!

Thanks to everyone for your help!

Erin
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