Ask Grandpa: Questions in and around their houses

Ask Grandpa
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I live in a house that has been divided into three small apartments. I suspect that when the landlord divided the house, he wired it so that he gets free electricity by tapping into the power of the two rental units. My electric bill is very high for a single man who works and is not home much. I called the electric company and all they can tell me is that I am getting billed for the readings on my meter. I do not have access to the fuse box or I would shut off all my fuses and see if the landlord loses any power. I cannot afford an electrician and would not have access to the fuse box anyway. I don’t have to move. I can afford the rent here and it is close to my work. I just can’t afford these high electric bills.
Grandpa says; Have you contacted the city government about the issue? Call your city’s building inspector with your suspicions. Explain what you told me and ask for an electrical inspection. Obviously, if what you suspect is true, the wiring was not done by a reputable electrician. That means it was never inspected at the time of renovation. That means it could have some fire hazards in the wiring. You do not know the entire history of the house so you are unaware of the potential dangers. Only a good inspection will answer your questions. While you are seeking answers, I strongly urge you to protect yourself with a good renter’s insurance policy.
Recently, my retired father came to live with me and my family. He’s a blessing to have here. He is great with the kids and is home when they get back from school. I love having him here, yet, I am noticing things that I never saw in him before. He does odd little things like reuses envelopes, keeps coins in jars. He has a gallon jug for each denomination: Pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters. And he is always talking under his breath to my mother. She passed (many) years ago.
He is a neat freak and very fastidious about doing the laundry, folding each item, and hanging the clothes for all of us. His closet in his room is organized by color of the clothing. He is a great help around the house, but it drives my husband nuts to watch the older man go about his fussy little ways. He is just as fussy with the yard work. He keeps the yard manicured. That once was my husband’s domain. Dad gets it done during the week and there is no work left for (husband) to do on the weekends. I am not asking for advice on how to change Dad. How do I get my husband to be more like my dad?
Grandpa says; You don’t. Husband is husband, Dad is Dad. Each will influence the other and both will influence the children. Let the men in your life work things out between them. Be happy you have them.
Got something stuck in your craw? Ask Grandpa. Address your letters to Ask Grandpa c/o The Voice, 314 N. Lake Street, Suite 2, Aurora, IL 60506 or send an E-mail to

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