My only concern?! Electricity. It has been more on my mind lately, especially when I look out my window on my $5,000 hot tub which isn't doing a damn thing right now other than occupying most of my back patio. (So much for visions of live bands!) No gyrating jets, no waterfall... no nothing. It needs a special (read: expensive) 220 volt hookup in order to do its happy dance.
Now, if you like electrical appliances, you'd love Santa Clara. They're one of the few cities around the bay area which didn't sell their soul (and their citizens) to PG&E. As a result, the people of Santa Clara pay a fraction of what others around the bay pay for their electricity... but our electric bill is the least of my worries.
We have an old house with old wiring and a circuit breaker box rated for 100 amps --and we already have 140 amps installed on it. Our electrician looked at the thing and fled, suggesting an entire rewiring of the house and talking about liability and how upset he'd be if our house burned down... Hm. Not good.
He got back in touch, however, and has a plan that involves sharing breakers and us not using most of the power in the garage while we use the hot tub. That's doable... seems that at some point, a handyman type lived in this house and wired the garage (illegally) so that he could run all sorts of power tools at once. We don't do that currently, though --our garage is full of boxes for the time being. Way, way too many boxes.
So, if we're careful not to run excessive crappage on that breaker at the same time we use the hot tub, we should be fine. Otherwise, things will heat up and the breaker will probably trip... or, if it doesn't, the wiring could overheat and set the house on fire.
See... don't you love your old circuit breaker? Don't you just wake up happy in the morning, hoping that if something untowards happens, it might just save you from having your life go up in smoke? I know I do. I wish I could oil them and dust them lovingly and be absofuckinglutely sure that in the event of things heating up, they trip. I look forward to walking outside in the dark with a flashlight, robe, and slippers, secure in the knowledge that despite the fact I'm missing a really good movie, I've cheated fate once more.
Now, if only the electrician didn't scare the bejeezus out of me by mentioning the old bare wiring in the walls which is *so* not suited for earthquake country... !