Very Clean Dimmer

February 22, 2009

That’s pretty much as clean as it’s ever been, and that’s due to the fact that I spilled coffee all over it.

That little foot dimmer thingy is located right next to the end table between my couch and my chair in my living room. Yesterday, after getting home from a bunch of errands, I reached for the phone on the end table and promptly spilled the half-filled cup of coffee that had been sitting there since the morning. It spilled all over the dimmer thingy.

After muttering a few curse words and grabbing a whole bunch of napkins, I moved the dimmer thingy to the off position while I attempted to sop up the coffee with the napkins. All of a sudden, the lamp went on at full intensity. I double-checked, and the dimmer thingy had not been moved.

It was at this point that I thought that unplugging everything that got wet was a grand idea.

After doing the best I could with the six or so ounces of coffee all over my rug (in the dark, mind you), I took the dimmer thingy into the kitchen to see what I could do to help dry it out. After unscrewing the back, and pouring out a not insignificant amount of coffee, I saw that the insides were quite dusty (and wet). But because, as I suspected, it was just a few transistors and resistors, plus the actual sliding dimmer thingy, I knew that it should be fine after a good drying out.

I grabbed an old toothbrush that I use to clean stuff, used some water and cleaned out all of the dust and coffee that I could find. Then, using the water spraying thingy from the sink, I gave everything a good washing. After it seemed clean, I put all the parts on the dish rack, and went about my business. Worst case scenario is that it’s busted and I have to get a new one.

About five hours later I checked the parts to see if there was any moisture in them. There wasn’t. I put everything back together, plugged it in, grabbed my fire extinguisher, and turned my lamp on. It went on without a problem, and has been working fine ever since.

Will this experience teach me about not leaving half-filled cups of coffee on my end table? Almost certainly not.