House quirks

As in most homes, the Max-Planck guest house has its oddities and foibles. Some problems you can fix by yourself and get up and running again quickly.

Suddenly, the small (or large!) appliances go on strike

This is likely caused by a circuit breaker being flipped. While the electricity in the office has been upgraded (don't worry about plugging your computers or other electronic equipment in there) the rest of the house -- most notably, the main circuit breaker box -- is still in its ~1950 state.

Where to go to fix: The panel of circuit breakers is located in the closet of the office, on the left hand side. The frequent offenders are even clearly marked. Just flip the switch in question back into the "on" position and try again.

Prevention: Avoid overloading the circuits! Use only one electricity hog at a time. For example, you will almost certainly overwhelm the circuit breaker if you use any two of the following three at the same time: toaster, water boiler, coffee pot, or microwave.

It's too cold/hot in the house

The heating/cooling system is controlled by an electronic thermostat that regulates the temperature and turns it on/off at different "normal" times of the day. However, your body may be on a different schedule or want different temperatures! You don't have to re-program the controller, as there is a temporary readjustment mechanism already built in to the system.

Where to go to fix: The box is located on the wall in the short hallway leading to the main bathroom. Of the two controllers, the more inoccuous one has two buttons marked "up" and "down". Use these to adjust the temperature temporarily: it'll return to the pre-set program with the next cycle.

It looks like someone has vomited into the right side of the sink - YUK

Actually, this is normal and foreseen: the dishwasher pumps out directly into the garbage disposer, so the stuff you didn't get off the dishes can be ground up properly before going to the sewer. You need to run the disposer with a good quantity of running water.

Where to go to fix: the switch to turn the garbage disposer on is under the sink on the right side. It is inconveniently located there by design - you can't easily have your fingers near the dangerous chomping machine while turning it on. Run the cold water on full while you use the disposer and for a time after shutting it off.

Prevention: 1. Please do rinse or wipe the dishes to remove particles before putting them into the dishwasher. 2. Run the disposer right before starting the dishwasher.

Important note: never put large things or very hard things (like bones or olive pits) into the disposer, or aluminum foil. If these things get in there clear them out manually before running. Also check to make sure there are no small utensils in there before running. Never pour grease into the disposer. When you operate the machine, do so until you can tell by the sound that it's clear, at least 30 seconds. Always run the cold water on full before, during and after use.

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