Thursday, December 8, 2016

Sans Electric

The first night the Tiny House was parked in the yard, I was just falling asleep when my ceiling fan suddenly stopped.  I could still hear my nephew playing on the computer so I knew the problem was only in one area of the house.  I sent a text to the Tiny House people, "Hmm, ceiling fan stopped".  Then I got a call from them and they said half of their house went dark.  Seems they accidently plugged the half of the house that needs 20amps into my 15 amp circuit and the other side that needs less electricity into the 20amp outlet.  All was well until they turned on their clothes dryer.  This was easily fixed by resetting the circuit breaker and switching the cords around.

On Monday of last week, I had planned to return my mother's car and pick up my car which got the new timing belt.  On the way to work, the Check Engine Light went on in my mom's car so I decided to get it checked out first.  My nephew wanted to go to the CVS Minute Clinic because he had a persistent cough leftover from a cold and he was sure he had something like bronchitis or pneumonia.  After work, I rushed home, took him to the Minute Clinic (I'm so glad those exist.  They are so convenient!), picked up Mc Donald's (I know, junk food), dropped him at home (He's not dying, it's just a cough), and drove to a co-worker's house who had a car code reader.  My co-worker read the code, "small emissions leak", we tightened the gas cap and hoped that it fixed the problem, and I went home, finally.  I try to not have errands after work but sometimes they are unavoidable.

The next day around 2pm, I got a text from the Tiny House people, "Electric is out. Is there a way to turn it back on?"  While I was still processing this information, I got a second text, "Electric Company is here.  It's out in the whole neighborhood."  Ok, so, nothing for me to do.  I called the electric company's automated system and it said it would notify me when power was restored.  Then, another text, "Transformer blew. Electric Company says power will be out until midnight" Ugh.  It has never been off that long.  Now it will affect me.  Anyway, picked up my car after work and got home late to a very dark house.  I had warned my nephew so he was able to do his online homework at the library.  We went to Mc Donald's again because I let my nephew choose and I just wanted to use the Wi-Fi.  After wasting an hour, we went back to the house to search for flashlights and candles.  All of my D size batteries were dead and my lighter was empty.  We both had a headlamp which was handy except when we looked at each other and were blinded.  I brought in a solar light from outside.  My nephew turned on his brightest lightsaber.  He found matches in a survival knife that my father gave to my sister and me when we were teens.  It finally came in handy!  We had my dad's old hand crank radio and my nephew amused himself with that even though he could have been reading with his headlamp. 

I finally went to bed but didn't sleep well because the workmen were working in the alley outside my bedroom and I had no fan to block out the noise of truck doors slamming, lifts going up and down, beeping noises when they backed up.  The dogs did pretty well until they all started barking at 12:30.  I let them out to pee and I noticed the workman hovering over the yard working on the electric pole.  The dogs didn't notice for about 20 seconds and then one dog saw his flashlight and all barks and howls broke loose.  I managed to get them all inside again and we went back to sleep until suddenly, at 2:30am, my bedroom lights came on!  Oh ya, I forgot I turned those on.  Well, we had power again.  I turned off the lights, turned on the fan and slept well until 5:30am when the electric company's automated system called me to tell me that the power was back on.  Thanks a lot.  I got another call from the electric company, a human this time, at 7am asking if my power was back on.  Yes, it only took 13 hours.  Hopefully, my fridge and freezer food was ok.

The rest of the week was, thankfully, uneventful.


Meg B. said...

Oh, your food will be fine. 13 hours is NOTHING. In my little corner of the PNW, power outages are common. Last fall, a windstorm took out power for 3 nights and four days. As we have a private well, run by an electric pump, that means no water, either. Oldest DS was leaned his head out a window and washed his hair for the first day of school with bottled water. I heated water on the stove for DD's shampoo, and let her plug her dryer and curling iron into the generator. Personally, I like the occasional, BRIEF power outage. It slows things down.

Dave said...

The last big power outage I went through was from Hurricane Sandy back in late 2012. I lost power for about 60 hours. I stayed at a friend's place nearby who didn't lose power and gradually brought my frozen and refrigerated foods to her place. Some foods were thawing (at least the indoor temps were only in the low 60s) out but the more packed the freezer is, the better off you are. And don't open the freezer or fridge, either, except to get stuff out to store elsewhere (not to eat or cook).

I had a small power outage back in February which was more like yours, Daizy. The local power company was doing some work nearby and cut the power, perhaps mistakenly, to several buildings late at night (around 10:30 PM). Oddly, in my small apartment I actually HAD power in half of it while blacked out in the other half even though everyone else in my building (about 60 units) lost all power as far as I knew. The power was fully restored in about an hour.

Daizy said...

4 days! Ack, everything would be ruined. Brief power outages are a good reminder of how much we rely on electricity but I'd rather not go longer than an hour. I'm too spoiled!

Daizy said...

I guess my nephew didn't know he wasn't supposed to open the fridge because he mentioned that the ice cream was melting. I said, "Ah! You aren't supposed to open the door!" The ice cream was the only thing that showed signs of melting the next day.

How odd that half of your apartment had power. Very fortunate for you!

Done By Forty said...

Man, when it rains, it pours, right?

For very short periods, I like power outages. It's fun to use candles and our crank flashlights (they're lifesavers! and cheap!).

Plus, in a real pinch, we can drag an extension cord out to the Matrix, plug it into the outlet in the dash, turn on the car, and have some power inside. :)

Sorry it took so dang long to get power restored.

Daizy said...

Your car has an outlet? How cool! I've been wanting to buy an inverter for the car but the 800w and 400w ones I want have been sold out on Amazon. Plus, I don't want to leave my car running. When I move back to my property I will definitely buy one for my car because no one would bother it out there.