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07

Jun 2007

Powerless for day

By: melev | Tags: | Comments: 0

BWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!

That was the sounds I heard this morning when I started making coffee to start the day. And when I say morning I'm talking 11:15am.  I had just pressed the on button when I heard a sudden surge of power and then battery backups chiming from a couple of rooms. Great, power outage. 

However, to my surprise I saw the ceiling fans spinning and the coffee continued to brew. How odd is that? The reef tank was powerless but the VorTech was running on battery backup so I wasn't too concerned. The lights hadn't clicked on yet for the day.

It appeared that half my circuit breakers had power while the other half didn't. So I could watch TV in my room while sipping a cup of java while I waited for the power to come back on. It didn't, so I called the company. They referred me to another number which is automated, and it promised to restore power by 2pm. While annoying, I was willing to wait for that deadline before dragging out the generator. At 1:47pm a guy from TXU came to inspect the situation. A few minutes later he told me that the powerline behind the house had dropped to the ground and that they would have to come out to replace it. After mentioning my tank sitting without power, he told me that he'd leave the house with 50% power rather than kill it. Within 2 minutes he was back as he'd changed his mind and didn't want any backfeeding to hurt someone due to the downed power line. So he told me to fire up the generator, and left.

Since it was time to run it anyway, I pulled it out of storage. I really didn't want to have to run it because I worry it will get stolen. I chained it to something secure, and ran some extension cords into the house to power the reef, tv, etc. I ran a couple of huge floor fans to create some air movement in the house as we are now in the lower 90s with humidity. For the reef, I just ran power to the return pump and the window a/c to maintain temperature and flow, in addition to the VorTech pump. I could have run more stuff but just wasn't in the mood to go to that much trouble.

By 3:30 a slew of workers arrived to cut down all the trees & hedges encroaching on the easement (the area that belongs to the city to care for utilities). I counted 11 guys that worked the full length of my yard that quickly cut down and removed any branches that were too close for comfort. In about 20 minutes they were done and out front resting in the shade.

An hour after that, three trucks from the electric company came out and 4 guys ran a new power line, restoring power to our part of the neighborhood. They believed what had happened this morning was that due to high winds, a branch pressed the wire against the transformer and this caused an arc, burning it through until it dropped to the ground below.

I was able to power down the generator and get the house back to normal. The reef was 78.5F, but with the lights now on it is closer to 80F now.

Just another day, right? 

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