*If you don't like reading about electricity, you can skip or skim all this!
Just had my first electrical outage of the season, which always helps remind me to prepare for the next ones. But this one was weird, I was sure it was an electrical problem with my house.
Last night at almost 1am the power in my front room shut off, and the backup battery to the main computer started beeping (two others are silent). But as I checked other rooms, it was just the kitchen, the front room, and a few other outlets that weren’t working. I unplugged a lot of stuff so when the power returned it wouldn’t be such a big load.
So I went downstairs and reset the circuit breakers, and it all came back on. For a few minutes.
Then the same circuits shut off again. I tried several times but nothing came back on. I resigned to being on partial blackout until the next day, and went to bed. No internet, computer or TV, no refrigerator/stove/microwave, and lots of darkness. Today I called the landlord and told him, asking for an electrician. He couldn't get one until this evening.
It was almost afternoon when I noticed an electric company truck across the street, with men working on stuff that comes up into a junction box. And then the power was suddenly back on.
This is a very old house, and it has an original older part and then an added-on section. The part that lost power was mostly the newer section of the house. It must be connected in the street a different way from the older part. That’s what fooled me; I never thought it was an outside problem.
Anyway, I was chided by my friend Mike for not having gas for my generator. I really need to go get that. And some heavy duty outdoor power cords. I am trying to scope out how I could restore internet next time, with it.
I also have a little solar battery that should have helped somewhat, but I didn’t see that it has tiny on-off buttons to each section. So I thought it didn’t work. But now I’m testing it to see how long it can run a small electric fan.
Usually I enjoy emergency prep like this, but I was kind of upset because I thought maybe the electrical problem was my fault... because up until a little while ago, I was using extension cords with my big backup batteries — and I found out you’re not supposed to. Or maybe I was overloading the front room. Or maybe it was related to the old problem this old house had two years ago, when the owner put in a defective sump pump and it burned out 5 of my surge protectors and my world band radio. He had to pay me for those.
I can get upset when things seem to be breaking down around me, even more so if it’s plumbing. Chalk it up to my childhood house, where my father didn’t like to have anything repaired because it meant money, or effort.
But at least the crisis is over and I took the time to clean house while waiting.