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A Small Town Country Boy Trying To Survive In Todays World

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What A Day

April fools...right!

Everything started out just fine you know opened my eyes great! But it soon changed.

We have been having some problems with the power lately. Lights flickering and dimming and then everything would be fine again. But then it would start again. So one day I had the power company come over and they checked everything out on their end and it was fine. I then talked to a electrician friend and he said to make sure all the grounds were good and tight and if that did not fix it to replace the main breaker.

Well I did as he said and tightened all the grounds in the main breaker box but the problem only became worse. Ok then put in a new main breaker and it stopped. For about 3 days and then back it came.

Now what do I do? Since we had the house was over 25 years old I decided I would go ahead and replace the rest of the receptacles in the house and see if one of the old ones I had not already changed was bad. Once again the problem disappeared for a short while and then started again but not as bad as before.

About that time we also noticed the it was not all the lights flickering just some of them and then just intermittently. That left us scratching our heads and wondering what it could be. Until this morning.

I was sitting at my computer and it suddenly shut down and then tried to restart but could not. Oh great I thought April 1st. virus day and I got it. About that time my wife opened the refrigerator door and the light was real dim. I went around the house and checked other lights and some were fine and others were real dim. Now what?

I went to the breaker box and checked the power with my voltage meter and what is this one leg is at 120 volts and the other is at 70 volts. Definite problem here so I called the power company so they could come and check it out on their end again.

The same power employee showed up and of course was kidding me about it but when he pulled the cover off the meter base box the problem was then very apparent. One lug was completely melted. Wonderful so I shut off all the main breakers while he got into the lift and unhooked the power lines at the pole and then pulled the meter.

I was talking to him as he was pulling the meter and said that I would call him to hook everything back up as soon as I replaced it. Oh no he said it has to be done by a electrician and they have to give him a letter of responsibility before he could put the meter back in.

Well after 4 phone calls I finally found a electrician that would come right over and look at it and yes it would be fixed today.

He showed up and was looking at things and said that if we were lucky it would only cost $400 and that if we were not it would then be $2000. I must of had that WTF look on my face as he then explained that by state law he could only replace 1 part. And since he was going to have to change the box out that was the one part. Now if he has to change out more like the wire going to the breaker box he then has to replace it all from the power pole to the breaker box.

Ok I said where is the lucky part. Well if the original electrician has left enough slack in the line from the breaker box to the meter box then I would be lucky. Well I was lucky as there was more than enough slack in the line so we were able to pull it through and it will only cost me $400. Whew!

Now the real sad part of this whole thing is that of the $400 total cost to fix it $100 of it was for the permit! And then I found out the inspector will not even make it here until Friday! But that is why there is the letter of responsibility so they can turn the power back on and I did not have to wait.

So how was your April fools day?

It is what it is



Lydia said...

Hi Rod,

Sorry to hear you have added expenses. Always seem to come at the worst time, don't they? Well I guess it could have been a lot worse? Never mind the expense, but the danger of something like that. Many moons ago we had a similar issue in our home in New York, and luckily we smelled smoke. The wires were melting inside the wall! So glad my dad is an electrician at times like that!

Anyway, glad it's fixed at the minimal expense!

Rod said...

Yes it could of been much worse expense and or fire so we came out good.
Thanks for stopping by


HermitJim said...

Well, at least the house is still standing...That's always a good thing, right?

Rod said...

Yes it is!
It did get pretty hot to melt the lug but no fire.