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Old 02-16-2014, 07:05 PM   #1
Join Date: Oct 2011
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lost power - know your house

Just fumbling throught the Sunday chores, body on autopilot working around the house, mind somewhere else working on much more interesting things, I flip the closet light switch and...silence. The whole house went dark and quiet.

I instinctively toggle the switch a couple more times, just to convince the caveman brain that this actually happened. Then, with a heavily laden belt and a neat looking flashlight, I transition to the breaker box, being all ninja-like and the whatnot along the way.

A quick scan of the box shows everything in the ON position. Caveman brain is not happy that the answer isn't the obvious answer and toggles everything anyways, and to no avail. Looking at the breaker labels, half of them are vague ("lighting cir") and the others are spelled wrong (what is a "guess room"). Great.

In the silence I hear neighbors outside asking each other if the power just went out. This is clearly not a localized event. I call the office and get them to send a tech, seems like I might have been the first caller at T+5min.

I decide to maintain OPSEC and keep inside. This decision was also influenced by the fact that there was really nothing outside for me.

The only access to my garage is through the overhead door, so the car and bike in there were out of the question. In the past I asked for a copy of the key, but it is the same key for all garages so they couldn't give it to me. I thought about the hanger trick, but I have no windows and didn't want to cause a scene. However, the hanger option exists if need be.

I have 2 more bikes in the house, but then realized that all of my tire pumps were in the garage. That will have to be rectified.

Quick assessment shows 4 portable flashlights (and a headband holder) with charged batteries, and at least 1 set of charged spares, along with a portable lantern with charge batteries. Not bad at all. However, I charge spares periodically, but had slipped on my schedule the last couple of weeks. While things are in a good state of charge, there is no excuse to let them slide.

Around T+45min things start to beep, my closet shines like 1000 suns (or 2 incandescents), and the information superhighway once again passes through my door.

I turn on a bunch of lights and head back to the breaker box. Flipping a few breakers shows about 25% to be labled incorrectly or at least ambiguously, which were corrected.

It is a little weird that it went out at the moment I fipped on the closet light, but if that was realy the cause (as in a short within my house) it should have tripped the 15A breaker, not killed the building. I was only pulling a few A on the circuit at best at the time, the only signicant thing on there was the PC.

Lessons learned:
maintain access to transportation and other important stuffs in a way that does not require electricity

know how your electrical system works, and probably your plumbing too

know how to defeat your security measures if needed

move to the mountains, live off the land, the sun doesn't "trip" (at least not yet...)
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Last edited by dontdeBasemebro; 02-16-2014 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 02-16-2014, 10:59 PM   #2
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Too bad I can only like this once!

Been there, done that, got the tee shirt. And when it happens, you spend that extra time, finally, fixing all that stuff so it doesn't happen again - something else does instead. It's a decades-long process.
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:51 AM   #3
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I dread losing power. When it goes out- I am bored.
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