I’ve heard of rolling black outs, however until yesterday I couldn’t say I’ve ever actually experienced them.
It all began when Vike and I were in the middle of watching Tim Burton’s “Alice In Wonderland” when the cable box suddenly died. After some investigation and testing, I put in a phone call to our cable company to begin dealing with their automated technical support line which, by the way, HATE.
A few minutes into the call, and with my blood pressure already on the rise due to restarting the process three times when I tried to talk to Vike, our television suddenly shut off.
At first I thought perhaps it was the cable company as part of the troubleshooting process. Then it dawned on me that the lights in the room had also shut off, and the air conditioner which had just started running was now silent.
After alerting him and running around to see what all was affected, we found our kitchen was still powered (thank the maker, as we have three large frozen catfish on hand at the moment), as was the main bathroom, two bedrooms and the garage. However the living room, master bedroom and master bath were all dead.
A quick visit to the breaker box in the basement revealed two things. 1) There were no blown breakers. 2) Power was out in the basement as well.
He played around with the breakers for a bit with no luck before calling his buddy down, and with the help of some kind of magical glowing power wand thingy that detects currents (The technical name fails me. I’m no electrician.), they were able to locate the source of the problem.
Turns out one of the two 110v lines running into our house appeared to have died, so we were only receiving 110v rather than the normal 220v.
I went ahead and powered down most electrical equipment in the other rooms, including the computer, and that was when the weirdness really began.
Suddenly the living room lights blink on, the air conditioner kicks in and our television starts trying to turn on. Trying being the operative word, as it would come on, then immediately shut off. It was happening so fast I couldn’t seem to get it to power down even with hitting the power button.
Vike tried turning on the stove, and had it running for a short while. Then the power in the living room went out again, along with the air conditioner. This time we noticed the fridge was off as well, even though the rest of the kitchen was fine.
It became comical, having power come back to one thing and lose it on two others or vice versa. We were having rolling black outs within our own home as the lowly little 110v coming into our house was trying to figure out where it was most needed.
If it hadn’t been for the fact they had already identified the issue, I know my brain would’ve gone all, “OMG GHOSTS!” or “OMG SERIAL KILLERS!” As it was, I’ll admit that those thoughts were still floating around, and I’m quite certain Vike was well aware. Knowing the cause of the issue thankfully prevented me from verbalizing the crazies.
A quick call to the emergency utility line and a short wait later, the crew that had come out confirmed that indeed the line was dead, it was their responsibility (no cost to us, yay!), and they were going to need to replace it.
Unfortunately, as this was all taking place after 9pm on a Sunday evening, they weren’t going to be able to dig the trench necessary in order to properly replace the cable. However, rather than leave us at half power, they hooked up the new cable to bring us back up to 220v and left the cable laying across our yard until they come back to dig the trench to put it back underground.
Upon getting home this evening, we discovered they’d been able to come out today after all and finish up.
So, tell me. Have you ever experienced something like this before?