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Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The Outage

Greetings everyone, I hope your day's been well.

Our August kicked off with a power outage. As I was cruising the net while the baby took her nap, the power suddenly went out! What was strange about it was that not all the trailer was out of power; the bathroom had power as did about half the kitchen. Naturally, I thought a fuse had blown. My husband was on his way home from a job, and when I sent him a message alerting him to what was going on before the deep-cycle battery on the server died and kicked me offline, he was not far from home. Since I'm quite inexperienced in dealing with electricity, I waited until he got home before opening up the electrical panel and checking the fuses. In the meantime, I plugged the bedroom fan into the bathroom outlet so that we could at least stay cool in there.

Zap! (pic found here)

After my husband finally got home, he checked the fuses and all seemed fine. It was when he checked the phases on the main in our lot that we discovered what was wrong. Our phase was ok, but the one from the power company was dead! After alerting the sleezy park management about the outage and checking with the neighbors (some had no power, some were partially powered like us, but most had power), we contacted the power company who informed us that there were no reported outages in the area. The power went out around 11:30AM, and save for some intermittent phase testing, wasn't fully restored until about 11PM. In the meantime, we had a small 800W alternator to power some fans, the fridge, and some of the computers so we weren't totally offline. But, I was largely offline because my computer's battery was out and my phone was barely charging from the weak power supply in the living room. The alternator also died for a bit because a plug wire had shorted out, but my husband was able to fix it and get it going again. Thank God for the monsoons because they cooled off the weather here, though it was quite humid.

Seriously, one of these days, the park is gonna look like this if the wiring issues aren't addressed. This outage isn't the first time we've experienced problems with the park's wiring, or other utilities for that matter.

What was the cause of this most inconvenient power outage? As it turned out, the wires feeding our part of the park were old aluminum wires (copper is the standard now and has been since the 1970s) which were NOT encased in any sort of protective pipe covering and had essentially broken apart from a massive short when a nearby leaking faucet eroded the insulation. Negligence combined with greed caused this problem. The sleezy park management has no problems taking rent money from tenants, but oh are they loath to spend anything on maintaining the park's infrastructure and prefer to cut corners on both materials and competent labor. 

My husband would periodically go up to where the park's main was (where the short had occurred) to check on the progress of the repairs, and make sure the handyman (he's a good neighbor of ours and has known us from a previous park we lived in) was ok. The handyman had to dig a hole around the broken live wires so the electrician could get to them and the only thing separating him from meeting God Almighty was a shovel with a fiberglass handle. Once the power was restored, we gave him a few beers in gratitude as he passed by our trailer on his way home.

And that was my Monday.

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