Saturday, August 31, 2013

It's electrifying!

So I know that at least one of you is asking "What has Cookie been up to?"

Well, where to begin.

About three, three and a half weeks ago, just as the husband and I were drifting off to sleep to the distant rumblings of thunder from spotty storms in the area, out of nowhere, a bolt of lightning went off.  You read about it here.

We figured that the modem was the only thing that got wiped out.  Case closed.  Move on.

But it wasn't.

In the last three weeks we have seen things failing in the house that should be failing.  First it was the modem. Then it compact fluorescent bulbs.  Then the house alarm panel.  All of this culminated last Sunday when the 100 amp circuit breaker went red hot and tripped, plunging us into darkness.

So we waited for it cool, and turned it back on.  All was fine for about five minutes and it went again, red hot again.  So we shut everything off, waited for it cool and reset it, and it stuck.

We also found a FABULOUS new electrician who offers 24 hour emergency service and he came out, replaced the breaker and charged $200 - for an emergency call.  I almost came in my pants when he told us how much it was going to be.  We were expecting $1,000 bill.

Mr. Electrician shows me the breaker and its all oily.  Circuit breakers come with a little lubrication from the factory so they will trip with ease, under the right conditions.

"You guys get a Helluva surge? These aren't supposed to do this."

I explained what happened and how things were failing.  The house has been tripping on and off.  The guy said that we should keep an eye on the appliances.  "TV's can take a surge and die a year later.  That washer with electronic panel?  Same thing. "

So I look him up on Angie's List and his company gets all A's and Page of Happiness award and a coupon for $500 off for a breaker box installation.

So, not wanting this to happen again, and thinking ahead to when we sell the cottage, I asked the dude how much was it to do a heavy up and go from 100amp service to 200amp service.  We'd been talking about it for months anyway, and it doesn't hurt to ask.  And if we put central air units in, we'd need it anyway.

So he does figuring and gives me a price and I plotz.  Holy crap.  I was expecting double.  And BGE will run the 200 AMP wire from the pole to the house for free.  "They want you to use more electric, so they make their money on the back end."

Anyhow Dude and his crew are coming in two weeks and are going to untangle the mess that is our house.  Included in the price is a whole house surge protector and better outdoor grounding.  And they are going to remove the remaining fuse lines as well.


And at Kabuki Zero's advice, and its pretty sound, we are replacing all of the surge protectors just to be on the safe side.

So thats where I have been.   Shocking, isn't it.


  1. For the love of the goddess man, does your electrician make housecalls to South Carolina?
    He sounds like a keeper!

    1. To quote Electrician "I'm an electrician, not a opportunist." And did I mention he's licensed and bonded?

    2. You've got yourself a keeper! And a rarity at that!

  2. and shoot every squirrel you see.
    seems they sabotage our electricity,
    who knew?