They Didn't Ask Me (dr_phil_physics) wrote,
They Didn't Ask Me

He's Dead, Jim -- I'm A Doctor, Not An Electrical Contractor

So Robert came by this morning from Belasco Electric. I had hauled out haiku, our Verizon 3G credit card sized WiFi hotspot, which I'd put a month of time on for WisCon and Indianapolis. With that, Kindles and laptops, I told Robert we were fine to have the power cut off as needed.

At 9:19am, after exactly 29 hours, the generator was shut down.

Eventually Robert came in with a circuit board. Controller was fried. There were maybe four ceramic disc type capacitors and at least two were blackened and burned. Also he got no resistance readings on the two solenoids that throw the transfer switch. If we're lucky, Robert will be able to get the parts in Grand Rapids today. Until then, should the power go out, we'll be dark.

It's quite likely that one of the really close lightning strikes which kicked us offline Wednesday morning also fried the boards. I'm assuming those big capacitors were part of a surge protection for the board.

Yes, it'll be expensive, but the generator and transfer switch were expensive to begin with. It's been what, maybe eight, nine years since it was installed? It's going to cost to maintain things.

So... the good news.

-- Now we're glad we didn't get the controller replaced months ago, as we might have had to do it twice.

-- Really glad I had reliable backup power when Mrs. Dr. Phil was out of town.

-- Also, gravity feed IVs don't require electricity, as he was working this morning.

-- Finally, Robert suggested I check with our homeowners insurance. The lightning strike might be covered.

-- It's a pleasant day in the neighborhood, so we're not high on the probability charts for having the power go out.

I'll take whatever good news I can get. (grin)

Dr. Phil
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