Thursday, July 12, 2012

Electrical Problems in Threes

Bad things happen in threes? If so, I’ve very quickly run through my threes and all of them have to do with electrical problems. The first problem I only found out yesterday was probably electrical in nature. Some time between leaving Hattiesburg (where we certainly did not need our trailer furnace) and arriving in Alaska (where we really do need a working furnace) our furnace quit working properly. Robert S. can relate to how difficult it sometimes is to get parts and service here in Alaska. This is especially true when limited because of needing repair under warranty. Yesterday we took the trailer to a guy here in Soldatna. He worked on it for almost 5 hours and was not able to get it to work properly. Sometimes it would come on and then cycle off to not come on again. Sometimes it would not go on at all. And sometimes it would go on and stay on forever. Anyway, he has a call into the manufacturer to discuss possible fixes, but his recommendations is to replace it with a new one.

Electrical problem #2 happened last week at a campground when we had to use our heavy duty extension cord with adaptor to connect to the power source at the campground. We saw that we were not getting full power and discovered that the extension cord and plug were both hot. The owner of the campground loaned us a cord and everything worked fine, so I assume that the problem was our cord.

Problem #3 I learned about when my friend who is watering my plants and checking on our Hattiesburg house called to tell us about what she had found. When she went in the house to do a walk through, she saw that a power outlet in the carpet floor of the living room had “exploded” and parts of it were all over the room. She also noted that a motion sensor light was broken in pieces all over the patio. She was so rattled that she did not think to check if power was on in the house. So I called a neighbor across the street who has a key. She went over and checked and sure enough all power was off. She said that a couple of weeks ago, there had been a huge lightening strike in the area and she had observed Comcast replacing a big “box” between our house and a neighbor. I then called that neighbor and he told me that their AC had gone out during that storm and they had to have it repaired, but did not make the connection that it was due to lightening.

I just spoke to our son who was at our house with his electrical engineer father-in-law. They were doing a walk through and said all the breakers had been tripped, but power was back on when they reset them. They checked some of the appliances, but could not tell anything other than the TVs were probably fried. We have called our insurance to alert them and we’ll deal with whatever when we get home.

Otherwise, we are in Soldatna/Kenai, AK hanging out at the library as we wait for the rain to clear out. Without the furnace working, it’s a bit cold in the trailer. Yesterday we worked out on treadmills at the Kenai Community Center and then used their showers. The charge was $5 for the two of us. We’ll probably do that again today and then go to Soldatna HS this evening to register for Saturday’s 5K. Hopefully, we’ll be able to get the furnace fixed and then head on down to Homer for a few days. If we can get the furnace working, we can save quite a bit of money staying in state parks, forest service campgrounds, Walmarts, or other stores. Otherwise we have to choose to be cold or pay for a CG with electric so we can use our space heater. I’d prefer to go on the cheap and use the gas furnace.

Even with all these issues, we are having great time. Although I complain about the cold and rain, when it is sunny this is such a beautiful place. The people are so nice and you certainly can’t beat the scenery or the wildlife viewing possibilities. 

1 comment:

Eleanor Roy said...

Talk about tough days. That is where having an electrical engineer as an in-law would come in handy. I hope he figured out what caused those recurrent power outages. Whatever that was, I hope it wasn’t that serious and was immediately resolved right then. Have a nice day!

Eleanor Roy @ Douthit Electrical