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GLAD TO BE BACK!


Sepiatone
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Unusually high winds left 1 million DTE( our electric/gas utility) customers without power at 2:30pm Wednesday afternoon.  And equally unusual low temps( 18 degrees F last night) made it worse.  I regained my power at 10:30 pm last night.  So it seems I gotta lotta catching up to do!

 

My biggest oncern was that since my wife's stroke, she's left bedbound and on a liquid diet that requires a pump to work her "food" in through a pump that feeds it into a PEG-tube. Luckily, the pump had a battery back-up and worked just fine through the whole thing.  I spent the last wo days wearing two flannel shirts and my winter coat around the house.  And my wife was grateful for the multiple heavy blankets we keep around the house.

 

But, I'm glad to be back around y'all  :)

 

 

Sepiatone

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It's scary having to endure extended periods of time without electricity. Not only does it complicate our daily routine, but in the case of your wife's condition, electricity is necessary.

I used to work at a small convalescent community in a very small town. One time, a transformer blew and we lost power at the community.

For hours we scrambled to move residents who required an electrical hookup to the "red outlets" in the building which run off of a generator. Glad to hear you could keep your wife comfortable through the storm.

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That's something else, glad your power is back up and running and the two of you are ok.  Ours was out for a couple days.  Luckily it came back on just as it started freezing and snowing again.

 

Power around here is sketchy.  If anyone sneezes, that can cause the power to trip.  If the power goes out on our side of town, it is usually our side.  If it goes out on our block, it is on our side of the block.  If it goes out on our street, it is usually our side of the street.  There seems to be no method to the madness but at least it is consistent.

 

I'd say maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of the houses around us have a natural gas-powered whole house generator (with switchgear breaker box - which automatically switches between line power and generator power).  If you go outside and walk around the block when the power is out, you can hear them purr.  That and hopefully the chainsaws of the electrical crews. 

 

One of our neighbors who doesn't have a generator has a gas fireplace with gas logs that they just start.  We have been contemplating getting a generator for some time, but converting one of our fireplaces to gas is another option.  Both good options.

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Sepia:

You might contact your power company, mention your wife's condition, and see if they have a priority list for restoring power. Perhaps they could add your neighborhood. Worth a shot. You also might look into a portable generator.

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Yes, SCSU, they do have such a thing.  My sister in law gave them a call and was told it was a priority matter.  Since the pump had a battery back-up, I thought it was better that people in more dire need be looked into first.

 

Movie Collector:   I know what you mean.  But the odd thing about this was....

 

My wife's older sister lives in a subdivision in Southwest Detroit where the homes( like hers) are as old as 120 or more years old.  The first time I was IN the house, she asked me to go upstairs and get something in the room at he top of the stairs.  When I got up there, I notice it still had an old gas fixture  from when they still used gas for lighting houses!  And most of the homes in that area are of the same design and likely the same age.  And yet, THEY didn't lose power!  There might be maybe five or six houses in my town about that old, but most are an average 60-75 years old.  A much younger subdivision.  WE should have held up better.  But this occurance reminded me of something else....

 

Back in 1980, in the summer, another strong storm blew through the area and much of the downriver area lost power.  MY street was back on in 12 hours.  But during that time, I went into the bathroom and noticed the last one in there didn't flush.  One of my strictest  rules for the kids.  I came out and asked, "OK, who didn't flush when they left the bathroom?"  And my younger daughter, three months away from her 5th birthday, sheepishly raised her hand and conessed.  When asked why, she answered, "'cause the "letricity's"  off, so I didn't think it  would flush."  :D

I had to laugh.  I mean what's a kid that age GOING to think?  Everything else that's vital to the house runs on electricity.  The refrigerator that keeps the food fresh, the washer and dryer, the TV and stereo.  Only makes sense then that a four year old would think the toilet does, too.  :)

 

I'll bet GENERAC is gonna make a FORTUNE around here after this!  If I wasn't renting, I'd consider giving them a call myself!

 

 

Sepiatone

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That's something else, glad your power is back up and running and the two of you are ok.  Ours was out for a couple days.  Luckily it came back on just as it started freezing and snowing again.

 

Power around here is sketchy.  If anyone sneezes, that can cause the power to trip.  If the power goes out on our side of town, it is usually our side.  If it goes out on our block, it is on our side of the block.  If it goes out on our street, it is usually our side of the street.  There seems to be no method to the madness but at least it is consistent.

 

I'd say maybe 1/8 to 1/4 of the houses around us have a natural gas-powered whole house generator (with switchgear breaker box - which automatically switches between line power and generator power).  If you go outside and walk around the block when the power is out, you can hear them purr.  That and hopefully the chainsaws of the electrical crews. 

 

One of our neighbors who doesn't have a generator has a gas fireplace with gas logs that they just start.  We have been contemplating getting a generator for some time, but converting one of our fireplaces to gas is another option.  Both good options.

Sepia - glad you are back and OK.

Have lived about 30 years in current house.  A few years ago we lost power due to ice storm and new neighbor asked how long it might be out.  I told him never more than 3 hours as we live close to town center.  Three DAYS.  Never more than 12 hours since then.

Fortunately we had gas logs in the fireplace, so we camped out in den until bed time.  Having a gas hot water heater was also nice. We now have a gas range/oven as well. Gas furnace is useless if no electricity to power the fan.  In fact, it won't even come on if no electricity.

One of first things we did was to get the gas logs for the fireplace, purely for emergency purposes.  I will crank them up each fall to make sure they work.

Also learned that you can heat water in a pot on the logs.  Then pour that through the filter holder of your coffee maker to make coffee.

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Was watching the local news and saw where there's still some problems next city over due to the winds snapping the tops of the utility poles off.  Can't get people back on until the poles are replaced.  Made me remember...

 

My ex's brother back in '84 moved into a brand new house in a brand new subdivision in Brownstown, a city about 15 miles south of where I currently live.  And ALL that stuff, electric power lines, phone and cable, were all underground.  After this, I think each city in the county( and each county affected) should work together to pool funds and seek state and federal funding to convert their cities to this system.  Might take a few decades, but well worth the effort.

 

 

Sepiatone

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 After this, I think each city in the county( and each county affected) should work together to pool funds and seek state and federal funding to convert their cities to this system.  Might take a few decades, but well worth the effort.

 

 

Sepiatone

 

Well, Ike got behind the Interstate Highway System. Maybe Trump can get behind the underground wiring system.

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Two winters ago in middle the night of the coldest day of the year -17, the power went out. The house is over 100 years old, has a wood stove and an oil burner furnace that heats water for baseboard style radiators. The cooking stove and hot water and dryer are propane. Of course the oil burner didn't run, must have been out for 5 hours before we woke up and realized it. The wood stove kept the part of the house warm, but some of the hot water heating lines froze up.

 

Had to buy an attachment for the propane tank, the kind that you use for a gas grill. The attachment looks like two side by side burners that resemble speakers with screens about 5 inches in diameter, it screws on to the handle on the tank. You turn on the gas and either light one or both of the burners, it works pretty good as a portable emergency heat source. I put it in the partial basement and let it heat up all the lines to thaw things out.

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Well, Ike got behind the Interstate Highway System. Maybe Trump can get behind the underground wiring system.

 

Heh!

 

You GOTTA know we'll all look like Smurfs if we hold our breath waiting for THAT to happen.  :D

 

 

Sepiatone

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Unusually high winds left 1 million DTE( our electric/gas utility) customers without power at 2:30pm Wednesday afternoon.  And equally unusual low temps( 18 degrees F last night) made it worse.  I regained my power at 10:30 pm last night.  So it seems I gotta lotta catching up to do!

 

My biggest oncern was that since my wife's stroke, she's left bedbound and on a liquid diet that requires a pump to work her "food" in through a pump that feeds it into a PEG-tube. Luckily, the pump had a battery back-up and worked just fine through the whole thing.  I spent the last wo days wearing two flannel shirts and my winter coat around the house.  And my wife was grateful for the multiple heavy blankets we keep around the house.

 

But, I'm glad to be back around y'all  :)

 

 

Sepiatone

My condo's power was off for about 8 hours on Tuesday. An underground fire at a PECO facility was the cause.

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Was watching the local news and saw where there's still some problems next city over due to the winds snapping the tops of the utility poles off.  Can't get people back on until the poles are replaced.  Made me remember...

 

My ex's brother back in '84 moved into a brand new house in a brand new subdivision in Brownstown, a city about 15 miles south of where I currently live.  And ALL that stuff, electric power lines, phone and cable, were all underground.  After this, I think each city in the county( and each county affected) should work together to pool funds and seek state and federal funding to convert their cities to this system.  Might take a few decades, but well worth the effort.

 

 

Sepiatone

Sounds good, but... There's always a but.  The electric, cable and phone lines to my house are underground from the street.  Major problems when something happens.  A couple of years ago, the cable line had to be replaced as it was not outside grounded properly (many aren't).  Took the cable company contractor a full day to dig the trenches and run the line from the street to my house.  Then the cable company had to come and reconnect the line to the inside.  God knows how much all that cost.

Several years ago I had a problem with lights blinking when my central AC came on.  HVAC guy came out and said unit was OK.  Electrician came out and said wiring was OK.  I paid for both consults.  The electician measured at the meter and said the drop was occuring before the meter (undergound portion).  Electric company came and said No problem with our lines.

So, I got the electrician and power company guy to come out at same time so they could face off as to where problem was.

Power company guy admitted, it was the buried line.  Being underground it deteriorates faster than wires hanging in the air.  Also, they cannot observe breaks, etc.  Line had been in ground about 10 years maybe.

In both cases, there had not been any digging around the lines or other activity that would have broken them.

Power company came and buried a new line.  No problems since, but who knows.

In both cases, I did lose shrubs and plants that had to be dug up so the equipment could manuver around to dig the lines.

Bottom line, buried lines are expensive to install and much, much more expensive to replace.  This is far more expensive when you are talking streets, sidewalks, undergrond water and sewer lines, trees and shrubs along streets, ad infinitum. Not to mention the inconveince to people, businesses, traffic, etc. that would occur.

Also, where do you start going underground?  At the city limits, at the power plant, at the main distribution towers, etc.  What about where to locate electric, gas, cable, phone, water, sewer and other lines?

I serve on a water authority and we have problems with utilities accidentally cutting our lines when working on their underground ones.  They pay, but customers may be out of water for many hours.  Then they have to boil drinking water for one to two days just in case bacteria got into line while it was open.

 

Also, Eisenhower did get behind funding the interstate system, but only to use his political clout with Congress.  The actual plans had existed since the 1930's.  The plans are remarkablty close to what was actually built during the 50', 60's and 70's.  Eisenhower basing interstates on Hitler's Autobahn is a popular myth.  A delegation of state and federal highway people had visited Germany before WW II and came back with recommendations we do the same thing.

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I like the idea of making coffee from water boiled on a gas log fireplace.  Daniel Boone.  If I went that route, I think I would make sure there is sufficient fireplace or grill grating above that to support all varieties of cookware.

 

As for the buried cables, we recently had some basement waterproofing work done and now for the first time we have a buried grounding rod and the cable leading up to it from the house.  I really don't like that.  I think I will be digging it up and raising it all maybe about a foot or more with a scissors car jack, in order to keep the connection on the rod visible, yet high enough so nobody hits it with a lawnmower.  Maybe I will put a large rock next to it.  I am conscientious about this and have been removing the rust, applying conduction gel, and tightening it down over the years with the addition of sensitive digital video equipment.  Also the same guys who buried it left a phone wire hanging that should have been mounted to the grounding block on the side of the house.  This was more about aesthetics and making things "pretty".  I like to see my utilities.  The real answer would be to prune trees in the nicer weather, but we all know that won't happen.

 

As for the US freeway system, in addition to emulating the Autobahn, the story I heard is that one of the things that got it passed was the perceived cold war threat and the imminent danger of living in a city.  Anyhow about half of our freeways around here predate me, and much of what I have heard is just anecdotal.  Now of course so many people live in suburbs and rely on freeways just to get around each day, that the freeways themselves have become a point of vulnerability.  In the effort to decentralize, there is yet another element of centralization.  Without the freeways, many couldn't find their tush using both hands..

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Ah, YES!

 

Cooking on a GAS LOG fireplace.  Just like DAN'L BOONE!  :D

 

Made me think of the scene in ON GOLDEN POND when Henry Fonda, in response to that kid's gushing over him having a canoe, "Just like the INDIANS!"  by saying, "I think the indians used a different grade of aluminum."  :P

 

 

Sepiatone

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