Monday, November 17, 2014

Transformers

I've had a quiet weekend.  Literally.  It's surprising how quiet it is when you live in the country with little noise from the outside and there is no power.  It's my reasonably new fridge that makes the background hum that I don't notice until it isn't there.  Saturday afternoon I had power at one end of the house, sort of half power with flickering lights in the middle and none at all at the other end.  When I rang the power board, the recorded message said there were power outages all over Whangarei so I presumed my problem was connected to that.  

Sunday morning, after I was reminded that my power comes from the Dargaville side and is in no way connected to Whangarei, I realized the problem was mine and no-one else's/elses' (where does the apostrophe go in that word?  No-one, so it's singular perhaps?), I rang the power board and was told someone would be here "soon".   Yeah, right, I thought.  No-one comes from Dargaville quickly.  It's only about 40 kms away but the road isn't 'fast' for half that distance.

To my surprise the linesman appeared in about 45 minutes.  He listened to my story, nodded wisely as if to say no biggie and up the pole he went.  The power pole that feeds my house is right beside the house (is always getting in the way of my photos) so I didn't have to go outside in the wind to watch what was happening. 


Looks pretty straight forward.


Gets a bit more complicated, needs a poke with the long stick.


Oh no, this doesn't look good, he's on the phone to HQ.


He explained to me the twirly thing he is looking at was barely holding together and broke in two when touched.  He's had to call for someone to come from Dargaville and turn off the power between the next transformer up the road and here on down the valley so he can replace the broken bit.   I guess it's lucky we are on the outer edges of the Dargaville region, there only a few more properties before the line terminates, so not that many people will be inconvenienced.  The problem was just deterioration from old age.

So now there are two and some brand new twirly things. 


But wait, when all is put back together and no 2 departs to go back up the road and flick the switch to on again, nothing happens.  Further investigation reveals that the whole transformer has been fried, hit by lightning probably in that storm we had a few weeks ago. 

So now a truck with a crane must bring a new transformer.  It's now well after lunch time and the guys take advantage of the wait time to eat their lunch.  I appreciate how industrious they have been.

It didn't take long to lift off the old and replace it with the new. 


But before that happened my camera battery went flat, so the after photo had to wait till this morning.  And the sky is totally different from yesterday.  That must be the updated model, different shape, very new and shiny. 


So there I was yesterday afternoon with all the power I could need and what happened when I sat down at the computer?  The blankey thing started doing the same as last time I took it to the computer workshop.  When my vision cleared from fiery red I vowed I wasn't going to pay that robbing computer guy another small fortune to repair it yet again.  I indulged myself with nasty thoughts about a suitable demise for this machine.  No, not really, I couldn't think of anything nasty enough.  Anyway,  my dodgy memory told me to check the date settings and sure enough it thought it was 1957 again.  Fixed it in a couple of secs.  Now I'm totally convinced that computer guy ripped me off. 
 
Maybe the thought of a lightning strike so close to the house has played with my nerves.  About an hour ago as I was downloading these photos I saw a flicker of light out of the corner of my eye and before my poor old brain had registered what it was, there was a crash directly overhead.  I can't remember when I last got such a fright. I've always loved a good storm but didn't appreciate that one little bit.  It rattled around for a couple of minutes, a heavy shower followed and then it was gone again.  Weird. 

8 comments:

  1. Loss of power isn't funny. Here when we lose power in the winter it's a little scary. Your house cools off in a hurry.

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  2. You sorted your computer. Well done.
    Next time the power clicks out you should be able to fix that too.

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  3. You said is it quiet out in the country? Not so much from reading this post! Take care in those storms.

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  4. If only part of your house has power, something is seriously wrong with your own house electric system, i learned that long ago.

    It's nice that they got it replaced that day, even though it took so much doing.

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  5. I too was puzzled by only part of your house being affected. The Utility Company were certainly pretty efficient though.

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  6. Graham, it is puzzling. The transformer must be giving all three phases and Pauline is getting two. They have to try and balance phases or it overheats the generators.

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  7. All I really want to know is: how many cups of tea did you have to brew?

    Here I would have run out of teabags.

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  8. I agree about the singular and the apostrophe. :)

    There's always a hum for me, a rather loud hum. Tinnitus, you know.

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