Monday, August 13, 2007

Well it's been a while since I've updated here, and my few readers may wonder where I've been. Busy with life. Some good, some bad.

Yesterday was about the scariest day I've spent in a while. It started at 5 AM when Matt woke me up by hollering "Something's burning in my room!" It was his surge protector. Ken ran out and flipped the main breaker so we could unplug it. Here is what it looks like now:

Fortunately everything plugged in to it still works OK. When Ken turned the power back on, the lights were still flickering and things were popping so Ken turned off the power again and we unplugged all the surge protectors.

Well, except this one

Which I forgot was attached to the TV. Matt had walked into the Family Room and he started hollering "Something's on fire!" Flames were shooting out from all the outlet openings. Ken turned off the power again, and the fire went out. But Matt had already dialed 911 and the fire dept. sent a crew out to check things out and make sure we were safe. They told us to definately call the electric company and that they also would call them, so that they would come out on Sunday. They actually do respond pretty fast when you tell them that you had flames coming out of your surge protector!!

This is what the table looks like that the surge protector was resting on.

The most scary part for me is that if this had happened two days sooner or two days later, no one would have been home when this happened. That table would have caught on fire and our house would have burned. Who knows how badly. We do have an alarm system and the fire department would have automatically been called when the hard-wired smoke detector went off, but who knows what damage and if the animals would have survived. I still shake when I think about it.

So....we had been having low voltage and power surges for about 10 days. My first call in to the Electric company resulted in this.....a new power service (for about $2500)

Because the power company could not find anything wrong with their lines and said that if it was their lines other people would have called in. They did find evidence of arcing in OUR electric panel - and they said that was the problem.

Yesterday's incident happened AFTER the new service was installed, so obviously the problem was not OURS. But after 4 hours on Sunday, the technician still could not find a problem. Just as he was leaving, he got another call - from one of my neighbors who reported a power surge.

An AHA moment - it was the transformer. Nevermind that Ken had already told them that when he was out turning off OUR power, he heard popping coming from THAT transformer (this was before the guy spent 3 hours trying to figure out the problem).

So now this is what we have down the line

a brand new transformer and peace of mind for me (nevermind that I spent $2500 on a new electric service for NOTHING). But that is for another story ... to follow after I submit a claim to the Electric company to get reimbursed for it!


Karen said...

Chris, you were so fortunate to be home to catch this before it got out of hand. I'm really glad you didn't get any more damage than having to replace all of the surge protectors (hopefully they did their job well) and a scorched table. And that your fur babies are all okay. Good luck getting your money back from the power company!

kitchenwitchnh said...

Omg Chris how scary. Lucky thing everything time as it did so you were home for it. So glad everyone is safe.

Tammy said...

How frightening! Made me shake just looking at the pictures and reading your story. Sounds like the electrical company needs to do some refunding. I am so, so thankful everyone is okay.

Carol said...

Chris! OMGosh! I'm so glad you are all safe and no fire happened...and that electric company better reimburse you for their mistake! They almost burned your house down (and maybe the neighbor's house too) and made you pay 2.5 grand? No way. :( But at least you are all safe!

Suzanne said...

OMG, Chris! You are so lucky that you were home! So glad it wasn't worse and y'all are okay!

Mary said...

How scary, Chris! I'm so glad that you and your family are ok!

Karen said...

And here's something to take your mind off of the troubles: You've been tagged!