Power Outage

A gusty thunderstorm knocked out power across Dutchess County, including half the service to our house. Being glad the refrigerator and freezer were on the live phase, I shut off the affected breakers on the dead phase, as well as all the 240 V breakers, and, with the living room darkened, we skipped our evening storytime.

By the next morning, a quick lamp test showed the recloser out on the pole had worked its magic, so I flipped all the breakers back on. The living room remained dark, prompting an investigation of the fuse box feeding the original house wiring:

Blown 20 A glass fuse
Blown 20 A glass fuse

Yup, another blown fuse.

Given what happens while wind and falling branches knock power lines askew, anything is possible. I have no idea where the fault current went, but replacing the fuse brought the living room back to normal.

None of the various UPS / lamps / phones seem damaged; I admit not peering inside the outlets to check for arc damage.

4 thoughts on “Power Outage

  1. We have a wildfire nearby (90,000 acres, the nearest point about 8 miles downwind of us) that’s threatening power lines. Not ordinary lines, but the 500kV Pacific Intertie between the Bonneville hydropower generators and southern California.

    For some reason, we’re getting a lot of cooperation from California fire fighting resources. [wince/grin].

    So far, our local HV power lines aren’t threatened, but it’s a weird fire; the fuel is so dry we can get burning downhill, and into the wind.

    Oh well, time to get to moving more pine needles out of the way.

    1. Cutting the Intertie would produce interesting results: no air conditioning might be unsurvivable these days.

  2. Hmm… something doesn’t sound right here. A recloser operates on the high voltage side of the transformer. If it had opened, you should have lost all power, not just half.

    Since you lost just half, that suggests that the problem is a poor connection on your side of the transformer that took out one leg. And sometime later, due to more wind or whatever, it moved enough to remake contact.

    You still have fuses? You are in serious need of an electrical upgrade.

    1. I’m probably mistaking the big boxy things a few poles down the road as low-side reclosers; you’re absolutely right that both sides should shut off at the same time. On the other paw, add some lightning to gusty winds and there’s no telling what can happen out there!

      The few remaining fuses are in the old 100 A main panel that’s now a sub panel feeding the last runs of BX: half a dozen fuses and 1955 wiring.

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