power low, then out, then back

Our circuit breaker box made a loud fzt! sound yesterday afternoon and our stove stopped working. And our air conditioner and clothes dryer and hot water heater, but we didn’t really notice them til this morning. After flipping all the appropriate switches and scratching his head and squinting manfully at the fuse box, Sean called an electrician we’ve used before, TJ.

TJ showed up a few hours later with fresh bakery danishes from Ingrid’s Kitchen, now that is the kind of electrician I like to have, I tell you what. “Figured you guys would enjoy these so I picked some up, what will all these little ones running around” he said. He and Sean went to examine the fuse box some more.

Turns out it wasn’t the fuse box, it was the cable leading from the electric meter to the house. Both men were outside when I heard the fzzt! again and then “Wow!” and “Good Lord, look at that!” I wandered over to see as well and was told that it emitted many sparks and much smoke (it still smelled acrid) and was basically completely burned up and frankly it was a wonder that we weren’t dead. Well, ok, nobody said that last part, but I was thinking it. But the electrician said it was OG+E’s box so they’d fix it, and he left.

When OG+E came, they too were impressed with the level of destruction inside the box, so much so in fact that they said we had to have all the power shut off. And furthermore they couldn’t fix it, it wasn’t their wire, call an electrician. Bede was completely freaked out by the power outage. He asked me every question he could think of in an effort to get things back to normal. “Want see fix it your Dell computer? Want see fix it the television? Want see Daddy come fix it lights?” and so on, until he was reduced to a puddle of boy in my lap, sobbing pitifully. It was awful.

So Sean went off to the hardware store to get what he could to try to fix it himself. On his way out the door he ran into our friend Chet and his son Aden, here to pick up milk for baby Emma, and Chet insisted that Sean take his cell phone so we would have a phone to use. I have awesome friends. Sean came home and was squinting manfully some more when the OG+E guy came back to give us a part they supply for free. Sean got him to come look at what he was doing and he stayed for two hours helping! Sean tried to pay him and he flat out refused. Wow. My mother was also heroic at this time, showing up with a package of cookies and many extra flashlights and batteries. With this many kids one or two flashlights is not going to do it, you know?

The wiring done, Sean called OG+E to get them to turn us back on. The guy who helped said they’d be quick, and we’d be back on tonight! Yay! So the turn-it-back-on OG+E guy comes and the final round of squinting is done, this time tinged with suspicion.

“I cain’t turn it back on if it ain’t been inspected by the City,” he said.

Sean pleaded, “But… but… we… but!” and finally TIBO OG+E guy relented.

“Well, if you promise to get it inspected in five days or less, I reckon I can turn it on tonight.”

Sean assured him we would and then… drumroll please… POWER!

Air conditioning has never felt so good.

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8 thoughts on “power low, then out, then back

  1. i am a firm believer in air conditioning. and television. and computers. YAY for getting your power back, YAY for sean, YAY for helpful friends & family, YAY for you, & YAY for the kindness of strangers! i’m sorry y’all had such an ordeal! :(

  2. That sounds like quite the day!

    I can really relate to Bede’s reaction, as you can imagine. Zane comes unglued when the electricity is out. I think last time Zach took him into the back yard with the Nintendo DS and that was what was able to finally calm him down. (It was sweet too…Zane was sitting in his lap for a while and you could see both of their faces in the glow of the NDS)

  3. We had something similar happen a few weeks ago. But it took a whole week of power coming and going (in only part of the house as we have a former two family turned single family home, which still has two meters)
    After having an electrician go over everything for hours, the electric company’s guy come in and open the meters in our basement, and inspect everything, it turned out to be the neutral line going from the outside of the house, back to the pole. It had frayed down to like a hair.
    Like your electrician, ours was awesome. 3 hours of work, trying to figure out the problem, when I asked him how much so I could write him a check, he chuckled and said “how about 20.00?” I paid him more… I just couldn’t let him only charge us that much for that much time.

    Anyway, yes, no power, any time of year with lots of littles is an adventure ;) Glad you got yours all fixed up!

  4. Thank God you’re all OK, and that you have such a great sense of humor.

    Our circuit box literally melted down once – mice had been chewing through the main wire coming into the house, it was exposed, and I could smell the plastic wire insulation melting from the heat.

    Buzzy-electric noises give me awful anxiety attacks.

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