Throw me a line

Joy and I had some fun this weekend in our wonderful old home. We came back from a dinner on Saturday night and found that several rooms in the house either didn’t have working outlets or the lights were out. On top of that, the heater wasn’t working… the lights were on but no one was home, so to speak. So, I ran out to the garage and checked all of the breakers, and all was well. I donned my winter gear and trudged outside and checked the breakers on the heater unit. Again, all fine. I even poked my head up into the attic and crawled around under the house looking for evidence of varmint infestation and sabotage. No such luck.

Frustrated, I called my local Aire-Serve rep and close personal friend to plead for help. He examined my A/C unit and the breaker box and discovered that we were only getting 90 volts instead of the usual 120 on one of the line coming into the house. If you don’t know a lot about house and electricity, you are supposed to have two lines, each carrying 120 volts, come into your home at the meter. Obviously they combine to 240 volts to power your heater, A/C, and dryer or they’re split to 120 volt panels in your breaker box to run the outlets and lights in your home. Most of the devices in our home simply weren’t getting enough juice.

So we called the Huntsville utilities and within an hour, a line crew was out to diagnose the problem. Turns out that one of the lines coming into the house was at fault. They couldn’t say much more than that, but the line would have to be replaced. This is no small ordeal because the line is underground and most likely runs under a concrete patio that a previous owner poured. Thankfully we won’t have to pay for that work, but while the line crew was installed a booster transformer (temporary fix), one of the workers noticed the main switch in the breaker box was pretty much toasted. So even if the main lines were fixed, there would be no guarantee that the power would stay on.

Joy and I then went off to Home Depot and Lowes in search of a replacement, but neither stocked such a big item from such a distant era (our house was built in the 70’s). Once again my buddy Mike at Aire Serve came through and found a replacement switch. We called Mr. Electric to install the switch and make sure everything else was copacetic. They swapped out our main, cleaned up the breaker box (imagine spaghetti wires!), and even installed a 220 volt outlet for my air compressor that’s been sitting idle for the last year! We got a pretty good deal and the men from Mr. Electric were extremely helpful and courteous. We highly recommend them if you have any questions or electrical problems with your home.

Now we’re just waiting for Huntsville Utilities to come out tomorrow and lay down some new power lines to get our battle station fully operational once more!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *