At least my house might need one. If you have been paying attention, I have had some flooding problems. Well, we also have had some electrical problems. The first time we had work done we had been experiencing weird blinking lights and some weird ghosting on the TV, which is cable AND digital so where would the ghosting come from? We called an electrician and found out that water had been getting into our breaker box, and that needed to be replaced. Once it was replaced all was well again, but we were lucky that it didn’t catch fire and burn the house down.
Two nights ago we had no Comcast services at all. No phone, no cable, NO INTERNET. We had to watch a DVD of all things. Or READ. I know. So I called Comcast and they tried pinging the modem and resetting it and blahblahblah 20 minutes later they said this would require a service visit, how is tomorrow. Well I am not living without the INTERNET for another day, so yes, come out tomorrow.
I came home around noon to wait the four hours it would take for them to show up for the “sometime between 12 and 4” appointment. When I walked in there was a funny smell and a funny noise going on in the basement. I turned the light on at the top of the stairs and the lights were going on and off and there was a bangbangbang sound which turned out to be the freezer fritzing out. So I unplugged the freezer and the lights stopped flashing, but there was a buzzing coming from the breaker box. So I opened the breaker box and nothing was smoking or in flames – good sign. I began turning off breakers until I found the one causing the buzzing – lucky Number 13. At that point I noticed that the little breaker box to the left of the big one which runs the pool pump was not on, so I reset that and went to see if the pump was on. It was not. Nothing I did would get the pump on. We just paid for a brand new pump and breakers to be installed in the flood of ’08 incident, so I called the same electrician that did that job. They were sending someone right out. In the meantime I called the Bob. He said turn #13 back on. I did. It didn’t hum. Can you turn the pump on, he asked. Lo and behold I could. So #13 somehow was tied to the pump.
Fast forward to the electrician having seen all the weird mysterious things I pointed out, beyond me discovering that the microwave and the coffee pot would not turn on even when plugged into an outlet with power and to him discovering why I had no Comcast services – the cable wire on the side of the house had burst into flames and scorched the side of the house. In fact it was still sparking. It had POWER IN IT. Cable lines are not supposed to have power flowing through them. Something cause a major power surge. He then took a look at the wires where they connect to the pole out front. The neutral line had exploded.
Short science lesson: electricity has to complete a circuit. It flows in a circle if you will. It comes into your house on a line, goes through your breaker panel and powers all your stuff, and must leave the house on the neutral line. When the neutral line exploded, our electricity had nowhere to go to complete the circle. So it went for the ground – the grounding system that is. Which sent power into the breaker box and into the grounding system, which the cable line is attached to so if it is hit by lightening, it won’t BURN YOUR HOUSE DOWN. HA. That caused the cable line to explode. This also meant that all my plumbing was live. As the Bob said, it is a good thing toilets are made out of porcelain. They could have become our home grown electric chairs.
So he turned off all the power, and called the electic company. They came out, and fixed the neutral line, while being very surly and demanding WHY should they tell me when they are done fixing the thing that almost BURNED MY HOUSE DOWN.
After the electric company left, we turned the breakers back on. Almost everything was fine. The pool pump worked, the freezer worked, all the major appliances were fine. However, the coffee pot and microwave are toast. The computer upstairs, fried. At least the power supply is. And that was plugged into a surge protector! We also lost the phones.
The look on the Comcast guys’ face when he saw what happened, when he showed up at 3:45 I might add, was according to the Bob, was one of startled amazement.
But the house didn’t burn down in our sleep, or while we were at work and the dogs were trapped in the house. So I will pay for a new coffee pot and microwave and we will see if the computer can be fixed. We have laptops. We will find a new phone. At least we are not homeless.
However, I am wondering if something else is at work here. There are times I have been sure there is a presence in this house, and it is not just because my husband has farted like it was his job. That does have a life of its own, but this is different. Between the flooding and the electrical mishaps, I might need to cleanse the house. There was one night when Cooper was still getting up in the middle of the night, but he was standing on his own when we were up around 2am. He stood in the middle of the living room turned away from me, and put his arms up in the air like he wanted someone to pick him up. Who was he looking at? He often spends time in his room chit chatting for awhile, but I assumed he was playing with the 42 animals he goes to bed with.
I wonder what is next, a plague of locusts or frogs? We have been having quite a fruit fly problem…