• San Luis Obispo,
  • California,
  • United States

Top Contributors

Of power failures and potpurri

I was siting here earlier, dinner (BBQ) was over, we had cleaned up and the power went out. We do not have many power failures here. I am in a big city and the infrastructure is here to keep power on.

I have two computers, one AC powered Desktop and one Battery powered laptop. I have a sturdy UPS for this and networking gear (modem, router, Wi-Fi) in the basement.

I waited 5 minutes and turned the desktop off. The laptop was fine on battery.
After 15 minutes, I start looking around because the UPS is beeping unhappily.
After about 30 minutes, I go downstairs and realize an old monitor in on (standby) and I flipped it off.
The cable TV box is ON (it has its own UPS). It takes it more than 30 minutes to fully load and start.

After about 45 minutes, we went out walking, up to the top of the hill and realized the outage was very widespread.

We get home and power remains off.

After an hour and 45 minutes the power comes back on.

1. TV Cable Box is fine.
2. Both clocks in our bedroom come on to the correct time (battery backup)
3. Train DCC controllers come back up with no loss of settings.
4. Thermostat stays on throughout (battery backup).
5. Outside lights and time-zone controller are working (battery backup for the controller).
6. Phones stay on. New iPhones have excellent battery life and don't need Wi-Fi

It is amazing, really, how many things can pick up where they left off after a lengthy power failure.
View Previous CommentsLoad All Comments (30)
Rank: Prodigy

Expert Comment

Scott Fell2016-08-12 10:01 AMID: 1929642
Yea...bbq.... I will have this bad boy full of meat in an hour
Rank: Savant

Expert Comment

rindi2016-08-12 10:10 AMID: 1929645
Then make sure you get home before it gets dark, as you won't have any power then. BBQ=Power failure...
Rank: Savant

Expert Comment

David Johnson, CD2016-08-14 12:09 AMID: 1929816
Having traveled the world access to ANY electricity is not a given item. Access to 24 hour electricity is not a given (you may only have 1 or 2 hours a day).  I've lived in places that had their own power plants (isolated islands or in the far north) being the local time authority the power plant would call us every 8 hours for a time check and adjust the line frequency to keep the long term time correct. The line frequency would vary due to load from about 59-61hz  and the power plant operators would have to adjust the frequency.  The short term time from your power authority is terrible but over a long period it is within less than 1 second/year.

Working at places where cost was not a concern it the line frequency wasn't stable and within 59.9-60.1hz we used our own generators and had monstrous flywheels. Some months we didn't use 'shore' power at all.

In one isolated community we had a CAT 5 blizzard (CAT 1 Blizzard - lifelines deployed, CAT 2 - no outside access) and the snow drifted over the power plant generators which caused them to overheat and shut down. This meant we had no power to start and run our oil furnaces.  Emergency food caches became depleted.  There was talk about a mass evacuation except that due to the storm we had no outside access. Quick grab anything that resembles a shovel, tie everyone together and clear the snow off of the radiators working only by feel as you could not see your hand if it was touching your nose *being in the 24 hour dark cycle didn't help*

During the blackout of 2008 a call center I was responsible for maintained online with their NG power generator the problem being that we only had one city (Thunder Bay) that had stores open.  I believe that there was maybe 3 stores in the Golden Horseshoe that had their own power.  During Hurricane Sandy Squarespace had their own diesel generator on the roof but when the basement flooded, it took out the pumps that transport fuel from the reserve tanks to the generators on top of the building.  So they got as many barrels / containers as possible and hauled them up the 17 floors for 3 days.
Rank: Elite

Author Comment

John2016-09-03 11:59 AMID: 1933804
As this is potpourri, our Coffee Maker broke (carafe cracked) and we got a new Kitchen Aid coffee maker.

So what you say.

We got the original coffee maker when we got married 43 years ago.
Rank: Ace

Expert Comment

fanpages2016-09-03 12:15 PMID: 1933812
We got the original coffee maker when we got married 43 years ago.

Does your wife have a pet name for you as well?
Rank: Elite

Author Comment

John2016-09-03 12:22 PMID: 1933815
Pet? Nothing I could repeat outside the house. She is a great person and tolerates me :)