Beam me up

Subtitled: Return of the Gremlins.

Yesterday and the half of the preceding day had gone very smoothly. After Main Man had removed our cooker circuit fuse both we and they enjoyed uninterrupted service.

This morning Francine was up at her usual early hour making tea. She had just done so and brought it upstairs announcing that our power had once again gone on furlough. “Bother”, said Franco, crossly. What in tarnation was going on?

On Sunday I had fitted a new LED almost-flush ceiling light in our utility room. The cabling had been a bit of a squeeze so I feared that might be the culprit. I pulled the utility room fuse. Power settled down. I removed the light and checked all the cabling. I replaced the fuse.

Some little time later, blip – off went the power again. “Bother”, repeated Franco, crossly, and pulled the fuse to the 30 amp ring main on the kitchen side of the house. Power was restored but only briefly. I now had three out of six fuses out and still no stable supply.

Men arrived and I related the sad tale. I turned off the whole of the fuse box and Main Man went round the kitchen, where all the former lights and power points were hanging on their cables, checking for loose connections. He reckoned he’d found two dubious earth connections and corrected them.

Power back on. Thus far it has remained back on. Mind you, last time it lasted for about 36 hours. Fingers firmly crossed.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe main business of the day could now commence, the main business being a 3-metre steal beam which was carried in and somehow hoisted into place above the two reconstructed stub walls. What it is to have strength. It is sitting on engineering bricks with more compression strength, together with some special rigid material to shim it up to the precise height needed.

“Props away”, boys.

We also have a nice new window board as the sill to our new dining area window and Francine is spending yet more money ordering a new kitchen window to match the profile of the one in the dining area. Women!

So, end of round #1; Men have cleared up and we await the electrician for round #2. Meanwhile we have a weekend to relax in our building site.

Posted in 2020 Covid-19 Knockdown
4 comments on “Beam me up
  1. Steve says:

    I assume you have one of those trip switches which measure the balance of power in the live and neutral. Or on older systems it measures the current in the earth wire. The former is safer, because it protects systems where the fault does not leak electricity to the earth wire.

    Pulling a fuse often has little affect. I remember when I wired my house, with the electricity on, except for the ring I was working on, that as soon as the neutral wire touched the earth, off went the power. Pulling fuses leaves the neutral connected. The neutral should be zero volts, and no power should travel to earth. But there is resistance, and neutral will always be above earth, so a neutral earth connection will result in some power going down the earth wire or directly to earth.

    Hope the electrician does not find too much wrong, rewiring the house will be disruptive.

    Enjoy the build.

    • Franco says:

      I’ve no idea what we’ve got. 😀 Old fuses with real wire (not paper clips or nails) but a modern smart meter in the main supply cabinet outside.

      Sparky will be replacing our archaic wire fuse box with a modern one with a couple of additional circuits. Induction hobs are quite hungry, it seems. We’re having him put a proper power supply in the garage, too.

      What he won’t like [I don’t] is the fact that our utility room’s lights and power supply are on just one circuit. That was an extension done shortly after we moved in.

  2. BlasR says:

    I’m with Francine on those windows. The mismatch would eventually have driven you mad, too. (And, if not the actual mismatch itself, then Francine pointing it out…..)

    Heh, if it rains, you can bbq in your kitchen.

    • Franco says:

      I can see this replacement window lark spreading to the rest of the house. 🙂

      I like the BBQ in the kitchen idea; the Cadac does tend to spatter over the floor so doing it indoors elsewhere is unappealing.

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