Electric Issues On A Random Monday
You know, I feel pretty fortunate having not lost power at my house over this past winter storm. I was prepared to, generator, shelf stable foods, back up lighting and even entertainment, but as parts of Lawton experienced power outages, I was lucky. It was cold in the house after Centerpoint asked everyone to turn down their thermostats, but having a way to prepare hot food made up for it. Today, I wasn't so lucky.
I'm not sure what it was that woke me up this morning, but I was awoken around 4:30. I figured I had to go, but as I laid back in bed, my TV said "Network Connection Unavailable." Now I've had internet issues the last few days, with the extreme temperature swings, melting ice, wet connections, it's understandable. I figured I'd just perform the 'hard reset' technical support always suggests first to see if it would come back up so I could listen to the sounds of thunder to lull me back into a dream. As I walked into the living room, it dawned on me, I have no power on that side of the house. Weird.
Naturally, I know you're already saying "breakers" in your head. I did too, but when I opened my panel, there weren't any thrown breakers in there. As for due diligence, I went ahead and flipped all the breakers off and back on, still no power in half my house. Something strange is afoot.
I figured I'd go back to bed and figure it out later. You'd probably do the same... but as I laid there in the thunderous silence that is twenty years of loud music and hearing damage, it bugged me enough that I hopped up and decided to sort this out. How hard can it be?
The trusty old multi-meter came out of the cupboard and after again double checking the breakers were on, I started testing voltage and continuity at each of the outlets. Nothing. So off to the big scary "kill you if you touch the wrong thing" main panel I go. I turned off the main breaker to test continuity through each breaker and four of them were dead. Four.
Do you how astronomically high the odds are of one breaker going bad let alone four in one night? It's pure shenanigans. I thought I should go back to bed and consult a professional in the morning. Again, I laid down, heard the silence, and decided since they were opening in just a few minutes, I headed to the home store to snag some breakers.
My home is nearly forty years old, and I'm guessing the breakers were original. I got a box of replacements, made my way home and started replacing parts. It didn't take long at all. It's just a few screws, a constant fear of pixies, and a throw of that main breaker... Presto, the whole home had power again. Internet came back up, fridge was humming again, the microwave was yelling at me to set the time, all was right for the moment.
Looking at the clock, I still had a chance to get an hour or so of sleep, so I decided to do so. I popped a thunderstorm up on YouTube, decided to hit the head one more time, and the moment I turned to walk out of the bathroom, all the power went out.
Defeated, I opened the AEP app on my phone, turns out there were twelve of us without power in Lawton this morning, all within the curbed confines of the same neighborhood block. Bummer.
The power did eventually come back on, which was nice. Shaving in the low-light isn't fun. I don't know who was out there working on the problem in the frigid weather this morning before sunlight, but I thank you. It's nice to have power again.