August 04, 2012

A Crazy Day ... House Repairs

Saturday started out normal. Sunny and 84 degrees at 8am, waiting for the grass to dry so I can mow the yard. Cup of coffee and reading blogs. Just sent an email to my dad and a few minutes later, I lose power here at the house and as the overprice iMac plus the 27" monitor try to reboot there is a loud explosion outside at the transformer. It was nothing like I have heard before, even in the worst storms.

I go outside to make sure nothing has blown into the transformer, even though it's a perfect weather morning. Then look up on the roof where the main power goes into the fuse box, looks good there.

I check out my fusebox expecting some breakers to be popped ... and not a one ...not one. I called a couple of neighbors and a landscaping business nearby on the owner's cell phone.  Power completely out.  About the time I start to walk back inside, the transformer has a huge explosion!

Power is out for almost 4 hours and kicks back on just as the outside temps had hit 97 degrees. Yes, it was hot inside, outside etc.

In the meantime inside I smell a "slight' aroma of that infamous electrical burn smell. Even though the power is off, both surge protectors where the computer is  .... no lights, completely off.  I check my living room, one surge protector mounted into the socket is fried and "brown explosion" marks are on the wall.

Remaining calm and already in my mind thinking my HD large tv is history as well as the overpriced Mac's. Not being an electrician, I start my process of elimination. 2 fans plugged into different outlets are running so I'll plug my computer in that one directly to see if my worst fears are real or not, or will the overpriced Mac bootup????

Plug it into the wall outlet that I know is working .... computer boots up!  Shut that down and plug in my overpriced large Mac Monitor ... looks good. Both surge protectors are FRIED. (must have been that burnt smell).

On to the living room. One wall outlet is fried. I look at the other outlet with the wall mounted surge protector that I had my DVD player and PS3 plugged into due to the length of the cord. Due to those lengths, I had to plug my Directv DVD, my large TV into the fried outlet. Using an extension cord to reach the good outlet, I plug both tv and the DVR directly into the good outlet, both turn on. DVD says "starting up will take a few minutes".  I figure incorrectly that if I have a screen then both the tv and DVR are good....Call the tech help at Directv (she was great), we determine that the receiver is fried and she is sending out a replacement. We tried connecting to the tv with new HDMI cables, then the component and video cables ... no good.

An interesting thing that makes me think my tv is wasted. Maybe a reader with more electrical experience can enlighten me.

Each time I moved the component cables (red,blue,green) and the video cables to a different port (AV1 or AV2), the port it was plugged into would disappear from my tv source input list. Same thing happened when I tried 4 different HDMI ports...whatever port the cable was plugged into, that port would disappear from the list.

So, I head to Walmart for 2 new surge protectors, have my computer, ipad dock, modem, printer and desk light all working normal with the new surge protector.

I'll spend the rest of the night trying to find out if I can plug and play a DVD player and PS3 into the tv, one that is not getting a tv reception signal from the DVR, or will I need some sort of antenna signal to get the DVD player or the PS3 to play.

As for RV's ... It was a week of reading about a lot of problems with what some people had. A few LARGE repair bills ... much like my day today!!!

The yard was mowed but I kept thinking as I mowed, that I am so tired of house and yard upkeep. After some of the bill totals I read about, I am not so sure my house repair bills will be a lot lower than RV repairs.

There always seems to be some doubt in back of my mind about RVing.....and those HUGE repair costs is what keeps me wondering about the future. I have cashed saved for house emergencies but the more I save the tighter I get in spending it.


  1. Check to see if the TV's menu is working. If it is it might be as simple as going through the menu and changing the input source.

  2. Bhounds, I hope you've gotten these issues worked out by now. Wow. What a day for you!! Yes, I'm one of the ones with the big RV repair bill. But when you take into consideration the age of my RV & how unaware I was of the inadequate transmission cooler that they left in it, it's no wonder my mishap happened. Although it was an expensive fix, a new roof on a house is more. And the daily living expense of a house is more. Anything can happen to us at any time which incurs expenses. It's just life. But be sure not to buy anything that is too terribly old. I want my next RV to have a V10 engine, which will be a better engine. But when you consider the size of my RV, the engine it has is adequate. It was 10 years old when I paid cash for it in '06, but now it's older of course. And there were things I didn't know about when I bought it or I would have chosen something different back then. I got too anxious...

    1. I like the V10 engine, highly recommended by a "gearhead" friend of mine. I have a spreadsheet on everything in my life it seems, I track every penny I make and every penny I spend, the monthly averages to the previous year, etc. When I compare my current living expense against RVing, in my case they are pretty close. I am only $4K away from paying my house off and even with a low mortgage payment.

      At the same time, even if RVing and a paid house are equal in expenses .... I could be up in the BLM land of South Dakota or a National Forest in Oregon instead of this "global warming" in the midwestern states :) Or next winter, instead of walking through the snow, I'm backed into a spot at the San Clemente State Park right on the ocean in southern california

      Pretty simple isn't it? lol

  3. That doesn't sound like a good day!! At least your surge protectors did their job on saving your computer. Hope you get your TV issue squared away without having to buy a new tv. Seems like it's always something no matter where or what you live in. BTW, it was 101 in Eugene, OR today, a new record.

    1. 101 in Oregon??? Unbelievable .... strange weather everywhere. A friend at work and I were talking Thursday that there is always something around the corner, unexpected.

  4. I had that happen a few times at my office in Illinois. The surge protectors did their job and protected the equipment. I saw on Facebook that a lot of friends and family in Chicago are having electricity problems this week, too - but I think its weather related.

    1. I think it is weather related also....too many A/C's maxed out 24/7. I had a friend on facebook told me her son in Indianapolis lost to garage door electric panels, modem and all their computers on the same type of surge....but their tv's were ok.

      We have APC's at work for the power outages but this surge was not normal ... it was like the time I had a surge during tornados when trees were literally blowing into electrical transformers. This one today was powerful, it was just bright and sunny outside.