Author Topic: Hurricane Arthur  (Read 9074 times)
themaritimegirl
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #15 on: July 08, 2014, 05:34:00 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
Nope, no water. A 240V pump fills the tank. You get a gallon or two without power before the tank loses pressure.

The mystery liquid emanating from the fridge turned out to be a mixture of melted rib sauce leaking from its container in the freezer and a melted bag of ice also leaking. Enough liquid built up that it reached the vent going from the freezer to the fridge. Gross as all heck. Gonna have to mop the floor and completely wipe down the fridge and freezer if this ever ends.

We've determined that the fridge is still salvageable. The freezer warmed up significantly and so the stuff that was in there (which is now in the deep freezer) is questionable, but the fridge stayed within normal temperature even before we got the inverter. So I have a system for the inverter going now. Run deep freezer for 45 minutes, unplug freezer, start car, plug in fridge, run car for 10 minutes, unplug fridge, plug in freezer, rinse and repeat.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 05:39:08 PM by TheMaritimeMan » Logged

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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #16 on: July 08, 2014, 07:33:00 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
We're back on the power company's online outage list. Estimated restoration time is Thursday night. Going on 3 days, 14 hours.

The Magnum's lamp (the original generic cool white it shipped with) has now worn enough that it's starting to rectify and glow red at the worst end. I replaced it with one of my GE daylight lamps, and it's much happier now, and significantly brighter. I'll finish off the lamp using the unidentified lantern ballast and/or the Fulham.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2014, 11:25:06 PM by TheMaritimeMan » Logged

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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #17 on: July 08, 2014, 11:25:56 PM » Author: TheUniversalDave1
Good grief. I hope y'all get power and water back soon. I guess I won't be moving to New Brunswick any time soon.
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #18 on: July 08, 2014, 11:31:09 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
lol. This is actually a very rare occurrence here. We are indeed susceptible to tropical storms and hurricanes due to being on the coast, but we're far north enough that they are usually too weak to cause much damage. The last damaging storm we had was Hurricane Juan in 2003, and to my recollection we never even lost power then. Before the December ice storm, the last major power outage here was during the Ice Storm of 1998.
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #19 on: July 09, 2014, 07:34:49 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
We're on day 5 without power (4 days, 13 hours since lost). The inverter killed Mom's laptop charger (a stroke of bad luck - modified sine wave inverters generally don't cause problems with most electronics), so I'll have to get another one on eBay... The power company has us under the right village for the first time in days, and while they said this morning that restoration time was tomorrow night, they now say "assessment in progress". Not sure if that's bad or good.

Otherwise, things are starting to look up a bit. I managed to get the deep freezer to start with the fridge already running, so now both are running on the inverter, and we run the car continuously now. As such I also have my laptop, the internet router, and a couple of small lights in my room running, now. We're using about 400W in total. Alternator is getting a workout, keeping the battery at about 12.9V (without a load it does 13.8V). We also cooked a pork chop from the deep freezer, and it looked and tasted just fine.

It turns out that this is the largest electrical disruption in New Brunswick's history. At the peak of the outage, an entire third of the province had no power.
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #20 on: July 09, 2014, 11:28:26 PM » Author: socketgeek63
Wow! 5 days and no power >:( Hopefully they get it back for you. I thought it was bad one year ( Feb. 2007) when I lost mine in my part of town for around 28 hours from an ice storm that hit us on a weekend. Was fixing to tape a TV show at the time, the next day it was still out then I went to work and then it was restored before I got home from work. I had some frozen dinners that thawed and was questionable about them and ended up getting rid of them and had to replace some food items. Least the Mountain Dew stayed ok.
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #21 on: July 10, 2014, 01:26:23 AM » Author: arcblue
I've never experienced a power outage that long, nor one severe enough to take out the water pumping stations, but a week and a half ago my 23 y/o refrigerator died, and it took 4 more days for Lowe's to deliver the new one, so I know what it is like to lose a lot of food (and I had just gone shopping!). I managed to save some by purchasing dry ice, and transferring refrigerated items to the freezer (it still worked a little bit). The CO2, however, will ruin any fruits & vegetables that aren't in sealed bags.

The inverter is a good idea. I have an 800w one I used on the last power outage....it was just enough to run the refrigerator. I've been thinking about building a generator using that, an alternator & a spare engine I have but never got around to it. No tornadoes or hurricanes in Seattle, but we did have an ice storm some years back that took out power for up to a week in some areas.

All of us are at risk for widespread power outages if solar flare activity is major enough to cause a severe geomagnetic storm. Maybe our fluorescents would glow on their own though :)

Hope your power returns soon! Having no water is particularly uncomfortable, but I'm glad to hear that your battery-powered fluorescent lantern has lasted so long.

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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #22 on: July 10, 2014, 04:16:28 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
We're now on Day 6 without power, and it's grim news all around. NB Power has updated restoration times for everyone, and we're now looking at Monday night. Some Communities are looking at Tuesday night. We have additional crews from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, and Maine helping our guys to restore power. Mom hypothesizes that this will perhaps be one of the longest power outages anywhere, ever. Hard to say since power outage records focus on the number of people affected, rather than the duration.

I've been worried because while the car's charging system usually hangs around 13.8V without a load, the inverter has been reporting a voltage, with the fridge and freezer running, of only 12.6V. I've been fearing that I might be overloading the alternator, even though according to what I read it's good for 110A, and the inverter is doing 50A at most. (Does anyone know how much current a running engine alone uses? I wouldn't think more than 4 or 5 amps.)

However, I took my multimeter and measured the battery terminals, and I'm getting 13.6V - the alternator is barely sweating! I measured at the inverter terminals, and I get 12.6V, same as the inverter's display. It turns out that I'm losing almost an entire volt over the jumper cables I'm using to connect the inverter to the battery! I should have known all along considering I learned this in school.   ::) I did the calculations, and I'm losing almost 50 watts of power as heat over the cables! This is with a cable resistance of approximately 0.02 ohms. Amazing how much power you lose with such a tiny resistance when you have to work with so much current! This probably explains why the inverter has trouble starting the freezer when the fridge is already running. During that half second or so, there's maybe 150A being pulled, the cables are dissipating 450 watts of heat, and even if the alternator is maintaining 13 volts, the inverter is only seeing 10 volts.  :o
« Last Edit: July 10, 2014, 04:20:27 PM by TheMaritimeMan » Logged

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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #23 on: July 10, 2014, 09:35:55 PM » Author: toomanybulbs
shorten the cables and place the inverter under the hood away from heat.
during hurricane ike here(yes in ohio!)lots of folks were having this same issue.short heave cables from the battery to the inverter make all the difference.
but several of those cheap inverters exploded under the starting demand of a fridge.
i took a pic of a friends setup.a 70 chevelle ss396 running to power an inverter.
this is a built engine that is rated in gallons per mile and the cam it has makes for a very nasty exhaust at idle.
the caption was worlds least efficient and worst polluting genset!
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #24 on: July 10, 2014, 11:14:17 PM » Author: themaritimegirl
I won't mutilate our only booster cables, but I will look into some purpose-built cables in the future. I have the inverter set on the ground - it would be far hotter under the hood due to the engine. And I bet a Chevelle would certainly make for a characteristic generator!  :P Luckily for us our 2010 Focus has to idle for 2-3 hours before you notice the slightest change in the gas gauge.
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #25 on: July 11, 2014, 04:27:26 AM » Author: themaritimegirl
After 5 days and 18 hours, power was restored to us at approximately 1:20 this morning. Mom made a point of excitedly waking me up at 5:00 to inform me. -_- About an hour before it returned, as I was going to sleep, I heard a noise and looked out my window, and it was an NB Power truck stopped across the road. I figured it was a good sign.
« Last Edit: July 11, 2014, 04:29:29 AM by TheMaritimeMan » Logged

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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #26 on: July 11, 2014, 06:26:54 AM » Author: sol
Do you live on a main road or a smaller side street ? If you live on the latter, there is probably a cut out fuse where the line branches off to your street. There could have been a fault that was either momentary or permanent causing the fuse to blow. That would at least partly explain the long delay as they connect whichever lines will restore power to the most homes first. Anyways, I'm glad the power's back.  :)
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #27 on: July 11, 2014, 11:50:17 AM » Author: themaritimegirl
We're on a side road that branches off the highway, about 15 minutes out of St. Stephen. I was talking to a neighbor yesterday, and apparently out of the 30 km or so road we live on, our 400m stretch, containing maybe 6 houses, was the only part without power! So indeed, we were pretty much at the bottom of the list. The town as a whole is low on the list because they have everybody working on Fredericton.
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #28 on: July 11, 2014, 02:09:48 PM » Author: sol
The cut out fuse for the transformer that feeds your house was probably blown. They are probably at the point where they work on smaller problems now that the main lines are all back in order. If they were lucky, all they had to do was replace the fuse, if not they had to find the fault (shorted transformer, broken secondary wires, etc).

My house feeds from a line that goes up an adjacent driveway. Since I am too far from the houses further back of mine, I am alone on my transformer. However, I am only about 250m from the main roadway with the main electricity line. There are no trees in the wires of that small line, so no problems, at least this time...
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Re: Hurricane Arthur « Reply #29 on: July 11, 2014, 06:52:49 PM » Author: ace100w120v
Either he has an electric water heater, or maybe he's on well water...if I was in the latter situation I would want a backup generator for sure! Same if someone in my household had COPD, sleep apnia, etc since they need special medical equipment...
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