It all started a couple of weeks ago when BC was bombarded with a few strong wind storms, coupled with torrential rains. They call it the pineapple express with humid air from Hawai'i . There were numerous power outages and downed trees everywhere in the greater Vancouver area. In fact one day when I rode to work I nearly got blown over in the wind gusts of only 50 km/hr. Later in the week when the wind built up to 95 km/hour I thought it safer to just take the car. It is hard to deal with gusts of wind which goes from a standstill to full power without warning. I have experienced strongs gusts of wind down in the Gorge but it is nearly blowing all the time except when you enter an underpass which can catch you off guard.
About the time of the wind we noticed the lights flickering and just assumed that there were power failures in the area, or else our power grid was being challenged. A few days later we were still getting the flickering lights and I was trying to figure out where the problem would be. Then the lights flickered and a second later the heat came out of the register to I made the assumption that our furnace fan motor needed to be replaced. I reasoned that anytime a motor draws more current than normal on startup it would be attributed to a warm armature. I called my friend who services furnaces and he was going to inspect the problem on the weekend and perhaps replace the motor. While I was staring at the Telly (Gary UK talk for the tube) I heard the fridge compressor cycle on (Ice box for UK talk), again the lights flickered. Then someone used the microwave and again the lights flickered and flashed as if there was a power surge. I now reasoned that I had a big problem and was experiencing "brownouts" . My first reaction was that the storms had caused a problem with one of the transformers in the area which was causing low power in our area. My next step was to contact my neighbours to see if they also had problems.
Long story short, here is what I noticed last Saturday when I went outside to inspect our power feed from the power pole
Hard to see in the bright sunshine against a white wall, but one of the wires supplying power is just dangling in mid air. My friend, the plumber electrician said that my 2 phase is working but single phase is only working through the ground. I called BC Hydro and because the dangling wire is less than 9 ft in the air they consider this an emergency repair and would dispatch a truck as soon as possible.
I had to go out and about a couple of hours later I returned home to find this coil of wire on the front lawn
The old wire had already been removed and coiled up ready to be taken away.
A ladder was leaning along the side of the house
and a new replacement wire had already been connected to my meter . I think that the repairman connected the wire to my meter, strung the wire to the pole and made the appropriate connections. As I arrived home I noticed his lift arm was up in the air, but before I could go out to speak to him, he had already lowered his hydraulic lift and was driving away
I received very fast service. The repair truck came in about an hour after my call and it took him 45 minutes to install the new wire. All in all it was all done within 2 hours and I am back to full power again. The first thing I did was put a glass of water into the microwave and set it for 60 sec. NO more dimming lights and I am thankful indeed for having this work done with NO cost to myself.
Our temperatures are still a little cool in the shadows, but warm in the sun. If this weekend is any indication of things to come then I am going to find myself time challenged. I am already backlogged with projects and postings. I went on a group ride on Saturday afternoon to Horseshoe Bay but I can't post anything until I get the video's edited and that will take another day or so. When the sun is shining I find that I prefer to be outdoors rather than inside typing way on a keyboard.
(Teaser photo: tulips in Horseshoe Bay, BC)
Unless I have something special prearranged I do not plan to ride on Sundays. I call it family day, as Mrs Skoot does not ride we spend our time together and go somewhere different for brunch, perhaps visit friends and in general roam the countryside snapping photos, esp now that the summer weather is near. That being said I broke tradition and met up with another group for breakfast .
(Teaser photo: De Dutch Restaurant, Langley, BC)
There were around a dozen bikes there, and all they do is ride around the country. I have noticed from their forum that they have lots of activities planned and I wanted to go to their Meet & Greet to make my initial contact and see what the members were like and to scope them out. More to say on a future post.