Another day, another electrical emergency--
Late yesterday afternoon, just after Tom came home from work, I turned on the dining-room lamp and then walked out of the room. A few seconds later I heard him ask, "What's going on with the lamp?" I walked back into the room and saw it flashing on and off. Just as I was about to speak, I heard the stereo in the back room turn on and off; then the light in the kitchen vent hood started fluttering, the cellar lights started flashing, the furnace began turning on and off, and the refrigerator went dead. Tom was flummoxed: multiple circuits were involved, breakers were tripping, what the hell was going on? Poltergeists? Quickly he turned off everything except for a couple of unaffected lamps, and tried calling our usual electrician, who of course did not answer. So he called another one--someone he works with at his new job--who promised to come over first thing in the morning but said that he suspected this was a problem with the outside power lines and we should call Central Maine Power. Mind you, it was pouring buckets of rain . . . a fine time to be a lineman, a fine time to be hauling a freezer-load of food to my neighbor's house (bless her heart). So we had a cold, dark, pizza-delivery night and a coffee-less morning, and thank goodness for our little wood stove.
The CMP guys didn't show up till 2 a.m., and then they only looked at the meter connection, which they said was working perfectly. But my hero, the new electrician, appeared promptly after breakfast and assured me that everything in the circuit box was sturdy and tight. Still, he could see that the power was fluctuating when he turned on the breakers. So he called CMP and told them that their guys needed to come back and look at the lines running from the pole to the house. And voila! They showed up in half an hour with a bucket truck and discovered a bad connection. As of late morning everything was back to normal, and the problems weren't the little house's fault in any way, and I am much relieved.
But, please, could we stop with the electrical problems? There are few things more stressful than fearing that your house is about to catch on fire.