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September 29 - House Call

I got a call from Kevin about a week ago. He had been vacuuming the floor in his fancy new bedroom (something he'd done many times before) when suddenly some of the power went out. Some bedroom outlets and the furnace suddenly not working. With me being the only neighborhood spark chaser still makin' house-calls and not leaving bills behind, I collected my gear and headed over.

The basement lights were also out so I worked by flashlight. I fought back the spiders as I worked my way through the dark, musty basement to the ancient fuse box tucked away in a corner. (Their eyes glow red in the dark. Who knew?).

I removed the panel cover, quickly deciphered the wiring, clipped my clamp ammeter around the appropriate wire, reset the breaker, then watched and listened.

I learned the furnace blower pulls 6 amps steady state, and that Kevin's shop vac draws just over 8, putting the circuit load at 14.2 amps. Not quite enough. There had to be something else. I waited.

Watching and Waiting
Eventually a crusty condensate pump sitting next to the furnace turned on. I didn't even know there was one of those in his house because it was under a large pile of… things. That pump draws 1 amp steady state so 15.2. I whispered to the spiders, “One Mississippi, two Mississippi…” about five seconds and the breaker tripped.

Rewiring that branch isn't an option so Kevin will be more selective about where he plugs in stuff.

Exciting times? You make the call.


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blog/9-29/house-call.txt · Last modified: 2022/09/29 18:06 by john