Before I catch up on the other stuff, I just have to share the best part of all.
My brother made it out today, and he got the outlet fixed for us!
He tried getting here using his usual route, only to find the road closed sign was still at the south end of the road past our place, so he turned around and took a different route, adding an extra 3 miles of gravel road to the drive. It rained steadily all last night, and the section of road near our intersection was so muddy, he had difficulty getting through with is 4 wheel drive. The grader went through a couple of days ago, but even it went around that spot! It’s just mush in the middle of the road.
But he made it and checked the outlet for us, and it turned out to be less damaged than he feared it might be.
When I noticed what happened, I quickly unplugged the 2 power bars that were plugged into it and just dropped them. After that, we were more interested in making sure nothing started burning in the wall. When we moved the DVD shelf to access the outlet, I never even thought to look at either of them.
I think we found the cause of the fry out.
This power bar had the TV plugged into, as well as the Xbox, I think (we use is as a DVD player, but it doesn’t always work) and the USB adapter for our Roku. He thinks something had to have been drawing a lot of power, but they should have only been using just a trickle. So we still don’t know why it blew.
As my brother was removing the receptacle, he commented that our father had installed it some 50 years ago!
Can you tell?
I’m pretty sure that 61 visible on the white sticker is the original price.
Marshall Wells hasn’t been around since 1988 and, even before then, it had been bought out a couple of times and was under a different name since about 1978.
While replacing the receptacle, my brother found one of the wires was loose, and the ground was no longer attached at the wall. He replaced the ground wire but discovered he couldn’t screw it in to the wall – it was stripped. There was a second hole, and that was stripped, too. He had to drill a third hole and use a new, longer screw! The end of the black wire was melted, so he repaired that, too.
Of course, it was tested out right away, after I turned the breaker back on, and all worked perfectly!
And my daughter’s computers started turning on. A light upstairs turned on, too. I had no idea until then, that any of the ceiling lights was on that breaker, too.
We now have a light and fan in the bathroom again. 😀
Then, because he’s a sweetheart, and had his bag with 5 or 6 different lengths of screws handy, my brother “fixed” the main door by replacing some of the hinge screws with longer ones. I hadn’t done it before, because the door is hollow, so I didn’t think it would help any, but it did. He was able to pull a couple of the other hinge screws out with just his fingers. !! We still need to replace the entire door and frame, as the fame itself is splitting at the top and middle hinges. My brother suggested I use longer screws into the frame, too, to compensate. A door is only as secure as its frame, though, and I want an insulated metal door with a metal frame! He doesn’t think it needs to be replaced, but if we want to do it, he’s okay with that.
The main thing is, we can use the main door again. I don’t know how long that will last, but we’ll see.
Meanwhile, my older daughter has been busily catching up on commissions. I believe all of her clients were okay with the delay, too, which is nice.
Then, after he was finished here, my brother was going to go to town to pick up some milk for our mother, in the plastic 2L jugs that are no longer available where she lives, then drive back to her place – adding almost an extra hour to his drive home!
My brother is the best!
He mentioned talking to our mother last night, and that they’d talked about her getting home care and Meals on Wheels, since she is in so much pain right now. I had brought that up with her, too, and she seems agreeable to that. I’m also thinking she might finally be willing to get a hospital bed through home care, like my husband was able to do. I think being able to adjust the height, and have support under her knees or sleep at an incline would be a help.
We shall see how her telephone appointment with the doctor does, a couple of days from now.
4 thoughts on “It’s fixed!”
Surge suppressors fail by becoming a short circuit. If the power bar had them, but no fuses or circuit breaker in the power bar, what you saw happen is a possibility.
The surge suppressors will absorb the surges, but each “absorption” takes a bit out of them and they eventually fail.
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The power bar did have a circuit breaker. With things like the breaker tripping when we used the toaster and the kettle at the time time, we have them all over the house. That way that power bar goes, and we don’t have to drag out the little step ladder to reach the breaker panel in the old kitchen! Granted, it was only ever that one outlet that would do it, but it was enough for us to invest in the things for elsewhere.
That is good the power bars all have circuit breakers!
Theory 2, since theory 1 is obviously incorrect.
The part in the wall receptacle that pushes against the blade on the cord plugged into it…may have lost it’s “spring”. This makes a poor connection, which will then get hot when a lot of power is pulled through the outlet. The heat makes the problem worse, which makes even more heat…until it fails.
It’s easy enough to check outlets for this problem. When you have stuff running on an outlet, feel if it is hot. Hot is bad.
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That is very likely.
I’ve never noticed outlets running hot, but sometimes, they spark as they are plugged/unplugged. Once something is plugged into a power bar, though, they tend to stay, so we don’t see that very often at all.
We have receptacles with USB ports for charging devices that my husband picked up. My brother recommended against them, because the USB ports are always “on” and can heat up – and with our old wiring, that would just not be a good thing!