English: Electricity supply building and pylon...
Electricity supply building and pylon. View looking south from Westbury Road. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Emergency, which service do you require? I was sitting at my computer having a drink of coffee after my lunch and my mobile phone rang, The caller’s number had been hidden and it was marked as Private Number. I am always a little wary of unidentified numbers for often they are used by cold callers and they are a nuisance. Sometimes cold calls will be made using known premium numbers and those I will never answer. Some are actually labelled Unknown Number and those have no chance whatsoever in getting a response! However, the private number was simply from a local lady who perhaps had forgotten she had set her number as invisible. I found out later that she had been unable to use her house phone because her electricity supply was at fault, and that is why I got the call. Okay, it was Sunday and I don’t work Sundays except that this was an emergency and those I will take if I am available. Normally I try to talk the caller through the process of reinstating the supply if it is possible and if they are capable. This lady had tried resetting the supply but to no avail. Her house was about one mile distant and I arrived within minutes. After a preliminary check I discovered there was no supply at the incoming main cable at all. The incoming cartridge fuse wasn’t at fault, it was the supply to it and we later discovered that her house wasn’t the only one affected. This now meant contacting the supply company and therein lay the problem. The numbers we called turned out to be the wrong ones and we were passed from pillar to post before eventually being connected to the correct one. I didn’t know myself which company was responsible for the distribution of electricity in this area. Things have changed quite dramatically since I once worked in the supply industry, then it was much simpler. I was informed by the operator that the fault lay in the high voltage system and repairs were already in hand. When I passed my phone to the lady so that she could pass on her details to the supplier, for I had to do the calling for her, they told her to unplug all her appliances and switch off all her lights until after three o’clock. By that time they hoped the supply would be re-instated. I had already advised her that I had switched off the main circuit breakers and I had already showed her how to switch them back on later. The reason for this procedure is to reduce the load on the system whilst the supply is switched back on. Ideally one light should be left switched on as an indicator to the supply returning. She asked me how much she owed me for the call-out but I declined payment. She did however insist I take something and paid me for my time and assistance. I returned home to my cold cup of coffee and wrote this. I had been thinking about mowing the lawn but decided I would leave that until another day during the week.

Shirley Anne



Roundabouts and swings

Swingset (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Last week it was swings and roundabouts but this week it appears the opposite is true! I was bemoaning the fact that I had no work scheduled as I got no requests for work but this week, so far, I have been very busy. Now last week I was thankful for the rest in a way and this week I am wondering if I’ll get any! Monday’s work was part easy and part not quite so. Tuesday’s work was similar. I had two new electrical distribution panels to fit in a house and they were about a metre apart. That meant I couldn’t replace them with just one larger panel for the wiring to one would be too short to reach the other position but they had been placed that way because of a lack of space. The old lady in whose house I was working had difficulty in understanding why I had to replace the two panels with two new ones and not just one but I was finally able to explain the reasons why after some time. As it happened I didn’t start the work until after ten o’clock for I had to drive to a small job some eight miles away first and then purchase the panels. I had called to her house earlier in order to make assessments of the work and explained I would return a little later. I had thought I would be able to change both panels and in fact had I worked through till five o’clock I could have done. However, replacing the first panel, the more awkward of the two to replace, was very awkward indeed. It was one of those jobs where almost everything didn’t go exactly to plan and it took me far longer than I had expected. I managed to finish the first panel by two-thirty but by then I’d had enough. It had taken me twice as long as I expected. I wasn’t prepared to be faced with a second difficult and awkward replacement so I decided to leave the second panel until the following morning. I didn’t expect the other panel to be anything other than straightforward but I wasn’t going to take the chance so late in the afternoon in case of problems. The first panel supplies the power outlets whilst the other supplies the lighting circuits and is also in a much easier position to work on than the first had been. As I write this on Tuesday evening I can say it has been just one of those days but I have to take the swings with the roundabouts or is it the other way round?

Shirley Anne