Convergent Series

learning, using & teaching metal clay, and other aspects of life

Posts Tagged ‘electricity’

What I learned from the latest tripped circuit.

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/12/10

I was just too tired after the WPaPMC meeting in my studio Wednesday night to do much clean-up. Alice W and Carol D were staying over at my house, and we did simply haul out the trash and such, but that was about it.

I was running all over the county on Thursday, so I didn’t make it back to the studio then. Today, I did get over, and the first thing I chose to do was to vacuum the carpets and wood floors pretty thoroughly. And for some reason that tripped the circuit breaker.

I had overhead lights on, small FM radio on, and the vacuum. Furnace was running, but apparently on a different circuit. Power went out: vacuum stopped, overhead lights went out, and radio switched over to run on its own battery power. At least, this time (unlike what happened last month) I knew where to go to reset it. And this time, with mid-afternoon sunlight in the hallway, I read the labels on the various circuits, clearly left over from 30-some years ago when this was an actual school.

The switch for my room was labelled “Library.” Which actually makes sense, given the size and “feel” of the room, which never had seemed right for a classroom. I really like the thought that I’m now working in what had been the (small, primary school) library!

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Tripped Up!

Posted by C Scheftic on 2010/11/20

It looks so innocent, doesn’t it? But that little kiln load is what I am guessing led to a lot of hoop-la tonight. It has a few of my pieces for an upcoming holiday show, plus the pieces from my last workshop–that is really what I intended to write about tonight–but I’ll catch that up in a few days now I guess. Because I lost a bunch of time tonight when I lost power in my studio. Just my studio. Not the rest of the building.

When it happened, I was setting up for Open House tomorrow. I figured I’d let this load run while I was doing that. If the set-up went smoothly, I thought I’d have time to finish polishing and labeling my pieces for the show, so I could have them all on display too. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Of course, by the time I lost power, it was late, and dark, and everyone else was gone. (Not real late, but 9 pm-ish). I hunted around (which included hunting for light switches for various stairwells), found a couple electrical panels, tried flipping any circuits labeled in any way likely, no change in my space. I called one member of the community center board, got voicemail. Called another, may have woken him up, but he came over. We went hunting all over the building: what an amazing experience. There are all sorts of rooms behind rooms, and electrical panels in several of them too, some better-labeled than others.

For what it’s worth, there are also multiple furnaces: those are set in closets between rooms, and heat just the adjacent spaces. I have run the kiln a number of times now, but I was thinking that this may have been the first time I’d run it since starting to run the heat, and that might have been the problem.

Well, Sam did find the circuit breaker for my furnace, reset it, and the heat was clearly working again. But no power to the room. We found nothing else, he said he’d just call electrician in the morning. He left.

I had enough light between the hallway and the light outside my window over the front door that I could move around OK. Not really work, but I spent time packing up a bunch of stuff to take home and try to work on. I was just about ready to head out when Patty arrived. She’d gotten the voicemail and had then come right over. She knew exactly where to go for my breaker. It didn’t look tripped, but we turned it off and on again, and everything came back on.

Which of course raises the question of why it tripped in the first place, if the kiln and the furnace are on separate circuits. Phase of the moon, perhaps?

By the time I’d unpacked everything to get back to work, it was nearly two hours later. I stayed to finish the Open House set-up while I let the kiln run through its entire cycle. I’ll have to finish the show-pieces tomorrow night. They must be delivered by Sunday, but at midnight or later, I was just too tired to trust myself with precious pieces….

But I had lights on, furnace running, and the kiln seemed fine that whole time. So I’m just hoping for a good afternoon on Saturday.

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