10.11.2008 08:17 - Things That Go Zap In The Night
You may recall that I claim to know little of electricity, other than "it hurts". This is not strictly true. I know enough about electricity to know that it is a very dangerous elemental force that you do not fuck with. To whit : you read the instructions. You do what you are told. You read the amperage/voltage and you make sure you don't overload things.
Six months ago, Her Maj decided to rewire all the extensions in the office, so that our telephone wasn't switched off if someone switched off the large heavy-duty (15-amp) extension. She's an investment banker, so she obviously knows more about electricity than someone who worked on substation control for several years.
Did she use the unused socket behind the sofa to run the phone?
She unplugged the phone etc from the large, 15-amp, "carefully bought by me so that the flat doesn't go up in flames" extension, which 4 separate computers plus peripherals run off, and then put a cheap, 3-amp "don't whatever you do run a 15 amp heavy duty extension off this if you value your life" extension in front of it, to run the phone off.
For the last six months, there has been a slight smell of electrical burning that I have been trying to track down. I realize now that it was the contacts in the cheapo extension slowly burning away.
I tracked it down when the thing went "Fzzzzt!" on Friday night and took the main breaker out, duly berated the person responsible, chucked the dangerous cheapo extension, and finally rewired everything so the phone is on a completely different circuit, and nothing to do with the computers. I have not yet completed rewiring anything but the essentials. The music computer and linux server are currently down.
If that wasn't enough, yesterday the phone was not working.
The phone, I discovered, was not working because SOMEONE had unplugged the wall-wart power supply from it's now-dedicated power supply, because "wall-warts waste energy".
Responses to criticism have been "it worked for six months" and that it is all "my fault".
Are you beginning to see why the current banking crisis happened?