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« Really Bad Timing | Main | Desperation »


The power just came on, for the first time in five days.

Just in time to be knocked out by Ivan on Monday...

Time to shut down this jury-rigged laptop/car-battery setup and get the network back up.

[Update a few minutes later]

Good news: we have power.

Bad news: the air conditioner isn't coming on. I've checked the breaker, and it's closed. Any ideas?

[Update at 5:30 PM EDT[

Since the AC was working before the storm, and we turned it off before it hit, while we still had electricity, I'm guessing that there's nothing wrong with it. My working hypothesis right now, based on other flaky behavior of other appliances (I still can't work the internet off the house power--I'm plugged back into the car again), is low voltage. I measured out at the fuses of the air conditioner, and it was lower there than it was one of the 110 sockets in the house (I think that it's supposed to be 240). The neighbors are having similar brownout issues. It may be that we're only getting voltage on half the line.

At least we have light now, and ceiling fans. We'll see if the fridges get cold.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 09, 2004 12:40 PM
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Did you check both breakers? There's the indoor one and there should be one in the exterior unit. I only know of the outside one because out old unit would pop that breaker frequently until we replaced it. It's also not easy to find either. Hope this helps.

Posted by Jeff Cuscutis at September 9, 2004 01:10 PM

First, is this a central unit and is there a heat system as well? Second, do you hear ANY sound, inside or outside when you turn it on either for either air conditioning or heat and turn the temp way up or down? If the fan comes on inside then it would suggest the issue is with the compressor. But if it doesn't come on, check the air system closet for a breaker or fuse.

If nothing comes of that, check the compressor for debris if you haven't already. There may be a cable from the compressor to a box on the wall. If so, there may be a breaker in the box. Failing that, if you have documentation on the system, look it over for reset switches, etc. If none of that turns up, note down the brand and model and see if you can google info, or try to get someone on the phone for help.

Posted by VR at September 9, 2004 01:43 PM

Congrats on surviving Frances with so little damage.

Re your AC:

In New Jersey, PSE&G has a program where they pay you some nominal amount ($30 or $40/year) in exchange for which you let them fit your AC unit with a switch that allows them to turn it off when they need to in order to meet extraordinary demand.

When we moved into our home, we found out after an HVAC service call that the prior owner had signed up for that program and that it kind of carried over to us. Does FPL (or whoever sells you your juice) have a similar program?

Posted by careygage at September 9, 2004 02:47 PM

If your AC runs on 240V and you are getting lights which run on 115V then you are probably correct that you have lost a phase. I assume you have notified the power company. If you have an AC voltmeter check each side of the line to ground. If you have lost a phase you won't get anything on one side.

Posted by Bill Nunnery at September 9, 2004 06:41 PM

Remember this for Ivan and either unplug everything you can until after the power comes on fully or pop the circuit breakers in your place, or remove your fuses. Can't hurt and may help. Leave one circuit on if you must and hook it to a radio you don't care about. If you ride it out, at least you will know about power coming on.

Posted by augustr at September 10, 2004 05:59 AM

Greetings fellow Floridian ;). The same thing (with air conditioner) happened with us. We found it was a blown capacitor, which happened from a power surge during the storm. If you check out your internal unit, do you smell anything burnt? The capacitor, mounted on the fan housing on the inside unit, should cost only a few dollars. Also, the burnt innards from the capacitor might have spilled all over the air filter, causing it to distribute said burnt smell all over the house.

Posted by at September 10, 2004 10:17 AM

We found it was a blown capacitor, which happened from a power surge during the storm.

Our house was powered down during the storm.

Posted by Rand Simberg at September 10, 2004 10:37 AM

If you have the AC voltmeter, follow the power into the unit and see what isn't coming on.

Don't forget that lightning strikes can happen during severe storms. They do fun things to your equipment. Look for signs of charring along vertical paths.

Posted by Alfred Differ at September 10, 2004 04:48 PM

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