Power outages equal telephone and Internet failures.
Beware if you have a home business and you are hit with an extended power outage caused by flood, fire, or other disaster. Your fiber optic telephone line and Internet line may be working perfectly but your phone company equipment at your house may fail after a short time and you won’t be able to use your fiber optic phone or Internet connection. This is caused by the phone company is not changing a battery in their equipment at your house. You could be out of business if you do not know about the battery that needs charging or replacing.
This is the same as not changing the battery in a smoke alarm, at least you know about the battery in the smoke alarm and you own the smoke alarm and the battery in the smoke alarm doesn’t cost $30.00.
Last Saturday night it rained. If your not from California you would call it a heavy dew. It was enough that I could hear the rain drops hit the roof in the early morning. At 7:30 Sunday morning it was still lightly raining (hey it was raining hard enough I could see the drops on the sidewalk, wet marks not splashes) and I was working on my computer when the power when out. A split second later there was an explosion so the problem was less than a mile away. Twenty seconds later there was another explosion. This was looking to be another eight to twelve hour power outage. Ten to twenty minutes later there was another explosion. That would mean all three phases were out and this outage could last a while. There were no sirens so hopefully no one was hurt.
It wasn’t much of a rain, there wasn’t any water standing in the street yet the power goes out. I had errands to run and when I returned the power was still out.
What to do in a power outage? Go someplace where there is power. Not something you can do after a flood, hurricane, or major disaster. I grabbed my paper notebook and a pen and pencil and headed to a fast food place a short distance away. The library is not air conditioned and didn’t have power anyway. People who say they work in a coffee shop must not get much work done. Between the girls on cell phones complaining about boyfriends and self centered guys on cell phones talking loud I had trouble writing or drawing. It was to hot and humid outside to sit and work so I headed back home.
Back at the house I found the phone was dead and the Internet was out. This is only after four hours of power outage. I have fiber optic for both the phone and the Internet service. With fiber optic they cannot send electrical power down the fiber optic cable to power the fiber optic converter that hangs on the outside of the house (the converter translates the fiber optic signals to something my computer and telephone can understand). The fiber optic converter has to plug into my house’s power. There is a backup battery that provides power to the fiber optic converter if the power goes out. The battery is a gel cell and is suppose to keep the converter going for at last eight hours. Well the gel cell for the fiber optic converter is a couple of years old and gel cells need to be replaced every two years to maintain full capacity.
Off to a coffee shop that has wifi. The doctor told me I can’t have anything with caffeine in it. Oh well there always a scone. The power outage come down to how long I can make a bagel last. At least I brought a cube tap, a thing you plug in the wall so more than one thing can plug into an electrical socket at the same time.
Power didn’t return until after midnight. That’s almost 17 hours without electricity (if we every get any rain around here the power outage could last for days).
The next day I get the phone company technician out to my house to replace the battery. They are going to charge me to replace the battery. It’s their battery, it’s inside their equipment and the phone company repair guy had to pry the equipment open with a screw driver (they don’t want people poking around inside the equipment). I’m upset, they’re charging me for keeping their equipment going.
I didn’t need to get on the Internet the day of the power outage. A day without Internet could hurt and hurt badly anyone who runs a business from home. If you have the technical skills and know where to stick the screw driver you can open the phone company equipment at your house or place of business and replace or recharge the battery. Mine is a 2 volt 8 amp hour battery. I have a very small gasoline generator and a gel cell battery charger that I could connect to the battery to get the phone and Internet going again. Most people would not know how to do this. The generator is big hassle, the generator is heavy, noisy, and smells up the place. Don’t use a gasoline generator inside a house or enclosed area.
If you have children at home do not depend on cell phones. Children will talk on their cells until the battery in the cell goes dead and if the house phone is dead they will be out of contact. Just try to get a kid to not talk on the cell phone when the power is off, there is nothing else to do.
It’s going to get worst. The phone company technician told me the CEO of the company told everyone at the company that the only thing that matters to the phone company is making money for the company and the shareholders. So much for the customer. The phone company pressured me to convert to fiber optic telephone years ago. Now it makes sense, the phone company get free electrical power from me and does not have to build or maintain the ability to power all the telephones of their customers like they did in the days of Ma Bell. Saves the company lots of money and if the customers phone go dead because the power is out for a long time that’s the power company’s problem.
Draw on Write on. Professor Voltage.