November 17, 2017

Friday Funny 11/17 (Shocking News)


Except at 4:30am, I just wanted to go back to sleep.

We woke up early Monday morning when the electric heater in our aft cabin started to stutter. We were hearing the fan, and the thermostat rapidly turning off, and on. We were also hearing the induction plate in the galley beeping every time it powered off, and back on. Uh oh.... something's not right here.

Bill got up and shut off the heater, and the breaker switch to the outlets in the galley. All became quiet as we fell back into a restless sleep. We got out of bed about 7:00am, and Bill turned the galley outlets back on. He tried to use the induction plate to heat water for coffee, but the plate still didn't keep constant power.  It was time for an inspection of the breakers, power cord, and shore power pedestal. (After of course, using the propane stove to make coffee - coffee good, inspecting electricity in the morning without it - bad.)

You may/or not, recall we had a power issue several years ago, and Bill fixed it by putting the Smartplug on the boat, and boat end of the power cord. 

Much safer technology than the 1938 plugs that are still the standard, and currently in use today.

Things looked okay on the boat side, but this is what he found when he unplugged our cord from the dock pedestal.

Yipe -a -roonies!

This is what the dock connection looked like.


Notice the prong from the cord burned into the slot. I don't think this is what it's supposed to look like....  😟

Okay, shore power is off to the boat, it's a good thing the batteries are fully charged, and the diesel heater is working fine.

Our refrigeration is on battery power, so no problem.

Next on the agenda, is a trip to the Harbor Master's office, to let them know that the pedestal would need electrical repair, and a stop at the hardware store. Glorianne, the Harbor Master in Petersburg, says, "these things happen, I'll get an electrician on the way."  

We had two 30amp cords connected to reach from the boat to the power pedestal, and the connection point between the two cords was also fried, so Bill bought one new cord, because that's all they had on the shelf, and a new plug end for the cable that connects to the boat with the Smartplug.  

Here is what he found when he cut off the burned plug on the cord connected to the boat.

No good.

He probably cut off about five feet of cable, one foot at a time, to try and find good wire to connect to the new plug. We were wondering if we would have enough length to reach the pedestal. (These cables came with the boat when we bought her 3 years ago. We don't really know how old they are, so replacing them both is probably a good idea.)

Last week's "Power Play" photo. Look at how much extra cord we had.

There's not much extra cord on the dock, and the plug is tied to the bull rail, to keep it from slipping into the water. Saltwater, and electricity don't like each other very much. They don't have a good relationship, and argue all the time. 😆

The new cord has an indicator light on it.

The red dot is on.

The electrician completed his end about 4:00pm, and Bill had Denali Rose back on shore power by 5:30pm.  With batteries recharging, and the hot water heater on high, don't forget the Eddie Albert rule of 7, we're at the limit for the 30amp cord. Once the batteries were fully charged, the electric heat was turned back on. I'll add that when the short occurred, we weren't anywhere near our total of 7 for electrical devices running. (Aft electric heat - 3)

Power management is back to normal. This incident reminds me of a quote I heard recently, "Everything on a boat is broken, you just don't know it yet.

Does your power go out, what do you do when it happens? Are you prepared with flashlights, candles, water, or an alternate heating source?

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.

November 10, 2017

Friday Funny 11/10 (Power Play)


Sing along with me.... Green Acres is the place for me...  🎶. Now I bet you'll have that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day. You're welcome, and just in case you don't know what I'm talking about:

Green Acres was an American sitcom starring Eddie Albert and Eva Gabor as a couple who move from New York City to a country farm. The series was first broadcast on CBS, from September 15, 1965, to April 27, 1971. Wikipedia

It's pretty funny, as old sitcoms go, and you can watch it on youtube.

Bill found this video to help me understand our electrical system, when I tripped a circuit on Denali Rose, while running the aft heat, and my hairdryer at the same time. (With my short haircut, no dryer needed anymore.)

While the Hellship Denali Rose has been out and about, we usually plug into the shore power at the various docks we have visited. As part of our cruising supplies, we brought our 30amp cord, with an extension, and the 50amp, without an extension. In Petersburg, because of the distance to the power pole, we have had to use the 30amp, with extension. Unfortunately, we have been known to trip the dock breaker a time or two... or maybe three or four, who's counting anyway.

In Petersburg, our transient slip is next to a huge barge, and we have two 50ft 30amp cords out to reach the power pole.

Like Eddie Albert, we'll assign the 30amp cord a 7. Here's the rest of the assignments for the big items: (Note, these items are only used when plugged into shore power, with the exception of the washer, and dehumidifier, which we use when motoring.)

Forward electric heat - 3
Aft electric heat - 3
Mid electric heat - 3
Water heater - 2
Dehumidifier on low - 1
Dehumidifier on high - 2
Microwave - 3
Induction plate - 3
Wash machine - 1 (washer only, not dryer, we tend to hang items over dehumidifier on high.)

Here's a scenario, it's a chilly evening, Bill turns on the forward, and aft electric heat, mmmm, that feels good. It's dinner time, and we'd like baked potatoes, and pork chops smothered in gravy, mmm comfort food. It's so simple to throw a couple of bakers into the microwave, and cook for 4 minutes, while the pork chops and gravy simmer on the induction plate. Simple, easy, and oh so tasty.

Let's add it up - fwd heat 3, aft heat 3, microwave 3, induction plate 3, that's a big 12. Waaaayy over our limit of 7. Eva, you've done it again, click, all goes quiet. You can bet that when it's time to make a trip out to the dock breaker, to reset it, there will be rain, or wind, or snow, or all three. (Murphy at work.)

Of course we have alternatives to all of those high amp electrical devices. We don't really need to use the microwave, but our oven isn't working, so we could do instant potatoes, heating up two cups of water on the propane stove. We could also simmer the pork chops on the stove. It's just that the induction plate, and the microwave are so fast, and easy.

Microwave, and induction plate.

Here's the stove when the counter is slid out of the way.

That's a copper heat diffuser on the back burner.

We also have a diesel furnace, the Espar, which pipes warm air throughout the boat. We like to use the electric when using shore power though, that way we are putting less hours on the Espar, and saving diesel. Our Espar is an older, discontinued model, and if it one day decides it's done working, we'll be replacing it with a new one.

Well labeled panel, but hard to get a decent photo in the small locker. 

Here's the panel where we can check to see how many amps and volts are being used. It was labeled by the previous owners, notice the little red hearts, cute huh? They colored coded with orange and green which things to turn on when. If I trip a local circuit, this is where I turn it back on.

Lisa Douglas: [Lisa is pushing a vacuum cleaner around the front room of the house] Would you put your foot up... your foots up? Put your feets up. 
Oliver Douglas: What's the matter with the vacuum? 
Lisa Douglas: Nothing. 
Oliver Douglas: It's not making any noise. 
Lisa Douglas: Well it only makes a noise when it's plugged in. 
Oliver Douglas: Well if it's not plugged in, it's not going to pick up the dirt. 
Lisa Douglas: There isn't any dirt. 
Oliver Douglas: Well then why are you vacuuming? 
Lisa Douglas: I am not! It's not plugged in! 

Well, that's one way to avoid tripping breakers!

Do you ever plug too many things into one circuit? Do you know how to reset a breaker? Do you even want to know? 

As always, we enjoy hearing from you, either here in comments or on our Facebook Denali Rose Sailboat page.