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.
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.