Friday, September 2, 2016
Then the lights went out
Recently I did some work on my well. That stirred up a lot of silt which plugged up the house filter.
You know how one decision can start a chain reaction down the line? Well, a couple years ago I forgot to drain the filter housing and it froze and cracked. That filter unit had a nice shut off. To get my house water flowing again a new filter housing was quickly needed. Being in a hurry and tight on funds a cheaper housing without a built in shut off was purchased.
The big downside of that decision is that now I have totally drain down the pressure tank to replace a filter. Filters don't have to be changed all that often so just living with it was was the thing to do. While it's a pain I had no idea that decision almost cost me a couple thousand dollars worth of electrical equipment.
After working on my well the filter plugged up almost completely. Unfortunately it would not allow the pressure to drain down. In the end I slowly untwisted the filter housing with water spraying everywhere.
Suddenly the basement lights all went out. I did not realize the water spray reached all the way over to my house inverter. It's an old style 24 volt DC to 120 volt AC unit. While old it just kept plugging along. That is, until water sprayed directly into the vent holes.
After getting a flashlight I made sure the solar electrical system was disconnected from the house panel. When I built the alternative energy system I made sure it was possible to connect the solar to the gird side. The idea what that if I ever had a problem with the solar side the solar powered entrance panel could be run off the gird panel. In practice it often worked the other way around when I wanted to power the few grid circuits off of the solar side. While I was able to power up the house and get the water working again, the house was now totally reliant on the grid.
After the better part of a week I felt the inverter had enough time to dry out. With fingers crossed I hit the start button. The old unit fired right up. Thank goodness for old fashioned technology. The new style inverters are not built like tanks.
It's no secret that I'm trying to rebuild my funds after an expensive winter. Buying a new inverter was just not in the budget. To add insult to injury my electrical bills were going to be higher at a time when solar generation is pretty good. Fortunately, everything is back up and running the way it's supposed to.
Sometimes God smiles down on idiots.