Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The inverter went to hospital

Electricity here is the bane of my life. Not just mine but most people. It all depends in what electrical zone you live: A B C or D. Before, I was in an A zone, which meant that there was constant electricity and no need for any back up system. When I say constant, I mean unless there was a problem, or they shut the system off for maintenance.
There were a lot of problems.
The cables are like balls of wool after 20 cats have played with them. Once they reach houses they are stuck together with bits of tape (taypee in Dominican Spanish).

This causes all sorts of problems. People will steal electricity all of the time as they just connect to your line. Once you discover this you then follow the line and find out that you are paying for a whole little settlement of 10 huts. You complain to the Electricity company and they disconnect the huts from you, take the wire away, but you still have to pay the bill. The next day the huts are reconnected to you again.

The second problem is the number of deaths by electrocution. It is appalling. Almost nothing is earthed and so when a live wire falls onto a zinc roof it is a recipe for disaster. Plus the fact that

the best known remedy for electrocution is to cut the person being electrocuted with a machete so that the electricity flows out of their body.

When your electricity goes off unexpectedly you can call a 24 hour help line. They are very nice people. They lie all the time and tell you what they think you want to hear, when the reality is that they have no clue. One will tell you that there is a problem and it is being sorted and the electricity will be back soon. You call 30 minutes later and you will be told that it is off for maintenance. I was once without electricity for 5 days as a snake had been totally inconsiderate
and climbed on top of a transformer and fried itself, blowing the transformer fuse. On that occasion I was given a whole host of reasons as to why there was no electricity and not one included a dead snake. Every call will end with: "Thank you so much for calling and have a good day/night". How the hell can you have a good night when it is steaming hot and you have no electricity for fans??

Anyway, back to the inverter. I now live in a D zone. Planned outages for around 12 hours a day. One day it is on in the afternoon and the night, the next it is on in the morning and the evening.
The electricity company very kindly provide a timetable on line. To cope with this we have a bank of batteries - kept under lock and key so no one nicks them - and an inverter, so that when the electricity goes out the inverter kicks in. Two days ago it didn't kick in. It was sick and had to go off to the Inverter hospital, have a quick replacement of some bits and then came home. Thank goodness it was fixed, as living without electricity is no fun at all and goodness only knows how my neighbours manage - most of whom have no inverters at all.

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