Monday, November 12, 2007

3 Phase Power

There are many things in life with which I am unfamiliar - tripe, P, understanding Demi Moore's career success, to name just a few - and in the normal course of things, this is not a problem.

This weekend though, I briefly rued not having any idea what the deal is with 3 phase power.

This is because one of those phases stopped working.

And I still have no idea what that is about.

But anyway, when we bought our place, the vendor showed me a fusebox - one of half a dozen fuse boxes we have around the property, and proudly said "we have 3 phase power!"

I nodded my appreciation, and then filed the information away for future.

This weekend, we pretty much had everything going on - TV showing the netball world cup, spa pool heating up, oven on making pizza, dishwasher on cleaning plates in time for pizza, washing machine, clothes dryer...

And then it went all quiet & serene.

And the TV, oven, dishwasher, half a dozen hot points through the house, spa room & more, had all stopped working.

I checked all the fuses, - except for these half dozen, very scary looking 3 phase fuses - and they were all fine!

So I called our electician & left a message - I ran over the problem & asked him if he was able to check these big mothers & said to give me a call - it wasn't urgent because only some things were broken, and we could run extension cords where necessary.

A few hours later, someone noticed that everything was working again...

The next day, the electrician visited, because I'd forgotten to tell him it all came back to life, but he told me that it may well have been a problem outside of our property affecting only one of the phases.

I nodded my appreciation at this news, and would have asked for some sort of explanation, but he was in a hurry.

So. In 25 words or less, WTF is 3 phase power? And how can we lose power to some of the property, but not all?