The Occasional Joke

Nurse: Patient's name?

Centurion: Marcus Licinius Crassus

Nurse: And his date of birth?

Centurion: 115 BC.

Nurse: All right. And what is he here for?

Centurion: Cataphract surgery.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

DTE: threat or menace?

It's not often that when you hear a device malfunction described as "My system blew up," the phrase is meant literally. However, thanks (probably) to our beloved electrical futility, DTE Energy, we can say with complete candor, our air conditioning condenser exploded.

Shortly after a major power outage, caused by some malfunction or other in a transformer, our AC condenser (the large, noisy, ugly thing that sits outside and actually cools the air that your forced air furnace then flings around the inside of the house) stopped working. We were able to get a repair guy to come by early the next morning, and he shut off the power to the unit, and pulled off a sheet metal panel. When it came away, a large component fell out, never a good sign in my experience. The inside surface of the sheet metal was scarred and smoke blackened, and the piece that fell out was a beer-can sized capacitor which had blown itself out of its housing and into pieces.

The repairman had heard of another such incident from one of his colleagues, and had himself replaced a number of burnt-out motors in a flurry of post-outage overtime work.

Replacing the hand grenade capacitor solved the problem, and I've added the cost of the repair call to the growing list of items DTE owes us for, including a large Toshiba television set from a few years back, toasted by a brown out. All together now: Who works at DTE?

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