Patterico's Pontifications

10/27/2009

Brownout?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 6:54 pm



It seems like we’re in a brownout. The lights are dim and major appliances don’t work. I’m posting this from my iPhone. Is anyone else experiencing this in L.A.?

21 Responses to “Brownout?”

  1. No brownouts or other electrical problems in Whittier–yet.

    Stu707 (0981d5)

  2. The LA Times reported this evening that “strong to damaging” winds knocked down power lines in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, resulting in power outages in several areas. Your brownout is probably associated with that.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  3. It’s expected to continue until Wednesday morning.

    Buy ice, try not to open your refrigerators and freezers, and hopefully your website host will find a way to keep your website going.

    DRJ (dff2ca)

  4. it’s been blowing up here in the Valley since sometime late this AM. clear and calm on my way to class, but winder than an SOB by noon….

    we better hope nothing catches on fire, or they will never stop it.

    http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/lox/

    hint: if you click on the little map to the right, you can, with a little judicious mouse use, drill down to your own local forecast, like an area totally centered within yards of your address. its totally bitchen!

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  5. We’ve had strong winds today in Southern Oregon. (One of the local AM stations lost its tower today due to the wind.) The Pacific Intertie could also be impacted, or they could be running at reduced power. Whee.

    Red County Pete (413a6e)

  6. everything is fine here in Studio City. It’s windy and kind of brrr.

    That’s neat and kind of eerie though. I’ve never had a dimming experience with electricity. It’s usually all or nothing. It might could be unexplained phenomena.

    happyfeet (f62c43)

  7. No problems in Westchester (near Custom Hotel).

    Viktor Nehring (b827c9)

  8. We have the brownout here too but that is probably no surprise as I live just down the street from you. Looks like we are at about 85 Volts instead of the normal 117. Strangely enough, those twisty lightbulbs my wife buys to “save the planet” are working fine.

    BTW, if you notice your fridge is making funny noises you might want to unplug it. Trying to start the compressor on a low voltage can burn up the motor. If you keep the door shut, the fridge will stay cold for quite awhile.

    I called Edison and they were unaware of of the brownout. They said they will send someone out and give me a call back to let me know the status. I’ll let you know if I hear anything.

    Jeff C. (945d08)

  9. 117 volts is normal? How do you even know that? How would you even google that? No one tells me anything.

    happyfeet (f62c43)

  10. oh. Learning and growing. I don’t think we have these in Texas where I come from cause we’re highly skilled in power generation there. This would freak me out I think if it happened. It can’t be good for your computer neither.

    happyfeet (f62c43)

  11. So far, I’ve lost power twice for a brief few seconds each. East Valley, just north of Studio City.

    Ed from SFV (4b493e)

  12. #9 – That is actually a nominal value, it’s it not uncommon for the voltage to vary a few per-cent from one location to another. Most appliances are designed to accommodate that variance, but they don’t work well when the power is 30 Volts low.

    Jeff C. (945d08)

  13. The world is mysterious how any of it even works. Especially in the Valley. But thank you for helping me understand it more better.

    happyfeet (f62c43)

  14. You are all welcome to come out here and stay with us, where it is supposed to be in the high 60’s and sunny tomorrow, and our electricity works.

    JD (194d2e)

  15. during the brownouts we like to listen to the new songs what the french people sing. We like to listen to them loud.

    happyfeet (f62c43)

  16. We had the same low voltage deal here during that big storm. Barely glowing lights, incandescent lights only. Our twisty bulbs didn’t work at all.

    Also the ceiling fan would turn about the same speed as a second hand on the clock.

    In our case it was a local thing. That is to say, the problem was on the feeder pole out in front of our block, rather then a neighborhood wide problem.

    papertiger (48b514)

  17. Maybe LA or CA forgot to pay their power bill?

    JD (3fc3d5)

  18. Jeff C. (#8): I hadn’t thought of this before, but those twisty light bulbs are probably designed to deliver constant output over a range of input voltages. Ergo, when the voltage drops, they must draw more current – the opposite of what incandescent bulbs would do, and tending to make the brownout even browner.
    If a significant portion of the total load were CFLs, or computers, or any other sort of constant-power devices, things could get decidedly unstable in the event of a voltage dip (or surge).

    Eric Wilner (3936fd)

  19. Consider it a preview of cap-and-trade.

    Socratease (6bf763)

  20. in my part of the east valley, it’s been intermittent power drops all afternoon…. i came home at lunch time to find we’d already had at least one, ’cause all the timers on the stove, etc, had reset, and it’s been popping off for a few seconds to a minute or so ever since.

    that’s what i get for living in the canyon, and who knew i had such neighbors as “happyfeet” and “Ed”?

    there goes the neighborhood. %-)

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  21. Here’s a story that appears related…

    Ferguson finishes taping late show by flashlight
    Oct 27, 9:50 PM (ET)
    LOS ANGELES (AP) – “Late Late Show” host Craig Ferguson had to finish taping his program by flashlight on Tuesday after high winds knocked out power at CBS Television City in central Los Angeles.

    Show publicist Katie Barker says lights started dimming and then suddenly went black about 5:45 p.m. as Ferguson was interviewing actress Alicia Silverstone, leaving both in the dark as to what was going on.

    Producers decided to keep the blackout as part of the show and handed Ferguson a flashlight.

    With wind gusts reaching up to 70 mph, scattered power outages have been reported around the greater Los Angeles region.

    Times Disliker (f9e4c3)


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