A few LIP readers know that I live 3 hrs away from the nearest ATM.
That was a personal choice, not a necessity. I love the peace and quiet of living in a farm-like setting.
Like everybody else, I also need to buy things like door knobs, light bulbs, ball pens, flash lights etc. but I don’t need to travel to PPC to do it, those items are easily available only one hour away.
Also, because of living that far away, I tend to do the “minor” repairs by myself.
The problem is that most of the time those minor repairs become MAJOR repairs, thanks to my newly acquired expertise also known as ‘Jack of all trades and master of none’.
As is often the case, two weeks ago was almost a disaster week.
I was installing 4 additional batteries on my 48V solar system and everything was going just fine.
It was so fine that I was proud of yourself.
I was so happy that after working for a full 6 hours inside of the solar shed under 35 degrees Celsius and 100% humidity I was finally ready to make that final connection to the inverter.
Too anxious to make it, I rushed ahead (not using my brain) and criss-crossed the polarities… and BOOM!!!… a loud sound of fire crackers ensued together with instantly spreading welding fumes. The shed quickly filled with foul smelling smoke and my face changed the colour to dark gray. Lucky me, my eyebrows miraculously escaped the sudden rush of smoke and sparks and I jumped out of the shed to safety.
And then came my wife’s voice from the kitchen which is about 30 m (100ft) away.
“Darling are you welding something, I heard that crackling sound for the second time in less than 10 minutes. Are you OK. Do you need my help.”
Yeah, I had to repeat the same mistake… TWICE…!!!
But why does she think I was welding, we don’t have a welding machine. I don’t even know how to weld. Funny how women can’t recognize the difference between the sound of welding and the sound of an explosion. How stupid can she be!?
But I am polite and I say:
“Nothing to worry honey, everything is under control, the solar will be ready in two days.”
And then I suddenly remembered Chevy Chase in ‘National Lampoon X-Mas Vacations’ and quickly realized that the REAL moron was ME.
See this 4 min. Video clip.
That double mistake cost me two extra days (not full days) of work under similar conditions, in heat and high humidity. I had to re-thread the melted battery terminals, plus I had to rearrange all batteries, cut a few thick cables, reinstall terminals and do a few little extras buying.
But you know what… it works now! I succeeded!
Three days later, armed with my newly acquired experience as a battery man, I decided to charge the car battery.
Everything was smooth sailing for this new battery expert. The battery got charged and was showing 13.5V which was a sign of a healthy condition.
Time to put it back under the hood. I grab the cables and as I was installing them… I reversed the polarity… AGAIN.
And BANG… This time the 100A fuse worked and saved me the aggravation.
Within a couple of days, someone went to PPC and to my great relief, brought back the replacement fuse.
The car is fine now, and this battery expert is gaining confidence.
A few days later, my wife was complaining about her Android.
“It’s low bat and I can’t recharge it. The charger doesn’t seem to be able to recharge it. What to do?”
“Honey, do you want me to look into it and try to repair it?”
“No thanks, it doesn’t have a fuse…”
Strange how women tend not to trust an “expert”.