Click! Darkness…

Just when we were cooking our evening meal yesterday, we were suddenly without electricity.

“No problem”, I said to Maria José, since we have these handy earth leakage switches. I was able to find my small Jong Nederland torchlight in the dark, and went to the entrance to flip the guilty switch.

But all switches were in the correct position. I went outside our apartment to the stairs, and turned on the light; it switched on immediately. I noticed that our neighbours upstairs also had light, so the problem was definitely only in our apartment.

Then I noticed a box high on the walls in the stairs, with two cables coming from it, entering our apartment. I got some stairs, opened the box and found two old-fashioned fuses. One of them was clearly burned and still hot. Found it!

Now we had to find a replacement fuse. I remember having seen some when we were reconstructing our house, but I was very afraid that we threw them away, since we had our fuses replaced by those modern switches. A quick look around in the most easy accessible places did not deliver us the fuses. We started getting a little bit worried about the things in our fridge and, more important, our meal. While Maria José was getting ready to bring the contents of our fridge to our neighbours, I decided to check the closet downstairs one more time.

And there they were; two fuses of at least 20 years old. They had a little bit less capacity than the old ones, but at least they would get us through the night.

Today I checked two shops to buy new fuses, but so far I haven’t been lucky. Tomorrow I will contact an electrician, because in my eyes it is very ridiculous that we have these old fuses in front of our modern earth leakage switches, and I have a high suspicion that they are not necessary at all.

Jeroen Sangers @jeroensangers

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