How the Latest SDG&E Power Outage Sent Me into a Tizzy

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Last month we lost power about 7 pm no big deal, stayed up a little while longer then went to bed.  Apparently, the power came on about 1 am.

The real surprise happened when my wife woke up to get ready for work, and there was no hot water in the shower.

It should be noted a previous owner had put in a tankless hot water system.  I called the manufacturer thinking me and my 3 hand tools could fix it.  Fail.

I was informed the unit is from 2008 so we are probably on borrowed time with this thing (fingers crossed).  My initial thought was the power came back on and fried the motherboard or the brains of the unit.  Made a couple calls to SDG&E to report no hot water and a tech was scheduled to visit later in the day.  Miraculously probably 6 hours later the hot water kicked on and we were back in action.

I kept the appointment that day with SDG&E just to have it on record, a power outage then no hot water.  Was it a coincidence, I would at least be able to talk with a tech.

When he arrived, I described the situation and the events of the last 20 hours and he looked over the tankless unit and then looked at the gas meter out front.  We’ll call our gas meter the 250M probably installed when the house was built in the late 70’s.  Over the course of the original build the few owners have added a pool and spa and the tankless unit.  When you combine that with the heating unit, a gas dryer, gas stove and fireplace insert, the 250M is cranking at max capacity.  The tankless unit is rated at 199,000 btu’s alone and we only have the 250M.  I mentioned, we also might have a plan of possibly tapping off the gas stove line to add an outdoor grill.

The tech could not have been nicer and mentioned again, you have the 250M here and you should seriously consider upgrading your gas meter to the we’ll call it 450M or 650M.  As he is describing all this I was just waiting for the $$$$ hammer to drop.

He continued, “this is a free service by SDG&E because we want houses to be safe.”  He explained, just like my situation, what was put in decades ago may not jive with todays lifestyle.  When you think about all the remodels and modern conveniences, we have nowadays sometimes an upgrade is needed.

The process, he explained, which we will be going through, is you look at all your gas appliances and somewhere on each is a label with a btu count make a list of the items (dryer, stove, etc.) write down the btu count and provide it to SDG&E.  They will then size the appropriate meter for your current demands.  After that set up an appointment and take it from there.

I thought I would share this with you folks because I found it helpful in our own situation.  There are a lot of older homes in the neighborhoods with add ons and remodels, etc. so maybe this a service for you.

This is not some sort of PSA for SDG&E but rather something as a home improvement and safety measure.  Again, this was a 5 minute conversation with a tech there could be other factors, but the quick and dirty version sounded appealing to me.  I would of course advise calling SDG&E and asking more questions and researching any finer details which I will be doing at the appropriate time.

I hope this helps.

Email: chris@clairemonttimes.com

 

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