Dear PoPville – Mysterious Partial Power Outage

by Prince Of Petworth July 24, 2012 at 1:30 pm 17 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user fromcaliw/love

Dear PoPville,

We’re ready to file this one under unexplained mysteries, but my wife and I would like to consult the PoP community first.

At 1:30, Sunday morning, we had a power interruption in our Columbia Heights row house, built in 1918. Approximately half of our outlets on either floor, ceiling fans, and other electrical fixtures were without power, while our major appliances and some other outlets and fixtures worked perfectly. We surmised that there was circuit breaker problem of some sort. Not wanting to disturb our basement tenant, we decided to leave the problem until morning. Seemingly by magic, sometime before 6:30 am, power was back to normal. (Our tenant says he didn’t touch the circuit breaker.)

So, our questions are what can cause such a power interruption, and, more to the point, is this something we need to worry about? We’re certainly not electricians, but we always thought that the electricity coming into our house is from one common source, and it’s an all-or-nothing set-up. We’ve owned the house since Nov. 2010 and this is the first time we’ve had such an experience.

Any knowledge your readers could drop would be most appreciated.


A couple of Columbia Heights residents

P.S. I don’t know whether it was related, but I saw a Pepco truck drive by our house later Sunday morning.


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