Thursday, July 17, 2008

The Flux Capacitor

Our electricians came by today. It seems as though the permit from the township for the new electrical work in the kitchen has been issued, so they wanted to take a closer look at things and put together a material list. Today we had two guys-- the same guy who came by to give us the initial quote and a second guy who seemed, at first, like he had a better grasp of electricity than the other guy. Things were going fine until he started to give us the sales pitch about some of their other "products". This is electrical work. The only products we want are lights, light switches and wire. What more is there? Apparently there is this "machine" that can both act as a whole-house surge protector and can also reduce the amount of watts (or amps, I really wasn't paying attention) that one actually pulls from the main feed, thus reducing your electricity bill. The guy gave us some mumbo jumbo about how when you flip the switch on the machine it acts to somehow control the extra "wasted" electricity which isn't being used by inefficient motorized items in our home (such as air conditioners, the pool pump, ceiling fans, etc.) He claimed that motors are generally inefficient and they pull more power off of the line than they actually use. All of this sounded to me like the ye old "descrambler" boxes that people used to sell out of the trunks of their car so you could tap into premium cable channels (I'm not pointing any fingers or anything, 410e9th... ;) )... what was even better still was when one of the electricians went out to the van and came back in with a giant black suitcase to demonstrate this "product"! Inside the case was an electric meter, a box with two switches on it and a small motor. I felt like I was in an episode of Doctor Who, or better yet, that we were about to generate 1.21 Gigawatts!

I'm sorry, if I'm not erecting a giant windmill in my backyard through which I can actually sell power back to the Power Company and out onto the "grid", then I'm just not interested.

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