Thinking about movi...
 
Notifications
Clear all

Thinking about moving, but have some concerns. Thoughts?  

Page 3 / 3
 

OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 12, 2013 7:21 pm  

I moved from NJ to STX in 2005, and in those 8 years, my old neighbors in NJ have had up to 5 storm-related power outages of 1 week or more (depends on exact location). I've had just one on STX, after Hurricane Omar in 2008. So oddly enough, the storms have been much kinder to STX than to NJ in the past 8 years.

Also, our islands are a very small target. A storm's eye rarely passes directly over us, whereas the states are much larger and a storm is more likely to hit them directly somewhere.

An excellent point to make and one which I think few people really consider with the emphasis on "hurricane season" of more concern apparently in the Caribbean (and visitors coming to the area) than on the mainland. Hurricanes which have affected us not one whit - Omar, as STXBob noted, Irene and Sandy to name but a few - have caused massive damage stateside. The only prolonged period I went without power was after Marilyn which was almost 6 months. After Hugo I recall it was a month or two but, apart from those (and living in different areas of St Thomas), power outages have been only of a few hours duration at most.

And I do think the oft-raised subject of WAPA "frying" household appliances is greatly exaggerated. I "lost" one refrigerator something like 25+ years ago when a nasty brownout occurred but apart from that and I recall a small electronic something (a tape or DVD player perhaps) getting similarly zapped, I've never lost anything else for that reason. I had a big collection of freezers, 'fridges and coolers in my restaurant and had plenty of brownouts but never had an appliance malfunction due to them. I usually do keep most stuff plugged into good surge protectors and that's certainly something you should get used to doing here to be on the safe side.


ReplyQuote
rotorhead
(@rotorhead)
Trusted Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 2472
July 12, 2013 7:23 pm  

The power goes out so much here that virtually every home owner I know has a backup generator.

This is the only place that I have every lived where everyone has either been the victim of violent crime or personally knows someone who has.


ReplyQuote
crackadelic
(@crackadelic)
Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 7
July 12, 2013 7:44 pm  

it is an island with far less people than most big cities or about the same amount so i would expect that rotor! but where i live there really is virtually not much crime some petty theft & what not but i would deff watch yourself where ever you live regardless of known or unknown crime cuz you just never know!!

about the hurricanes though that makes me much more at ease & if one does come that is expected to be serious hopefully i have some good friends down there by then that have some good shelters or just the place i reside has some good shelter! only time will tell!!


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 12289
July 12, 2013 7:44 pm  

http://stthomassource.com/content/news/police/2013/07/11/homicides-2013

11 – STX

19 – Territory


ReplyQuote
speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
Expert
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 8791
July 12, 2013 10:42 pm  

we lost one computer and two tvs due to wapa power outages, that was before we started using battery back up though


ReplyQuote
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 876
July 12, 2013 11:07 pm  

Just off the top of my head, I've lost 3 ceiling fans, one computer, one printer, one stereo, one TV, and five surge suppressors. WAPA? Probably. Brown outs are frequent.

Omar did quite a bit of damage on STX.

The small community argument doesn't fly. I came down from a relatively small community. I didn't know anyone that had been a victim of crime. Here, I don't know anyone that hasn't been affected. It has a way of reaching out and touching you on this rock.


ReplyQuote
Cruz
 Cruz
(@Cruz)
Advanced Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 424

ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 13, 2013 1:17 am  

Just off the top of my head, I've lost 3 ceiling fans, one computer, one printer, one stereo, one TV, and five surge suppressors. WAPA? Probably. Brown outs are frequent.

You must be living in SO the wrong place to have had that much loss!!!!! In almost 30 years on St Thomas I've lived in six or so different areas of the island, a few with plenty of brownouts and suchlike but only losses as described earlier. Is all this loss in one place? If it is I'd seriously have the building's electrical wiring checked out.


ReplyQuote
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 876
July 13, 2013 3:02 am  

The current here is dirty. Those are my losses over an 8-year period and I'm far from the only one losing electronics. Several years ago, a tech with BBVI told me that he lost 3 desktops in a short period of time. He recommended that my next computer be a laptop - sort of a WAPA prophylactic measure.


ReplyQuote
divinggirl
(@divinggirl)
Trusted Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 887
July 13, 2013 10:45 am  

I have also lost several electronics to WAPA (even with a whole house surge protector & surge strips). Aussie and I are both on STX so it is possible that the current is worse here than STT. I got so sick of having to reset my alarm clock every 3 days (the time would increase by 7-15 min) that I gave up and just use an app on my phone now.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 13, 2013 10:51 am  

The current here is dirty. Those are my losses over an 8-year period and I'm far from the only one losing electronics. Several years ago, a tech with BBVI told me that he lost 3 desktops in a short period of time. He recommended that my next computer be a laptop - sort of a WAPA prophylactic measure.

I'm not disputing your equipment losses at all but am curious as to whether this has happened in one location or over several. I've had a desktop computer at my various island homes ever since I've lived here and not one has actually died, just all become dinosaurs (think I'm now at 6th or 7th Mac in 28 years!)


ReplyQuote
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2138
July 13, 2013 11:00 am  

A nearby lightning strike zapped a few of our electronics once, but not WAPA per se. Neighbors have been less lucky with WAPA.


ReplyQuote
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 955
July 13, 2013 12:34 pm  

A lot of people blame the utility companies for electronics that stop working. But how many people unplug their electronics during ELECTRICAL STORMS. This is probably more likely than surges or power outages. Also being on an island with very hi humidity can also wreck havoc on electronics. I had a pet Iguana years ago, actually back in the 70's that climbed up on my first color TV and crapped on the TV, which shorted it out. The TV repair man (yes, that was back when people actually fixed TV's rather than throwing them away and buying a new one) asked what happened, did something crap in the back of the unit Duhhhhhh hahahahahahaha.

Even in the states, I average about 2-3 years out of a computer. So I don't blame Wapa for or any power company for that. It's just the cheap crap that is made and sold these days. I'm sure there are instances where power surges has caused an issue with stuff, but not as often as you may think.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 13, 2013 12:35 pm  

I got so sick of having to reset my alarm clock every 3 days (the time would increase by 7-15 min) that I gave up and just use an app on my phone now.

That's happened to me in varying degrees depending on where I've lived but I solved the problem with a battery-operated alarm clock. Now I'm not working a 9-5 job I wake up just before dawn anyway but I DO have a great battery-operated wall clock so that after those brief but frequent outages I at least know what the right time is when re-setting all those stupid digital clocks!


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 12289
July 13, 2013 1:31 pm  

I don't even use the clock on my stove anymore.
Battery operated clocks are the way to go.
Why plug a clock in and waste $$ and have to adjust the time, all the time.

I have been very lucky and have not had WAPA fry any of my electonics or other electrical appliances.
Knock on wood,


ReplyQuote
westom
(@westom)
Active Member
Joined: 10 years ago
Posts: 6
July 14, 2013 2:29 pm  

I have also lost several electronics to WAPA (even with a whole house surge protector & surge strips).

'Dirty' current is irrelevant. Routine in telephone COs (switching centers) is 100 surges per storm without damage. However they do something that is apparently missing in your installation. A properly installed system even makes direct strikes irrelevant. As well as make tiny 'dirty current' transients irrelevant.

No protector does protection. Either a protector connects a transients harmlessly to earth ground. Or that protector does nothing. A protector does not do protection. Earth ground does. Most people do not see an earth ground. See a protector. Then assume the protector is doing protection. Most people conclude only from what they see rather than how it really works. Protection is defined by the earthing.

Discover why a 'whole house' protector is not properly earthed - not functioning properly. For example, it must make a low impedance connection (ie 'less than ten feet, wire without sharp bends, wire separated from other non-grounding wires, wire not inside metallic conduit, etc). Does it? Does a wire go up over a foundation and down to an earth ground rod? Then protection is compromised. Is earth ground via a water pipe? Often another example of defective earthing.

Only the homeowner is responsible for and must inspect his earthing. That must both meet and exceed code requirements.

Best protection for cable is a wire (low impedance) from that coax cable to single point earth ground (all four words have significance). That wire to single point earth ground is best protection. No protector required.

AC electric cannot make a direct earth connection. So we do the next best thing. We make a same connection via a protector. That protector only does what a wire does better. Again, the protector is not protection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. If damage occurred, then inspection and correction of the earthing system is performed. Because even direct lighting strikes (ie 100 surges per storm to telco equipment) without damage is routine. But only when a 'whole house' protector makes that low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth.

True of every protector - it is only as effective as the item that does the protection. Where hundreds of thousands of joules must be harmlessly absorbed. Single point earth ground. Damage implies defective earthing. Even direct lightning strikes do not cause damage when earthing is properly installed and connected.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 14, 2013 5:47 pm  

... defective earthing. Damage implies defective earthing. Even direct lightning strikes do not cause damage when earthing is properly installed and connected.

I really appreciate your bringing that up as I'd completely forgotten about it. In the process of renovating the old building which became my restaurant, there was a lot of electrical work to be done - mostly a lot of major fixing of years of really bad electrical jerry-rigging! One of the first things the electrician did was check the ground and it did indeed need a fix. He told me that many people don't even think of the ground, don't even know where it's located and that when left unchecked and deteriorating over time can lead to substantial appliance damage. He even mentioned at the time that people blame WAPA and that 99.9% of the time it's got nothing to with WAPA.


ReplyQuote
aussie
(@aussie)
Trusted Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 876
July 14, 2013 5:56 pm  

99.9%...impressive number.

Does a proper earth ground also protect in instances of brownouts and sags?


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 14, 2013 8:02 pm  

99.9%...impressive number.

Does a proper earth ground also protect in instances of brownouts and sags?

Hopefully poster weston can answer that one.

Of note, though, is that several years on and all of a sudden one afternoon, the electricity in the restaurant started going completely haywire and scared the bejasus out of me. All the fans started slowing way down and then speeding back up, llghts were dimming way down and then brightening, motors were winding down and then cranking up - it was like a crazy merry-go-round. I immediately called WAPA and they advised to shut off the main breaker which I did. Within half an hour a WAPA crew was on site and, after an investigation, found that the wiring from the weatherhead down into the building needed to be completely replaced as it was totally shot. Their responsibility is from the line TO the weatherhead so this repair was mine to make. I couldn't open for business that night but found a great company of licensed electricians who were able to come out and start the job right away which they finished early the next morning. Not one of my appliances was damaged or killed but both the WAPA guys and the electricians said that if I'd not been right there and it had gone unnoticed I would have lost everything.

The occasional WAPA brownout over the years (and a few were pretty bad) never damaged any appliance so I can only presume that the occasional one isn't a killer but a couple of hours of major brownouts can easily fry any compressor or circuit board.


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 12289
July 15, 2013 11:30 am  

You were lucky, OT. Seems these days that if you have to make that kind of repair, you now have to apply for a permit to do so from DPNR, which can take weeks to get the just the permit. Same thing happened recently to a friend.


ReplyQuote
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 6523
July 15, 2013 11:41 am  

You were lucky, OT. Seems these days that if you have to make that kind of repair, you now have to apply for a permit to do so from DPNR, which can take weeks to get the just the permit. Same thing happened recently to a friend.

A permit was obtained. The electricians started the work that PM and before coming back to finish in the morning picked up the permit from DPNR. This was a serious emergency situation not just a general repair so that may have enabled the permit to be issued immediately.


ReplyQuote
mtdoramike
(@mtdoramike)
Trusted Member
Joined: 8 years ago
Posts: 955
July 15, 2013 11:45 am  

This is a good resource to give you an idea of life on the rock: http://virginislandsdailynews.newspaperdirect.com/epaper/viewer.aspx


ReplyQuote
STTnewbie
(@STTnewbie)
Active Member
Joined: 7 years ago
Posts: 8
July 17, 2013 2:18 pm  

The University of the Virgin Islands is trying to expand their Marine Science progeNYam, so you should definitively apply there. I think the VI govt gives you credit for fed employment so you din't lose Benson.

Expect a pay cut, though.

I think they post job openings on their website.

I just moved here 3 weeks ago, working for DPNR (not sure about all the aforementioned drug corruption, not sure I want to know), I don't have my paperwork on me but I don't believe UVI gives you credit for fed employment (vaguely remember that during my orientation).

Also, I haven't heard about the problems with F&W but I just so happened met the director of F&W yesterday and he is EXTREMELY understaffed (I think a total of 9 people for all 3 islands??) but extremely knowledgeable and seems competent as far as I can tell (he gave us an informative, impromptu lesson on sharks and snakes), you should apply!

Good luck with everything.


ReplyQuote
Alana33
(@Alana33)
Expert
Joined: 9 years ago
Posts: 12289
July 17, 2013 4:01 pm  

FYI - Unfortunately, head of F&W is incredibly understaffed because he has driven away so many good people away that used to work there and done away with many critical funded programs that they helped create and initiated in order to create his own private fiefdom.
Hope the situation will improve but when there are issues within any Dept. it is usually because the head of that dept. is not doing their proper job.


ReplyQuote
Page 3 / 3
Close Menu