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Slugs and surges

Large, small, and medium “Hug Me! Slugs”, all in a row. One is from the first batch of slugs I ever made, and one is from this past week. They were initially inspired by a teasing suggestion that I add a slug to my list of “Huggy” animals, but they’ve turned out to be embraced by people of all ages, in a way I hadn’t expected. That’s really nice. Thanks everybody, for your enthusiasm. It’s a joy to hear that they are loved and that they making people happy. I appreciate hearing your stories. It’s a lot of fun.

This Monday, “Green Bean” left for a baby shower.

I was proud of myself for carefully matching that green plaid. I had to stop to admire how it dovetailed along the seam lines 🙂

Little “Rupert” is going to surprise someone’s dad for Christmas. Slugs are his favorite animal.

Oh, wait. How did he get in there? That’s my buzzard. According to Gund, he is supposed to be a toucan, but I’m pretty sure he’s a buzzard. He just stuck to me in the store, while I was out shopping with my mom. She threatened to buy a stuffed dog that sang Christmas carols if I didn’t put him back on the shelf. But I said no. I told her to go ahead and get the singing dog (she didn’t). I was getting my buzzard.

As I’ve mentioned, my sewing machine went to the shop with electrical problems. The owners of the sewing machine repair service told me that those issues are usually caused by power surges, but I had a surge protector on my machine all along. There were no unusual electrical “happenings” at the time, no surges or lights dimming, and I wasn’t running any other small appliances or electrical devices at the same time. So, most likely, it was caused by something else. Still, to be safe, we thought we’d get a new surge protector. My friend Miko sent me some information on how electronic sewing machines are also sensitive to both surges and to low-voltage occurrences, or “browns”. He suggested I get a surge protector with line conditioning, to protect my machine from surges and from browns.

To be safe, we also wanted to make sure there wasn’t anything wrong with the service to my workroom. My dad made an interesting discovery, by checking the wattage on all the things I was using in my room. We had never noticed that I have a 1700 watt iron. Right away, my dad said, “That’s awfully high!” I had noticed, at other times, that the lamp on my desk dimmed when the iron reset itself, which would indicate there wasn’t enough power on the circuit for both the lamp and the iron to be on at the same time. My dad double checked, and the recommended limit on your standard 15 amp household circuit is 1440 watts! That’s means everything you have plugged in and turned on in one room usually! The mathematical limit is a little higher, 1800 watts, but still…the iron all by itself was exceeding the recommended amount of electricity being used on one circuit. Adding the lamp was too much. So sure, low voltage occurrences were probably happening all the time, when the iron needed more electricity than was available, making my lamp dim.

Luckily for me, my dad has been an electrician, something he learned from his dad…whew. He cut a hole under the circuit box, ran 50 feet of wire to my workroom, cut a hole in my wall for a new outlet, and put in a new 20 amp circuit and outlet for my workroom. The recommended limit on a 20 amp circuit is 1920 watts, with a mathematical limit of 2400 watts. Now I have both a 15 amp and a 20 amp circuit in my workroom. The iron and the lamp are plugged into the 20 amp outlet, and my sewing machine gets the 15 amp outlet, with a separate circuit, which protects the sewing machine from any fluctuations caused by anything else that’s on in the room.

Complicated? A little. But good to know if you have sensitive electronics, like sewing machines with fancy push buttons and other electronic features. Most people who sew also iron, but there wasn’t any warning about damaging anything on or inside the box. All the directions said were to avoid plugging the iron in with other high wattage appliances, but even the lamp was too much. That’s not a high wattage appliance, and neither are most sewing machines. So, I guess you can get a low wattage iron, or just avoid plugging it in on the same circuit as your electronic sewing machine.

Anyway, thanks, Dad for saving the day and safeguarding my sewing machine! And thank all of you for reading my blog and for your support. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!

0 thoughts on “Slugs and surges

  1. WOW
    Never knew so much about electricity.
    Life can be very complicated –
    Glad your dad saved the day.
    Hope I can find some time to sew.
    Love the slugs.
    Didnt knoe you had a blog

  2. Thanks, Linda! Yeah, this is the second blog. The other is here: I think I started the first one in 2006 on our website, and then started using Blogger for it in 2007, when I started this blog, also in 2007.

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