Electricity supplies in Kachreti are a bit of a hit and miss affair – fortunately these days more of a hit! Just a few years ago, getting electricity was something which wasn’t reliable, but more recently the system has become much more dependable.
Electricity Supplies Outages
Regular occurrences of electricity outage have become far less but there are still days when messages are received that the supply will be interrupted between certain times. A lot of this has been due to the new water supplies, where underground cable have either been inadvertently damaged, or had to be turned off to allow machinery and pipework to continue their operations.
Electricity Supply Problems
The biggest problem by far have been caused by thunderstorms. Kachreti is on the verge of the Caucasus Mountains, and thunderstorms are part of life here. When they occur they can be spectacular. If all that energy could only be harnessed….. It isn’t unusual for a thunderstorm to take out the electricity for a few hours and on the odd occasion – overnight and into the next day. The storms are due in part, to the mountains and the movement of air, but also to the wide temperature variations between points where there is a high pressure with good weather, being hit by cold damp air of a low pressure area causing sudden high winds followed by the inevitable storm.
Control of Electricity Supplies
Electricity is not controlled as well as I would like. As an electrical engineer, I can comment on this with some authority. Houses are supplied with electricity from metered supplies in the street. From that point on, the electricity supply is the responsibility of the property owner. I have seen many supply cables from the street meters with simply twisted wire connections to a house. This is not the fault of the energy supply company, but usually the owners who have little knowledge of correct termination procedures.
Many of the properties are wired with cables which were old during the Soviet occupation which ended in the 1990s. On top of that most house wiring does not have a safety earth wire. The 240 volt electricity supply appears at one of the socket terminals and often as much as 50 volts on the second termination which theoretically should be zero (there is often a small charge on that terminal which is why the safety earth is important.).
Caution in the Home
Many electrical appliances give a “tingle” when touched with the back of the hand due to the lack of a safety earth wire. Should those appliances develop a short circuit, it is possible for them to exhibit the full 240 volts on their metalwork. A deadly scenario. There is normally no distinction between the live and neutral cable on an appliance and as a two pin plug can be inserted either way round, it is impossible to know whether the live or neautral is connected to any point in the appliance.