SNAKES IN A TRANSFER SWITCH!
First of all, we need to warn you that, if you are a bit squeamish, you should not read this. If you have a fear of snakes we suggest you stop now. If you are a card carrying member of the SPCA, this is definitely not meant for you. Thus forewarned, the story you may want to read is based on a true story. The names have been omitted to protect the innocent.
Imagine that you are standing in bright Caribbean sunlight on a hot day speaking to a rather large technician (6’3”, 165 lbs large) who is trying to explain why your Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) is not working. He is telling you that a snake crawled into your $2000 ATS and has shorted it out. You are having trouble believing him. He shows you what appears to be an over cooked piece of fried fettuccini and offers that as his evidence. You are questioning the man as though he is delusional.
Suddenly the technician reaches for the ground and picks up a very large rock. You are so amazed that he has lifted such a heavy item so deftly that, for a moment, it doesn’t register that you should be alarmed, if not downright scared. He lifts the rock up over his head and says calmly “would you take a step to your right please?” Not wishing to get on the bad side of a large man with a heavy rock over his head, you slowly take a step to the right.
The technician slams the rock down 1 foot directly behind where you were standing! After you recover from the fright of it all, you look down to see the head and tail of a snake protruding from under the rock. The technician goes on to explain that this was the mate, or possibly just the boyfriend or girlfriend, of the snake inside the ATS (but what does a technician know about the mating behavior of snakes?). In any event, he’s made his point and you now believe that the overdone fettuccini is, indeed, what is left of a snake.
We see an alarming amount of electrical damage done by living creatures in the Caribbean. It is not always snakes. Sometimes it is lizards or other reptiles. Other times it is rats or mice. The reason is that, despite our wonderful climate year round, it gets cool at night. At the higher elevations it gets down right cold. If you are a reptile or rodent, and it is cold outside, a nice warm box with a slight hum is a delightful place to spend the night. Sometimes they find it warmest right next to the electrical connections or contacts, so they cozy right up next to it. If they happen to be touching the case or any ground at the same time, they are crispy critters. Sometimes, while in their cozy box, a rodent gets a little hungry or bored and decides that the insulation on the wiring looks pretty good. Crispy critter.
As sad as it is to see one of God’s good creatures pass on to the great reward, it is not nearly so sad as the bill you have to pay for the damage!
The solution is to close up all holes in the electrical enclosure. It not only keeps reptiles and rodents out, it also helps to keep the rain and salt laden air out as well. So it is a win-win solution.
We just hope that you don’t have to suffer Snakes in a Transfer Switch, or Mains Disconnect, or Breaker Panel, or some other electrical device to decide to block up the holes.
Parts & Power supplies a complete range of manual and automatic transfer switches for all electrical applications.