My Life as a San Francisco Realtor: Ghosts in the House?

Ghosts in the House?

Ghosts in the House?

As I lay in bed in the morning, I could hear the fan I use for noise cancellation speed up and slow down. Not a good sign. Sh** now I have to buy a new one. Then it began just like any other day. I got up, turned on my desktop computer and headed into the kitchen to make coffee. Then on to take a shower. I turned up the thermostat on the furnace, but it wouldn't start. D***, now do I have to call furnace repair?

Ghosts in the HouseOut of the shower and dressed, I poured myself a cup of joe and headed to my office. All of a sudden I heard beeping - where is that coming from? Then the beeping stopped. I went back to the kitchen to get something, and when I got back there was that beeping again. Ah yes, it was coming from the backup battery and surge protection  for my computer. Then the computer shut down, just like that! This is not good.

I moved the computer plug to a regular outlet and tried to start it again. But no. It said there was a problem on startup and it would see if it could fix itself. Then it went into a checkdisk routine. Then I noticed the lights were dimming and then brightening. This is definitely not good!

My partner got up and we were talking about the situation. Something is very wrong in the house! Then the surge protector for my partner's computer popped. Poof! Dead. And the furnace still wouldn't work (hint: it has electronic ignition and surge protection).

My computer finally worked itself through all the repair and startup routines. So I got online to find PG&E's (local electric/gas utility) phone number. And a furnace repair company. I told PG&E lights were dimming, things were popping and fans were speeding up and slowing down. Voltage surges! They'd send a guy out within the hour.

House Ground ConnectionTo make a long story short, the PG&E guy found that the house ground wires had been partially cut and were working themselves  loose. Probably the gardener! See the photo on the left - 2 electrical wires come into the house and there is a third bundle of ground wires coiled behind - they were the ones that had been cut. He repaired the ground connection in about an hour, and our electricity was back to normal. I turned on the furnace with trepidation....and it worked!

Later that night I found the Klipsch Promedia speakers on my computer system had been blown by the surge. So only two casualties, the speakers and the surge protector. And now there are no more.....

Ghosts in the House!


John M Scott, Broker / Owner, Scott Keys Properties, Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE), Council of Real Estate Brokerage Managers (CRB), serving San Francisco and the surrounding San Francisco Bay Area

Comment balloon 2 commentsJohn M. Scott • May 17 2013 06:57PM


John, I certainly hope there are no more ghosts in the house. I also hope you fire your gardener if, in fact, the gardener did cut the ground wires.  My gosh … it could have been much worse.


Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 5 years ago

I'm sure it could have been much worse Kathleen. Just glad we figured it out in time!

Posted by John M. Scott, Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area (BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties) over 5 years ago