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Thread: I think my house had a lightning surge last night

  1. #1
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    I think my house had a lightning surge last night

    We had a wicked thunderstorm last night! First all the power went out totally then a minute later lights came on but were really dim. My fan in my room would spin barely on high. Micro would not work but the display was lit, coffee maker wouldn't turn on, all 3 tv's wouldn't turn on but I have a little 13 inch tube tv that stayed on but the picture was pulsing every 10 seconds or so.

    So i got my DMM out and read 55 volts on different outlets throughout the house including the one my tv was working on.

    The surge bar out in the living room had the red surge light lit.


    So did I get hit with a surge? Why 55 volts?

  2. #2
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    Utility transformer?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVA View Post
    We had a wicked thunderstorm last night! First all the power went out totally then a minute later lights came on but were really dim. My fan in my room would spin barely on high. Micro would not work but the display was lit, coffee maker wouldn't turn on, all 3 tv's wouldn't turn on but I have a little 13 inch tube tv that stayed on but the picture was pulsing every 10 seconds or so.

    So i got my DMM out and read 55 volts on different outlets throughout the house including the one my tv was working on.

    The surge bar out in the living room had the red surge light lit.


    So did I get hit with a surge? Why 55 volts?
    If it happened that all places you checked were same leg a problem with neutral could explain 55 volts.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by KVA View Post
    We had a wicked thunderstorm last night! First all the power went out totally then a minute later lights came on but were really dim. My fan in my room would spin barely on high. Micro would not work but the display was lit, coffee maker wouldn't turn on, all 3 tv's wouldn't turn on but I have a little 13 inch tube tv that stayed on but the picture was pulsing every 10 seconds or so.

    So i got my DMM out and read 55 volts on different outlets throughout the house including the one my tv was working on.

    The surge bar out in the living room had the red surge light lit.


    So did I get hit with a surge? Why 55 volts?
    Lightning surge? I doubt it.... That is a very brief event, not enough time to run out and get your DMM out of the truck.
    Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might - Ecclesiastes

  5. #5
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    I react differently. I turn shit off or unplug it as quickly as possible. Most likely to late but at least the smell isn't as bad.
    Tom
    TBLO

  6. #6
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    More likely that a primary phase faulted but didn't clear a switch, somewhere down the line, I have seen many brown outs from storms knocking tree limbs down on power lines but not enough to open the protector, these can last from seconds to as long as an hour or more, this would not damage most electronic equipment but can damage many types of motors such as refrigerators, furnace motors if they stay pulled in, and or AC units, if this is the kind of damage you have then you had a long term brown out.

    Lightning has three forms, near field, direct point of attachment, or indirect point of attachment to a power line or tell/cable.

    Near field will damage mostly electronics and such things the have a loop such as networks or cables which takes out TV tuners, phones, and some times even surround sounds where you might have a sub woofer plugged in across the room on a different circuit, what you see with a near field is TVSS devices have little to no effect in protecting most appliances when hit by a near field (lightning hits a tree or other point within 100 to 300 feet from the building) as the damage is cause by induced currents not direct currents, very little to no damage is caused in the building wiring.

    Direct lightning strikes will just flat out do damage, both physical and electrical, with a direct strike you will see building damage and or wiring damage to a point that the insulation can be blown off the wiring, shattered like glass.

    Indirect lightning strikes such as ones that hit power lines or cable/phones, will damage most appliances depending upon how close down the line the POA was to the building, but this is the type of strike that TVSS is most effective against, as it acts more like a surge then a lightning event, but can send several thousands of volts through a house with out any surge protection, which can also damage building wiring but you don't see the physical damage done to the building that a direct strike can do. (well except in the case of a fire)

    A lightning event can be one or a combination of any of the above types of lightning strikes.

    @ KVA:
    What kind of damage did you receive? if any?
    Last edited by hurk27; 05-28-12 at 01:01 AM.
    Wayne A. From: N.W.Indiana
    Be Fair, Be Safe
    Just don't be fairly safe

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by hurk27 View Post
    More likely that a primary phase faulted but didn't clear a switch, somewhere down the line, I have seen many brown outs from storms knocking tree limbs down on power lines but not enough to open the protector, these can last from seconds to as long as an hour or more, this would not damage most electronic equipment but can damage many types of motors such as refrigerators, furnace motors if they stay pulled in, and or AC units, if this is the kind of damage you have then you had a long term brown out.

    Lightning has three forms, near field, direct point of attachment, or indirect point of attachment to a power line or tell/cable.

    Near field will damage mostly electronics and such things the have a loop such as networks or cables which takes out TV tuners, phones, and some times even surround sounds where you might have a sub woofer plugged in across the room on a different circuit, what you see with a near field is TVSS devices have little to no effect in protecting most appliances when hit by a near field (lightning hits a tree or other point within 100 to 300 feet from the building) as the damage is cause by induced currents not direct currents, very little to no damage is caused in the building wiring.

    Direct lightning strikes will just flat out do damage, both physical and electrical, with a direct strike you will see building damage and or wiring damage to a point that the insulation can be blown off the wiring, shattered like glass.

    Indirect lightning strikes such as ones that hit power lines or cable/phones, will damage most appliances depending upon how close down the line the POA was to the building, but this is the type of strike that TVSS is most effective against, as it acts more like a surge then a lightning event, but can send several thousands of volts through a house with out any surge protection, which can also damage building wiring but you don't see the physical damage done to the building that a direct strike can do. (well except in the case of a fire)

    A lightning event can be one or a combination of any of the above types of lightning strikes.

    @ KVA:
    What kind of damage did you receive? if any?
    The only thing I lost was a CFL and the surge strip has the red light on indicating a surge but everything works.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ptonsparky View Post
    I react differently. I turn shit off or unplug it as quickly as possible. Most likely to late but at least the smell isn't as bad.
    My reaction is similar to yours.

    Run to main breaker. Throw off. NOW!
    Gregg

    I'm just here for the pictures!

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