Go Back   DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum > Home Improvement > Electrical

CLICK HERE AND JOIN OUR COMMUNITY TODAY...IT'S FREE!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 04-27-2010, 09:01 AM   #16
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Nashua, NH, USA
Posts: 6,968
Rewards Points: 2,032
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


The most likely connection to be broken after a lightning strike is where a wire connects to a switch or receptacle and when such a joint is backstabbed (push in and it sticks). This may be at the first dead receptacle or the last working receptacle in the daisy chain.

It is just tedious to go looking for them.

But this is sometimes accompanied by a melt-through that could be anywhere in the dead section, including in the middle of a cable inside the wall.

You may identify the presence of although not the exact location of such a melt through by unplugging everything from the circuit, turning off that circuit's breaker, and checking for continuity between hot and neutral, and between hot and ground, at a receptacle that was dead. Getting continuity means there is a problem (and you will get a breaker tripping short when you find and fix the original loose connection) although no continuity does not mean that there is no problem.

__________________
Forget super sized fries. The Washington Redskins could promote healthy eating with First Lady Obama by choosing a (red skinned) turnip for a mascot.

Last edited by AllanJ; 04-27-2010 at 09:09 AM.
AllanJ is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to AllanJ For This Useful Post:
leungw (05-03-2010)
Old 04-27-2010, 09:35 AM   #17
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,811
Rewards Points: 2,420
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Quote:
Originally Posted by AllanJ View Post
If you lost one of the two power legs, then you would have all the dead circuits arranged in some pattern on the panel, for example all the odd rows of breakers.
Normally every other vertical breaker is on the opposite leg of the breaker above or below it. Breakers across from each other are on the same leg.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 03:01 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,088
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Normally every other vertical breaker is on the opposite leg of the breaker above or below it. Breakers across from each other are on the same leg.

Sure about that? I'm thinking just the opposite for breaker panels.

As far as checking both leads at the panel, checking your 220 outlets would give a hint as to the possibility of one being dead. Be safer too than prowling around inside the panel, not to mention less trouble.
boman47k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 03:06 PM   #19
Licensed electrician
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Maryland
Posts: 7,811
Rewards Points: 2,420
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Yes, I am sure about the buss fingers. If you interlace your fingers you will have an arrangement similar to the buss fingers in a panel. This is how a 240 volt load picks up from both legs of the panel. Example leg hand is leg a, right hand is leg b. Legs a and b together = 240 volts.
__________________
Answers based on the National Electrical Code. Local amendments may apply. Check with your local building officials.
Jim Port is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 04:51 PM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Jim has it right.

From what I recall in my GE panel, there are not two sets of tabs (one for the left, one for the right). Instead, when you look inside the panel (with all breakers removed) you see a single column of tabs down the center of the panel. The tabs are sized such that a breaker on the left and a breaker on the right can fit on the same tab. To get the interlaced "fingers" so that you can have the 240v breakers, the center tab is alternately fed from the left or right leg.

So ROWS of breakers alternate legs, but two breakers on the same row are on the same leg.
HooKooDooKu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 06:25 PM   #21
Member
 
joed's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Welland, Ontario
Posts: 8,093
Rewards Points: 2,980
Blog Entries: 4
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Panel buss bar layout depends on the panel. Some panels will be ABABABAB down each side. Some are ABBAABBAAB down each side.
__________________
Do not PM with questions that can be asked in a forum. I will not respond.
joed is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2010, 06:53 PM   #22
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,088
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


OKay, I'm gonna have go out and check an older box I have. We may just being a communication breakdown.
boman47k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2010, 04:12 PM   #23
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 1,088
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Port View Post
Yes, I am sure about the buss fingers. If you interlace your fingers you will have an arrangement similar to the buss fingers in a panel. This is how a 240 volt load picks up from both legs of the panel. Example leg hand is leg a, right hand is leg b. Legs a and b together = 240 volts.

I absolutely stand corrected. I am not an electrician per se, but I don't know what I was thinking. I was picturing the interlacing of the buss bar, just was not thinking correctly. I should have known better. I should have just thought of a 220 breaker. I may have been thinking too far back to the old fuse boxes.
Now, I am not even sure about that.
boman47k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 11:35 AM   #24
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 95
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Hello and thank you all who replied to my issue. I had some time over the weekend and finally figured out what it was. AllanJ had it exactly correct. The first outlet on the circuit was wired in series, using the push-in connection on the back of the outlet. The hot wire that feeds the rest of the circuit popped out of the outlet. I also noticed that the two neutral screws turned black, like they had been burnt. The outlet itself was working, so I never suspected that it was the issue. I replaced the outlet and re-connected the wires (to the screws this time). Electricity's back to the master bedroom.

I went through all the rest of the working outlets in the house and found another outlet on a different circuit that had the exact same issue. Replaced and the rest of the broken lights/outlets all came back.

Thank you again to all.

Willy
leungw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 12:00 PM   #25
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 95
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Actually, this leads me to a bunch of questions that have been puzzling me.

1. Aren't circuit breakers supposed to prevent wires/outlets from being damaged?

2. My phone line is grounded at the NID and the lightning damaged the telephone wires inside the house. Do people put surge protectors on their phone lines at the point where the wire enters the house?

3. How about coax (for cable tv & internet) lines? The wire is grounded right before entering the house also. The lightning was able to damage my cable modem, router, ps3, and xbox360. They still power up, but the ethernet ports on them are now all dead.

4. The Directv receiver can no longer detect a signal. I dug up an old one and it finds the signal ok. The coax lines connect the dish to a grounding block right after entering the house, then from the grounding block to the receiver. How could lightning have damaged the receiver?

Any recommendations to prevent these from happening, if I get hit by the "lottery" again?

Thank you.

Willy

Last edited by leungw; 05-03-2010 at 12:55 PM. Reason: Typo.
leungw is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 12:44 PM   #26
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Alabama
Posts: 608
Rewards Points: 500
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Quote:
Originally Posted by leungw View Post
1. Aren't circuit breakers supposed to prevent wires/outlets from being damaged?
Circuit breakers are designed to cut power when they detect too much current flowing through a 120v/240v circuit. Generally that's limited to circuits with too many devices connected to it, or something going wrong that shorts a hot to ground (faulty equipment/wiring, cutting a live wire, etc).

Circuit breakers are NOT designed to handle the sort of power associated with lightning. A bolt of lightning can easily have 30,000 to 120,000 amps of current, generate temperatures three times hotter than the surface of the sun. While I couldn't find an exact number for voltage associated with lightning, it's high enough to break down the resistance of air (which is on the order of requiring about a million volts per meter).

I guess I would equate a circuit breaker facing a lighting strike to a person wearing a bullet proof vest facing a nuclear blast.
HooKooDooKu is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2010, 12:54 PM   #27
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 95
Rewards Points: 75
Default

Lights/Outlets No Longer Work After Thunderstorm


Quote:
Originally Posted by HooKooDooKu View Post
I guess I would equate a circuit breaker facing a lighting strike to a person wearing a bullet proof vest facing a nuclear blast.
I see. Thanks again for taking time to reply. And I like your comment very much.

leungw is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
HVAC duct work radiates 60Hz Mike in Arkansas Electrical 3 01-01-2010 08:29 PM
Time limit for getting work inspected? tigereye Electrical 8 12-22-2009 03:56 AM
Electrical work in Branford, CT - Can I do it? ControlTech Electrical 11 01-11-2009 01:45 PM
is this bad tiling work? garrick Flooring 17 09-27-2006 01:30 AM




Top of Page | View New Posts

Copyright © 2003-2014 Escalate Media. All Rights Reserved.