Was there a recent power surge?

Home Forums Cabin Maintenance Was there a recent power surge?

This topic contains 6 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  lawver 3 weeks, 2 days ago.

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  • #5550

    PK
    Participant

    I arrived at our place for the first time in a couple months to find none of the outlets in the kitchen were working (including the one powering the fridge…yuck). I checked the breakers and none had tripped, but I reset the one for the kitchen anyway and everything came back on. Does anyone remember a power surge in the last month or so? If not, any amateur (or professional) electricians know why a circuit would fail without tripping the breaker? Any insight is greatly appreciated.

    #5551

    gremmert
    Participant

    Not that a I know of.

    That said, I had a similar experieice this last winter that took out a power strip, some carpet, microwave, and the refrigerator.

    I considerer myself lucky, the cabin did not burn down. I now have a whole house surge protector… (New refrigerator and microwave as well unfortunately.)

    If your place has a vintage Federal pacific panel, IMO, swap it out as fast as you can.

    I was sort of lucky.

    -Greg

    #5552

    gremmert
    Participant

    Full disclosure… It took out a blue ray player attached to said power strip as well. I now have new power strips throughout the place. It seems power strips have a limited lifetime, I did not know that before. (I’m in the love creek area, power can be sketchy as BART in the winter)

    #5554

    Bootstrap
    Participant

    You’d be amazed at how many power strips are “counterfeit”…i.e. they have no manufacturer’s name on them and are not UL approved. Best to check that you have the “real thing” before loading them up. 😉

    #5557

    PK
    Participant

    Thanks for the tips all.

    None of the appliances plugged into that circuit were damaged; the plugs simply didn’t have power, as if the breaker had been tripped. Strange thing is, it didn’t trip. I switched the breaker off and then back on and everything was working again. The place was built in 1990, so the panel and wiring is fairly modern. Never seen a circuit fail like that without tripping the breaker and wondered if anyone else has.

    #5565

    lawver
    Participant

    I have seen enough breakers that appear to be untripped which in reality are. Rather than hiring an electrician for a major rewire or investing in surge protectors, I would simply replace the breaker.

    Breakers can and do wear out and fail. One that is pseudo tripped may now be beyond its useful life.

    Surge protectors have a narrow effective use window and usually don’t. Lightening and high voltage lines dropping onto power lines when a drunk takes out a power pole are not incidents where surge protectors are effective.

    #5566

    lawver
    Participant

    Meant NOT effective on last line sorry.

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