Loud boom and tripped breakers

Discussion in 'Electrical Forum discussion & Blog' started by wideglidejohnny, May 28, 2012.

  1. wideglidejohnny

    wideglidejohnny New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central PA
    Hey guys,

    Last night we had a very bad storm and during the storm we lost power.

    As I sat waiting for the power to come back on, I heard a loud bang/boom that I thought came from the kitchen area.

    My wife and daughter each thought it came from a different area in the house other than the kitchen area. So, we're not exactly sure where this bang/boom came from. I guess it could have also been lightning striking very close to our house.

    After all this happened the power returned shortly and we noticed a lot of things weren't working.

    My wife went to turn on a surge protector that handles the TV and stereo equipment and it made a loud noise and she saw some smoke come from it.

    I went and checked the breaker box and noticed that a lot of breakers had tripped. Most of the tripped breakers were 20 amp breakers if that matters. We have 100 amp service.

    I reset the tripped breakers and everything seems to be working.

    My question is this: Should I call an electrician to check the box and breakers, or am I over reacting?

    I looked outside to see if I could see any damage from a lightning strike but couldn't see anything that was damaged.

    Thoughts anyone?

    Thanks
  2. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

    Messages:
    3,279
    Location:
    Land of Cheese
    If you have anything that does not work, is damaged, or let the magic smoke out, unplug it and do not use it.

    My brother had this happen, and his home insurance ended up replacing several thousand $$ in TV, stereo, and HAM radio equipment.
  3. jimbo

    jimbo Plumber

    Messages:
    8,997
    Location:
    San Diego
    Things that work...well that's good! At a minimum, I would inspect or probably just replace any surge protector devices. Some of the noise could have been MOV's cooking. For sure, anywhere there was smoke...that is always a fatal issue. Replace it.
  4. wideglidejohnny

    wideglidejohnny New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central PA
    Thanks for the quick responses guys.

    We definitely got rid of the smoking surge protector. The TV and stereo equipment seem fine so maybe the surge protector actually did it's job.

    Thanks again.
  5. Cookie

    Cookie .

    Messages:
    5,658
    Location:
    .
    You may want to call your insurance company and tell them what happened just so there is a report on file, many times, electrical items will die days or weeks later after a lightening strike. And, it is always good to let your insurance company know that your house may had been hit by lightening, when the event happened.
  6. jwelectric

    jwelectric Electrical Contractor/Instructor

    Messages:
    2,565
    Location:
    North Carolina
    I would suggest having your grounding electrode system checked by a professional to ensure that should you be the victim of a surge again this surge has a low impedance connection with earth.
    Your symptoms are that of a lightning surge. The lightning event may or may not have caused damage to your electrode system.
    In a lightning event the current is flowing between a cloud and earth ( a cloud to cloud event would not include your electrical system) so we need to ensure that the path it is traveling when our electrical systems are caught in the middle of this event has a very low impedance.
  7. wideglidejohnny

    wideglidejohnny New Member

    Messages:
    9
    Location:
    Central PA
    Thanks everyone for all the good suggestions.

    I will do as advised.

    Thanks
  8. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

    Messages:
    22,319
    Location:
    New England
    The junctions in solid state devices can be weakened as spikes blast away at them. They may not fail immediately, but think of it like chipping with an ice pick or an ax at a tree...do it enough, and eventually it no longer works. A good surge suppressor often has some indicator to tell you if it is still working and providing protection, whether that is a lamp, LED, or maybe a fuse or circuit breaker. Pay heed to the indicator.

    I'm an advocate of a whole-house surge suppressor with additional ones on expensive electronics. A good surge suppressor not only blocks many surges, but also filters out noise, which can affect the quality of sound from a stereo and the quality of picture on your TV. While my whole house unit isn't all that robust, I'm sure it does help, and as a bonus, the indicator lights are where I see them each time I get into and out of my car in the garage, so it's easy to keep up on whether they're still working!
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