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JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Questions any electrician can probably answer.

Click for full size
Breaker Panel
I've have some wierd things happen this weekend (most likely storm related).
I lost power twice, once during the storm itself and then once the next morning.
Each time my wife said she heard a "pop" from one of the outlets in the living room. I take her word for it.
Each time a 15 Amp breaker popped that feeds that outlet and others on the circuit. Only one of the 4 outlets popped.
I have a Whole House Surge Supressor (see attached graphic) and now only one of the two LEDs is illuminated and after the first outage the breaker associated with one of the suppressor legs was tripped. I reset the breaker but the LED is still off. I will get an electrician in to address this.
Question 1) Going down the bank of breakers (right or left) are they all on the same phase or do they alternate. I don't feel comfortable taking the panel off. It's a Cutler Hammer/Eaton 225K but I don't have a specific model. My guess is they alternate since the two breakers on top of the right bank are bonded (for the HVAC) and I suspect they are on opposite phases. Yes?
The reason I ask is the Supressor is connected to two adjacent breakers on the right side and wonder if that is correct. If the phases alternate I think it's OK otherwise it's not protecting half of the house.
Question 2) What would cause an outlet to "pop" during an electric outage (not sure if it occurs when power is lost or when it is restored or in between) and then subsequently trip one breaker protecting that outlet. I do know the outlet that pops is upstream (maybe 12 inches) of an outside outlet that is ancient and never used and I wonder if a spider has built a web or some other crud is causing issues. Again I will get an electrician in as soon as I get back but don't want to ignore a fire hazard. No GFCIs are on the circuit.
Any insight appreciated.
J


Jon
Premium
join:2001-01-20
Lisle, IL

There are a few electricians that hang out in the Home Improvement forum. Off the top of my head, nunya See Profile comes to mind.



JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Tnx.



54067323

join:2012-09-25
Tuscaloosa, AL
reply to JimThePCGuy

said by JimThePCGuy:

Question 2) What would cause an outlet to "pop" during an electric outage.

An arc or internal flashover and yes that may very well have tripped the breaker and the cause of it (more than likely external to your home) is probably what took out your Intermatic surge protector.

FWIW don't chuck that surge protector, get an RMA pack it up and ship it back to Intermatic and they will (probably) send you a new one free of charge.

I had a similar model take a serious hit from a lighting induced transformer failure and it was smoked good, but it tripped the main and prevented any downstream damage, I contacted Intermatic and they issued a RMA with the warning that since I didn’t have a receipt for it there may be a charge for a replacement, a few weeks later a new one arrived by UPS no charge.


JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Thanks for the reply.
The suppressor is 13 years old and I have a receipt from the electrical contractor that installed it. The model does not appear to be manufactured any more but there are single LED models that look similar. Since I will have my electrician replace it I will suggest to him that he RMA it and maybe we can cut a deal of some sort. Regardlessm the device will be replaced.
J



John Galt
Forward, March
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Happy Camp
kudos:8
reply to JimThePCGuy

Modern panels alternate the phase the CBs are connected to on each side. Your observation of the HVAC CB is correct.

The suppressor sounds like it is connected correctly...one leg of the suppressor going to its own CB connected to opposite phases. The Code requires that CBs feeding the same piece of utilization equipment have the breaker handles tied together, or utilize a internal 'common trip' mechanism.

Sounds like some kind of fault in the outside receptacle...common if not well protected from the weather.

Just leave the affected CB off until it can be examined by an experienced electrician...
--
Many believe, but few will question...I decline to be blind.



JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Thank you.
J



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
·Charter
·voip.ms
·surpasshosting
reply to JimThePCGuy

After 13 years, I'd say you got your money's worth out of the SPD. Newer units are better.

It sounds like you might have a short behind the receptacle. You could have taken a strike, or there may have been one nearby. Even a "nearby" strike can f___ a lot of things up.
Leave the breaker off. It's also time to start checking appliances, TV's., etc... to see if anything else "got it". It might turn into an insurance claim if any high dollar items got popped.
--
If someone refers to herself / himself as a "guru", they probably aren't.



JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

Thanks.
Years ago when the power would go off it would be off until Comed would reset a fuse (or whatever it's called). I complained about the frequent outages and they replaced a piece of equipment a few weeks later where the system now tries to reset itself a limited number of times (usually 3) before giving up.
That said ...
I don't think a lightning strike caused the outage. The power went off for half a minute, then on, then off, then on, and finally off for good. About half a minute or so between off/on events. Almost like a tree limb was up against the power line. Also very little lightning associated with this storm but the wind and rain was horrific. The outside outlet faces due north and the wind was directly out of the north so the wind driven rain was pointing directly on the face of the outside outlet.
What is weird is the next day the weather was severe clear and the power went out in the morning for a few minutes (no on off cycling this time) and when it came back on the breaker was once again tripped. My wife said she heard the "pop" again but again didn't remember if it was associated with the power going off or on. My guess is power coming on. I atribute the outage to Comed working on the lines to effect a more permanent repair. I could be wrong.
I did a survey and everything in the house and all seems to have survived sans the surge protector. I do have the TV's on APC Smart UPSs so that may have helped.
Thanks again.
J



linicx
Caveat Emptor
Premium
join:2002-12-03
United State
Reviews:
·TracFone Wireless
·CenturyLink

I am a homeowner. I immediately replaced any outlet or wall off/on switch that arced or popped. I replaced two last week. In my house 99% of the time the replaced unit was either bad, not wired correctly, or a wire was loose.

There is always a circuitry reason a breaker 'trips'. Sometimes a new breaker is bad, but that is rather rare. Sometimes it's overloaded and you need a bigger breaker to do a bigger job. It's why you hire an experienced electrician.
--
Mac: No windows, No Gates, Apple inside



JimThePCGuy
Formerly known as schja01.
Premium,MVM
join:2000-04-27
Morton Grove, IL

An electrician will be hired to rectify the situation as soon as I get back home.
Thanks,
J