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Old 05-29-2009, 06:18 PM   #1
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Default lightning and circuit breakers

Anyone know if lightning will trip circuit breakers? Went on a call to look at "some of my circuits don't work". Customer didn't realize that he had two panels and there were two out on the sub on the other side of the basement. Whatever was out in the main, he must have reset. The one circuit he mentioned in the main worked fine, just turn on the lamp at the cord switch and it was fine. The sub panel had a two pole 20 amp breaker out for a condenser. The single pole circuit was lighting for the second floor. The only problem I could find with that was that someone had tied in 3 attic fans to the attic light driving the current up to 13a on a 15a circuit. Both panels look good on the insides, lugs look good.

I pulled a new home run for the fans. Only other thing was that the gas valve for the gas fireplace doesn't seem to work anymore. The pilot light works but no flame.

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Old 05-29-2009, 06:20 PM   #2
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The one thing I know for sure about lightning... it will do whatever the heck it wants to do. I'm perfectly willing to go along with the theory that lightning can trip breakers... but so can a lot of other things. Keep digging...

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Old 05-29-2009, 07:44 PM   #3
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I feel pretty good about the fan light problem, but the rest, not sure. Sometimes a bunch of unrelated problems instead of one big one. I did have some trouble with the lighting fed from the main panel when we did the renovation a year ago. Its the only arc fault in the panel and had some trouble with it tripping in the beginning. Lots of old work boxes with clock plugs and something was touching that wasn't supposed to. The condenser called for 13.8a, max breaker 20a, #12 on a 2p 20 is whats there. Age of the house no more than ten years. Maybe at the end of its life? Reset the breaker and ran fine.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:48 PM   #4
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I don't have any usable information on the lightning question but I just want to ask, why in the world would someone have 3 let alone even 1 attic fan up in New Hampshire? I've never been there but I imagine it having a top temp in the dead of summer at 70 degrees.
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Old 05-29-2009, 07:57 PM   #5
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I think its more for winter and pulling any remaining heat out of the attic to help with ice dams. These had settings for both temp and humidity so it may be for heat during the summer as well. Trust me, come up and crawl through an attic in the heat of July, won't be any better than VA. I was glad it was cloudy and raining hard today.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:01 PM   #6
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Surge supressors and data guard plug strips will give up their lives at a strike,and cause a circuit breaker to trip.They short circuit with their mov.s.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:10 PM   #7
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Unfortunately, this place doesn't have one of those whole house, attach to the panel units. Have to tell him to keep an eye on the one mac he has hooked up.
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Old 05-29-2009, 08:24 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nrp3 View Post
I think its more for winter and pulling any remaining heat out of the attic to help with ice dams. These had settings for both temp and humidity so it may be for heat during the summer as well. Trust me, come up and crawl through an attic in the heat of July, won't be any better than VA. I was glad it was cloudy and raining hard today.
I don't buy that for a second. So you are telling me that it gets up to 100 degrees in New Hampshire? Hahahaha! Not!!
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Old 05-29-2009, 09:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I don't buy that for a second. So you are telling me that it gets up to 100 degrees in New Hampshire? Hahahaha! Not!!
It could be 80 deg. outside but in the attic it could get (?) 120 deg.

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