Skip to comments.Power outage fries appliances[Glendale, California]
Posted on 08/03/2010 4:53:34 PM PDT by BenLurkin
Glendale Water & Power officials say they are investigating the cause of a Sunday power outage that left hundreds of homes without power and damaged some appliances and electric meters.
The approximately two-hour power outage started shortly after 4 p.m. and affected 600 homes and businesses, said city spokesman Ritch Wells.
Residents on Grange Street reported a loud explosion that damaged appliances, officials said.
"It is still under investigation," Wells said. "We know we blew some fuses on a transformer, but are still investigating what caused this whole thing."
The outage was bordered by Graynold Avenue, South Street, Columbus Avenue and Alexander Street, Wells said.
Grange Street resident Jolene Taylor said the explosion was accompanied by a bright flash and very loud booming sound that caused most of the street's residents to run outside.
"I almost fell from the couch to the floor," she said.
When the power came back on several hours later, Taylor's air conditioning and heating unit no longer worked, and her television was fried. Her electrical meter also had to be replaced, she said.
Other residents on the street reported similar damage, prompting Glendale Water & Power officials to bring claim forms to the street first thing Monday morning.
Residents can fill out the forms and request reimbursement by the city, Wells said.
"It's very unusual for an outage to impact homes like this," Wells said. "We will expedite the processing of any of these claims."
(Excerpt) Read more at glendalenewspress.com ...
Arizona’s fault ... that’s where they get their power from, right?
Wasn’t there supposed to be some sort of sun spot or other phenomenon to hit us today?
Power outage? Sounds more like a power surge. Blowed it up real good, too.
Maybe some DIY’er tried to tie his solar panels to the grid and things didn’t go as planned.
There is a video report with more information at this link — you’ll have to lool for it: “Violent power outage rocks Glendale neighborhood”
The video report was first posted at about 1600 hours PST. Even Water and Power officials are calling strange.
Try to find teh video linked from post 6 — you’ll find it interesting.
Back in '02 when we were packing up to move from Newhall out here to the Coachella Valley, we had a "yellow brownout" on the morning of moving day - the voltage was all over the place; the flourescent kitchen lights wouldn't turn on, but the fridge made a horrible humming sound.....got to the desert, plugged it in and it was scalding hot - I called Edison, and even though I'd cancelled service because of the move, they sent me a check immediately for a new one.
How does an “outage” fry equipment? A power surge will ruin equipment but how does no power fry something?
The great sharp up and down spike, low voltage high amperage.
Sounds like they need to get better separation between their high and low voltage lines. Whole house surge suppressors are cheap.
(Cracks whip) "He-yah! He-yah!"
Electric motors are rather sensitive to under voltage conditions and "brown outs" below 10% can and do damage air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, well pumps, sump pumps, door openers, &c. As the voltage drops the motors slow down which limits the air cooling and the current rises which adds to the heat loading, too much of that and the motor is toast.
This incident however, sounds more like they (power company) had a short between the primary and secondary coils of a pole transformer. In my neighborhood that means the distribution side (14,400 Vac) gets applied to your house wiring which should be 240 Vac split into two 120 Vac legs phased 180° apart.
That happened to a friend of mine a few years ago and it wiped out all the electronics in his house (& neighbors connected to the same transformer). He had surge protectors on most of the computer/TV lines but they didn't help at all as they vaporized instantly. Typical surges on a power grid are caused by switching transients and lightning and may be thousands of volts but only last for a few milliseconds, therefore they represent relatively low power in total. When you get a transformer failure the voltage goes up by x60 or so and stays there until something melts. If your real lucky, your house may not catch fire.
PS I've also seen it happen in an industrial plant. About four hundred yards of buss bars and several hundred motor starter boxes blew. It took several weeks to get the shop back up and running.
Where do you buy house suppressors?
Where do you buy house surge suppressors? What will they generally run in price?
The story states "outage" which, as we both know, was not the cause of the failures. It was a surge.
I have had all three phases of 480V pass through my body, the 577V output of a VHO ballast and hundreds of shocks by 220 and 110. I never needed a suppressor. :)
Last time I looked into whole house surge suppressors, they were in the $70 to $100 range but that was several years back. As to where you get them, I would recommend going with a licensed electrical contractor. They would represent a real hazard if the installation was DIY, as you need to get behind the front panel on your breaker box. You also need two, one for each side of the 240 to neutral to give you proper protection. Remember also that a surge greater then the suppressors' energy dissipation rating will cause it to fuse, requiring replacement (not cheap!)
“How does an outage fry equipment?”
Glendale has a history of high voltage power surges up to and above 175 volts.
I have a Fazar range and have had to replace the circut board in it and at the same time a large capacator in the electronic air filter that blew apart 3 different times in the last 35 years.
480 3 phase is definitely bad 'Ju-Ju'! Passing through your body can leave you extra crispy. I'll bet you know and use the old rule of "one hand for the job and one hand in my pocket" as 480 across the chest would likely be curtains.
My brother was a "sewer pipe" sailor for years and claimed that DC was far nastier then AC. Subs have lead acid batteries for auxiliary power and are series connected to yield 600 Vdc to the bus bars. You did not want to drop anything metal in that area!
I wish you a continued happy life with fewer "shocking" experiences.
Last summer my wife and I were working in the garden when we were startled by what sounded like a 12 gauge fired at close range. It was the pole fuse on a transformer at the end of my driveway. When WEPCO came to look into the problem there was no obvious fault. They said it was probably a squirrel or bird that departed in a blaze of glory (no evidence left behind!). Sure made one hell of a bang though.
PS A few years before that they had modernized the distribution grid and raised the line voltage from 440 to 14,400. That really cuts into the squirrel population!
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.