Lightnin' Strike!

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Ex-Calif

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May 15, 2020
Posts
3,813
Location
NorthCentral Florida
As some may remember my kid is living in my MH in Ft. Pierce. We moved him back up here and I am assessing the things that have quit since he left in Feb.

A month or more ago he called reporting a lightning strike. Not sure if the home was hit but it was danger close. The 400W inverter was fried as well as the microwave. Everything else seems to have survived.

Lat night he came into the house to microwave something and reminded me that I had not looked at the micro in the RV since he got back. So...

I finally pulled the micro out and plugged it in on the bench - no lights and it blew the GFCI socket in the workshop. Being persistent I plugged the thing directly into the 20amp on the RV outlet. The circuit didn't blow but no lights on the micro.

So I pulled the cover off and found a 240V/15A glass fuse. Checked continuity and it was failed! Maybe there is hope!

So the dumb part is that with my weak eyes I put in a 32V/15amp auto fuse. When I plugged in the micro the fuse exploded. I probably should have stopped there but I am persistent. I dug around and found a 240V/15amp fuse and put it in the holder.

I have never had this happen in my life but when I plugged in the extension cord fire flew out of the joint and the fuse burnt up in the middle. In the 2 seconds it was plugged in one of the male pins on the micro plug almost completely burned off.

So what do ya'll reckon - dead short to ground? - LOL...

I then realized what God was trying to tell me. My kid had already located a replacement micro for $79 at Wallys but I am a cheap bastard. However, I do not want to die so I threw the thing in the back of the truck for a dump run and next trip to Wally's will buy a new one... Might pick up another 400W inverter while I am at it...
 

uchu

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Joined
Sep 9, 2019
Posts
920
Location
Ontario, Canada
Yeah, fire and/or electrocution not worth the cost of a replacement microwave.

I've been down that road a couple of times, but with less dramatic results.
 

SargeW

Site Team
Joined
Dec 12, 2008
Posts
8,359
Location
Where ever we park it!
I think I would have quit after the first fuse blew. I gave up on that kind of adventure long ago. There may be other damage to electrical appliances that just hasn't shown up yet, like AC units. Lightning is an equal opportunity disaster. It doesn't discriminate what kind appliances it takes.
 

Rene T

Site Team
Joined
May 20, 2011
Posts
20,050
Location
Farmington NH
As some may remember my kid is living in my MH in Ft. Pierce. We moved him back up here and I am assessing the things that have quit since he left in Feb.

A month or more ago he called reporting a lightning strike. Not sure if the home was hit but it was danger close. The 400W inverter was fried as well as the microwave. Everything else seems to have survived.

Lat night he came into the house to microwave something and reminded me that I had not looked at the micro in the RV since he got back. So...

I finally pulled the micro out and plugged it in on the bench - no lights and it blew the GFCI socket in the workshop. Being persistent I plugged the thing directly into the 20amp on the RV outlet. The circuit didn't blow but no lights on the micro.

So I pulled the cover off and found a 240V/15A glass fuse. Checked continuity and it was failed! Maybe there is hope!

So the dumb part is that with my weak eyes I put in a 32V/15amp auto fuse. When I plugged in the micro the fuse exploded. I probably should have stopped there but I am persistent. I dug around and found a 240V/15amp fuse and put it in the holder.

I have never had this happen in my life but when I plugged in the extension cord fire flew out of the joint and the fuse burnt up in the middle. In the 2 seconds it was plugged in one of the male pins on the micro plug almost completely burned off.

So what do ya'll reckon - dead short to ground? - LOL...

I then realized what God was trying to tell me. My kid had already located a replacement micro for $79 at Wallys but I am a cheap bastard. However, I do not want to die so I threw the thing in the back of the truck for a dump run and next trip to Wally's will buy a new one... Might pick up another 400W inverter while I am at it...
What did it do to your surge protector?
 

Kirk

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Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
4,111
Location
Full-time , Escapee
I have never had this happen in my life but when I plugged in the extension cord fire flew out of the joint and the fuse burnt up in the middle. In the 2 seconds it was plugged in one of the male pins on the micro plug almost completely burned off.
You must be one of the people that Navy Chief Electrician's Mate was thinking about when he told us in electric safety class, "There are many old electricians and there are many bold electricians. But you will rarely meet an electrician who is both." :oops:
 

Kevin Means

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Aug 3, 2010
Posts
5,078
Location
Hereford, Arizona
Speaking of lightning strikes... I wanted to share these photos of lightning activity near our new place in Southern Arizona. It's monsoon season, and afternoon/evening thunderstorms are pretty much a daily thing, but they're sure neat to watch. The nighttime pic is of lightning activity over Bisbee. The daytime pic is a typical afternoon cell headed our way. (We headed inside when that one hit)

KevLightning over Bisbee.jpgHereford Lightning Strike.jpg
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
Posts
2,988
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Yeah, we had a bit of a light show earlier this week too, got this shot looking out my back door:

1660308192055.png

I then realized what God was trying to tell me.
A fellow ham radio friend of mine years ago was killed by trying to fix a microwave oven. So it's not like he wasn't aware of the dangers, no doubt he thought it would be something within his skill set as an electrical engineer and likely familiar with RF amplifier high voltage supplies. A microwave oven isn't worth dying for so I'm glad you quit before you got too far into it. I'm all about looking for the obvious but beyond that I value my time more, much less my life messing with consumer crap.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 
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Kirk

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Joined
Oct 30, 2005
Posts
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Full-time , Escapee
So it's not like he wasn't aware of the dangers, no doubt he thought it would be something within his skill set as an electrical engineer and likely familiar with RF amplifier high voltage supplies.
Over my years as a service tech I have learned that many an engineer never realizes that learning to design equipment does not qualify them to repair it. :cautious:
 

msw3113

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Joined
Aug 9, 2017
Posts
498
Location
New Hampshire
Over my years as a service tech I have learned that many an engineer never realizes that learning to design equipment does not qualify them to repair it. :cautious:
How many times I've thought, "This was designed by someone who never had to work on it."
I once owned a foreign car like that: no matter what you wanted to access, it was behind something else!
 

Ex-Calif

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Joined
May 15, 2020
Posts
3,813
Location
NorthCentral Florida
I think I would have quit after the first fuse blew. I gave up on that kind of adventure long ago. There may be other damage to electrical appliances that just hasn't shown up yet, like AC units. Lightning is an equal opportunity disaster. It doesn't discriminate what kind appliances it takes.

"No User Serviceable Parts Inside..." - Challenge Accepted!

What did it do to your surge protector?

Ha, ha, ha... I bought a $130 microwave today. The first one lasted 26 years.

So, yeah... No surge protector except the power strip type thingie for computers.

-----------------------------------
Forgot to hit post on this yesterday - LOL...

I found a replacement microwave for about $130 and installed it yesterday. Had to transfer the facia across to the new one and widen the cabinet about 1/2 inch to accommodate.

The old Panasonic must have been spec for the RV when new. The fan was on top and there was a little gavanized box shroud that directed the vent air through the louvres in the facia. I installed it without the duct as the new one's fan is on the back - There is probably 6 inches clearance all round the micro so I left it as is for now.

On the todo list is to fab some sort of shroud. Next time I am at Lowes I will brows around for wiring ducting and things like that.
 

Pedro Dog

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Joined
Jul 9, 2022
Posts
559
Location
South Shores, CA
Talk about lightning, 1983 I was working on a field assignment at Eglin AFB in the Florida Panhandle. I lived in Fort Walton Beach on Santa Rosa Island and our job site was just a few miles west on the Island. We were under contract to Navy Intelligence on a program ran by MIT. So we had an advanced Ground to Air RADAR system we operated on one of the the highest peak of all of florida at 245 ft. This RADAR system was a huge draw for lightning and we had a sophisticated lightning rod system in place. During the storm season, we would evacuate on a regular basis, multiple times a week.

We would go into town and wait out the storm and just sit there and watch the light show. Pretty incredible stuff.
 

Larry N.

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Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
9,494
Location
Westminster, Colorado
Yeah, we had a bit of a light show earlier this week too, got this shot looking out my back door:




A fellow ham radio friend of mine years ago was killed by trying to fix a microwave oven. So it's not like he wasn't aware of the dangers, no doubt he thought it would be something within his skill set as an electrical engineer and likely familiar with RF amplifier high voltage supplies. A microwave oven isn't worth dying for so I'm glad you quit before you got too far into it. I'm all about looking for the obvious but beyond that I value my time more, much less my life messing with consumer crap.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
Nice shot, Mark. What part of town are you in, NE, etc? I used to live near Juan Tabo & Comanche.
 

Mark_K5LXP

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Nov 17, 2018
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2,988
Location
Albuquerque, NM
Near Wyoming and Candelaria. I live adjacent to the Sandia HS track which you can see part of in the photo.

Thing about lightning photos is you never know what you're going to get. You kinda time the flashes, poke the shutter and sometimes you get one. I took probably a dozen that night and this was the only one that was exposed half decent.

Mark B.
Albuquerque, NM
 

Larry N.

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Joined
May 26, 2010
Posts
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Location
Westminster, Colorado
OK, not far from where I was.

Very true about not knowing what will show on lightning pix, since they're there usually for a fraction of a second, or maybe a couple of secs in your pic, so you can't anticipate, just guess. Great when you catch them, though. Even on video, it's still a matter of luck and/or lots of patience.
 

jackiemac

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Feb 22, 2016
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7,480
Location
Scotland
Steve took this last week in the Tetons. It's been very stormy here.
 

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