power surge


Old 03-05-05, 07:53 AM
jt is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2000
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power surge


The other day the power went out in my house. After about 5 minutes it tried to come back on. I heard a pop comming from the surge protector at my computer. About half the breakers in the panel popped also including a 50amp gfi that protects the hot tub. Another surge protector for the other computer started smoking, but both computers appear to be ok, although the surge protectors are trash. The 50 amp gfi breaker can be turned back on, but the test button no longer works. Does this 50 amp gfi breaker need to be replaced and can I do it myself? Also after this power surge some other gfi outlets in the house popped but could be reset. Is there anything I need checked to ensure safety in the house?

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Old 03-05-05, 08:22 AM
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Any time the GFCI test button no longer works (on a receptacle or a breaker), the device needs to be replaced. As to whether or not you can do it yourself, it depends on your skill and experience level. Some homeowners could do it safely, others not. It is estimated that a significant percentage of GFCIs installed in this country no longer provide protection. Almost nobody tests these things monthly as the manufacturers advise. I'd advise everyone reading this who hasn't tested their GFCIs in years to go do it now.

You might call your power company. If this surge was due to one of their maintenance activities, they might be willing to share in the cost of the repairs. You may find problems with other things too, such as microwaves and programmable thermostats. Thank goodness for your surge suppressors!

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