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Lightning strike damage? What further safety measures are necessary?

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A few nights ago during a storm, we heard an extremely loud explosive sound.  After we all checked around the house, we thought it must have just been the loudest thunder that any of us had ever heard.  Even normally relaxed cats during thunder literally wet themselves.

 

Today we noticed that an air conditioner unit (outlet on the roof slope) that's hardly used in our top floor wasn't working. The maintenance man came over and summised that as it's 10 years old, it must be replaced.  As he was leaving, I asked if I should maybe unplug the unit just to be safe. Yes, if I want to and then he left.  I was shocked to see what I unplugged...

 

IMG_7089.JPG.a72aa64dcccf266c4733417e90c

IMG_7090.JPG.374636e02d06c05917dd9809d37

 

As we can no longer reach the contractor nor any electrical person, we feel quite panicked about any possible further consequences of such damage.  No fuse blew in the main fuse box. Is there anything more that we should do and what can an electrician do to secure the electrics?

 

 

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Thats a badly fitted plug, or a badly fitted/fitting wall outlet...

 

Lightning strike would have blown every socket in the house out of the wall...

 

Do not touch the wall socket... get an electrician in to sort it!

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The aircon man said, before he left and the unit was then unplugged by me, the outside unit Platine might be damaged though the incoming current was ok. Is that even possible when the plug was blown? 

 

 

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Yes that is what happens when there is a poor contact over a long period of time. I strongly suspect that could be the root cause of the AC unit failure as opposed to it being in need of replacement after 10 years! I would get a different electrician to replace the plug and socket and then checkout the AC unit.

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21 minutes ago, emkay said:

A few nights ago during a storm, we heard an extremely loud explosive sound.  After we all checked around the house, we thought it must have just been the loudest thunder that any of us had ever heard.  Even normally relaxed cats during thunder literally wet themselves.

 

Today we noticed that an air conditioner unit (outlet on the roof slope) that's hardly used in our top floor wasn't working. The maintenance man came over and summised that as it's 10 years old, it must be replaced.  As he was leaving, I asked if I should maybe unplug the unit just to be safe. Yes, if I want to and then he left.  I was shocked to see what I unplugged...

 

IMG_7089.JPG.a72aa64dcccf266c4733417e90c

IMG_7090.JPG.374636e02d06c05917dd9809d37

 

As we can no longer reach the contractor nor any electrical person, we feel quite panicked about any possible further consequences of such damage.  No fuse blew in the main fuse box. Is there anything more that we should do and what can an electrician do to secure the electrics?

 

 

And check your household insurance, which can hopefully pay for the electrician!

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3 minutes ago, emkay said:

The aircon man said, before he left and the unit was then unplugged by me, the outside unit Platine might be damaged though the incoming current was ok. Is that even possible when the plug was blown? 

 

 

Seems unlikely, I think your AC man just wants to sell and install a new unit, rather than do a much cheaper repair.

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5 minutes ago, emkay said:

The aircon man said, before he left and the unit was then unplugged by me, the outside unit Platine might be damaged though the incoming current was ok. Is that even possible when the plug was blown? 

 

 

I would love to know how an aircon guy would know the current is ok without unplugging the device....

 

Get an elecrician in to change the socket and any damaged cabling behind the socket.... 

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John, would bad workmanship be covered on the insurance policy? It wouldn't be covered over here as an insurable risk.

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Just one further comment, depending on the current requirement of the AC unit it might well be better to have it hard wired rather than via a plug and socket.

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1 hour ago, hooperski said:

John, would bad workmanship be covered on the insurance policy? It wouldn't be covered over here as an insurable risk.

That would be a question for the workman‘s professional liability insurance or his company‘s, hoops. First step would be for Emkay to check and contact his or her own household insurance to ask about the details of their own insurance and to explain what happened . Or if Emkay has an insurance agent to ask/ research etc.

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Thank you all for your replies.  My husband called our insurance and they will call us tomorrow.  We've switched off a few circuits on our top floor just in case.  

 

Just another question if I may...in the photo I posted, the blown plug has 2 wires connected to it. I think one must be the room aircon unit and the other, the outside unit.  Is that a normal combination?

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3 hours ago, emkay said:

 

 

IMG_7089.JPG.a72aa64dcccf266c4733417e90c

IMG_7090.JPG.374636e02d06c05917dd9809d37

 

You can see from the pic, that the main electrical connection is the big silver pole, the other connection has been burned away

The two smaller silver contacts are normally the earth connection.

 

just a standard electrical connection in German - if it would have been in the UK - there would have been a fuze in the plug to stop this sort of thing happening!!!

 

 

 

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but even so, the fuze should have blown in the fuze box and needs checking - correctly rated amperage, the Air con unit should also have a fuze in the box somewhere- which again should have blown before the plug/socket looks like this

 

it would look like this if you had tried to charge your Tesla through it, with a nail across the fuze connections

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Why should the fuse blow?

If the fuse is rated 13A and the current is lower despite the melting socket, nothing will happen.

I think, the connector in the socket is worn out, which led to a higher resistance.

That led to a voltage drop across the connection the connector gets hot until it diappears or the house burns down.

Bad electrical maintanance.

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Dun no, I would expect the fuze to blow before enough current flows to cause, the metal pin to dissolve - thats what its therefore - to dis connect any problem areas - before it warms up and causes a fire   The unburnt pin looks clean and in good condition to me, not dirty 

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it does not take a large current to cause a spark... and constant sparking/Arcing in the same location due to a badly fitting pin, will cause sparks as the temperature changes.. the spark gets larger and more aggressive/errosive... 

 

@Yesterday... think about a domestic electric welder in the UK... they have a 13A fitted plug... yet they manage to draw more than enough current to fuse 2 pieces of metal together... 

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