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Kevin
Kevin, Licensed Electrical Contractor
Category: Electrical
Satisfied Customers: 3394
Experience:  30 years Licensed Electrical Contractor in Illinois, Adjunct College Electrical Instructor, Former Electrical Inspector, Diploma: Digital Electronics, FCC Technician License
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A dust devil picked up a neighbor's patio canopy (with metal

Customer Question

A dust devil picked up a neighbor's patio canopy (with metal legs) and it got caught in the power lines behind my mother's house. This caused her main panel to essentially explode. The cover was blown off the box. The power company removed her meter. Scorching in various places around several outlets. A grounding wire is attached a pipe outside the house and that started leaking so the water was turned off at the main. Is it reasonable to assume that in addition to the panel, the outlets, switches, light fixtures and pretty much anything plugged in should be tested and probably replaced? What about the wiring in the walls, could that now be a potential fire hazard? This appears to be major damage, true?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Electrical
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
Hello.....my name is ***** ***** I will be happy to assist you with your electrical question. My goal is to exceed your expectations on Just Answer!
1) I recommend that a local licensed electrician be contacted and come for a site visit to perform a visual inspection and evaluation of the damage.
2) Any devices such as receptacles or switches that have scorching or burnt marks need to be replaced. All switch, receptacle and lighting boxes need to be opened up and visually examined to confirm if any burnt insulation on the wires has occurred.
3) The main electrical panel hot bus bars also need to be visually inspected for any burnt or arcing indications. Sounds like the main panel and/or meter socket may be damaged and a replacement may be necessary.
4) The inside wiring may be OK depending upon the type of wiring used and if any signs of burnt marks appear at the devices. If an open cable system such as Knob & Tube or Romex, then a visual inspection from an attic, basement or crawlspace to confirm if any of the exterior wire insulation was also scorched and compromised. If no signs of burnt or arcing marks at the devices or lighting fixtures terminations or splice wiring insulation, then the wiring is most likely OK. The weakest link in the chain on electrical wiring is at the screw terminations and/or wire nut splices.
4) Not sure of the height of the overhead service drop, but the minimal height from the service conductor drip loop (riser mast) to final grade should be a minimum of at least 10 feet. The height needs to be confirmed for safety reasons.
5) The grounding system also needs to be verified. There should be an exterior ground rod and a supplemental ground to a city cold water supply (if a metal pipe water supply) or to a well head pipe if no city water supply metal piping.
Hope this helps………If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!
Expert:  Kevin replied 2 years ago.
If you have any additional questions, let me know and I’ll be glad to answer them for you.
Otherwise, don’t forget to rate me before you log Off.
The next time you have an electrical question, you can also request for me at: http://www.justanswer.com/home-improvement/expert-your-electrician ……….Thanks…………..Kevin!

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