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This Is Part 1 Of Our 4-Part Article.

Click Here To Go To Part-2: AlsPlumbing.com Power Surges Protection – Part 2 of 4.

Our 4-Part Article Discusses Power Surge Protection.  Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally, we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (owned by American Standard), and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides Full-Service Plumbing; Maintenance, Repairs, and Replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs gas & electric water heaters.   Al’s is near your home in Plano, Allen, and Frisco.  We service all homes in southern Collin County with no travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.

A Power Surge Can Damage Or Destroy

A Home’s Circuit Breakers’ Panel & Electrical Wiring,

HVAC Equipment, Appliances, Electronics (like computers & TV’s),

& Electrical Devices (like smart-plugs),

Lightning strike

Image Source: pixabay.com

Shown: Lighting Strike

A Cloud-To-Ground Lightning Strike Can Contain Up to 1 Billion Volts. **

** Source: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/article/lightning

When lightning strikes a home (or nearby) it heads into the electrical wiring.  The wiring provides a path (for the lightning energy) — into the ground under or near the house.  As lightning travels through a home’s electrical wiring — it can damage or destroy everything in its path.

Click Here To See A Home’s Electric Meter Destroyed By A Lightning Strike:  Lightning Strike Damage To Electric Meter.

NOTE: The home (link just above) — is served by underground utilities.  Underground utilities are not immune to lightning strikes because:

  • Underground utilities connect to above-ground electric lines at points.
  • Lightning can strike the (above ground) transformer serving underground utilities.  They are the green boxes in lawns.

electricity transformer for underground utilities

Image Source: Pixabay

SHOWN: Transformers (that reduce voltage) serving underground utilities.

Click Here To See A Home Circuit Breakers’ Panel Destroyed By A Lightning Strike: Circuit Breakers’ Panel Lighting Strike Damage

Click Here To See A Central A/C Unit Destroyed By A Lightning Strike: Central A/C Destroyed By Lightning

Click Here To See Several Gas Meters On Fire After A Lightning Strike: Gas Meters On Fire After Lightning Strike

Click Here To See Damage To A Home That Was Directly Hit By Lightning: Home Damaged By Direct Lightning Strike



NOTE: If You Don’t Live In, Or Own A DFW Home Built Between 1999-2008 — Scroll Down To The Next Double Lines.

An Important Lightning Strike Safety Alert For Homeowners Of Texas Homes

With Natural Gas ServiceBuilt Between 1990 – 2008.

NOTE: Most DFW Area Homes Built During This Time — Have CSST (Corrugated Stainless-Steel Tubing) Flexible Gas Lines In Their Attic.

NOTE: This May Apply To Other States As Well.  We write articles for the Dallas-Ft. Worth Area of Texas.

 

The Home’s Circuit Breakers’ Panel & Electrical Wiring.

Click The Link Below To View A News Cast About Multiple House Fires During A Lightning Storm In 2021:

These fires often occur in Colling & Denton Counties — as many homes were built there during 1990–2007.

https://www.nbcdfw.com/news/local/multiple-building-fires-possibly-caused-by-lightning-from-overnight-storms/2564566/

 

Copy The Link Below To See A CSST Gas Line With A Hole Created By A Lightning Strike:

https://www.google.com/search?q=csst+gas+line+damaged+by+lightning+strikes&sxsrf=AOaemvKhO-5F98sVdXjRIFvucoDk-Pd5-Q:1631718426292&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjCjbDpoIHzAhW4mmoFHQ1CDIEQ_AUoAnoECAEQBA&biw=1097&bih=554#imgrc=k7o2ej-J3VhGEM

Click Here To See Fire Coming From A Hole In A Damaged CSST Gas Line: Damaged CSST Gas Line On Fire

Click Here To See An Attic Fire Caused By A Damaged CSST Gas Line: Attic Fire Caused By CSST Gas Line Caused An Attic Fire

Click Below To Read Our Detailed Article About Bonding Flexible CSST Gas Lines:

AlsPlumbing.com CSST Gas Lines’ Bonding To Prevent House Fires From Lightning  Strikes

Why This Is Happening:

  • In Texas — CSST gas lines are located in the attic.  
  • Texas Building Code allowed (flexible) Corrugated Stainless Steel Tubing (CSST) GAS LINES — starting in the early 1990’s. 
  • Updates To Building Codes Required BONDING (grounding) Of Gas Lines — No Earlier Than 2007.  
  • The Building Code change responded to damaged Flexible CSST Gas Lines (typically yellow) — causing fires in homes struck by lightning (or a nearby strike).   
  • There’s a Multi-Year Gap when Texas Building Codes — did not require the bonding of flexible gas lines. 
  • BONDING IS: Connecting flexible CSST gas lines to a ground wire. 
  • The ground wire carries a lightning strike’s electricity Away from the gas lines (typically to nearby metal water pipes) — and into the ground under the home. 
  • Without Bonding, a lightning strike’s energy — is carried By The Gas lines.   Note: It can also be carried by the home’s electrical wiring.
  • This leads to; holes burned through CSST pipe, attic house fires, or explosions due to natural gas build-up in the attic. 

Note: Explosions are less likely — because most attics are ventilated.  But, if several holes occurred, an explosion risk may exist.

Any Texas Home Built Between 1990-2007 Needs To Be Inspected

To Determine If CSST Flexible Gas Lines Are Safely Bonded (connect to a ground wire). 

If Not, Install Bonding Immediately — to protect the home and  CSST gas lines from a direct (or nearby) lightning strike.

Copy The Link Below Into Your Browser To See A Properly Bonded CSST Gas Line: 

https://www.google.com/search?q=csst+gas+line&tbm=isch&chips=q:csst+gas+line,g_1:bonding:UCmKf-PYtDQ%3D&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwi2ruC5moHzAhXQi60KHfHmAvIQ4lYoAHoECAEQEg&biw=1087&bih=554#imgrc=NLTY43-KKVC7jM

NOTE: In the photo (link just above) — The Uninsulated Copper Wire Grounds The Yellow CSST Gas Line TO A Water Pipe.  This Is Correct Bonding

NOTE:

  • Texas homes have gas lines in their attic. 
  • This makes them more susceptible to damage from direct lightning strikes — if not protected with Bonding. 
  • In DFW area homes — water pipes are seldom located in the attic (unless the water heater is there). 
  • The bonding wire will likely disappear from sight (as it travels inside a wall to a copper water pipe). 
  • Copper water pipes can carry lightning-strike electrical energy into the ground under the home — without damage to the; home, water pipe, or CSST gas pipe.
  • If the home has PEX (plastic) water pipes — PEX Can Not conduct lightning-strike energy.

PEX water lines with copper connections

Image Source: Shutterstock

Shown: PEX (plastic) Water Pipe — Red = Hot & Blue = Cold.

  • With PEX water lines — bonding CSST Gas Lines becomes more detailed.
  • A professional bonding installer can provide bonding details that are specific to your home.

Note: Homes built between 1990–2007, without bonded CSST Gas Lines, Were Built In Compliance With Building Code When They Were Built

  • Some may have bonded gas lines.  An inspection will determine if the gas lines are safely bonded — in accordance with Building Code starting in 2008.   
  • While there’s no legal requirement to update the home to current Building Code — these home are at a high risk for fire caused by a lightning strike
  • Beginning on Sept. 1, 2015 Home Inspectors Became Required To Notify Their Clients (in writing) of the presence of CSST gas lines without proper bonding.


*** And Now — Back To Our Feature Presentation 🙂***

An External Power Surge Enters The Home — Through Its Connection At The Meter.

NOTE: Internal Power Surges — Originate From Inside The Home (more details later within this article).

External Power Surges enter a home — through its connection to the power grid (at the meter). 

  • They may damage your home’s; circuit breakers panel, wiring, and every electrical device connected to it.
  • The amount of damage is related to how strong the power surge was.
  • Non-lighting-related power surges are less likely to cause damage because they have less energy.
  • Plug-in surge protectors can’t likely stop a large power surge (like a lightning strike) from passing through the protector.
  • In our section for Plug-In Surge Protectors — we discuss 1 Plug-In Brand that cuts the power (to what’s plugged into it) — if the protector becomes compromised

NOTE: There are likely additional Plug-In Brands with that same feature.

  • To Stop A (nearby) Lightning-Strike Power Surge — you need a Whole-House surge protector.
  • They are installed at the electric meter and/or inside the circuit breakers’ panel.
  • We discuss these 2 types of surge protectors later within this article.

Homes Have Both 120-Volt & 240-Volt Electricity (for high-demand devices like central a/c). 

Incoming 120-Volt Electricity’s Normal Voltage Range — Is From -169 Volts (low) TO +169 Volts (high).   

A Power Surge:

  • A rise in voltage above 169 volts (in a 120-Volt Circuit).
  • A power surge can be as little as +1 volt.
  • A power surge can be up to +1 Billion Volts — from a cloud-to-ground lightning strike. ** 
  • Electronics are designed to accommodate up to + or – 169 Volts without damage.
  • Electronics can’t handle voltage 170+ Volts without damage. 
  • A power surge (170+ volts) — causes too much electrical current through electronics’ circuit boards. 
  • This generates heat within circuit boards. 
  • The circuit boards become damaged by the heat.  

A Power Dip/Sag:

  • A drop in voltage of -10% or more — for a period of up to 1 minute.   
  • Lights dim during a power dip.
  • A Sag = 108 volts or less — in a 120-Volt Circuit.
  • A Sag = 216 volts or less — in a 240-Volt Circuit.

This Is Part-1 Of Our 4-Part Article About Power Surges.

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A Power Surge Can Damage Everything Electrical.  Al’s Plumbing, Heating & A/C in Plano, Texas provides maintenance & repairs for all brands of Central A/C, Gas & Electric Furnace, and Heat Pumps.  Additionally, we sell and install new HVAC Systems from American Standard (same company as Trane), Ameristar (owned by American Standard), and Coleman HVAC (same company as York HVAC).

Al’s also provides Full-Service Plumbing; Maintenance, Repairs, and Replacements for every plumbing component in your home.  Al’s sells and installs gas & electric water heaters.   Al’s is near your home in Plano, Allen, and Frisco.  We service all homes in southern Collin County with no travel charges.

Call Al’s today to discuss any concerns or problems you have with your HVAC System or Plumbing.  We will arrange an appointment at your convenience.