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Sg6923 07-30-2012 07:03 PM

Spike Kills Camper
Hope this thread is still active. I suffered a voltage spike that did about $2000 to appliances. Can a loose ground wire cause a spike? Loose neutral wire?

Oakman 07-30-2012 07:18 PM

I'm sure the electrical experts will respond soon, but I'm curious as to what campground you were at when this spike occurred.

Sg6923 07-30-2012 07:22 PM

Pin oak near Lexington, tn.

Herk7769 07-30-2012 07:22 PM

No, a loose neutral or ground won't cause a spike.

Spikes happen when there is a brown out (voltage drops) and voltage suddenly returns. This "surge" of power can spike voltages up to several hundred volts for fractions of a second. While of extremely short duration, these spikes KILL solid state electronics. Motors and tube technology electronics are far less suseptable to surges.

Nothing will stop a spike except a "Surge Suppressor." That is a device that detects the rapid increase in voltage and "clamps" the brakes on the voltage increase. Some types drain off the excess voltage while others just go offline.

Spikes can also be caused by traffic accidents that knock out power poles and the arcing wires sparking on the ground causes voltages to swing wildly from near zero to several hundred volts as the power overshoots its regulated voltage.

Lightening can also cause a spike, but they are actually far less common than power company caused spikes.

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