Blowing a House Fuse....Any Damage?

Discussion in 'Beginners, General Questions' started by JasonRabb, Oct 1, 2005.

  1. JasonRabb

    JasonRabb Extra

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    Hi, I have been all over the forums here and I've seen discussions ranging from pros/cons of different surge protectors, "what-are-surge" questions, as well as general fuse issues on components.
    While I was out at a hockey game, I let the girl-friend (WHO HAS BEEN TRAINED ON PROPER THEATER TURN-ON PROCEDURES), watch some stuff. Apparantly, she was drying her hair and a fuse blew in the wall. She had the system on at the time.

    My question is, do normal power problems (if they happen like once a year etc) like tripping a fuse because of a powerful air-conditioner or hair-dryer cause any problems?
    The GF was very teary because she thought she did a bad thing.

    I have a Monster HTS 1000 MKII and a 5.1 setup of some happy B&W 7's. I love my theater...do I need to worry about any damage? Everything seems to work fine, she just blew a fuse in the wall. I would really appreciate your expert opinions and thank you, I've been learning a lot over time on this forum!
    Jason Rabb

    p.s. I read that after a "surge" one needs to replace their protection...from what I've read on these forums, a blown fuse from a hair-dryer HARDLY constitutes a real surge...is this an accurate statement?
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    A blown fuse does not represent any real sort of surge.

    A breaker trips because too much current is being drawn - not voltage.

    If the system was attached to the same circuit as the hair dryer then it may have noticed some undervoltage before the breaker/fuse popped.

    If it was on a different circuit, well, life happens, ya know? Breakers around where I work trip all the time for all sorts of reasons. Even if they don't trip, our energy management cuts off whole panels every night, and re-energizes them just as abruptly the next morning.

    The only thing that would have cause to complain would be if your display was lamp-based (front projector LCD or DLP, or RP LCD or DLP.)

    Leo Kerr
     
  3. JasonRabb

    JasonRabb Extra

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    Thanks there Leo! I've enjoyed going up to historic Ellicot City on weekends, which i believe is nearby your Elkridge MD.

    Thanks again!

    -Jay
     
  4. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    near enough - though perhaps as a nearby resident, I never paticularly saw the attraction or charm.. typical, isn't it?

    Leo
     
  5. Allan Jayne

    Allan Jayne Cinematographer

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    When a high current drawing appliance goes off there may be a slight surge, or increase in voltage, to everything else still turned on. This is almost never enough for the surge protector to do anything.

    Probably the only surges big enough are caused by lightning. The closer the lightning hit on a power line is, the greater a surge will be sensed by your protector.

    Most protectors will simply short circuit moderate surges while current continues to flow in the rest of the circuit, but still there will be a moment or two that the voltage is a little abnormally high like 20%.

    If the surge is too big, the short circuit element in the surge protector burns out and the next moment, if the surge is not over, the voltage is super abnormally high resulting in possible damage to other things on the circuit.

    The higher the surge capacity (I think capacity is rated in joules) the bigger a surge the protector can short circuit away without the protector's burning out.

    Since everything is now back to normal and you know the reason for the breaker's tripping -- the hair dryer turned on and also a lot of electronic equipment turned on -- you don't have to worry about circuit defects either.

    Video hints:
    http://members.aol.com/ajaynejr/video.htm
     
  6. JasonRabb

    JasonRabb Extra

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    So Allan, I presume with the hometheater hobby, if everything sounds good, everything is fine. With power etc, if something blows, I am sure everything sounds out of whack or doesn't work at all if there is a problem.

    And getting back to the power issue itself, I suppose it is pretty much impossible to get rid of small powerouts that might be due to the issues described above. I think I'll probably unplug stuff during storms though. My conclusion: get a good surge protector or power cleaner and get an apartment with decent wiring.

    Am I on par?
    =)

    Thanks again for all the advice!
     
  7. Cees Alons

    Cees Alons Moderator
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    Cees Alons
    Jason,

    As stated already, a blown fuse doesn't impose much of a threat to your equipment. It's much like switching off the mains of each device, except all at the same time.

    Which brings me to one caution (which isn't applicable to your situation now anymore [​IMG] ): if it's put up again, you also switch on all devices instantaneously.

    So it's generally advisable to go around first and switch "off" everything that's on that blown fuse, before you reset it again. That way they won't start up all together during exactly the same seconds, possibly overloading the fuse (or the circuit) for a short time.

    Some components (e.g. some PC's now) don't need to be switched off, because their main switch works on logic: when switched off it will stay off until you manually switch is on again. But everything with a mechanical on/off switch should preferably set to "off" first.

    Your gf shouldn't have had to be teary, but, hey, when something like this suddenly happens, with a little "bang", it's pretty upsetting as well. Scares many people.


    Cees
     
  8. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    ...but if you want a big 'bang,' then be in a projection booth when a 2kw xenon arc lamp fails...

    Just hope that the lamp confinement works, or you'll be picking glass out of your skin for a long time... (no, not from personal experience.)

    Leo
     
  9. JasonRabb

    JasonRabb Extra

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    I'll keep that in mind, both of your points gentlemen. = )

    Thanks again![​IMG]
     

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