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Thread: Complete loss of power

  1. Back To Top    #1

    Complete loss of power

    Folks, we were hit by lightning in the early hours. Next doors chimney was split in two with masonry everywhere. I got off lucky all ok except no power whatsoever coming into the pool breaker box. There is a small panel with a GFCI with some switches for the Pool spa, blower and lights. Obviously all this is dead also. The only thing I can see that doesn't look right is the GFCI red reset switch can be pressed, but the black switch is locked solid, no spring movement at all. So there is no back and forth Reset / Test scenarios that you can do. Before I call in the pool cavalry I was thinking of replacing this switch in case it somehow plays into the main feed to the pumps. I'm not going to dive too far into this, but I have worked around 3 phase 415 V quite a lot in the UK so I think I know enough not to get electrocuted. So any responses from you all are entirely at my risk. See pics: 1 - the pool box, no inbound voltage. 2. The input wiring to the pool breaker box run from the house mains box. At first I thought they had tapped off a breaker in the mains house box, but that makes no sense, I think they just used that as a routing for the cables. 3. The GFCI with the black button locked solid.


  2. Back To Top    #2

    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Sacramento, CA

    Re: Complete loss of power

    Lets just start this and ask where you are located?

    First it appears if that's the subpanel its wired incorrectly. It appears that the grounds and neutrals are sharing a buss bar. In theory that could do interesting things to a GFCI downstream. Also you have uninsulated ground wires.

    Next what happens when you run a volt meter between the incoming and the neutral bar? In other words are you getting power to the subpanel.

    If the GFCI is getting power and still malfunctioning then replace it.

    If its a lighting strike it can fry all sorts of stuff, sometimes in ways that don't make sense. You have to go through it one piece of hardware at a time.
    22k gallon IG pebblefina, Jandy 1.5 HP VS, Jandy CV Cartridge filter, Fafco solar panels, Polaris 360 supply side cleaner, waterfall

  3. Back To Top    #3

    TFP Guide

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    western NY

    Re: Complete loss of power

    If there is no power coming into the sub panel (pictured) then you need to go back to the main service panel to find the breaker that feeds it. GFCI recepts usually will not reset if there is no power present.

    Do you want the list of code violations in that sub panel?
    Unknown make 18' above ground (bought used in 1999) Sparco sand filter. Hayward 100,000 BTu heater. 2 speed pump

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Re: Complete loss of power

    Thanks folks. There is no incoming voltage between either of the incoming phase wires and the ground bus bar. Neither is there anything between the phases incoming. The panel looks as if the ground bus bar shares the same circuit as one of the phases but there is a plastic molding between them. There is continuity between the ground bus bar and one of the screws holding the house circuit breaker cover in place. All house circuits are fine. I'm fighting shy of pulling the house breaker metal panel to see how the pool box was initially wired. It must terminate inside the main panel somehow. It looks like a job for an electrician and no doubt there will be some code changes. I think the reason the GFCI outlet has the black test button locked is because there is no power to the GCFI. That and the spa blower and lights are supplied by the three smaller breakers in the pic.

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