Whats Wrong with This Photo? November

November 14, 2011

What’s Wrong with This Photo? Whats Wrong with This Photo?

Thanks to everyone providing us feedback to our November edition of  “What is wrong with the photo” Why would a RF cable hang in front of an AC Panel? As most readers identified correctly, this non-terminated RF cable got energized from a transient, which then arched over to the panel box finding its way to ground via the path of least resistance. 

Have you come across odd installations or wild set ups yourself? Send us a picture and we might feature it in an upcoming issue of STRIKE. Please submit your photo(s), state the problem and solution and submit to adam.chronister@protectiongroup.com

Karl Beckman
Look higher, about the midpoint of the main breaker. Seems to be some melting of the outer jacket there as well. Wind/precipitation static can easily do that. The connector arc was definitely life-threatening voltage and current, not just wind static.
12/12/2011 9:17:46 AM

vic som
The panel is connected to rectifiers of CA and they are grounded to the positive. Therefore on having touched the RF connector grounded to the negative, a short circuit was generated.
11/16/2011 12:22:43 PM

Joe Spinks
If this was caused by a lightning strike: A) the coax would have been burned at a point closest to the first encounter with the breaker box B) The coax connector would be permanently welded to the box.
Also, only the shield arced to the box, not the center conductor.
My guess, the antenna this was connected came in contact with the AC feed line either 220V or 4/8KV. Most antennas are DC grounded to prevent static build-up, thus providing a "Path" to the shield.
11/16/2011 10:17:36 AM

D Tenant
The most obvious issue is the arc on the breaker panel caused by what appears to be an energized coax connector. But why would it be dangling in front of the panel? Minimum clearance in front of an electrical panel is 36 inches. Also, the index documentation is not that descriptive.
11/16/2011 8:59:46 AM

Bill Porter
The burn on the panel cover next to the hanging coax suggests (1) the panel door is left open, and (2) the coax may go outside and isn't terminated or grounded.
11/16/2011 8:57:22 AM

A.M. Chrismer
1- Flash over from UHF connector.
2- Why is it hanging there in the first place? i.e. No obstructions in front of load centers.
3- If it is out of use, you wouldn't want to be working around it during a storm.
4- Then if it is out of use, it needs to be moved and earth bonded or taken out of service.
5- Do I see light behind #5 breaker? The back panel "couldn't" be open.
6- Ganged circuit breakers are "normally" found at the top of QO load centers.
7- Couldn't find Waldo anywhere in the picture.
11/16/2011 8:41:34 AM

Rory Shaffer
Ungrounded coax connector left hanging discharged to panel which is grounded rather than to common earth point ground.
11/16/2011 8:30:23 AM

Richard Litten
Looks to be two problems. The UL label is missing off one of the breakers and that antenna lead must run outside and has been hit by lightning. Nice char mark on the panel.
11/16/2011 8:22:27 AM

Kyle Cormier
Looks like an unterminated / unprotected cable which has had a surge arcing to the panel. (black spot behind cable)
11/16/2011 7:40:06 AM

Michael Christenson
high voltage from RF cable jumped to load center common
causing damage
11/16/2011 7:34:10 AM

Ron Jakubowski
Looks like the antenna cable is not grounded before it comes into the building (probably connected to an HF dipole antenna) and (a) nearby lightning strike(s) have caused arcing to the power ground.
11/16/2011 7:30:37 AM

Shawn Egelsky
The dangling cable on the left is or at some point has been energized and arcked on the grounded electrical housing.
11/16/2011 7:04:16 AM

David G McCumber
It looks like some one left a Ungrounded feed-line and possibly bad ground at the power box .. the potential between the two can be seen by the burn mark behind the cable that was caused by a lighting strike. ??
11/16/2011 6:58:42 AM

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