ECN Electrical Forum - Discussion Forums for Electricians, Inspectors and Related Professionals
ECN Shout Chat
Recent Posts
Al Hildenbrand - Minneapolis - obituary
by bcpappas - 02/02/23 08:01 PM
by renosteinke - 01/27/23 09:52 PM
Does NEC 551.71 (F) apply to dwellings?
by BigB - 01/20/23 10:46 AM
Power submeter connections
by HotLine1 - 01/19/23 09:09 AM
New in the Gallery:
Burger King crown sillyness
Burger King crown sillyness
by wa2ise, December 11
240/208 to a house
240/208 to a house
by wa2ise, October 9
Who's Online Now
0 members (), 36 guests, and 15 robots.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate Thread
#202673 08/20/11 05:40 PM
Joined: Oct 2002
Posts: 830
We had a thunderstorm here Thursday (18th). With not much of a warning at all, a huge pop of thunder went off right at my house. I've never heard one that loud. Sound like a cannon right over my head. I knew something was wrong right away. I had no water. Looked out the window and see a flood of water coming up at the street in front of the house next to mine. Lightning had hit the main water line from the city. Another neighbor of mine said he actually seen it hit and about 10ft. of water shot up in the air. It proceeded to flood my neighbors yard and fortunately run between our houses and down the road then down another street. We called the water company and police. To make a long story short, they worked all night til the next morning repairing it. I know, because it was about 40 to 50 ft. from my bedroom window, and I didn't get much sleep that night. Lightning had hit the same neighbors tree a couple of years ago. Seems like I read something like this in a post several years ago. Any theories why it would hit the water line? The guys had to dig down about 5 to 6 feet in the dirt, and cut asphalt about 4ft. square to fix the line. Seems like I heard something about loose bonding around water lines when something like this happens. Thanks for the replies. Pretty powerful lightning that would go down 5 or 6 feet in the ground:0

Last edited by sparkync; 08/20/11 05:42 PM.
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,273
The same thing happened to Tom Cruise.

It was caught on film, but you have to slow it down to see the aliens.

Joined: Jul 2002
Posts: 8,432
Likes: 3
I'd say with the storm being directly overhead, it was mere coincidence that a direct cloud-ground strike hit the ground where the water main was.
Just sheer bad luck, I suppose.

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,672
Likes: 2
We had lightning come in an open Kitchen window some years back. It went through the screen, without leaving a mark, and hit a pot of Boiling Water on the stove.

It burned a hole in the bottom of the pot, and I had to replace that heating coil.

Glad no one was in the room when it happened...


Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 2,233
I was called out to a house several years ago. It seemed that lightning hit the house. After checking around for an hour or so,the only thing the lightning hit was an old shotgun laying in a closet.

Go figure!

Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 2,722
Broom Pusher and


Any theories why it would hit the water line?

I would imagine that at least 50% of Discharges will involve high levels of Current flowing via Underground City Water Lines.

The Water Lines assist with the transfer of large amounts of Majority Charge Carriers - either prior to &/or during
the "Connection" of Stroke Leader(s), and the complete Discharge event.

Prior to the "Big Event" (where the Stroke Leaders connect and initiate an Arc - the predecessor to the large
discharge path Plasma), there will be Hundreds of Non-Visible "Leaders" rising up from the Ground level (typically Trees and tall Buildings, but also from the actual Ground its self).
At the same time, there will be Hundreds of Leaders extending outward from the Cloud Mass above.

As the Charge in the Cloud Mass increases (gains more Negative Charges), an equally increasing Charge is impressed on the Ground directly below the Cloud Mass.
The large Negative Charge State of the Cloud Mass "Pushes" Negative Charges in the Ground below it "away", resulting in the Ground in that area becoming high in Positive Charges.
This continues until the Breakdown of the Air is reached (apx. 10KV per Meter), and Two (or more) Stroke Leaders connect between the Cloud and the Ground.

Discharge occurs until both the Cloud Mass above, and the underlying Ground Area have once again reached a near equal Potential.
Typically, this is when the Cloud has discharged all the "Excessive Negative Charges" which were recently accumulated.

The Underground Water Lines help transfer Charges very efficiently, acting as a highly conductive path to transfer Positive and Negative Charges, to & from the discharge event location.

-- Scott

Scott " 35 " Thompson
Just Say NO To Green Eggs And Ham!

Link Copied to Clipboard

Tools for Electricians
Tools for Electricians

* * * * * * *
2023 National Electrical Code (NEC)
2023 NEC Now Available!
* * * * * * *

2020 Master Electrician Exam Preparation Combos
2020 NEC Electrician
Exam Prep Combos:
Master / Journeyman


Member Spotlight
Belmond Iowa US
Posts: 44
Joined: August 2005
Top Posters(30 Days)
BigB 4
triple 3
Popular Topics(Views)
303,028 Are you busy
232,130 Re: Forum
216,837 Need opinion
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.5