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North Korea Launch? Shocking. Overheat?

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by jebatty, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,515
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    Was shoveling snow from the driveway yesterday afternoon, facing my shop with the shiny class A chimney right in view, and I heard a massive explosion and saw an intense flash of light, looked like a rocket launch right out of the chimney. Thought - that never happened before. Then I turned a little while still shoveling, and another massive explosion with another intense flash of light. This time I wondered whether the chimney would stay on the roof, but also I caught a glimpse of the overhead main power line almost right above me. A branch had fallen from a tree and shorted out the 2400 volt feeder line, and I was standing right under it.

    Power went out instantly, and then I thought, overheat? - the Tarm was in high burn, I had just added a load of wood. Checked it out immediately, and the power loss of course had cut off the draft fan and circ and opened the overheat dump loop. No overheat, everything was OK. I quickly started my 2000W inverter generator and restarted the Tarm. Within 2 hours the power company was out to clear the branch from the line and restore power.

    Don't ask why I was shoveling snow on April 11 - just dealing with one more spring snowstorm. We remain in full snow cover on the ground and on the lake, a foot or more, and ice on the lake must still be a couple of feet thick, with more snow and temps in the 20 - 30's in the forecast for the next 5 days. Very happy that plenty of wood remains on hand to heat the house and shop.
    KenLockett and kjahnz like this.

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  2. arbutus

    arbutus Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2007
    Messages:
    311
    Loc:
    Michigan UP
    Might have been the hot gas igniting as it hit the atmosphere are the top of the chimney?

    I'm going to have to shovel today, and also pay someone to plow our the driveway to our new to us home. I have a good snowblower, but my utility trailer will probably be in the snowbank for another month.

    Coincidentally, we had a power outage last night as well, that lasted about four hours.
  3. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Sep 15, 2011
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    4,254
    Loc:
    Nova Scotia
    We've got a snow warning for tonight & tomorrow. It's been a looooong winter.
  4. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    4,515
    Loc:
    Northern MN
    This is an interesting idea. My thought on the first flash-explosion was a massive "puff" from the boiler, but when I saw the flash from the second explosion at the power line, then I realized that what I saw from the chimney more than likely was a reflection of the flash off the stainless steel chimney. I was nearly right under the power line and I did not feel any heat, but your idea remains a possibility, maybe ionization from the flash causing the ignition? In all events, the excitement ended quickly -- and a new experience to add to the repertoire.
  5. Frozen Canuck

    Frozen Canuck Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2009
    Messages:
    858
    Loc:
    North central Alberta, Canada

    Great way to look at an OMG moment. Jim if anyone says you dont know how to keep things in perspective show them this thread.:)
    KenLockett likes this.

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