A fault condition occurred in a University’s incoming 4160 Volt power line. The University had no system protection for surge. Several electric motors and other equipment, all operating on low voltage branch circuits, failed at the moment the fault occurred.

The only circumstance that prevented a major disaster was that the fault occurred on a Saturday night when the facility was in minimal use. Had the fault occurred during normal business hours, all the equipment that would have been operating at that time would have been subjected to the transients. The exposure would have been in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Suppressors at all distribution levels may have been required to prevent damage.

The University is owned and operated by a large theological organization. After visiting the building in which the 4160 V line entered, my professional opinion, upon which I will stake my entire engineering career, was that the timing of the inevitable fault to occur on a Saturday night was divinely inspired and, consequently, the damage was limited only by the grace of God.