Zapped! PG&E SNAFU Leaves Appliances Smoking

Mistake leaves appliance smoking

By Jessica Greene
|  Friday, Aug 27, 2010  |  Updated 9:00 AM PDT
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Zapped! PG&E SNAFU Leaves Appliances Smoking

NBC Bay Area

Crews were working around the clock to replace transformers that blew out during the recent heat wave but but in Johnny Guardado's neighborhood, things didn't go as planned.

PG&E could be on the hook for thousands of dollars after a power outage in San Jose burned out customers' electronics early Thursday morning.

The SNAFU happened when crews flipped a switch on a transformer they were replacing without realizing there was a voltage problem.

Crews were working around the clock to replace transformers that blew out during the recent heat wave but but in Johnny Guardado's neighborhood, things didn't go as planned. The power surged, causing a number of electronics to burn out.

"I was sitting here I heard popping from over here -- the TV popping from here -- and smoke over here popping from computer." Guardado told us. "The lights were going on and off."

PG&E officials say the first replacement transformer caused a voltage surge into the homes so crews had to install a second new transformer. About 126 homes were affected.

Power was restored later Thursday night. PG&E is telling customers to file a claim online for anything that was fried by the surge.

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