I'm asking this about my rental property. We've had several lightening storms in the past week and 1/2...one this morning that caused the electric to go out in the area of the rental property.

Last Thursday, the renters heard a loud screeching noise come from the oven when it was in use. It seemed to turn off and then oven read "4400" degrees and then changed to FOEO. It is a gas range and the burners were working fine, just not the oven. They reset the breaker and the display changed but it was still not correct. The next day, when they came home from work, the microwave and oven had a "PF" on the display. Both are working fine today. The appliances are original from 2009.

The Sunday before, their TV stopped working. It was an older TV so they aren't sure if it stopped working because of a power surge or if it was old. The cable company came out today and said the cable setup looked fine.

The electric company come out to check the outside of the house and they said all looked fine. They will be going out next week to check the grid.

Wondering if I should have an electrician come out to check the house. Could the problem be the breaker or wiring inside the house?

Also, any suggestions on how to protect the house and appliances from power surges? Can a surge protector be used on a microwave & oven?

  • 1
    I don't know how well they work, but you can get a whole house surge protector. It is fitted in your fuse panel. I had one, but it never needed after installation (at least it never fried on me). Apr 25, 2015 at 22:19
  • Most electronics made recently have a microcontroller, if some of the bits flipped because of a power-surge or a low-voltage condition it could cause a whole host of strange errors. I would recommend removing the power from them for a few minutes to reset them. ( many times they will have a watch-dog timer that will cause them reset themselves in some cases ) If they still don't work properly they need repair or replacement. Apr 26, 2015 at 16:58
  • Do you think it makes sense to have an electrician check out the house in case there's a problem with the circuit breaker or wiring inside the house?
    – stephmil
    Apr 27, 2015 at 1:14

3 Answers 3


If your appliances are regularly malfunctioning when there are lightning strikes it would be wise to consider installing breaker panel surge suppressor. Or a lightning rod. Or additional grounding bars.


My microwave says "PF" anytime it is unplugged or power goes out. I assume it means "power failure" although I haven't looked it up in the manual. On mine you just press "clear" to get it back to normal. I'm not sure why it feels the need to alert me to the power outage... maybe to warn you the clock may not be right?

You could look up those other error messages in your manual to see what their meaning is, but it sounds like the oven was just freaking out because power was lost.


If you have a PF message or a F3 it means becareful cause F3 means it can become on fire dump it and buy another one, safety first.

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