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#3201 - 08/10/01 07:50 AM Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
SlamTex Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 53
Lightning struck a pine tree next to my friend's house. It smoked the controls in the outside A/C unit, lost a GFI in the garage, the garage door opener is history, and it fried a surge protector that they had their computer plugged in to. He did mention that they lost their cordless phones, and alarm sytem. I'm guessing (I haven't been out to look at it yet) that the garage door opener has a printed circuit board in it. From my conversation on the phone with him, it sounds like the things that were affected had electronics in them (the A/C unit included). It looks as if the #6 GEC and ground rod at the service, for the most part, did their job.
Does anyone have any experience with lightnig strikes? Anything (besides the obvious) that I should look for while I'm there? Lightning strikes are new ground for me. Any advice would be obliged.

HMEL #688

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#3202 - 08/10/01 12:44 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
Slam;
i got hit at my house years ago..lost this & that. you're suppose to meg out, or maybe impedance test the circuitry..


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#3203 - 08/10/01 02:59 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
SlamTex Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 53
Much obliged, Spark. Thanks for the info.

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#3204 - 08/10/01 05:30 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
Tom Offline
Member

Registered: 01/01/01
Posts: 1069
Loc: Shinnston, WV USA
I've done quite a few service calls for a local garage door company. Many of the newer operators do have solid state control cards & are susceptible to lightning/surges.

The surge protector for the computer is an expendable item, it did it's job & then some.

What is really needed in areas prone to electrical storms is a lightning arrestor at the service & surge supressors at the point of use. They work hand in hand, using only one type is inviting disaster. The supressors aren't able to stop a lightning strike on their own & the lightning arrestor will have a "let through" voltage that could damage electronics.

Surprisingly, most "surges" are generated within the structure, they do not come from the outsife world.

If you're interested, the following site has more info
http://industryclick.com/magazine.asp?magazineid=286&siteid=13
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#3205 - 08/13/01 04:55 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
doc Offline
Member

Registered: 11/25/00
Posts: 119
Loc: Texas
You may have him crawl up and look in his attic and get on roof and see if it burned the nails that hold the shingles on, a neighbor of mine was in his attic when lightening hit close by and his back looked like u had stuck him with needles the lightening went through the nails and jsut poped him all over and a lot of the nails were destroyed so new roof was needed
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MAY THE SUN SHINE ON YOUR FACE IN THE MORNING AND YOU AWAKE WITH A SMILE

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#3206 - 08/13/01 05:17 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Slam,

Several years ago We had lightning come through a window screen and hit a pot of water on the (electric) stove. No marks or damage on the screen and only a hole in the pot and mark on the burner. I think I had to change the control for that burner, I'm not sure.

The only physical damage I've seen (to the wiring system) has been small pinholes in a romex cable in attics.

Oh, and the burned hole in the roof.

Bill

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#3207 - 08/13/01 05:51 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
sparky Offline
Member

Registered: 10/18/00
Posts: 5545
really?
i've seen some small inexplicable pin holes in NM, so they might be a lightning surge?
hmmmm...

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#3208 - 08/13/01 06:08 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
Bill Addiss Offline
Member

Registered: 10/07/00
Posts: 4196
Loc: NY, USA
Sparky,

The ones I've seen were where Lightning went through the roof and into the cable above the bare ground. In a cathedral ceiling it has blown down some chunks of sheetrock too, come out again and gone across the room to the Metal 4gang plate by the front door.

Bill

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#3209 - 08/14/01 07:41 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
SlamTex Offline
Member

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 53
As always, guys, thanks for the input.

Humbly,
Slam
HMEL #688

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#3210 - 08/14/01 07:43 PM Re: Friend's house took indirect lightning strike
George Corron Offline
Member

Registered: 05/16/01
Posts: 728
Loc: Lorton, Va USA
Interesting the way you phrased that it is "new ground" for you. I've been to lots of lightning strikes. CHECK YOUR GROUNDS !!!!! I've found mostly improperly grounded objects attract them. Your friend took a surge, not a strike, or there would be lots of different evidence here, and it would be burned. Water meter/pressure reducer bonded around ? ground rods or other electrode have low impedance? you're gonna find one of these wrong, improper, or weak, no doubt. Even had one guy who built a house on top of a strip mine (beautiful flat area) who had problems after installing a satellite dish, guess what.... unbonded. new grounds, + a ground rod at the dish, end of problems, even after 5 electrical contractors had attempted to repair the problem. Sandy soil, probably oughta consider ground ring, lemme know if I can help, been there, scratched all the hair off my head until I began looking for the obvious.

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