Has your home been struck by lightning? Did it hit your electrical system? Are you wondering how do you check wiring after lightning strike.
As a general rule if your home is struck by lightning you will need to have your electrical system checked out. A qualified electrician will come into the home and check for burn marks on wires. They will also do a megger check on the insulation of the wiring. In addition they will suggest to have any wired electronic devices replaced like GFCI receptacles, dimmers and smoke detectors.
How do you check wiring after lightning strike?
You may want to look at your digital thermostats to see if the display is still working.
Also you may not have a wire carbon monoxide detector or smoke detector but if you do you should check to make sure they are on.
This can be a fire hazard if there are shorts in your heating and air conditioning systems, electronics including dimmers etc.
You should replace any smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, including your carbon monoxide detector that you do have.
This is the most important part of the electrical system.
If the electric service panel (trays, bars and wiring) is fried it may not be a great idea to reconnect the electricity to your home.
This may cause it to be too hot, arc and cause fire.
While this is a rare occurrence, it is better to be safe than sorry.
You will want to get any damaged copper and/or metal in your house cleaned.
This includes the actual cables as well as the wires.
Your local electrician can do all this for you, but chances are if you took a good lighting hit more of these devices or anything with a circuit board will need to be replaced.
How do you check wiring after lightning strike and can it cause electrical problems in your house?
Let’s go over the theory first.
The idea is that lightning is a high energy stream of electricity traveling at hundreds of miles per second.
It is capable of traveling thousands of feet or more, so lightning will hit pretty much anything.
There have been cases of lightning striking your home causing lights to go out or even starting a fire.
This can result in electrical problems that is caused by passing a current through a metal wires.
Since your home is covered with metal wires, it will most likely travel through everything.
You can get an electrician to check the condition of your wires, make sure you don’t have any hot spots and correct any problems they find.
How do you check wiring after lightning strike and what should I do if my home has been struck by lightning?
If your home has been struck by lightning you will want to contact your local electrical inspector or call one of the electrical services companies in your area.
What is the role of a qualified electrical inspector?
If your home has been struck by lightning you will need to have your electrical system inspected by a qualified electrician.
In addition you will want to have any wire tested that is insulated.
This is a good time to upgrade your home if needed with new lighting, smoke detectors and GFCI receptacles.
If the home has been struck by lightning there may be burn marks on wires.
A qualified electrician will go into the home and look for burn marks.
If they find any they will advise you that the wiring is burnt and needs to be replaced.
What happens if lightning strikes the power lines?
A high voltage strike on the power line can put out enough energy to bring down the power lines if they are not properly grounded.
The power line will then be on the ground which may not the best situation. They can actually snap the power pole right off.
A strike of such voltage could even damage a person’s legs or feet if they are close enough to the lines.
A large lightning strike will even bring down a tree onto the power line.
You should always stay clear of hanging powerlines because you are never sure if they are live or not.
Sometimes the weight of the lines can rip the electrical service right off the house.
Do I need to replace my wiring after a lightning strike?
In most cases it is fine to replace any damaged wiring you have in your home.
The greatest danger is short circuits on any damaged or exposed wire.
These can become a fire risk and could also lead to a costly house fire.
Before getting new wiring a qualified electrician will tell you what you can do.
This will include replacing any burned wires, rerouting damaged wiring and insulating any damaged wiring.
Does lightning affect electrical appliances?
Every electrical appliance has a on/off switch and will turn on or off at the flip of a switch.
So if you have a computer in your home, you might want to make sure that it has the appropriate lightning protection.
For the computer you will need a surge protector.
This will cover your computer equipment against damage by power surges.
It might even protect your computer from the current that your computer uses for updates or downloads. Does lightning damage the computers or batteries?
Probably not, if you have the right protection in place.
It is the computer that gets over heated. If it is not protected by a surge protector it will get damaged.
It’s pretty much the same with everything electrical.
You should always have your home’s electrical system tested after a lighting strike.
Signs your home was struck by lightning
It’s not uncommon for a light bulb to flicker for several days.
They can often be attributed to over current.
You may also experience a smell of burned insulation or a back up of appliances. Sometimes the smoke from damaged wires can be seen.
Not all power wires are visible to lightning damage, that is why having an electrical inspector come in and inspect your wiring is key.
Other signs your house could have been struck is some things electrical working and others not.
As a home owner use common sense, you can check around yourself for obvious issues like burn marks on panels, switches outlet and devices.
Does insurance cover lightning strikes?
According to the insurance industry, even if you were not the owner of the house, lightning may still be covered by your insurance company.
As a home owner then yes you are most likely covered. Just make sure you ask the question when originally obtaining the insurance policy.
But that depends on the type of lightning strike that happened.
We realize that it can seem expensive to replace everything that is damaged by lightning, but if you were not the owner you do not want to take that chance.
With insurance you can also file an insurance claim.
If you do not have insurance you are not in the clear though. The insurance company may still come after you to cover the costs of fixing the damaged property.
Fortunately we do not hear too often about lightning hitting electrical systems in our area, especially in Canada. If you think your home has been hit by lighting, check around for fire with a clear route out. Call the local fire department. Switch the main switch off to the house.
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