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How to Repair Circuits Damaged by Lightning Strikes


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Summary:Electrical Circuits Question: My house hit by lightning and a number of the circuit breakers tripped. I cannot get power to two light fixtures.


Circuits that are Damaged by Lightning



Circuits that are Damaged by Lightning

My house was hit by lightning and a number of the circuit breakers tripped.

I cannot get power to two light fixtures. I've changed the switches and the circuit breaker. Still no power.

The breaker is not tripping so I don't think there is a short circuit. Interestingly, when switches are off I get a volt reading of about 49 volts.

Thanks- John.




Hi John - Great Electrical Repair Question!
John it sounds like you have lost a hot leg, this would explain why you are getting a 49 volt reading which points to a neutral feed-back. The circuit that is not working needs to be physically traced to find where the circuit is open. If you cannot find the problem then the damaged circuit will need to be capped off and terminated in junction boxes and a new replacement circuit installed but not attached to the defective portion of the original circuit. If the original circuit is part of a 3-wire set or multi-wire circuit, then careful attention must be given to the shared neutral on any of the branch circuits. John, I have repaired several homes that have been struck by lightning, many of varying degrees of damage. The worst one destroyed every electrical and electronic device in the home and actually blew the romex wiring open where the voltage to ground blew out of the romex jacket and went to ground to a gas pipe in the attic where the romex crossed the pipe


With that home I had to remove all wiring from the panel terminations and perform a meg-ohm test on all insulated conductors to make sure there were no shorted or damaged wires. Your homeowners policy may cover the repairs of this type of damage, check with your agent.

Also consider installing a Lightning Arrester on the main electrical service to help absorb any future lighting strikes.

Lightning Arresters and Surge Suppressors



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