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LIghtning induced power surge signs/symptoms?

Discussion in 'Troubleshooting and Repair' started by kdw88011, Jun 1, 2016.

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  1. kdw88011


    Jun 1, 2016
    What are some specific ways to determine that damage to electronics was caused by lightning? Would fuses and/or electrical system breakers be tripped? If a breaker will not reset after a thunderstorm, would that be proof of a lightning strike?

    Is there any physical evidence that would be proof that damage was done by a power surge from lightning and not from loose wiring, incorrectly done wiring, power surge dry runs or short circuit overload?
  2. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Sounds like an insurance claim question.
    I don't know how you'd 'prove' lightning did the damage.
    This will come down to how cooperative your insurance company is.
    If everything worked fine before the lightning storm, and didn't afterward, I'd fight for lightning damage.
  3. duke37


    Jan 9, 2011
    I have repaired some battery driven electric fencers in the past. Lightning damage can vary between no visible damage and one component not working correctly to all the insides of the box being blown apart.

    The prettiest failure was where several diodes had split in half and the ends were standing up like flowers.
  4. kdw88011


    Jun 1, 2016
    This is about an insurance claim and how asinine they can be. My friend lives in FL and had a thunderstorm hit his area. Lightning struck close to his house (siding on a connected condo has scorch marks on it) and power went out for the area. When power was restored, he noticed a room didn't have power whatsoever. This room is on the common wall of the condo with the scorch marks. He went to the breaker box and a breaker was tripped. He tried to reset it but it wouldn't reset.

    After getting the breaker replaced, all items in that room still would not power on except for a fan. He tested the items in other rooms and some of them would power on intermittently if at all. The ones that would power on would crash or not work properly (Blue screen of death or not recognized as a printer by a direct USB connection). He consulted with a local electrical worker and was told that this damage was most likely caused by a power surge from the lightning. His insurance company is denying the claim saying it could be a number of issues other than a power surge from lightning and would not cover the loss.

    I looked at his paperwork and they are saying the damage was not caused by lightning but had to be from some other cause like loose wiring, incorrectly done wiring, power surge dry runs or short circuit overload and therefore would not cover it. I am wondering how in the hell they can figure that out if they haven't even had someone come look.
  5. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    Well, the destroyed breaker box, replaced by an electrician, would be evidence enough of the lightning damage.
    If your friend has the gumpshun, read the fine print on the insurance, and if he/she does not have a grievance process, I'd seriously consider filing a small claims court claim against the insurance company. They don't require a lawyer, just effort. Then the insurance company will have to decide if it's cheaper to pay the claim, or to involve their own lawyers.
    Good luck with however your friend wants to handle this. Insurance company's have entire staffs whose only job is to try to not pay-out claims. The only way to get some of them to pay-up, is to make it cheaper to pay the claim, than to commit staff and resources to fight it. What that takes, is commitment to the cause by your friend.
  6. Minder


    Apr 24, 2015
    One symptom that often goes unnoticed in electronic equipment and that is a blown surge protector or MOV, they will often perform their duty by absorbing excess voltage surge etc, but in the process have blown open, this often goes undetected in sealed equipment, if breakers are reset or fuses replaced to get the equipment working, the device goes on in the future without MOV protection.!:eek:
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