Lightning strike does damage, Help!

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  #1  
Old 07-19-04, 04:46 PM
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Lightning strike does damage, Help!

A few days ago we had a bad storm, and lightning must of hit close by. We lost all power to the house. When I got home I went straight to the breaker box in the garage and found that the main was tripped and so was one other circuit for the garage. I shut the main off and reset the one in the garage, then tried to reset the main and it still was stuck in the halfway, so I figured another one must be tripped. Went outside to the ac unit and found it had been tripped also. I reset that and then did the main and all seemed well till we started to find some wall outlets that didn't work anymore. I have 2 in the kitchen that are dead and one in the garage that is dead. Can I just replace the outlets to fix this or is this a bigger problem. I have done some electrical work in the past but haven't ever had to do this yet. Any help would be greatly appreciated. By the way my house was built in 1982, just in case that has any bearing.

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Fritoguy15
 
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  #2  
Old 07-19-04, 05:15 PM
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Most likely you merely have multiple tripped GFCIs. Find and reset them. You usually have to do quite an Easter egg hunt around your house to find them all. It is possible you might have to replace the GFCIs, since frying a GFCI is a common side-effect of lightning.
 
  #3  
Old 07-20-04, 08:01 AM
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Our house took nearly a direct hit 4 years ago (actually hit the corner of the roof of the house next door and bounced to ours) and it took several days for us to discover everything that was damaged. I had an electrician come in and check the entire electrical system. He retorked all the main and ground connections and inspected the panel and wiring up into the attic. Also checked the ground spike and plumbing bonding wire connection. In my case, because the house was new and still under warranty, there was no charge, but even if there had been it would have been worth it for the peace of mind.

When I was a fireman, I saw a lot of interesting damage done by lightning. The most unique was a house that took a direct hit on one of the roof turbines - All the flex duct in the attic was melted leaving nothing but the fiberglass and wire coils that are normally wound inside. Lots of smoke, but no fire. Talk about luck...

Doug M.
 
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Old 07-20-04, 12:31 PM
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I have 2 GFCI outlets, and one I installed myself outside of the house. Only one was tripped and it was the one in the house. I reset it and I still have no power to the outlets I mentioned. Is it time to replace the outlets or did I maybe miss something? I looked all over the house for other GFCI outlets, but can only find the 2 of them. The one I did outside I ran it to the outside off of one of the inside outlets near the outside wall. Do I need to shut off the main to reset the GFCI outlets or just do it with the power still on?

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Old 07-20-04, 12:50 PM
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No, you don't need to shut off the main to reset the GFCI. If you are absolutely sure there are no other GFCI's, turn off the power, pull the outlets that don't work and look for damage. If there isn't any there, pull the outlets downstream and check. You might also pull the breaker box cover and look there too. Damage is more likely to occur in the wires than the actual outlet. Lightning will take the easiest path it can find to ground, even if it means going through a weak spot in what is normally an insulator. It can also loosen connections so check the tightness of all screws and move all backstab connections to the screws.

Doug M.
 
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