lightning strike/electrical circuit damage?

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  #1  
Old 07-23-11, 06:43 PM
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lightning strike/electrical circuit damage?

We just had a lightning strike on or near our house and the electricity was out for about 20 seconds. When the electricity came back on our kitchen track lighting (it has it's own low-voltage transformer) stayed off but all the other regular kitchen lights came back on, which includes a single pendant light and another ceiling fixture on the same line. Another kitchen ceiling light on a separate switch also worked fine when we flipped on the switch.

But then, when my wife turned the switch which controls the track lighting, pendant light and single light fixture off and back on, she heard a pop and those two additional lights went out. When we tried the separate switch that controls the other ceiling light, it also no longer worked. Plus an outlet and two other lights on that circuit also no longer worked.

I figured maybe the breaker had tripped but that still wouldn't explain why when the power came back on, all the lights worked except the track lighting. The breaker was not tripped at the panel. I tripped and reset that breaker anyway, plus several others, just for the heck of it, with no luck.

We have found no other problems with any other circuits in the house. Just that kitchen lighting one. I'm stumped, especially because the circuit partially functioned after the power came back on. Help!
 
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Old 07-23-11, 08:01 PM
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If your track lights have an electronic power supply, it may be fried.
 
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Old 07-24-11, 04:14 AM
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I had guessed maybe that was the problem with the track lights, but then why did the other lights still work but then when the light switch was turned off and then back on, did everything else on the same circuit blow out (without tripping the breaker)?
 
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Old 07-24-11, 06:33 AM
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Typically, circuit breakers trip on overload or a direct short and you had neither. What you most likely had was an induced voltage spike when the lightning hit. Any lights or lighting controls, electronic or otherwise, that were on when the strike occurred will likely be toast. If the spike was high enough, even contacts on switches that were open, or off, may have been jumped. You should check everything in the house including all appliances for proper operation and probably should notify your insurance company about the event; I'm sure you have more damage than you have found so far. This is another good example of why a whole house surge suppressor is also a good idea.
 
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Old 07-24-11, 04:12 PM
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I guess I should add a correction and a follow-up.

It turns out that not everything is out on that 'kitchen' breaker. I just discovered that our dining room light is also on that breaker and it still works. Just everything in the kitchen on that breaker is out (4 regular lights, the low voltage track light and one outlet).

We have also not found any other damage to appliances, switches or outlets. All of our tv's and computers are on surge protectors but none of those were blown so it apparently only affected part of the one circuit in the kitchen.

I'm calling our insurance agent tomorrow. I guess I'll see what they say.
 
  #6  
Old 07-24-11, 05:27 PM
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Maybe a splice got fried in the strike.
 
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