Flood light exploded during lightning storm !


Old 10-11-13, 09:01 PM
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Flood light exploded during lightning storm !

Hey -recent homeowner here.About 3 weeks ago a bad lightning storm passed through my town and we heard a very loud bang.All the breakers for circuits in the front of our home were tripped .After resetting the breakers we noticed our tv and cable box were fried...when it calmed down a bit outside I decided to check for outside damage.I noticed one of the floodlights(installed by contractors when the roof and siding was replaced in the spring)was not turning on.When I got outside I found the lightning hit a tree near the house,burning it from the ground to about 5 feet off the ground.Then I noticed pieces of plastic on the ground,and looked up and saw what was left of the light hanging from the box,I told my wife to turn off the switch(which was NOT on when the storm hit),and went back to bed.
Today I borrowed a long ladder from my neighbor(light is 22 feet off the ground)and went to finally investigate.It seems the contractor not only didn't ground the metal box,he also did not even hook up the ground wire for the light itself.My question is this -did the lack of grounding contribute to the light exploding when the lightning strike hit ?I am no electrician -just curious how and why this happened--any comments/suggestions appreciated .
Thanks --Jim
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Old 10-12-13, 03:59 AM
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Welcome to the forums! While errant charges of electricity are dealt with via a grounding system, lightning is another creature. There is nothing that can compete with the violence in a lightning bolt. There's enough electric power in a bolt of lightning to provide electrical service for a small town for a spell, IF you could harness it. In fact, the lightning most likely traveled from your grounding electrode, backwards into your panel since it was basically a ground strike traveling from the tree into the ground. It is doubtful the sloppy work by the electrician caused the problem, but it was still sloppy and not code compliant.

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