Lightning = Lights out and receptacles not working

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Old 06-17-19, 07:59 PM
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Lightning = Lights out and receptacles not working

I got home yesterday afternoon to find that my downstairs living room/garage area were without lights and power. My neighbor told me that we had a nasty storm with lightning strikes that were extremely close to our homes. I went outside to find the telephone box (we donít have a home phone) blown wide open and fried. There were three breakers tripped in the main panel and a couple of GFIs that I reset and nothing. We also lost two TVs, a cable box, DVD player and our modem. I spoke to the power company and they determined that I am getting full 220 power into the house, so it was nothing on their end. All major appliances and AC are working fine. Iíve been pulling out the down receptacles and light fixtures to see if I see any loose wiring/connections, but everything thus far looks normal and intact. I canít seem to locate the root of the problem for what appears to be a down or faulty circuit. Iíve also tested working outlets near the down ones to ensure they are getting 120 in and out, and the ones I have tested so far are good. What am I missing? Is there something else I should be looking at? Thanks in advance!
 
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Old 06-17-19, 08:59 PM
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Welcome to the forums.

Do all the GFI devices trip when T is pushed and reset when R is pushed ?
GFI's can be damaged in lightning strikes.

You have to go thru an make a list of what's dead. You need to make some type of order out of it.
The problem could be in a working receptacle or a dead one.

You said three breakers tripped. Are those circuits now working ?
If you don't know you may need to check the circuit breakers for output.

When you reset a circuit breaker..... push it hard all the way to the OFF side and then turn it back ON. Sometimes the breaker needs to be internally reset.
 
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Old 06-18-19, 04:00 AM
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What instrument are you using to test the outlet voltage?
 
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Old 06-18-19, 04:29 AM
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A lamp fixture with screw in socket(s) with a 75 watt (more or less) incandescent bulb is a suitable instrument for testing receptacles. Better if you also have a hair dryer.

For all tests, plug in the light. Here and there plug in the hair dryer. If the light dims or brightens all the while the air dryer is turned on then both receptacles should be marked as related and having a problem. If the light brightens when the hair dryer is turned on, do not let it run for more than a second or two.

Have spare bulbs handy because, particularly if one should brighten during your tests it might burn out possibly after just one test.
 
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Old 06-18-19, 05:19 AM
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PJmax...Yes, all of the GFI devices do trip when TEST is pressed. They also all RESET properly as well. I haven't made a physical list, but that would be easy enough to do and probably a good idea. The three breakers that tripped were able to be reset without issue and haven't tripped again. I hired an electrician the day it happened and he did check both panels and power looked good on both and nothing looked out of the ordinary. He checked each breaker and no issues there. I've reset breakers multiple times and I seem to be getting that nice click when I turn them back on.

beelzebob...I am using a GREENLEE voltmeter DM-20.

Allanj...Thank you. I may need to give that a whirl and see what that gives me.
 
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Old 06-18-19, 12:58 PM
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Can you verify the house areas served by the three tripped breakers? Is it the living room and garage area without power? Need to identify breakers feeding affected areas and start following cables from the breaker to junction boxes and measuring for voltage. Problem area is between last working junction box (switch, light, outlet) and first non-working junction box.
 
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Old 06-20-19, 05:07 AM
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Another tool to track a cable is a tone generator/receiver. In your case , I would start at an outlet and trace the cable back to the breaker panel. I have never used one but manufacturers also claim you can find a break in a wire (containing the tone signal) because the receiver loses the signal beyond the break. I also don't know the cost to sensitivity for these devices but do know that stud finders with better performance usually cost more. Maybe some of the electricians out there with experience using the tone generator/receiver can provide some words of wisdom.
 
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