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If you notice that your television stops working, does not power on, or is not functioning properly after a storm, it’s possible that your television may have been damaged by a lightning strike. It may seem unlikely as a reason if you haven’t had lightning inside your house, but lightning damage to electronics generally occurs because an appliance is connected to an electricity source that’s been struck. So if you’re wondering how to fix a TV struck by lightning, there are a few signs that will tell you right away if it’s been hit by a lightning surge. If you own a top-tier TV, you definitely want to know how to fix some minor problems, especially if you have no plans for a replacement TV. While some issues with your tv can be communicated with the Optical Picture Control (OPC) light and fixed by resetting the TV, lightning damage may not. To learn more about OPC and what it does, you can read our article on what OPC is on TV.
Once you’ve determined whether a lightning strike is a culprit, you also may have some options when it comes to repairs- though sometimes the damage is permanent.
Lightning damage along with power surge damage is a fairly common problem with electronics, especially during the summer when thunder and lightning storms tend to be more common. Televisions are complex, delicate appliances with sensitive components, making them very susceptible to such damage.
If your television isn’t powering on or isn’t working properly following a thunderstorm, you may be dealing with lightning damage. There are a few ways of determining if your tv has been damaged by lightning and some options as to what to do about it.
Lightning damage to electronics including TVs generally occurs when the energy from a nearby lightning strike outside enters the home through things like telephone, internet, or cable lines or through highly conductive metal in pipes, often directly from a nearby utility pole.
While your TV is built to handle a certain degree of power fluctuation, unless it’s connected to a surge protector, the electricity from a lightning strike will overload the electric components- wires, printed circuit board, and computer chips- burning or otherwise permanently damaging them. Here’s how to generally determine there’s been lightning damage.
Lightning damage along with power surge damage is a fairly common problem with electronics, especially during the summer when thunder and lightning storms tend to be more common.
The first thing you should do when troubleshooting for possible lightning damage is to perform a “soft reset” of your tv. To do this, simply unplug your tv and wait a few minutes, then plug in back in; this should reset your tv to “factory settings,” and if there is no physical electrical damage to your tv’s components, it should power on and function as normal.
If a soft reset doesn’t work, you should check inside your TV for visible signs of electrical damage. If any wires, chips, circuit boards, or other components are discolored or obviously fried, lightning damage or surge damage is the likely culprit.
If you’ve determined there’s been lightning damage to your TV, you may be able to have it repaired if the damage is isolated to one component or is a simple matter of replacing internal connections. However, some lightning damage will be too severe for repair and you’ll instead be looking at a replacement. If you have the option of repairing a TV and you own a flat TV, it’s important to know how to move a flat TV to avoid further damage to your device.
It should be noted, then, that not all manufacturers will cover lightning or surge damage in their warranties, which will leave you covering the cost of replacement or repair. There’s one measure you can take, however, that will generally protect your electronics against surge and lightning damage.
A quality surge protector will prevent the components plugged into from receiving more voltage than they’re designed to handle and are generally effective enough to even protect against the power surge caused by a nearby lightning strike. Surge protectors serve a similar purpose as anti-glare protectors. They are used to prevent reflections on TV screens, so keep your TV working as intended.
Therefore, it’s essential that you always have your high-end electronics, including your tv, plugged into one at all times, and to make sure it’s always functioning. A good surge protector with a minimum of 4 connections can generally be purchased for as little as $20, making them a no-brainer investment in the protection of your valuable electronics. Once you have your TV and other components connected to the surge protector, be sure to organize the wires behind the TV so as to not distract your view when trying to watch your favorite show or movie.
If your television isn’t powering on or isn’t working properly following a thunderstorm, you may be dealing with lightning damage.
Why is my TV not working following a lightning strike?
TVs can be damaged and stop working if their internal components (circuit boards, electrical wires, computer chips) suffer electrical burns from a sudden surge of power they’re not made to handle.
Will homeowner’s insurance cover lightning damage?
Most homeowner’s insurance does cover lightning and surge damage to home appliances, but you should always apply due diligence when looking at the details of their coverage.
How can I prevent lightning or surge damage?
The easiest and most reliable way to prevent surge or lightning damage is to have all your electronics plugged into quality surge protectors, which are easy to find and inexpensive.
STAT: In 2016, over $825 million was paid out on over 100,000 lightning damage claims on home electronics. (source)
STAT: Most homeowners policies coverage of personal possessions make up to 70% of the coverage people have on their homes (source)
STAT: Only 1 in 200 houses in the US are struck by lightning directly each year (source)