Lightning Strike Testing
CurrentSAFE - After Lightning Strikes
CurrentSAFE is the test we perform on homes after lightning strikes, electrical surges, and overall electrical hazard detection. We have come across many lightning strikes that have exploded electrical equipment off the walls of homes, and that same power surge that damages electronics also damages the wiring in the walls.
Examples of Lightning Strike Damage
Surges during lightning strikes can damage wiring, here is an example from a CurrentSAFE inspection. Notice that the wall has singe marks reaching from the box outward, also the discoloration of the white neutral now singed dark color. This receptacle and wiring inside the walls had to be replaced.
Signs of a home struck by lightning, if siding is present on the home, you can often see black scorch marks on the siding, located around the perimeter of the home.
Concealed Lightning Strike Damage to Electrical Wiring
Damage from lightning however, can also be concealed inside of walls. During the CurrentSAFE process our technicians inspect the wiring inside the walls using minimally evasive tools.
Why CurrentSAFE instead of Megger Test?
First Electrical Reason
- The Megger test sends a 500 volt to 1,000 volt DC current across an electrical system that is designed for 240 volts AC. The test voltage is two to four times greater than the normal operating voltage, and can be very destructive. The test current has been known to destroy lights bulbs and printed circuit boards that have been inadvertently left in the electrical system as it is being tested. So instead of testing for damage the megger test can cause damage. The CurrentSAFE Service is a completely nondestructive test in virtually all aspects. You cannot create more damage with any test instrument that is used in the CurrentSAFE Service.
Second Electrical Reason
- A megger test is very limited and only measures one value in the electrical system. Meggers only test the resistance of the conductor insulation. Meggers cannot test the resistance of the conductor material itself. A very important partof an electrical system test is to determine the resistance in the path of the electrical current. Resistance in the normal current path due to a damaged connection caused by the energy of a Lightning Strike would never be detected by a megger test. Increased resistance in the normal current path caused by a Lighting Strike can create a poor electrical connection which can build up sufficient enough heat to start a fire in an outlet or junction box.
Third Electrical Reason
- If you do a megger test and the resistance of the conductor insulation fails the only thing that you know is that somewhere along the entire length of the circuit the insulation had become defective. The question is where do you start to look for the problem. It is like trying to find the so called needle in the hay stack. With the CurrentSAFE Service we methodically check every inch of wire in the electrical system, and every switch, every receptacle, and every light fixture outlet to insure that no latent defects from the Lightning Strike exist.