Thunderstorms are usually accompanied by lightning. And if the connections supplying electricity in your home are not correctly proofed, it can lead to disruption.
Suppose lightning hits the electricity cable that leads into your home. In that case, it can cause a power surge in the electricity supply. This can cause irreparable damage to your electronics, including your TV.
However, you can’t be too sure if the lightning is responsible for your TV’s malfunction or damage. We will be proffering ways to tell if your TV was struck by lightning and possible ways to fix it. In addition, we will be recommending ways to protect your TV against future occurrences.
How Lightning Affects TVs
TVs can be damaged by lightning but only in rare cases. Also, newer TVs are usually more sensitive to electrical surges and are more likely to be affected by a power surge caused by lightning.
This doesn’t mean that older TVs cannot be affected by lightning. Lightning can affect your TV and other electronic devices and electricity supply in 2 different ways;
- Direct Strike
A direct strike occurs when stormy weather with lightning causes electric shock or power surges by directly striking your home or electrical system. You can tell when your tv dies just after a lightning strike and won’t come on afterwards.
This strike can cause significant damage to your devices and even your home, as it can start a fire. Usually, the damage caused by this strike is irreparable.
- Indirect Strike
Indirect strike happens due to lightning striking areas that are not directly connected to your home or electrical system but can still affect them. In many cases, this is how lightning affects your TV, and the damage is minimal and can be easily rectified.
The most common way by which lightning affects TVs is by blowing up the main fuse. If the main fuse isn’t damaged, the damage is probably in another part of the TV.
In addition, signals to the TV can get lost through HDMI ports as a result of lightning. When lightning damages your TV, the repair can either be simple or complex.
Four Ways to Tell If your TV was Struck By Lightning and Fixes
If you suspect that your TV has been damaged by lightning, here are some ways by which you can check to confirm and their fixes:
1. Do a Soft Reset
If your TV turns off during a thunderstorm, it may be due to damage caused by lightning. After the thunderstorm calms, do a soft reset. Unplug your TV, leave it for a few minutes, and plug it back in. If the TV powers on, it hasn’t been damaged. However, if it doesn’t, you need to book your TV for repair.
Your TV may have a warranty, and if it is still valid, you don’t have to cover the repair costs. However, some warranties don’t cover damages caused by intense weather conditions or lightning, as the case may be.
Nonetheless, it would be best to use caution and practice safety as this would require you to take your TV apart. If you don’t want to take it in for repair, there are other things to check for and ways you can fix them.
2. Check the Fuse
As mentioned above, the typical sign of a lightning strike on your TV is a blown fuse. Check to see if your fuse is blown.
If it is intact, move on to the next possible damaged part of your TV. If it is blown, you can replace it with a new one or get a new TV.
3. Measure the standby voltage
The standby voltage is responsible for keeping the standby light of your TV on. If there is no voltage, then you need to fix it.
If the voltage is there, then you should check the main board of your TV. You can measure the standby voltage of your TV using a multimeter.
4. Check the Main Board of Your TV
Checking your TV mainboard is the last resort. You should check to see if anything is out of place, especially the HDMI ports. The ports are all connected to a central HDMI chip.
If the chip is blown up, that’s where the lightning hit. All you have to do is order a new mainboard and fix it yourself. Once you fix it, your TV should come on in no time.
If you can’t fix it yourself or find nothing wrong with the mainboard, it is advisable to send the TV to a repair shop. For fixing fuses, standby voltage or the main board on your own, you can watch video tutorials.
Three Ways to Protect your TV from Lightning Damage
To prevent your TV and other devices from damage caused by lightning during a thunderstorm, you should do the following;
1. Get a surge protector
A surge protector protects your electronic devices from power surges or power outages due to lightning or other possible causes.
In place of plugging your TV directly into an outlet, plug it into the surge protector instead.
It is advisable to buy as many surge protectors as you need because overloading one with too many devices can make it vulnerable to damage.
In addition, it is essential to note that surge protectors won’t be able to protect your TV and devices if they are plugged into an electrical system that receives a direct lightning strike.
2. Power off the TV when there is a Storm
Turn off your TV whenever lightning strikes are predicted, and you should also disconnect power cords and cables. Only after the lightning stops should you connect them back.
3. Stay away from Electrical Cables when there is a Thunderstorm
Once you can hear the thunder, you shouldn’t touch the antennae, cables or power plugs. This is also an extra safety measure to prevent yourself from getting electrocuted.
While lightning is a natural occurrence, it can damage your TV to a large extent although, only in rare cases.
There are different ways to tell if your TV was struck by lightning and how to fix them. You should also take the proper measures to ensure that your TV and other electronic devices in your home are adequately protected from damages caused by lightning.