Testing Wires For Lightning Damage

MegOhm Test or Insulation Resistance Test:

Testing Wires For Lightning Damage

How do I know if there has been damage, is there a way to test the wires in the walls? The way to test for this is called an insulation resistance test, also know as a MegOhm test or sometimes referred to in the trades as “Megger Testing”

The electrical resistance of the insulation on a conductor or in a piece of equipment can be tested and measured by isolating the conductor from ground, applying a high voltage over time, then measuring the results.  In most residential situations Master Electricians use a 300 to 500 volt DC test over 10 minutes.  When this test is performed by electricians it is a very reliable test.

Process for performing a megohm test in a home:

1) ALL electrical current (power) to the dwelling must be shut off

2) All appliances, heating and cooling equipment, light fixtures, dimmers, AFCI’s, GFCI’s, low voltage systems and any “plugged in” or “hard wired” equipment must be disconnected from the circuit(s) to be tested

3) The best practice at this point is to then isolate each individual wire. You must take apart every splice, junction, and connection in the circuit to be tested

4) Next, the testing of the insulation can be preformed – this part actually goes pretty quick

5) After testing any conductor that fails to meet the testing standards should be considered damaged and marked for replacement

If you have had a major strike and your insurance company has not told you about this process, then request this test be performed.  MegOhm testing is really the only way to know if damage has occurred, and even then it is not a perfect testing process. You can’t be sure by visible inspection alone, and you can’t visibly inspect most of the wires in a home.  Lightning has many unknown paths, it has a super high voltage and travels very fast.  If your home has been hit tell your insurance adjuster you want it tested!

If you have a lightning strike you may have an insurance claim and your home may not be safe. The wiring in the wall may not spark a fire today but could burn down your home in the future with little to no warning. Contact a qualified licensed electrician.

There is no question when you have lightning damage you must hire an Experienced Public Adjuster! Call Experienced Public Adjusters as soon as your home or business has been hit by lightning.

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