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Thread: lightning struck the house

  1. #11
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Boyertown, PA, USA
    Posts
    103
    Complete re-wire or walk away quickly. These jobs can turn into a can of worms that wind up costing you money and reputation. Nobody knows what's inside the walls. And keep in mind that there may be other skeletons lurking in this closet..prior sub-par work, aging connections, non-compliant (as of build date) wiring, etc. You touch any of this house and you'll be called back for anything that goes wrong in the next year or whatever period you warrant your work.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Atlanta,GA
    Posts
    5,839
    Quote Originally Posted by hbiss View Post
    If it were my house I wouldn't settle for anything less than a complete rewire. -Hal
    One thing people may not consider with a fire and fire damage. These houses are often condemned. Not safe for habitation. If a property is condemned the AHJ can required that you bring the entire property up to code before they will issue a new certificate of occupancy .

    The choice of what needs to be done is often not up to the owner but it's up to the AHJ. Even with a small fire or storm damage that doesn't do any structural damage they can require things like hard wired smoke detectors up to present code.
    The 95% of people that you can't trust give the other 5% a bad name.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    Jamaica and london
    Posts
    69
    Don’t know how codes are now but after house fire in Virginia, was requiredto bring home to latest code. Luckily, inspector knew me and was willing to inspect if I did my own work, as long as I hired electrician to handle from panel to meter. But, that wasback in 1983... and with an inspector usedto seeing me on my job site almost monthly so he knew I was going to have my boss to help me.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Huntington Beach, CA (19 Hrs. 22 Min. from Winged Horses)
    Posts
    6,577
    Quote Originally Posted by difowler1 View Post
    I am scheduled to bid a job tomorrow on a house that was struck by lightning. I have never bid, or repaired a house that was struck by lightning. This one has moderate fire damage from the lightning strike.

    I would welcome all suggestions on how to bid (whole house rewire?), and methods to safely repair all the damage (possible hidden damage in the walls?). Lightning hit the roof near the fireplace, blew out the central heat, and the house caught on fire, but is still standing. That is all I know so far.

    The general contractor/electrical engineer suggested testing all the wires with a megger. I don't own one, but I could buy one.
    well, you can megger. there are megger wizards on here who can advise.

    if i had to be involved, i'd do this:

    disconnect all cord connected appliances.
    disconnect all smoke detectors.
    disconnect everything that a megger will smoke.
    A/C's, and FAU's, don't forget anything.
    shut off the main.

    megger the whole house from the panel. ring it out
    first, to see if neutrals and grounds are connected.
    then megger the entire house, phase to phase and
    phase to ground, at 1kv. run the test for 3 minutes
    or so. it should pull above 10 megohms.

    it's either gonna pass, or not. you can provide that
    information in the report you provide, in exchange
    for a days wages.

    you are going to bill for this diagnostic service, yes?

    if it passes, there is nothing to fix. if it doesn't, you
    can provide a price for a full house rewire. it's going
    to be expensive, and take a lot of hours. bid accordingly.

    be sure to exclude drywall repair from the bid.
    ~New signature under construction.~
    ~~~~Please excuse the mess.~~~~

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Moab, UT USA
    Posts
    217

    One Account

    Quote Originally Posted by Craigv View Post
    Complete re-wire or walk away quickly. These jobs can turn into a can of worms that wind up costing you money and reputation. Nobody knows what's inside the walls. And keep in mind that there may be other skeletons lurking in this closet..prior sub-par work, aging connections, non-compliant (as of build date) wiring, etc. You touch any of this house and you'll be called back for anything that goes wrong in the next year or whatever period you warrant your work.
    I did come across one such scenario one day in the mountains of Colorado.
    After only speaking to the owner it was clear there were multiple broken conductors in multiple branch circuits.
    This is without even pulling a meter out.
    It was clear.
    Microwave Radiation Dangers should be openly discussed

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Northern illinois
    Posts
    16,790
    I vote for gut and rewire. Most places are going to make you bring it up to current code anyway. You never know what's in the walls. Just rip out what is there and start over. No reason the rip it out part of it cannot be done by the general contractor. He is probably going to have to take down all the drywall anyway.
    Bob

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