TV Struck By Lighting

How to Tell if Your TV Was Struck By Lightning (and What to Do To Fix It)

A thunderstorm can cause your TV to stop working and this might be due to lightning damage. If your TV died (literally) after lightning struck your house, don’t worry, there’s still hope! In this article, I’ll explain how to identify lightning damage to your TV and provide simple ways to diagnose and potentially fix the issues. So, let’s get started.

There are two main ways lightning damage can occur: a direct hit to the TV or a hit through connected devices like cables and satellites.

How To Tell If Your TV Had Been Struck By Lightning

To determine if your TV has been struck by lightning, here are a few signs you can look out for: 

  • No Power: If your TV won’t turn on, ignores your commands, and keeps blinking without stopping, that’s usually the first sign. 
  • Take a good look at your TV’s outside. Are there any strange marks like burns, scorching, or melted bits? If you spot anything like that, it might mean that lightning struck your TV and left behind some visible signs of the heat it generated.
  • Keep your nose alert! Lightning can create a unique smell of burnt electronics. So, if you catch a whiff of any unusual or strong odors coming from your TV, it’s a sign that a lightning strike might have caused some damage.
  • When lightning strikes, it can mess up the insides of your TV. Keep an eye out for weird things happening, like fuzzy or distorted sounds, the screen flickering or looking all weird, the picture freezing out of nowhere, or lines and patterns suddenly popping up on the screen. These are signs that lightning may have caused some problems with your TV’s internal parts.

Three Ways to Fix a TV Struck by Lightning

If your TV checked any of the above lists. That’s some lightning damage right there! Here are three simple ways to diagnose the issue and potential solutions.

1. Carry Out a Soft Reset

Is your TV refusing to turn on? performing a soft reset could be the solution to revive it. Sometimes, the issue might not be severe, and the TV simply needs a moment to settle down. To carry out a soft reset, follow these steps:

  1. Unplug your TV from the power supply.
  2. Give it a couple of minutes to rest.
  3. Plug the TV back in.
  4. Check if it powers on. 

If it does, that’s fantastic! It means there was no significant damage, and your TV should be functioning normally again.

However, if it still fails to turn on, it might be time to “have a look inside” and figure out the possible challenges it might be having and attempt to fix it. Alternatively, you can choose to book a repair service to assist you in resolving the problem.

2. Check the Power Board

If you choose to do the hard work. It is essential to prioritize safety precautions before examining the power supply board of your TV. Take necessary measures to protect yourself, such as wearing gloves or using an insulating material, making sure to unplug the TV and all other connected devices from the power source, and avoid touching any metal parts of the TV. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Prepare a white blanket or a soft surface to lay your TV face down. Make sure not to apply any pressure on the screen.
  1. Begin by removing the screws located on the back of the TV. Carefully unscrew to expose the internal components of the TV.
  1. Once you have successfully exposed the internal parts of the TV, locate the main power supply source. You can identify it by the presence of an AC power plug attached to it.

There are two aspects you need to check on the power supply board: voltage output and blown fuses. First, you need to verify if the power supply is providing the correct voltage. Second, inspect the fuses on the power supply board to see if any of them are blown.

If you find a blown fuse, you have the option to either replace the fuse or purchase a new power board and replace it entirely. Fortunately, replacing a fuse or power board is generally not a complicated process, all you need to do is find the screws lying around the corner. Unscrew everything, and put it back in, it’s that simple.

To test if the fuse is working, you will need a multimeter. Set the multimeter to diode mode, which should emit a beep when the two tips of the multimeter touch. Touch the two ends of the fuse with the multimeter tips and listen for the beep. If the multimeter beeps, it indicates that the fuse is functioning properly.

You would spare yourself all of this hassle if prior you notice that your standby light turns on. That’s a positive sign indicating that the power board is in good working condition and that the main board is possibly at fault.

3. Check the Main Board

If you’ve confirmed that the power board is in good health, the issue may lie with the main board. This crucial component is identified as a distinct green chip for most TVs, blue or brown for some, and the ports connected to various cables, DVD players, gaming consoles, and other streaming devices. Think of the main board as the brain of the TV, responsible for coordinating all its functions.

When examining the main board, be on the lookout for any visible signs of damage. In particular, check for blown HDMI chips, which can occur if lightning strikes an external device connected to the main board. If you notice such damage, it’s necessary to replace the main board.

To replace the main board, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by disconnecting all cables and removing any screws that are holding the board in place.
  1. Carefully remove the main board from its position.
  1. Install the new main board in the designated slot.
  1. Securely reattach all cables and screws to ensure proper connections.

After replacing the main board, and covering the back of your TV. The TV should successfully come on now.

Ways to Prevent Your TV from Being Struck by Lightning

If you’ve exhausted all attempts to troubleshoot and repair your TV without success, it may be time to consider purchasing a new one or seeking professional repair services. However, it’s crucial to learn how to prevent lightning damage in the future. Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:

1. Invest in a Surge Protector

A surge protector lives up to its name by safeguarding your TV and other electrical devices from excessive power surges. By connecting your high-end and sensitive devices to a reliable surge protector, you can shield them from the potentially damaging effects of power fluctuations.

2. Power Down During Lightning Storms

When you anticipate lightning strikes in your area, it’s advisable to proactively turn off your TV and disconnect its power cords and cables. This would help minimize the risk of your TV being affected by power surges or lightning-induced electrical disturbances. Once the storm has passed, you can safely plug in and power up your devices again.