My LCD TV Is Not Working After a Lightning Strike

By Ashley Poland

At some point, someone may have told you to unplug your electronics during a thunderstorm -- and he was right. If lightning strikes your home or nearby power lines, a large surge of power can move through your electrical system and damage any electronics plugged in to outlets. If your LCD TV stops working following a thunderstorm, even though electricity is on and other devices in the home are functioning, chances are the TV has been "fried" by a lightning strike.

Lightning and Your Television

Lightning is serious business. If it strikes power lines, the electricity follows those power lines, potentially into your home. If lightning strikes your house, it travels along your wiring. From there, the spike in electricity hits every electronic device and appliance plugged in to an outlet, which is how it arrives at your LCD TV.

Why Your TV Is Broken

Your LCD television is filled with delicate electronics, similar to those found inside your computer. When lightning sends a powerful electric surge into your outlets, the innards of the television take the hit, most notably the circuit board. These connections are designed to handle only a set amount of electricity; electronics in the United States are designed for 110V, although they can handle up to about 169V. When overrun by a lightning strike, this limit is exceeded and circuits short out entirely.

Use a Surge Protector

Keep electronics connected to surge protectors in your home. Even small surges that run through households daily can gradually damage your electronic devices. Surge protectors keep this damage to a minimum. Surge protectors do not stop all forms of electrical damage; a large or direct lightning strike can still overpower a surge protector and ruin your electronics. To be safe, unplug any electronic devices during nasty storms with a lot of lightning.

Lightning and Your Warranty

Even if your television is new enough to be covered by your manufacturer's warranty, that warranty probably excludes damage causes by lightning or other large power surges. While it doesn't hurt to contact your manufacturer, chances are you will be advised to purchase a new television or charged a repair fee if the problem can be repaired.