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PSA - Outdoor string lights

xfire_ATXxfire_ATX Posts: 492
Saturday night here in ATX we had some pretty good storms roll through (well actually lots of Texas)... I was sitting in my house watching TV with the family when my entire backyard exploded like 4th of July..  Yes Lighting hit my backyard/ house.  Not sure if it was dumb luck or those string lights acted as a lightning rod but after picking these up for an hour and I dont see myself replacing them.

I quickly go outside to assess the damage since Im smelling smoke and realize that the outdoor string lights hung in my trees and attached to the house - well lets just say a part of them was no more.


This is literally a sample of the parts and pieces we found on the patio and in the yard.  The copper wire is basically no more just flat out gone.

Damage to house where they were attached.



LBGE, Charbroil Gas Grill, Weber Q2000, Weber Kettle Premium, Yeti 65, RTIC 20, Yeti 20 oz Rambler, Yeti Colster, RTIC Lowball

Not quite in Austin, TX City Limits

Comments

  • PirateBillPirateBill Posts: 259
    Oh crud that is scary, glad everyone is ok and the house isn't all that bad.

    Fight like a man so you don't die like a dog

    - Calico Jack Rackham

    1,000 watt Sharp - 1.1 Cu. Ft. Mid-Size Microwave and one sweet steakager (retail 229$) 

    Scruffy City a.k.a. Knoxville, TN.

  • northGAcocknorthGAcock Posts: 10,017
    Glad this turned out OK for you. I don't mean this next statement to sound condescending or like I am trying to big time you but, .......I have a commercial grade of string lights.  Not sure if or how that would have impacted your circumstances....but wondering if someone with more electrical knowledge could weigh in on this. I appreciate your post and hope to learn from it. Also, mine are hung with a guy (prob not spelled correctly) wire and not sustained by the electrical wiring alone.

      
    Columbia, South Carolina with a Medium, MiniMax & a 17" Blackstone

    Talk-in' 'bout, hey now! Hey now! I-ko, I-ko, un-day
    Jock-a-mo fee-no ai na-né, jock-a-mo fee na-né

  • KiterToddKiterTodd Posts: 2,103
    I think you discovered a new way to light your lump!  
    Finally those weed burner guys have met their match...   ;)
    LBGE/Maryland
  • YukonRonYukonRon Posts: 12,238
    Glad this turned out OK for you. I don't mean this next statement to sound condescending or like I am trying to big time you but, .......I have a commercial grade of string lights.  Not sure if or how that would have impacted your circumstances....but wondering if someone with more electrical knowledge could weigh in on this. I appreciate your post and hope to learn from it. Also, mine are hung with a guy (prob not spelled correctly) wire and not sustained by the electrical wiring alone.

    Um, lightening hits anything, it is usually not good.

    I think @PirateBill was extremely fortunate that the limit of his damge was much less than it might have been, indeed.
    Sorry about your home, brother. Hope it was minimal and nothing hidden.

    @northGAcock
    Not sure that lightning will specifically target anything, I have seen houses and other structures, blown apart or burnt to the ground, by lightening, with the only thing not being touched were properly installed lightning rods, attached to help prevent a strike from happening. I dunno, I just do not mess around with mother nature. 
    We have had string lights hanging on a chain link fence, for years. Never have took a hit. So far......
    "Knowledge is Good" - Emil Faber

    XL and MM
    Louisville, Kentucky
  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,770
    Dodged a bullet for sure.  Those lights may have saved you.
    As mentioned by @YukonRon, in my volunteer firefighter days I saw some amazing damage caused by strikes.  Entry points can be anything from blowing a hole in the roof to phone/cable penetrations to water lines.  Mother nature doesn't care.

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • bud812bud812 Posts: 1,849
    Scary chit right there.

    Not to get technical, but according to chemistry alcohol is a solution...

    Large & Small BGE

    Stockton Ca.

  • thetrimthetrim Posts: 5,655
    Lightning is no joke.  I don't think any lights can sustain a direct or even a close hit.  Very glad to here it wasn't any worse.  
    =======================================
    XL 6/06, Mini 6/12, L 10/12, Mini #2 12/14 MiniMax 3/16
    Tampa Bay, FL
    EIB 6 Oct 95
  • SkiddymarkerSkiddymarker Posts: 8,347
    Glad all is OK, maybe a little shaken, but nothing permanent. Residential or commercial quality, hung with a messenger wire or self supporting, if a lightning bolt hits it, they all will fry, as you have personally witnessed. 
    Assume these were two wire light string, by the looks of the receptacle in your pic. Regardless, the path to ground and balance is either thru the ground wire or neutral - Mother Nature is not fussy. 
    Delta B.C. - Move over coffee, this is job for alcohol!
  • TideEggHeadTideEggHead Posts: 519
    Glad all is ok, I definitely have a healthy respect for lightning.
    LBGE
    SC AL
  • GregWGregW Posts: 1,722
    Lighting struck a house in my neighborhood a number of years ago. It ran in through the attic.
    The house burned before the fire dept could get there. They arrived about 10-15 minutes after the strike.
    I have the commercial LED lights that Sam's carries on my deck. I'm very satisfied with them. I have no idea about lighting resistance. I'm guessing that they would not survive a strike.
    Birmingham, AL
  • theyolksonyoutheyolksonyou Posts: 16,197
    edited June 2017
    Not much survives a direct strike except ol' Reg. Don't think it would matter what type of lights. 


    Jason NW GA- home of carpet and Mexican restaurants
    LBGE, MM, BS (Blackstone and the other kind)
    One sorry Labrador

    My chili did not suck. 
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