One of the most powerful natural forces on the planet is lightning. It can also be one of the most destructive forces known to man. In the blink of an eye the electrical surge from a lightning strike can cause considerable damage to a sprinkler system not to mention be deadly.

What Does Lightning Do to a Sprinkler System

  • It can scramble your digital controller by hitting a block away
  • It can damage the wiring in your home and zap through the electrical system to damage the controller as well
  • It can hit the electrical system of your home and sprinkler system and destroy or burn out solenoids, melt down wiring, and cause controllers to break and pop of the wall
  • It can cause electrical fires by igniting a controller

How to tell if Your Sprinkler System has been Damaged

Sometimes the damage is out in the open and is completely obvious; you’ll see smoke or flames. You may notice melted components like solenoids and control valves or damaged wiring. Since the wiring and insulation are oftentimes underground there may be no immediate visible sign of any damage.

In many cases a tree is the key element that leads a lightning strike to surge energy through your sprinkler system. The strike may hit a tree in your yard which will then dissipate into the ground and cause damage to the sprinkler system as it travels throughout the ground. If you have metal lining or edges on beds the lightning may travel to the sprinkler system along that path as well.

What to do if Your System is struck by Lightning

In most scenarios the only option is to change out a damage sprinkler controller, there is usually other damage caused to the system as well however. The problem more often than not affects other areas of the home also. Some of the other affected areas may be garage doors and their openers, intercom systems, alarms, electrical components on a pool or hot tub, and other less obvious electrical components of a home. Insurance is usually the largest contributing factor to a home’s repair after a lightning strike.

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