Some helpful tips on what to do to help prevent damage to electrical equipment in your home, specifically equipment connected to your telephone line or internet service.
Before a thunderstorm:
Lightning can create electrical impulses which can affect electronic equipment or wiring connected to any power circuits or telephone lines. This can be of very short duration and will often result in electricity being ‘tripped’, although not always.
This can cause damage to equipment such as telephones, routers/modems or filters, computers or laptops, WiFi extenders or Mesh systems, televisions, satellite systems or any other electronic items connected to power or telephone lines. It can be very expensive to replace these items or have them repaired should they be damaged in a storm.
When you become aware of an incoming storm, and while it’s still in the distance, unplug any equipment that is not essential from mains electric and telephone sockets.
Never attempt to remove equipment if the lightning storm is directly overhead as this could cause serious injury if the equipment is affected by lightning at that time.
If your broadband service goes down due to a power outage, you may wish to switch to your Mobile Data.
Most smartphones have the ability to create a Wi-Fi hotspot, which enables you to connect your laptop, tablets and other internet devices to the Wi-Fi signal that your mobile phone generates.
Here’s a general guide of how to set up a mobile hotspot (tethering), specific instructions vary based on the phone you have; therefore, you may need to check your handset user guide.
Apple iOS phones:
Step 1: Go to Settings > Personal Hotspot. Or, depending on which model you have, go to Settings > Cellular > Personal Hotspot.
Step 2: Tap to toggle on Personal Hotspot.
Step 3: Switch on Allow Others to Join.
Step 1: Go to Settings and search for “hotspot” or “tethering.” Depending on the phone you have, it will be located in a menu titled Mobile Hotspot and Tethering, or Network and Internet.
Step 2: Tap to switch on the hotspot.
Step 3: On some phones, you’ll also need to switch on Wi-Fi sharing, which will allow the hotspot to be reached by other devices.
Once you’ve switched on your phone’s hotspot, go to the Wi-Fi menu on the device you want to connect to the internet. Look up the name of your hotspot and type in the password to connect to the internet.
In the same menu where you switch on the hotspot, you can also configure the password, network name, and other settings.
Also ensure that your Mobile Data is switched on.
Once the storm has passed:
If you were unable to remove any equipment before a thunderstorm you may find you have lost services or have damaged equipment. This can affect telephone service and internet as well as mains electricity.
Firstly, unplug any equipment you have connected to your telephone line or internet.
If you have one, plug a basic corded telephone into the main telephone socket and check for a dial tone. If you have no service, it may be that the line has been damaged, please contact your service provider and ask them to test your service and log a ticket for repair if required.
If you have a dial tone, then it may be that a piece of equipment used to deliver your services is damaged.
Once everything is removed from the telephone line, plug in one piece of equipment at a time checking each time for service on the corded telephone you have plugged in. If you lose dial tone after replacing a piece of equipment this could indicate damage to that device which will need to be repaired or replaced.
Damage caused to customer owned equipment, as the result of a lightning storm, is not normally covered by warranties or maintenance contracts. Equipment damaged in a storm may be covered by your household insurance policy.
Your service provider will be able to repair any telephone line damage if this is required but does not cover loss or damage to associated equipment used to deliver that service such as routers, telephones, filters, WiFi extenders or mesh systems.