Lightning knocked out my refrigerator - cheap fix

I thought the compressor was ruint after the lightning storm knocked it out. That's about $400 repair on a $700 fridge.
The compressor was overheating and shutting down within a few sseconds. I pulled the starter relay off the compressor and took it apart. There was a ceramic disk about the size of a nickel inside that was broken into several pieces. I ordered a new starter relay kit off of ebay for $20 and meanwhile patched the ceramic disk and put it back together. It worked until a year later when another lightning storm knocked it out again. I installed the new one from ebay and it is working again.
I suppose I need a surge protector on my fridge to stop the lightning stikes from destroying my ebay starter kit.
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DK wrote:

sounds like u might have a grounding problem
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micr0 wrote:

You need a wole ouse SP and to check the grounding of both the refer circuit, the main panel and the meterhead.
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On Thu, 24 May 2007 07:06:31 -0500, DK wrote:

Sounds like you got a pretty good surge surpression system already going.
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I had the same problem a couple years ago. I spent $150 for a Sears technician to replace the relay. $100 for the visit and $50 for the part. He took out the relay and showed me the piece with the broken pieces of ceramic.
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Are you on or near the end of the power line feeding your neighborhood? It seems that houses on or near the end get zapped by lightning more than others. I once lived in a house that was the second last house on the line, and I got zapped several times. The neighbor (last on the line), had even more problems. I installed a whole house lightning protector on the breaker box (across the mains), and never had another problem with lightning. From what I recall, it cost me around $30 to $40, but that was 1979 or 80. These days it would probably cost $100, but well worth it, and easy to install for anyone that knows wiring. It just goes into one of the knockouts on the box and has 3 wires. One is ground, the other two go to the mains.
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On May 24, 1:04 pm, snipped-for-privacy@nomail.com wrote:

The protector is not across the mains. If so, then protector would not provide effective protection. Why does it work? As jJim McLaughlin noted, also important is the earth ground. Earth is the protection. The protector with a short connection to earth simply connects each AC electric wire to earth. It is not a connection between mains. It is a connection between each AC main and earth. Lightning earthed as it enters a building will not seek earth ground, destructively via refrigerator, et al. Why is ceramic damaged? What was the path to earth via that ceramic?
Minimally sufficient 'whole house' protector is still sold in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. Better ones (longer life expectancy) cost more. Effective protectors have names from responsible manufacturers such as Leviton, Square D, Cutler Hammer, Intermatic, Siemens, GE, etc. Each has that dedicated wire for a 'less than 10 foot' connection to earth. IOW building earthing must be upgraded to meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical Code requirements.
Even if all receptacles are only two wire type - still the 'whole house' protector provided effective protection for all appliances. Protector costs about $1 per protected appliance. But earthing at the breaker box must exceed post 1990 code.
If lightning is entering to damage a refrigerator, then how many times before it eventually creates a house fire? What protects smoke detectors? Just two more reasons why a properly earthed 'whole house' protector is necessary. Things such as refrigerator, furnace smoke detectors and bathroom GFCIs are necessary for human safety. What protects them? A 'whole house' protector (properly earthed) is essential for all homes.
BTW, this is only secondary protection. Also required is inspection of the household primary surge protection 'system': http://www.tvtower.com/grounding_and_bonding.html
Protection is defined by one essential 'system' component: earth ground. Effective protector is only a connecting device to earth. Such devices are available in Lowes, Home Depot, and electrical supply houses. Especially not listed are Kmart, Sears, Walmart, Staples, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and the grocery store. Effective protectors are not seen there. Why are more responsible manufacturer names not on protectors in that last retail list?
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DK wrote:

If you have a verified lightning strike your homeowners insurance will usually cover the damage. Did you report it to them?
Joe
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Not good advise. These days, you really do not want to report small claims to your homeowners insurance. They tend to cancel policies or jack up rates on those who do. The companies are more and more hypersensitive to this.
Also, such a small claim on a refrigerator probably doesn't exceed the deductable.
Doug
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If it does, you REALLY need to increase your deductible. Mine is $2500. I'd like to go $5000, but the mortage holder won't let me.
sdb
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