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A Florida homeowner got an explosive surprise over the weekend after a lightning strike triggered a blast that destroyed a toilet.

Marylou Ward and her husband were sitting in their Port Charlotte home as a thunderstorm rolled through on Sunday when she said she heard a "boom" that was "the loudest noise I ever heard."

“We smelled smoke and I looked outside,” Ward told WINK News. “It was the smoke from the septic tank that was coming.”

When she stepped into her bathroom, she discovered the toilet was now in hundreds of pieces. A plumber from A-1 Affordable Plumbing Inc. told the couple the lightning strike ignited methane gas that built up in the pipes and septic tanks. Methane is typically emitted during the breakdown of sewage in waste systems.

"The toilet exploded in homeowners master bathroom sending porcelain airborne like a missile (the porcelain penetrated into wall). Most likely all sewer piping will need to be replaced and septic tank," a plumber posted to Facebook. "Luckily no one was hurt! Scheduling a camera inspection this week to see how much sanitary pipe needs to be replaced!!"

Besides her toilet being destroyed, Ward said her septic tank and indoor plumbing were also wrecked. The blast also broke a window in the couple's master bedroom and destroyed yard decorations. No one was hurt during the incident, but Ward said it made her feel lucky.
 

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Siobhan

Baekjul Bool Gool
Staff member
At least nobody was taking a shit at the time.
We had severe t-storms this past Sunday, which happened to coinside on a day when I was having some ... uhm, intestinal issues due to consuming a lb of homemade pickled jalapeno peppers over the previous 3 days - I was sweating each trip to the "small room", and not just because of the peppers, but more so because of the nearby lightening strikes. :oops:

Back in 2012, we had lightening hit the telephone main service box across our little road, and it caused the buried cable on our property to fly up out of the ground, hitting our home with the mud covered cable and *exploding our telephone box* that sits right against the side of the house - it was literately in more than a dozen burned and blackened pieces.
We had scorching on the vinyl siding, but very fortunately, it's the newer siding that doesn't "burn", but will only "drip" and melt under extreme heat, and all of our fencing/fence staples, including the gate's fastening steel chain with a simple carabiner clip was *welded* in place, fusing all of the links solid.

I now pay strict attention to the warnings I was given as a child, and will not talk on a phone, shower/bathe, or stand near an open window or outside on the covered porch to watch lightening storms - as a child, I thought these warning were extreme and over the top, but as an adult, I've learned that they're serious and ignoring them could prove deadly.
 

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Old Man Metal

Trusted Member
Staff member
I used to live in a rental shack on a huge piece of property (100 acres to myself), and the driveway was half a mile long. The phone line was underground, running along one side of the driveway, and it was old and not perfectly insulated. This was in the days of dial-up internet, and I could never negotiate better than a 9600 baud connection because of that shitty line.

If lightning struck the ground anywhere near the house, it was guaranteed to come in on that phone line. I was probably the only person that came out to the good paying for the phone company's premium "insider wiring plan." There was one storm that just hovered over the house, lightning going off left and right for half an hour, and I could hear it popping under the house, over and over.

A few days later, the service tech pulled out a six foot run of telephone cable that had five or six different spots on it that were completely incinerated. Said he'd "never seen the like of it."
 

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Satanica

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
It can also come in via water lines. Had that happen once and it took out my TV.

One of the back neighbors used to cut my phone line all the time, so AT&T sent two Mexicans who spoke little to no English out in a pick up truck and a shovel and they buried it in a trench about 4" deep that looked like something you'd plant seeds in; no conduit or anything. Thank god that got rectified after the tornado, because some parts of it had become exposed.

I didn't blame the subcontractors, of course, since it was AT&T who had hired them.
 

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NoBS

Well-Known Member
"... all sewer piping will need to be replaced and septic tank,"
This needs repeating: Replace the septic tank? Looks like Rotor Rooter is attempting to pad the invoice. To the point at least one home owner needs to sleep with a new plumber.
 

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