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Hello Cheryl. I wonder could you say what its setting is. What is the geography, what wires are coming out, and how is it powered?
For electronics any form of excess voltage on processor pins can cause the device to fail. However its very difficult to figure out exactly what the cause is, as they say it can be complicated. You can inspect it visually to see if there are any burnt indications, also smell the board – fried electronics can leave a nasty wiff. Devices can fail by themselves, and typically if its an internal fault it fails in its “infancy” – first couple of weeks of running. Once it has seasoned, its unlikely to fail.
From my professional experience as an electronic engineer, usually if something fails, its easiest to just replace it. In commercial business they usually replace a device, and keep a count of the number of times something fails. I have seen some boards that had extreme lightening burns, but pretty unusual.
I once talked to a USGS guy who was managing stage gages sensors on the Ohio River for navigation ~ so water level was highly visible for ships to transit the river. They only use bubbler sensors there – no electrical connection with the water level. He talked about lightening strikes traveling down the Ohio river.
With lightening protection, you can think of it in two parts 1) protecting the processor with electrical clamps and diodes, and 2) diverting the electrical energy into the ground.
I was part of professional group that was discussing electronics (irrigation controllers) failing in Florida. The irrigation controller wires had a good electrical protection clamps. Florida is largely on a reef, prone to lightening, and its very difficult to conduct lightening into the ground because of that reef. Eventually they had to use a professional grounding method to ensure good grounding.