DIY surge protection...

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Well, we all knew this was coming. Mention surge protector, and like a bolt of lightning from the sky, here comes WTom.

So far, I would mostly agree. Except the part about a direct lightning strike. A direct lightning strike is mostly a red herring, because even if the lightning bolt hit the service cable near the building, it's highly unlikely that the path of all or even most of the lightning is going to be through the service wire and into the surge protector. Far more likely, it will arc with most of the energy finding ground outside the building before it ever gets to the surge protector at the panel or meter.

Here;s where Tom likes to start arguing against strawmans and the rant about plug-in surge protectors begins. The actual question was about a whole house surge protector.

Total nonsense. Every line card on a telco switch has surge protection right on the card where it connects to the incoming line. Much like if you take apart an analog modem, you will almost always find MOVs or similar components there.

In fact, just like the IEEE recommends, the telco uses a tiered approach. Yes, they have surge protection where the line enters the building. But they also have it on the line cards. Months ago I even found you semiconductors designed and marketed for telcos that go on the linecards, complete with the application notes. Yet, here we go again.

Please provide us a link to NIST or any other credible source that says plug-in protectors are ineffective as part of a protection plan. You've been asked that here for years and we have yet to see the link.

And here comes the list again. What Tom won't tell you is that of those companies on his list of real effective and responsible manufacturers, most of them also sell plug-in surge protectors. They recommend using them as part of a tiered strategy.
As for the HD solution for less than $50, that doesn't square with your criteria of needing a minimum of 50,000 amps, because they have no such product available at HD.
The best advice was already provided. That was the link to the IEEE guide on surge protection.
http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf
Everyone can read what respected peer-reviewed engineers recommend. And I can tell you this. They don't say plug-ins are ineffective. Read chapters 5 and 6. Instead, they show them being used as part of a tiered strategy. You put whole house protection at the meter or panel. Then you use plug-ins that route all power and signal through them, to further protect key equipment, eg, TVs, PCs, etc.
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On Sun, 21 Mar 2010 05:47:42 -0700 (PDT), snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Hopefully everyone here either has him filtered out, or is intelligent enough to ignore him completely. Debating him is a fools errand.
His use of usenet consists of scanning for threads about surges, lightning and power strips. He's been spewing his nonsense for years. Occasionally he manages to fool someone and they start conversing with him, or thinking that he is on to something. The only thing he is on to is some sort of mental illness. Either that, or he is one of the greatest trolls of all time.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

I posted links to photos of telco cards with rows of MOVs, yet he claims they don't exist. He is just a brain dead troll like Cliff, and The_Mangled_Toad.
--
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wrote:

That is not what I said. I said those are not MOVs. MOVs have excessive capacitance. Telcos use a different device that does not have that excessive capacitance. Please read what was posted. You got caught lying elsewhere. So everything from you is only an attack.
Any protection that might work adjacent to electronics is already inside electronics.
Informed consumers dissipate energy so that surges are not even inside the building.
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On Mar 21, 8:47am, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Tom does not know anything about surge protection so he is trying to bluff his way through. he thinks he is appearing intelligent but most readers can see through his misinformation. It is too bad that he feels the need to rant about things he knows absolutely nothing about. Perhaps he could make a more informed opinion on the type of beer he is drinking.
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westom wrote:

Lightning strikes can be far larger than 50,000A (but low percentage). But a strike to a power line has multiple paths to earth. Investigations have shown the largest lightning-caused surge with any reasonable probability of occurring is 10,000A on an incoming power wire. The 50,000A suppressor rating can handle that. High ratings give long life.
The best information on surges and surge protection is in a guide from the IEEE at: <http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf (also posted by Howard and trader) and a simpler guide from the NIST at: <http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/practiceguides/surgesfnl.pdf>
Neither service panel or plug-in suppressors can reliably handle crossed power lines. MOVs which can handle 10,000A for maybe 100 microseconds are rapidly burned out by longer duration events. (These events are probably the major cause of catastrophic MOV failures.)
I would not make my own suppressor attached to power lines (other than fuse protected MOVs in equipment).

Poor w has to warp a thread about service panel suppressors to his favorite topic - plug-in suppressors. Trying to not repeat traders nice reply....
Franois Martzloff was the surge guru at the NIST and wrote the NIST guide. He also wrote numerous published technical papers. One paper looked at the energy absorbed in a MOV on a branch circuit. It was surprisingly small - 35 Joules max. In 13 of 15 cases it was 1 Joule or less. That was with up to 10,000A coming in on the service wire. There are a couple of reasons for that - I could elaborate if anyone is interested.
Plug-in suppressors are only a "magic box" to w because he refuses to understand how they work - clearly explained in the IEEE guide starting pdf page 40. They work by CLAMPING (limiting) the voltage on all wires (signal and power) to the common ground at the suppressor. Plug-in suppressors do not work primarily by earthing (or absorbing). The guide explains earthing occurs elsewhere.
According to NIST guide, US insurance information indicates equipment most frequently damaged by lightning is computers with a modem connection TVs, VCRs and similar equipment (presumably with cable TV connections). It is likely that much of equipment damage is from high voltages between power and signal wires. This is illustrated in the IEEE guide example starting pdf page 40.
A service panel suppressor can not limit the voltage between power and signal wires. To do that, there has to be a *short* ground wire from the telephone entrance protector to the earthing system near the power service. Also for the cable entrance ground block (and dish....) With a large surge current to earth, the "ground" at the building can rise thousands of volts above "absolute ground". Much of the protection is that power and phone and cable wires rise together. If short ground wires can not be used (as in the IEEE guide example) the guide says "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector."
For similar reasons, all protected equipment that is interconnected needs to be connected to the same plug-in suppressor. External connections, like phone, also need to go through the suppressor. Connecting all wiring through the suppressor prevents damaging voltages between power and signal wires.

What does the NIST guide really say about plug-in suppressors? They are "the easiest solution". And "one effective solution is to have the consumer install" a multiport plug-in suppressor.

The required statement of religious belief in earthing. Why aren't airplanes crashing daily when they get hit by lightning (or do they drag an earthing chain)?
Often asked and never answered - simple questions: - Why do the only 2 examples of protection in the IEEE guide use plug-in suppressors? - Why does the NIST guide says plug-in suppressors are "the easiest solution"? - Why does the NIST guide say "One effective solution is to have the consumer install" a multiport plug-in suppressor? - Why does the IEEE guide say for distant service points "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector"? - Why do your favorite manufacturers make plug-in suppressors? - Why does favorite manufacturer SquareD say (for their service panel suppressor) "electronic equipment may need additional protection by installing plug-in [suppressors] at the point of use"?
And why can't you find a source that agrees with you that plug-in suppressors are not effective?
For real science read the IEEE and NIST guides . Both say plug-in suppressors are effective.
--
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My wife is a big fan of the "Holmes on Homes" show (which is actually pretty good). They go around fixing messes previous contractors have made of house construction/renovation jobs. They regularly install whole house surge arrestors on the breaker panels when they re-wire a place.
We've been thinking of getting one installed, so I did a little research. Leviton seems to be the biggest vendor in the US. They have an interesting dodge, which is a surge arrestor that goes in series with electric meter, inside the metter housing. In my case, this is outside of the house, which means if it turns into a fireball, it probably won't do a lot of damage. I also like the idea of stopping the surge as early in the wiring as possible.
http://www.levitonproducts.com/catalog/model_50240-MSA.htm
I've got a query in to see if it will fit in just any old meter housing, and how it compares with some of their breaker panel add-ons. Other than having to deal with the electric company to replace the seal on the meter housing, this thing looks like a snap (literally) to install. The cost of the suppressor is about the same for either approach, but the electrician should be able to install the meter version in considerably less than half the time.
Doug White
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That Belkin did what plug-in protectors do too often. Threaten human life. Any protector that fails during a surge was ineffective - grossly undersized for that surge. The Leviton and 'whole house' protectors from so many other companies much earth a direct lightning strike - and remain functional.
A direct lightning strike is typically 20,000 amps. Therefore the minimally sized 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. 50,000 amps without failure.
The most rare of surges is 100,000 amps. An IEEE paper demonstrates what happens when that 100,000 lightning strike hits the utility power wire. Maybe 40,000 amps attempts to enter the home. (the IEEE picture assumes the 'primary' surge protection system is also properly installed).
Only more responsible companies sell 'whole house' protectors. Not in the list are APC, Tripplite, Belkin, and Monster. Companies that sell protectors for real world protection include Leviton, Square D, General Electric, Intermatic, Keison, and Siemens. An effective Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50.
And again, no protector is protection - despite what others have posted. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Always. Either the protector makes an always required short (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth ground. Or that surge will hunt for earth ground destructively via appliances.
Bud has kindly provided the IEEE citation that shows same. See: http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf On page 42 Figure 8 - the surge energy was permitted inside a building. Since he was only using plug-in protectors, then the surge found earth ground 8,000 volts destructively via the adjacent TV. That is what protectors do. Earth a surge harmlessly outside the building or destructively inside. Page 42 Figure 8 is only what that Belkin can do.
All appliances already contain any protection that will work adjacent to the appliance. Your concern is the rare surge that will overwhelm internal appliance protection (ie my friend's 33,000 volt wire dropping on local distribution). Any potentially destructive surge earthed without entering a building will not go hunting 8000 volts destructively via appliances - page 42 figure 8.
The only thing that makes a protector effective is its earth ground. Therefore any money wasted on plug-in protectors is better spent upgrading earth ground. Protection is always about where energy dissipates - which is why earthing must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code. Which is why informed homeowners upgrade what dissipates energy harmlessly outside the building.
This is true of every protector. Why a 'whole house' protector is so effective and why that Belkin does not even claim effective protection in its specs. This: No earth ground means no effective protection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Protection is always about where that energy dissipates earth ground.
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westom wrote:

The only Belkin that failed in this thread was from crossed power lines. It was not a surge, and neither service panel or plug-in suppressors are designed to protect from the much longer duration events caused by crossed power lines.

Service panel suppressors are a real good idea. But from the NIST guide: "Q - Will a surge protector installed at the service entrance be sufficient for the whole house? A - There are two answers to than question: Yes for one-link appliances [electronic equipment], No for two-link appliances [equipment connected to power AND phone or cable or....]. Since most homes today have some kind of two-link appliances, the prudent answer to the question would be NO - but that does not mean that a surge protector installed at the service entrance is useless."
Service panel suppressors do not prevent high voltages from developing between power and signal wires. To limit the voltage you need a *short* wire connecting the cable/phone entrance protectors to the ground at the power service.
(And as someone pointed out, a near lightning strike can then induce voltages with interior house wiring acting as an antenna.)
Much of the equipment damaged has power plus phone/cable connections, and is likely damaged by high voltage between power and signal wires.

Martzloff (NIST surge expert) has a paper (probably what w refers to) that has a 100,000A lightning strike to a utility pole behind a house with typical urban overhead distribution. The calculated average probability of a worse event is once in 8,000 years. There are multiple paths to earth so 'only' 40,000A is directed to the house on the service neutral. Service neutrals in the US are connected to ground at the service panel and connected to the earthing electrode(s) dissipating that energy. Some of the energy is transferred to the hot wires and the max probable surge current per wire is 10,000A (also in the IEEE guide pdf page 27).
Incidentally, at about 6,000V from hot bus to enclosure (ground) there is arc-over. After the arc is established the voltage is hundreds of volts. If there is no service panel suppressor this is what dissipates most of the energy on the hot wires. It is one of the reasons so little energy is dissipated in MOVs in plug-in suppressors.

Repeating traders response to w's repeated drivel - the "real world protection" all these manufacturers (except SquareD) sell includes plug-in suppressors. And the $50 devices do not meet w's minimum specs.
For its best service panel suppressor SquareD says "electronic equipment may need additional protection by installing plug-in [suppressors] at the point of use", and the connected equipment warranty is double when "used in conjunction with ... a point of use surge protective device."

If poor w could only read and think he could discover what the IEEE guide says in this example:
- A plug-in suppressor protects the TV connected to it. - "To protect TV2, a second multiport protector located at TV2 is required." - In the example a surge comes in on a cable service with the ground wire from cable entry ground block to the ground at the power service that is far too long (as in my last post). In that case the IEEE guide says "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector." - w's favored power service suppressor would provide absolutely NO protection.
It is simply a lie that the plug-in suppressor in the IEEE example damages the second TV.
Lacking any source that supports his drivel w tries to twist an example in the IEEE guide that shows how plug-in suppressors provide protection.

Neither plug-in or service panel suppressors will reliably protect from crossed power lines. This is idiocy.
Provide a spec from any manufacturer that claims such protection.

Martzloff has written "the impedance of the grounding system to `true earth' is far less important than the integrity of the bonding of the various parts of the grounding system." That is - short ground wires from the telephone and cable entry protectors (and dish...) to the ground at the power service.

Complete nonsense.

w's religious mantras protects him from disturbing thoughts (aka reality). Still not explained - why aren't airplanes crashing daily when they get hit by lightning (or do they drag an earthing chain)?
Everyone is in favor of earthing. The IEEE guide explains, for anyone who can think, that plug-in suppressors do not work primarily by earthing and that earthing occurs elsewhere.
For real science read the IEEE and NIST guides - links provided . Both say plug-in suppressors are effective.
There are 98,615,938 other web sites, including 13,843,032 by lunatics, and w can't find another lunatic that says plug-in suppressors are NOT effective. All you have are w's opinions based on his religious belief in earthing.
Still never answered - simple questions: - Why do the only 2 examples of protection in the IEEE guide use plug-in suppressors? - Why does the NIST guide says plug-in suppressors are "the easiest solution"? - Why does the NIST guide say "One effective solution is to have the consumer install" a multiport plug-in suppressor? - How would a service panel suppressor provide any protection in the IEEE example, pdf page 42? - Why does the IEEE guide say for distant service points "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector"? - Why do your favorite manufacturers make plug-in suppressors? - Why does favorite manufacturer SquareD say (for their service panel suppressor) "electronic equipment may need additional protection by installing plug-in [suppressors] at the point of use"?
--
bud--

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Doug White wrote:

You would, in all probability, have to have permission from the utility to use it.
The clamp voltage is 800V. According to Martzloff (was the NIST surge expert) equipment can withstand about 600-800V surges. The 800V rating sounds way too high to me. (On the other hand, the 330V rating on most suppressors may be lower than needed.) It is a "nominal" clamp voltage. With a strong surge the voltage is forced upward from 800V.
If there is a strong surge, the path to earth is through the neutral from meter can to service panel, through the required neutral-ground bond (almost always in the service panel), and to the earthing electrode. The voltage drop on the neutral will add to the clamp voltage. A surge is a very short duration event, so the current components are relatively high frequency, so the inductance of the wire is more important than the resistance. See the discussion on lead length in the IEEE guide starting pdf page 22. In effect you are adding the neutral wire to the lead length.
I would rather have a suppressor where I have total control over it (service panel).
Probability of catastrophic failure is very low. Martzloff has written "in fact, the major cause of [suppressor] failures is a temporary overvoltage, rather than an unusually large surge." A cause of "Temporary overvoltage" would be crossed power wires, as elsewhere in this thread.
--
bud--

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Another factor, many of the surge protectors intended for panel use have indicator lights that show the status. Some even have audible alarms to indicate that the protection has taken a hit and is no longer functioning. If it's buried in the meter housing, you have no way of knowing if it is still functioning.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote in wrote:

The unit has two LEDs to indicate the condition of the device. I am goign to call Leviton support tomorrow to try to get more info. They don't have teh mnaul/instructions on-line.
Doug White
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Those lights only report a failure that must not happen if the protector is properly sized. Normal failure mode for any protector means it only degrades. Those lights do not report that normal failure mode.
For most any location, a 50,000 amp protector will last at least ten years - in most cases many decades longer. If your neighborhood has a high number of failures, then a 100,000 amp protector will exponentially increase that protector life expectancy. And will significantly decrease its clamping voltages.
Of course, a most critical part is the only part that actually provides protection. That is the earth ground. Every protection layer is defined by the only 'system' component that provides protection. Earth ground. How to make that 'whole house' protector more effective? Upgrade the earthing. Every protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Single point earthing with a connection as short as possible, no sharp wire bends, ground wire separated from other non-grounding wires, wire not inside metallic conduit, etc. All essential to permit a protector to earth direct lightning strikes without damage even to the protector.
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More convoluded logic. If the indicator lights are useless, then why are they included on many of the surge protectors provided by the company Wtom recommends?

We're still waiting for a link to where you can buy one of those 50KA ones at HD for $50 like you claimed.
If your neighborhood has a

Then explain this. You have claimed many times that all appliances and electronics have built-in surge protection. How can that be, since they have no direct short connection to earth ground, which you claim renders protection impossible? Do they come with a mythical earth ground inside? And how can the same type of device that is used in common electronics for surge protection, ie MOV, work inside the home electronics, but according to you, be totally ineffective if used outside the electronics in the form of plug-in surge protector? Not only do they also use MOVs, but those in $20 plug-in surge protectors have significantly LARGER capacity MOVs than the ones inside the $500 home entertainment electronics. How are airplanes protected from surges without an earth ground?
The contradictions here are enough to make your head explode.

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So why do all telcos require their protectors connected from each wire to earth? Why does every telco bring every wire into underground vaults where a protector connects within feet to earth - for longitudinal mode transients? And why has this been the routine solution for over 100 years?
Why does the NIST say grounding is required for protection?

So the NIST also has it wrong?
IEEE Standard 141 (Red Book) says:

What is lightning? A longitudinal mode surge. So the NIST is wrong. The IEEE is wrong. The US Air Force is also wrong when protector are required to located as close to where wires enter the building and earth ground?
Instead of posted anything technical, you also post insults? Of course. That is what the less technically informed do. Where is this IEEE paper that shows longitudinal mode protection is without earth ground? Every paper I read is always about earth ground. Even this professional's application note says every wire must connect to earth before entering the building. But since you know better, then the professional is lying? We should believe you only because you can insult?
From Compliance Engineering entitled "Resettable Circuit Protection for Telecom Network Equipment" is: > In longitudinal mode, the overstress is present between tip-and- ring

IOW longitudinal surges seek earth ground destructively via electronics. How do you stop it? Do you magically stop what even three miles of sky could not? Of course not. Do you magically make that energy just disappear? Of course not. The routine solution for over 100 years is to do even what Ben Franklin lightning rods do. Connect the longitudinal mode surge to earth. The energy is not inside the building hunting for earth ground destructively via appliances.
The NIST says how critical earth ground is:

So, if earth ground is not important, then Franklin was wrong to earth his lightning rods? That is what you have posted. Franklin's lightning rods work because lightning - a longitudinal mode surge - is connected to earth. - where energy is harmlessly dissipated. Where is that energy absorbed if not in earth? Please, show me this magic device that can stop what three miles of sky cannot. That will magically absorb hundreds of thousands of joules? When surge protection is always about earth ground, how do you know they are wrong? Because you can post venom?
Why do the same technically naive naysayers routinely post so nasty?
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westom wrote:

Why is so much of the Teleco plant fiber optic, that requires no electrical protection?
--
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wrote:

So again you cannot answer the question. So as a hate monger, you must change the subject. Every CO has copper wires. Every CO has typically 100 surges with each thunderstorm. And damage must never happen. Why? They don't waste money on plug-in protectors. They spend massively less money for the protectors that actually do protection. Every incoming wire in every cable connects short to earth ground via a 'whole house' protector. Because that is the protection that even makes direct lightning strikes irrelevant. That is how it was done 100 years ago. That is based even in the principles demonstrated by Franklin in 1752.
Rather than admit reality, you would throw out fiber optics as a solution? What is the best solution per dollar? What makes even direct lightning strikes to utility wires irrelevant? A 'whole house' protector connected to the only thing always necessary for surge protection - earth ground.
What defines every protection layer? Each layer always has one thing - single point earth ground. What must magic box protectors avoid discussing to protect obscene profit margins? Earth ground.
Spin and accusation does not change reality. COs suffer hundreds of surges without damage - because the technology was even understood 100 years ago.. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
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westom wrote:

What question? Why you keep trolling with your outdated and wrong ideas?

No. Not even at power line is copper these days. The local switching center is all fiber optic, and the power lines are aluminum.

Try to prove that. You can't, because it's another factoid you created with a box of Ex-lax.

Yet it used to, before they started the conversion to fiber optics. It happened quite often. That's why they were constantly reparing their physical plant. The old leaded cable had to be pressurized with dry nitrogen to keep water out when lighting pinholed the lead. They used to monitor the tanks, and if too much was leaking, they used an ultrasonic sniffer to find the pinholes.

Sigh. They did use plug in protectors on the phone lines. EDCO made them, but the market is a lot smaller these days. Now they are sold for PBX systems.

So, they have surge suppressors on optical cable?

Bullshit. A direct strike can blow a hole through a building, take out the switching system for the plant's 48 VC power system, and leave it a smoking wreck.

Sure it was.

Yawn. Franklin was an early, "Hold my beer" type. He was an ignorant bumbler who was lucky he didn't die from his belief that lightning could be harnessed to provide electricity.
Florida was switching to fiber optic trunklines and smaller switch centers 20+ years ago. My copper phone line runs less than one mile before it is converted to fiber, combined with a lot of other lines, then routed to a switching center about the size of a single car garage. You're at least 30 years behind the times, and ignorant as ever.
Keep posting your nonsense. Everyone can see you for what you are.
Hate mongers? Yes, I despise liars and idiots with nothing but flimsy straw men.

You wouldn't know reality if it hit you in the face.

Yawn. Keep spouting your narrow minded message. BTW, have you ever heard of EDCO? Friends of mine just bought their factory building to move their manufacturing business.

The stop spinning and accusing.

Sigh. The classic CO is a dinosaur. Technology has passed it by. Learn what is really going on so you don't keep embarrassing yourself.
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wrote:

So many spiteful accusations. So little knowledge by first learning. He constantly posts accusations without learning the technology. So again, more facts without insult from one who learned this stuff before posting.
In the late 1950s, Bodle and Gresh monitored surges throughout the country. For example, over a six month period in Mt Freedom NJ, that one cable produced 1120 longitudinal surges during 36 thunderstorms. About 31 surges per thunderstorm per cable.
In the mid 1975, Carroll and Miller repeated this study. Over six months in Washington CT, 1230 surges were recorded during 23 thunderstorms on that one cable. Average was 53 surges per storm per cable. Some storms exceeded 100 surges per storm. One storm created so many surges that the system ran out of film.
But Michael Terrell just knows this cannot be. He feels. Therefore he knows. Which is what so many do to know plug-in protectors are effective and to justify personal attacks. Clearly those papers in the Bell System Journals were wasting time. They too should feel rather than waste money on research. Clearly feeling justifies malevolence.
Back to reality. COs suffer hundreds of surges without damage - because that technology was understood even 100 years ago when a carbon block protector was first patented about 1880. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
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westom wrote:

Yawn. So many lies, so few neurons.
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