Electric Co. backs down

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As Ed notes, an igniter is powered only when igniting and not when power was restored.. Furthermore, restoration of power does not cause a voltage surge. It creates a current surge as voltage stays low - no voltage surge. Just another fact that would cause a claim to be rejected quickly.
Meanwhile, voltage surge could happen if a new transformer was tapped too high. But then other items - not a powered off igniter - would be damaged. And surge protectors would completely ignore that marginally higher voltage. Get the number labeled let-through voltage before making any assumptions.
Those claims that a protector (or tranzsorb, etc) would accomplish something useful are misleading. Type of surge that typically causes damage means earth ground is necessary. No earth ground means that protector does nothing. Why are 'whole house' protectors so effective? They (should) have the necessary earthing connection. A surge earthed where utility wires enter a building means the surge will not take a destructive path through stove igniters. Yes, this type surge could pass through an igniter - even if not powered. Protectors attached at wall receptacles could even make such damage easier.
All appliances have internal protection. Anything that the plug-in protector was going to accomplish is already inside appliances. Internal protection that can be overwhelmed if you don't earth potentially destructive transients at the service entrance and to a single point earth ground.
Appliance safety means a single 'whole house' protector AND building earthing. Building earthing should be upgraded to meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical Code requirements. That is your responsibility. That is the secondary protection 'system'.
Meanwhile, utility is responsible for the primary protection 'system'. Inspect it: http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html
sherwindu wrote:

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w_tom wrote:

The best information I have seen on surge protection is at http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/LightningGuide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf - the title is "How to protect your house and its contents from lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC power and communication circuits" published by the IEEE in 2005 (the IEEE is the dominant organization of electrical and electronic engineers in the US).
A second guide is http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/practiceguides/surgesfnl.pdf - this is the "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to protect the appliances in your home" published by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (the US government
Both say plug-in surge suppressors are effective. The IEEE guide clearly describes the protection as clamping the voltage on all wires (power and signal) to the common ground at the surge suppressor. Earthing is described as secondary.

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sherwindu wrote: ...

Coincidence isn't necessarily causation and as others noted, given the nature of the beast, isn't at all straightforward to show that there would be any direct impact expected. Frustrating, undoubtedly, but unless they just happen to feel generous on the day they receive the complaint unless you have something more solid to go on I wouldn't get my hopes up... ...

An area of only that size w/ any history different from any other of a similar size on a statistical basis would be difficult to fathom other than from some very isolated transmission system fault/cause. If you were to actually get the data for the outages and look at them over a period of time for correlation to weather, etc., and could show a high outage rate, that would probably have some bearing. Some utilities I have worked with would have such data readily available, but probably not at such a fine level of detail so to show anything factual would probably require you keeping records yourself for a while.
It can't be negligence unless they're aware of it, and given the volume and area they cover, a few extra calls to a given neighborhood are highly unlikely to raise any flags. As for merit on the specific claim, that was previously mentioned. As for a willingful neglect or conscious decision to not, I suspect again that the impugning of motive is, while comforting, much more an emotional reaction than anything that could be substantiated. In an ideal world, all problems would be solved before the occur and nothing would fail, but in reality, undoubtedly there are service areas suffering far more severe and frequent outages than your neighborhood and are higher up on the list of areas needing/receiving service upgrades.
A neighborhood into which I moved back in TN initially had a high outage rate owing to rapid growth in the area and long, old lines alongside an access road which went a long a creek bottom. Trees were a problem as was an undersized substation for the increased load. Took a few years, but they utility company did get the new substation in and new lines up. It wasn't neglect that took that long, the plans had been in place for quite some time, but resources aren't infinite.
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sherwindu wrote:

How old is your house wiring? Electronic devices by design contains basic protection from ssurge, etc. Good grounding throughout the house is a must.
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