Surge surpressors

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wrote:

The MOV's take a cut in performance each hit, or wipe out completely. I don't think I had a lightning strike, only a surge, and the surge may have occurred because of An opposite force which may have been produced between my air conditioner and the power input. Surges often are produced in the home.
Just was saying what I had, lightning rods on deck, whole house protector, as well as several separate protectors Around the house. Grounded cable, no telephone. A friend said she just got hit another time wiping out many things. The fourth time her house got hit. Even have lightning rods on roof. Each time insurance paid for repairs, and a full inspection done each time. Does not seem to help, and she has a whole house protector and several separate protector just as I have.
Greg
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wrote:

I've heard nothing protects electrical devices from lightning strikes except isolating them by unplugging. Some sailors keep spare nav components in an insulated box. I usually unplug my computers and TV's when there's a thunderstorm. Don't bother with anything else because the plugs are hard to get to. My 4' non-surge protected outlet box just got flooded and after reading this thread I decided to try this for my main computer. (Amazon.com product link shortened)
I read in the reviews where one guy had everything surged protected except his cable and the current went through that and fried his router. I though most of these cables are fiber optics and wouldn't conduct, but I not much on electricity. The suppressor above has cable connectors and I intend to use them.
--Vic
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wrote:

Do they unplug the fly-by-wire systems on modern Airbus or Boeing planes when they see thunderstorms around? Unplug the landline phone system that has worked for 100 years?

About as stupid a procedure as you could think of. Even if you were to do something along those lines, the solution would be a Faraday type metal enclosure, not an insulator.

Yeah, you can do that. Unless you happen to not be at home when a thunderstorm appears. Or you could just use a tiered protection approach, as recommended by the IEEE.


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On Tue, 26 Jul 2011 10:02:17 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

I was talking about "home." Planes are a special case, and much like a Faraday cage. A lot of lightning protection engineering goes into them. Even the newer composite airplanes have conductor wiring embedded all through the fuselage. As to copper wired phones I was told as a youngster to stay away from them during storms. People get killed or injured every year by getting zapped while on the phone. I don't bother unplugging my phones because they're cheap. Think the cables are all fiber optic too, no copper. Besides, except for one they're all cordless. If there's lightning about, just keep it off the base.

There's a lot written about lightning strikes on boats. Here's a good paper. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/SG/SG07100.pdf Seems even "lightning protected" boat usually suffer electronics damage. Often electronic gear isn't easily isolated every time clouds appear. Keeping a spare GPS and VHF in a non-conductive box doesn't seem "stupid" to me. Still won't protect it from electro-magnetic pulse, nor will a Faraday cage. But at least it's a plan.

Don't think I'll spend thousands on lightning protection systems for my home. It's a one in a million shot around here. Maybe more. A neighbor a bit away had his house afire last year from a lightning strike. But unplugging and insurance is good enough for me. I unplug everything when I go on vacation too.
--Vic
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Whether it's a home, a phone company CO, or a plane the point is that electrical devices can be and are protected from lightning strikes without unplugging them.

I stay away from them too as an extra safety measure. But the point is that both the CO side and the house side have protection. And it's very effective, the principles are well understood and it's not hard or expensive to do.

It is in light of the fact that you just pointed out that equipment is effectively protected inside a faraday cage, which of course is highly conductive. A arbitrary "non-conductive" box isn't going to look very non-conductive to a lightning bolt. If it is, then why are you afraid to hold a phone handset made of plastic during a storm?

A faraday cage will protect against an electro-magnetic pulse. It's the basic method used to shield against an EMP.

It doesn't cost thousands to protect a home's electrical devices. The basics are simple. A whole house surge protector at the panel and point-of-use plug-in ones to protect critical equipment. That can all be had for a couple hundred bucks.

The problem with unplugging is that it's a very unreliable and inconvenient method and also not possible with some of today's equipment. Think DVRs for example. It can't be recording your shows if it's unplugged. Plus enough of it has settings that get lost or it takes many minutes to get it back up and running again. I also doubt many people are going to go around unplugging everything in the house on their war to work because the forecast calls for a chance of thunderstorms.
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On Wed, 27 Jul 2011 01:32:46 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Never said you can't lightning protect. Never said many people are going to unplug their gear. Just said what I do. It's been 100% reliable. Same as the Tiki torches on my patio have kept lions away. I unplug a couple boxes powering my expensive gear nearly every thunderstorm. About 5 grand worth including TV's, gaming computers and data. I also do frequent enough backups to an external drive I keep disconnected and store elsewhere. That's it. I don't record TV programs. I have no problem not using the gear during thunderstorms either. Always find something else to do. When I was working and weather was dicey I did the same unplugging before I went to work. No different than grabbing an umbrella. BFD. It's a habit. Takes less than a minute. Cost me nothing. Like airplane manufactures. Greg's IBM spent millions for POS and commercial computer protection. Exactly as expected. My pockets aren't as deep as Boeing and IBM. I'm not going to make my house a Faraday cage or spend 3 grand for a protection system and then pay for scheduled inspections. Won't happen. I'll just keep unplugging. Thanks to this thread causing me to do some reading I'm also going to disconnect my modem cable from now on. Don't let that drive you crazy. You do what you want for lightning protection. BTW, you never said what that is. All I know is you apparently don't unplug anything. Glad that works for you.
--Vic
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What was this then:
">> I've heard nothing protects electrical devices from lightning strikes

There you go again, just making up pure nonsense that has no basis. Home surge protection consisting of a whole house surge protector at the panel and plug-ins at key equipment costs all of a couple hundred bucks.

The above is what I do. It's also what's recommended by the IEEE. You can do what you want. But when you claim that the only protection that works is unplugging or that to do reasonable surge protection for a house costs $3K, then you're spreading pure BS and are obviously clueless.
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On Wed, 27 Jul 2011 07:06:06 -0700 (PDT), " snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net"

Said I heard that. And I continue to hear it. http://learningcenter.statefarm.com/residence/safety-1/protect-your-property-from-power-surges / "Direct lightning strikes are powerful enough to overwhelm even the best surge protection; that said, the ultimate surge protection is to unplug equipment from the wall if you suspect a surge might be coming."
Deny it all you want.

It would cost me at least $300 to have an electrician put in a panel surge protector. They degrade too. Might get around to doing that. Probably not. But that's just a panel surge protector. Home lightning protection systems run about 3 grand, just like I said. Probably more now that copper price is way up.

Here's an IEEE guy. http://www.mindconnection.com/library/electrical/surgeprotectionforhome.htm "5. Going along with your excellent advice: Shut off and unplug sensitive equipment during a storm. I have visited many data centers in my time. As an officer in the 7x24 Exchange (where this kind of thing is a very big deal), I did a tour of the AOL facilities in Virginia. What they do when a storm is 10 miles away is they disconnect from the utility and go on generator power so that they aren't going to get any surges from lightning. Now, you don't need to unplug everything in your house if a storm is within 10 miles. But, you do need to unplug stuff that a storm can wipe out. Keep in mind that lightning jumps miles through the sky. It is no trick for it to jump across a surge protection device no matter what rating that device has or what the sales literature says."
You probably think that guy is stupid too. I know an anti-unplug fanatic when I see one.

Think I covered all that. Never said anything about "reasonable." That's all subjective. You've got a panel surge protector. You think your protection works against lightning. I unplug my expensive stuff. I think that works. So far I guess neither of us has suffered lightning damage. Me for sure. Just like my Tiki torches have kept the lions away. I'll keep unplugging my expensive stuff.
--Vic
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First, I don't recall that we were discussing direct lightning hits. We were discussing surges, almost all of which will reach a home from a strike that is not to the house itself. Bud has pointed out numerous times in discussions about surge protection that studies have shown that even with a lightning hit very close to the house, say on the overhead service cable, the voltages are limited to 10K volts or so and the energies are within the capability of a decent whole house surge protector. That's because the main strike creates such high voltages that arcing and flash over will occur greatly reducing what makes it into the house.
Again, the phone company has had billions of wire pairs strung up all over the country connected to electronic switches. Do they disconnect when thunderstorms appear? How about the cable company? No, they use well understood and easily implemented surge protection.

Tha't's a long way from costing several thousand dollars and would seem to be a reasonable price for the protection it offers.

So does the plug-in type, which you acknowledge you use.

Why do you keep trying to confuse the issue by talking about lightning protection systems when the issue is surge protection systems? Does your method of surge protection, ie unplugging everything electronic when a storm is anticipated, protect the house against a lightning strike? No.

Your link is incomplete so I can't see the source or find out if the guy is really even an IEEE member. The previous link to State Farm was incomplete as well. But clearly whoever wrote this is an idiot who know nothing about surge protection. There is also a difference between someone giving an opinion who happens to be a member of the IEEE vs a technical paper put together by a working committee of the IEEE on the subject.
For the latter, here is what the IEEE has to say about the subject in it's published guide:
http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf
They outline a tiered protection strategy for homes. No where do they say that the only effective protection is to unplug everything.

From what you posted, it's clear he knows nothing about surge protection. And I;d like to see his qualifications on the subject, but can't because your link is kaput.
Also, I'm not an anti-unplug fanatic. I'm an anti-BS fanatic. You made the claim that unplugging is the only method of surge protection that works. That is simply untrue. Perhaps you should reconsider who the fanatic is.
I said all along you can unplug if you like. It works IF it actually gets done. But for most people it's an impractical and unreliable scheme for obvious reasons. First, it relies on some human dtermining that lightning might be in the area and taking action. Second, the amount of equipment the typical homeowner would have to unplug each time there was a forecast of the possibility of thunderstorms is large. Third, last time I checked, it's not very practical to unplug much of the equipment, like an oven, refrigerator, furnace, AC, etc. All of mine have electronics in them. This isn't 1960 with the only electronics in the house being a radio and TV. Fourth, most of that gear has a clock or other settings that need to be reset each time it loses power, which is a big pain in the ass.

I know it works because like the IEEE I understand the science behind it.

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On 7/27/2011 2:55 PM, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Actually 10k AMPS. Lightning is essentially a current source.
Principles of protection are well know. Gfretwell's 4 points are basic (although I have not seen ferrite beads from other sources). They are also in the State Farm article Vic linked to.
If you unplug power, you also need to unplug phone (where applicable). Probably also disconnect cable and dish (you can get about 4kV between the center conductor and shield).

Use a protector with high ratings. As explained in a different post the cumulative rating can be far larger than the stated single hit rating. Unless you get a lot of lightning surges, a service panel protector with high ratings is likely to last a real long time. With high ratings a plug-in protector is not likely to ever fail.
--
bud--

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wrote:

It was interesting that Vic linked State Farm since their techs in Winter Haven Fl came up with some of the strategies we used here. In particular they came up with the bonding wire between the frames of machines. (that started with a 50' printer cable in the agent's office) The ferrite on the signal cable came from us. The theory is the bond wire shunts out the shot and the ferrite delays the pulse in the signal cable until it is shunted out.
Vic has said he doesn't have grounded outlets so he is not getting everything he should out of his protectors. That is all the more reason to put in panel protectors and to look at his grounding electrode system. Be sure all of the other vendors (cable/satellite/telco) are bonded to his grounding electrode. Don't let them get away with driving their own rod and leaving. They are required by code to add a bonding wire to the service ground..
This is a is all "repair" so he should not need a permit.
BTW Vic, when you "unplug" everything do you also remove the phone and TV cables?
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On Thu, 28 Jul 2011 20:36:23 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

I use the surge protectors more for their outlets than anything else. Juice has always been steady here. Might get a flicker a couple times a year. This has been the worst year in 14. My computer rebooted twice a few days ago due to storms some miles away affecting the grid. It's been at least 6 or 7 years since that happened, but I had a UPS then so it didn't go down.

Got no idea. But I know a good electrician and I'll have him check it out soon. I don't pay any attention to what cable/telco do. Just see the boxes they put up near the meter. The year after I moved in I had a 200 amp service put in so I could have central air. That guy drove a 6' copper bar into the ground next to the meter. Know there's some leads clamped onto some water pipes too. This place needs about 4-5 more circuits and 4-5 new outlets to be neat. I'll let a pro do it all.

I don't unplug "everything." Just 2 plugs that power the surge boxes for 2 computers. That's my expensive stuff. Basically I bend down twice to pull them and twice to plug them in again. Usually pull the plug on my biggest TV too, but not always. It's a 32" CRT, and you can pick them up for 50 bucks. My gaming computer surge box is on is on a grounded outlet. The computers/peripherals are worth more than all the other appliances in here combined, including the furnace. After reading this thread and googling around a bit I also started pulling the input cable to the data modem. That gets routed to both computers. Saw where computers get fried via the cable. I ordered a Belkin 12-outlet suppressor with cable surge protection. But I'll disconnect the cable in when I pull the plug. I don't bother with anything else. Still have phone, TV, etc. I generally know when storms are coming, but don't pull those plugs unless I hear thunder or I'm leaving the house for a while. Maybe do this about a dozen times a year. Hardly a foolproof method, but hey. Thing is, once you do it you can trap yourself. How are you going to feel if you don't do it and get zapped? That's why I never picked numbers when I played the big lottos. Then you have to keep playing. We had a little earth tremor here a few years ago, and I got to thinking about that big New Madrid, Missouri earthquake. So I was talking to my insurance agent and for the hell of it asked what earthquake insurance for my house would cost. He had no idea - nobody here has it. But he said he'd call me back, and he did. About 50 or 75 bucks a year, can't remember exactly. So I told my wife, and said "Should we get it?" She says, "You decide." So I start thinking about the big one hitting and me and her standing in the rubble of our house, and she looks at me and says, "Did you get that earthquake insurance?" Anyway, I bet I'm the only sucker in Morton Grove, Illinois paying for earthquake insurance. You can call that too much bad imagination, but I just chalk it up to "preparedness."
--Vic
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On Thu, 28 Jul 2011 21:29:25 -0500, Vic Smith

Just be sure the ground wire from the cable and phone Dmark goes to your ground rod.

If I was using that plan, I would be unplugging my stuff every day for 6 or 7 months of the year. We have a thunderstorm almost every day in the summer and there are numerous cloud to ground strikes within a mile or two in most of them. That was the same situation that prompted all the lightning mitigation work we did. This is the lightning capital of the world.
If you count the DVRs, I have around 10 computers plugged in and on the network all the time along with all the other hardware to support them. Sometimes more. Running around unplugging all of that stuff once or twice a day would probably cause more problems that it would cure.
Could I get hit by lightning and blow something up? Sure, but I could be hit by a meteor too. I do what I know works and hope for the best.
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...

...
Pure Bull Scat
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On Sat, 30 Jul 2011 09:58:31 -0400, "Twayne"

All of the components that are connected to the EGC are useless. That is about 2/3ds of them.
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On Jul 30, 11:58am, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Twayne should know about bull crap. It's his specialty. Lots of BS claims and when challenged on any of it, just refuses to provide anything to back it up.
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On Wed, 27 Jul 2011 07:51:57 -0500, Vic Smith

It is really not that expensive, certainly not more than the deductible of most home owner insurance policies and nothing compared to the cost of a big screen TV. Cable companies and telcos should already have protection on their cables. You can get very robust panel protectors for well under $100 for your electrical service. Fixing your ground electrode system should not be that expensive, it could be as simple as adding a rod to your water pipe ground and being sure all the available electrodes are bonded together. That is code anyway. Being sure all of your protectors connect to that system might not cost anything.
You can get pretty good point of use protectors for $30-40 and if you shop the surplus outfits you can usually find them cheaper than that.
A bag of ferrite beads is pretty cheap.
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On Wed, 27 Jul 2011 11:55:50 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Right.
My house was built in 1959. At least half the outlets and switches are 2-wire. I'm not about to invite the inspector in here. When I get around to having my daughter's electric contractor near-fiance do an estimate for bringing everything to code, I might make a panel surge suppressor part of the deal.

I've got them, and I unplug them when lightning is about. And I'll keep unplugging my expensive gear when lightning is about even if I get a panel surge protector. Not a big deal, just habit.
--Vic
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At least you finally got that point. You've said twice in this thread that surge protection for a home costs several thousand bucks.

That's all well and fine. But is has nothing to do with the fact that there are sound surge suppression methods that work.

As I said, if that's what you want to do, that's fine. It doesn't mean that there is no other sound surge protection strategy. And for most of us, unplugging is just impractical. If there are scattered thunderstorms forecasted overnight, I'm not about to go unplug every electronic device in my house on the chance that a storm might come along while I'm sleeping. And it would be quite unreasonable to expect me to unplug my oven, refrigerator microwave, furnace, humidifier, freezer...... All of those have electronics. Should I take the oven and dishwasher out of the wall each time? Put the furnace on a plug? And each time you unplug all that stuff you then have to reset the blinking clocks on most of it. Or it loses some of the settings and is a pain in the ass to get straightened out again.
I think those of us with life experience know that systems that rely on humans are among the most unreliable. And I'd also point out that while lightning caused surges are most common, there are other destructive surges that can occur when there is no lightning and all your stuff is still plugged in.
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The statement,a faraday cage will protect against an emp might be misleading. I was trying to find an example what the pulse consists of. Many people believe a faraday cage shields emf. It does not. It can attenuate depending on frequency and what the cage consists of. A faraday is primarily an electrostatic shield. Aluminum or copper can reduce the magnetic component being a short circuit or a one turn secondary, thus sucking energy from the emf. Steel, iron, or mumetal actually help stop emf, and it must be thick. Making an aluminum cage, does almost nothing against shielding 60 Hz emf. I have tested this many times, and have constructed and worked with many cages for medical research.
Another thing, if a lightning bolt goes through a faraday cage, the huge current will still create a large emf spike inside the box.
Greg
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