Whole house phoneline surge protection

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Every summer I lose at least one modem from lightning (on dialup). I try to shut off the computer during storms, but then I can not view the weather radar and watch for alerts. I try to stay online until the storm gets quite close before shutting down, but I have lost a few modems from distant strikes. Surge protectors have their limitations, but anything that helps is worth doing.
However, I have had several answering machines and cordless phones die too. In rural areas it seems these surges are worse than in a city. To protect everything, I'd have to install quite a few surge protectors to handle every phone device in the house. My questions is whether there is a WHOLE HOUSE surge protection device that I can buy, and install at the phone block where the line enters the house? That would be better than numerous surge protectors.
Thanks Thanks
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I suggest that you look at the grounding electrode system for your house. Do you have a good waterpipe connection? Do you have ground rods installed? Is your telephone demarcation block bonded to either the waterpipe or the ground rods? Is your cable TV demarcation block bonded to the waterpipe or ground rods? If you don't have a well grounded system then surge protectors won't help a lot. Lightning wants to go to earth and by providing a good direct path there it will avoid your appliances.
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On Thu, 05 Jun 2008 06:21:41 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

I have a surge protector near the entry point of my phone lines. I can easily detour the phone line through this one expensive surge protector and then on to its destination. The whole house is now protected.
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That assumes a surge protector provides the protection. It does not. What a protector connects to provides the protection. From the NIST:

Wire length is critical. A protector too far from earth ground may even divert (earth) that surge destructively through adjacent appliances. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground: quality of that earthing electrode AND connection to that electrode. Protection means a dedicated earthing wire from a protector that is short (ie 'less than 10 feet'), no splices, no sharp bends, separated from other wires, not inside metallic conduit, etc. That ground wire inside Romex violates every requirement which is another reason why an AC wall receptacle is not earthing and why a plug-in protector is not earthed.
Your phone line and cable should be earthed (as even required by code). The cable earthed by a direct connection; telephone via a telco (provided for free) 'whole house' protector. But two of three AC electric wires are not earthed. You must properly earth a 'whole house' protector. Incoming surges seek earth ground. One destructive path is incoming on AC electric, through powered phone appliances, then to earth ground on phone line. Damage routinely seen in answering machines, modems, and portable phone base stations if an AC electric 'whole house' protector is not installed. Others who don't learn this technology, instead, use speculation to assume a surge entered on phone lines.
What provides protection? Earthing. That means every incoming utility wire inside every cable must make that short ('less than 10 foot') connection to the SAME earth ground (and meet those other above connection requirements). Earthed by a hard wire or earthed by a protector.
A protector does not stop, block, or absorb what three miles of sky could not stop. But some (obscenely profitable) protectors get promoted on that myth. Effective protection means surge energy connected short to earth. Surges must be dissipated harmlessly in earth. Plug-in protectors do not even claim to absorb anywhere near those energy levels. A protector must shunt (connect, divert) a direct lightning strike to earth AND remain functional (not vaporize and not trigger the failure light).
. Each protection layer is defined by what provides that protection: single point earth ground. Above discusses secondary protection. Homeowners should also inspect primary protection: http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html
Meanwhile fuses don't do anything for surge protection. Fuses for surge protection are another urban myth.
A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. A protector without that short, dedicated earthing wire forgets to mention it does not protect from surges that typically cause damage. We make a protector even better by upgrading that earthing. Others have confused what provides protection. Not the protection. Protection is where surge energy gets dissipated: earth ground. It is routine to suffer a direct strike and no damage (even to protector) with proper earthing and one minimally sized 'whole house' protector.
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w_tom wrote: .

The OP says damage was only to equipment connected to phone and power lines. Equipment connected to power, but not phone, was not damaged. That suggests a problem related to phone wires.

w_ has a religious belief (immune from challenge) that surge protection must use earthing. Thus in his view plug-in suppressors (which are not well earthed) can not possibly work. The IEEE guide http://www.mikeholt.com/files/PDF/LightningGuide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf explains plug-in suppressors work by CLAMPING the voltage on all wires (signal and power) to the common ground at the suppressor. The voltage between wires going to the protected equipment is safe for the protected equipment. Plug-in suppressors do not work primarily by earthing (or stopping or blocking or absorbing). The guide explains earthing occurs elsewhere. (Read the guide starting pdf page 40).

The required statement of religious belief in earthing.
Most of w_’s rant is to say plug-in suppressors do not work (as usual). Both the IEEE and NIST guides say plug-in suppressors are effective.
w_ has never cited a source that agrees with him that plug-in suppressors do NOT work.
w_ has never answered embarrassing 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 IEEE guide say (for long phone entrance ground) "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector".
--
bud--

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You are absolutely WRONG.
Almost nothing you say is true.

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On Thu, 5 Jun 2008 07:53:25 -0400, John Grabowski wrote:

In addition, per my electrician, fuses provide better protection than breakers. Change out critical outlets with fuse/single outlet plates and run off them. Fuses blow on the first excess wave form. Breakers trip after a few wave forms. A fuse *might* blow before blowing your modem, phone, etc. Maybe you could make your own fuse panel for the main phone line coming in. It should only need an amp or 2 of protection.
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actually the amp rating is likely far lower.
if you go fuses, put a couple bells before the fuse, cant damage a old style bell.
then surge or fuse protect everything else.
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Installing a ground rod just for the phone line is probably the cheapest way to go.
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I thought that multiple, separate ground rods caused a problem.
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Correct. First multiple, separate ground rods make telephone appliance damage easier. Second, multiple, separate ground rods violate National Electrical Code.
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On Jun 5, 4:50 pm, snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

In a previous post, repeatedly stated was something critical - 'less than 10 feet'. Whereas that 50 foot wire might be sufficient for safety grounding (protect from electric shock), that same wire is too long for surge protection.
Every telco subscriber has a 'whole house' protector installed for free; located in what others have called the demarcation block or NID. But and again, that protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Bonding to a trailer does not connect lightning energy into earth. Earthing at the utility pole is only a primary surge protection ‘system’. Required is secondary protection where all utilities make that 'less than 10 foot' connection to the structure's (trailer's) single point earth ground.
Why would that telco installed ‘whole house’ protector not protect? No earthing. Protection means lightning's energy must be dissipated in earth. That telco 'whole house' protector must be earthed to an electrode that also earths AC electric, cable, and satellite dish. Those other requirements are also important: 'less than 10 feet, no sharp wire bends, separated from all other wires, etc.
In most cases, a single 10 foot ground rod provides a massive increase in protection (as also noted by John Grabowski). Soil is also relevant. For example, if sandy soil, then some will massively expand their earthing for a little more protection:
http://members.aol.com/gfretwell/ufer.jpg
http://scott-inc.com/html/ufer.htm All that to make the protector more effective. The point: a protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
AC electric pole earth ground only earths their transformer and its internal protector. A pole's earth ground does not earth a trailer or any other building. Each structure must also have its own single point earth ground.
Teleco installed 'whole house' protector without earthing (only trailer bonded) means that protector acted as if it never existed. How to create superior telephone line protection? 'Telco provided' (demarc or NID) protector must connect short ('less than 10 feet') to the best earthing electrode also used by AC electric, TV cable, and satellite dish where all wires enter the building. Bonded to the trailer would explain telephone appliance damage. No telephone appliance damage for 20 years means a properly earthed NID.
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And again completely ignores the benefits of series impedance :-)
Nick
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snipped-for-privacy@ece.villanova.edu wrote:

Lemee guess: Inside joke?
(What ARE the benefits of series impedance and how does one avail themselves of those benefits within the context of the OP's article?)
Thenk-kew.
--
:)
JR

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I'm thinking about a "lightning brake" before a spark gap to ground, eg:
http://www.uwrf.edu/grazing/lightning.pdf and
http://www.kencove.com/fence/Lightning+Choke+Coil_detail_MLC.php
Seems fine for power lines, maybe not so fine for phones.
Nick
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wrote:

AC electric pole earth ground only earths their transformer and its internal protector. A pole's earth ground does not earth a trailer or any other building. Each structure must also have its own single point earth ground.
Teleco installed 'whole house' protector without earthing (only trailer bonded) means that protector acted as if it never existed. How to create superior telephone line protection? 'Telco provided' (demarc or NID) protector must connect short ('less than 10 feet') to the best earthing electrode also used by AC electric, TV cable, and satellite dish where all wires enter the building. Bonded to the trailer would explain telephone appliance damage. No telephone appliance damage for 20 years means a properly earthed NID.
***************************************************************88
My neighbor recently got shocked by a lightening strike while using the phone. I told them the ground on their phone box was not connected. When they called Qwest, they were told that that was not the phone companies responsibility.
So, you can't count on the phone co. to do it right.
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Even code says that earth ground must exist. From FCC Part 68.215d(4):

From the National Electrical Code Article 800.30:

Your telco may only earth to provide human safety. To also provide transistor safety, that earthing must meet and exceed post 1990 earthing requirements. Some of those additional requirements were provided previously: 'less than 10 foot', separated from other non- grounding wires (ie safety ground inside Romex cable is not earth ground), no splices, no sharp bends, etc. Violating these earthing requirements means a surge may seek earth ground, destructively, via household appliances (ie modem, answering machine, portable phone base station).
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Of course I could google, and get a million hits, but maybe you can give a direct hint:
Any .pdf downloadable with lots of explanations, pictures, etc, maybe from one govt or another?
Thanks,
David
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snipped-for-privacy@invalid.com wrote:

I maintained a LOT of rural telephone infrastructure during my momentous career with Northwestern Bell Telephone Company -=> US WEST -=> Qwest.
(We used to call it "plant" instead of "infrastructure" but, probably, someone didn't KNOW what that meant or thought it meant PLANTS that grow and were embarrassed when they finally ASKED what it meant, so we can't call it PLANT anymore lest someone feel embarrassed that they, too, don't know what it means in this context.)
Over the years I worked on a lot of farms and acreages with numerous, powered outbuildings on a private distribution system.
You probably have an insufficient and likely defective grounding system on your premise. A call to a qualified electrician might be worth the cost.
All outbuildings should be properly grounded AT the power entrance to each building. The system should be so "earthed" at the distribution pole.
If your mobile home was properly grounded and anchored when first placed on its site, including wiring done by a qualified electrician, the superstructure of the manufactured home, including the main chassis frame and its properly welded outriggers, should provide sufficient low resistance bonding to earth for use by any protection device.
Simply re-making all existing ground connections around the place might solve the problem without actually FINDING the precise location.
The OPs give good advise. Good luck.
--
:)
JR

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Since his problem seems to be centered on the phone line, I'd start by calling the phone company. They should come out to check the grounding and surge protection on the phone line for free. It's possible it's defective or not there.

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