Whole house surge protector?

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Is there some way to protect a house from lightning strikes? We got whacked last week & have a lot of damaged electronic goodies. I don't want to go through this again! It struck my 10 ft satellite dish & came into the house & got into the mains panel. From there it went to every circuit in the house. I have 2 GFI circuits in the house and they both tripped and nothing on those circuits was damaged. That's why I asked about something that could cover the entire house.
Thanks
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Patch wrote:

everything should be grounded at the same place. including the satellite dish.
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Several years ago I had my main panel upgraded to 200A, covered by circuit breakers (original system was fuzes). Installer said the above issue was the most important. After he drove in the rod and connected the power system ground to it, he told me to get hold of the phone company and the cable guys and insist that they relocate their grounds to that ground. Once done, previous problems I had had with lightning strikes taking out TVs, etc., went away and I have not had that kind of a problem since. YMMV, I guess
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Patch wrote:

Your house should be protected from lightning strikes and this has nothing to do with surges. Is your satellite grounded? I don't know the codes but I am almost positive it should be. Everything outside of my house is grounded, and even on my last house which was build in 1920s. That way it would have never entered your house. There is NO protection from a direct lightning strike. That the GFCIs tripped was probably from noise due to the hit, but not likely a real hit. In fact you probably got a sympathetic stroke anyway, a direct hit would have blown some 8hit up. Including yourself.
How do you know where the stroke came in and how it travelled? Lightning just wants to get to earth, surprising it would get to the main box, then go back into the house again.
Anyway, that dish should probably have a ground line on it. Tying to ground outside of the house.
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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A whole house surge protector is an excellent idea, but it sounds like it wouldn't have helped in this case. The surge protector will protect against most lightening induced surges on the incoming AC, but if it enters the house elsewhere, it won't stop it. Like others have suggested, I'd check the grounding/installation of the dish.
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Three electric wires enter your house. One connects to earth ground. How are the other two wires earthed? Not earthed if a 'whole house' protector is not properly installed. Two of the three AC electric wires (not earthed by a 'whole house' protector) carry destructive surges (such as lightning) into a building; finding earth ground, destructively, via household appliances. In most homes, only one of three AC electric wires is earthed. In some homes, even that ground is missing or compromised.
It has been routine for generations to earth direct lightning strikes without damage. However homes were not designed to protect transistors. Unfortunately we still build new homes without superior and inexpensive earthing. So we do the best we can as an after thought. Still that after thought is sufficient to earth direct strikes without damage. But that means every wire - all three electric - both telephone wires, etc - make a short connection to the same earth ground either by direct connection or via a surge protector.
"CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert" wrote:

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w_tom wrote:

Well the electrical code should be such that these 3 wires are always present together. A strike is going to prefer the 'earthed' wire over the ones not earthed. Even if you install a surge device, the 'earthed' wire is still going to be the easier path to ground.
Its a surge protector, not a lightning protector. It will protect you to some degree from a borked transformer or some odd occurance likely generated local to your neighborhood (Frankenstein). It will absolutely not offer any protection from lightning strikes, direct or indirect.

Lightning will utterly obliterate a surge protector.
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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On Thu, 07 Jul 2005 10:42:05 -0400, "CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert"

20 years of experience here in Florida with hundreds of customers and their computers seems to dispute that. We have more lightning strikes on a typical summer afternoon than most of the country sees in a year. Effective grounding and transient protection works.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

effective grounding works. "Surge" protectors protect from surges, not lightning.
--
Respectfully,


CL Gilbert
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CL (dnoyeB) Gilbert wrote:

Very true, but surges may accompany lightning. Both for sensitive equipment.
--
Joseph Meehan

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message wrote:

for the Mains boxes and is readily avaliable. However, that does not negate the need for surge protection on sensitive equipment like computers: It's a different level of protection and also surges are created within the house environ also. NOTHING will protect against all lightning strikes, especially if they are close by.
HTH
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Pop wrote:

Not only do I agree with that, I practice it as well.
--
Joseph Meehan

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message wrote

===> I try to, but I think I just lost a printer due to a lightning surge yesterday. It popped the UPS on so I know it was a good hit, and the UPS shows it as a surge > 132Vac; and the printer quit working. Turns out I plugged the printer directly into the wall instead of one of the surge outlets. Dumb! ;=(.

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Don't have a whole house protector but think it's a good idea. I do use those strip surge protectors on just about everything. One time I had two in series and we caught a powerline overload and the first protector basically exploded, burned the carpet it was sitting on but a police scanner, shortwave radio and tel answering machine connected to it survived. The second surge protector which had a computer and printer hooked to it went untouched. These were standard "metal cased" MOV (metal oxide varistor) 5 outlet surge protectors. I'm convinced we would have had a house fire if the surge protectors had been encased in a plastic rather than metal. RM ~
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When an MOV protector fails catastrophically, then it was grossly undersized. It operated in a region not defined by its manufacturer - in violation of the part's intent. But if a power strip protector is undersized, then the homeowner will know of the surge. That promotes more sales of undersized protectors that really don't provide the protection and, as Rob Mills demonstrates, can even create a house fire.
The effective protector earths a surge; and the homeowner never knows it happened.
Protectors that provides effective protection are located close to earth ground AND are properly sized. This is called a 'whole house' protector. Where it is located? Not on a pile of papers on a desk, or behind the furniture, on a rug, or within dust balls. Just more reasons why plug-in protectors (that cost so much money) are so ineffective.
Rob Mills wrote:

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===> Undersized how? They're rated for x joules, more than that causes the MOVs to conduct, until they open the ckt. If you mean undersized to protect against monsrous surges, OF COURSE!! The sentence means nothing.
It operated in a region not defined by

===> How do you know that? But if

===> What does that mean? then the homeowner will

===> It's more likely the homeowner will NOT know of the surge, since the vast majority of the time an MOV fails OPEN once it conducts, he may not even know it was surged unless it has indicators for functionality.
That promotes more sales of undersized

===> NO surge protector can protect beyond the number of joules it's rated at, and it would very UNlikely to have started a fire if nothing else in the house was bothered. That surge, if it really happened, was large enough to jump the gaps of the MOVs once they opened up, and thus was capable of jumping many other gaps. Sometimes though, a protector CAN sacrifice itself for the equipment, which sounds like what happened, but ... it wouldn't have started a fire unless it was sitting inside a pile of tinder that sparks could have ignited. The plastic would nto have melted or other equipment would have been damaged. Black stuff only indicates spark, not flame.

===> No, protectors do much more than that; they are wye-connected varistors usually with inductive walls to keep the lines within safe ranges of each other whether it's earth or hot to neutral or ... and so on.

===> What the hell do you mean by "properly sized"?And what the heck does "close to ground" mean anyway?
You have no idea what you're talking about, do you?
This is called

===> Wrong, proton breath; they are quite effective and useful and are recommended for very good reasons. I hope you aren't using any and that you shortly suffer several power and phone line lightning hits within 5 miles of your home or less, preferably the transoformer you're fed from. You're a moron in this area. So, uhhh, just where is it located, by the way? Do you even know?
Pop
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MOVs don't open the circuit. Even grossly undersized power strips that have vaporized MOVs still connect an appliance to AC mains. Where is this disconnection that Pop claims? It does not exist.
A vaporized MOV operates outside of what the manufacturer has intended and designed. Pop, if he had used facts rather than post insults, would have first read those MOV datasheets rather than learn from a BestBuy salesman.
Effective 'whole house' protectors install sufficient joules. The owner never knows a surge exists AND the protector remains functional. Power strips that are undersized will vaporize leaving the appliance exposed to that surge. Then the naive will recommend them and buy more useless protectors at tens of times more money per protected appliance.
The naive will declare, "the protector sacrificed itself to save my computer." Protection already inside the adjacent computer saved that computer. The surge was too small to overwhelm internal computer protection. But the same tiny surge vaporized an undersized, overpriced, and ineffective protector. Why put sufficient joules inside a protector when less joules means Pop will recommend it?
If MOVs worked as Pop claims, then removed MOVs (same as vaporized MOVs) would cause the power strip to stop working. Reality: even the OK light remains illuminated after all MOVs are removed: http://www.zerosurge.com/HTML/movs.html Why do power strips with vaporized MOVs still provide power? Because they do not operate as Pop has posted.
Meanwhile code demands that all surge protectors not create flames even if operated beyond its specs. Pop instead tells us that "That surge ... was large enough to jump the gaps of the MOVs once they opened up" Therefore a fire is acceptable? When MOVs vaporize, the spark can continue jumping across the vaporized MOV. That can mean fire. MOVs are not designed to operate open circuited and are not designed to vaporize. MOVs that vaporize - go open circuit - can even create house fires. Why? Because the protectors was so grossly undersized; too few joules.
Learn from what Rob Mills has posted. The last place you want a grossly undersized power strip protector is on a desk full of papers, in dust balls behind furniture, or on a rug. Some pictures demonstrate the problem with grossly undersized plug-in protectors: http://www.westwhitelandfire.com/Articles/Surge%20Protectors.pdf http://www.nmsu.edu/~safety/programs/gen_saf/surgeprotectorfire.htm http://www.ddxg.net/old/surge_protectors.htm http://www.ehs.washington.edu/LabSaf/surge.htm http://www.cob.org/fire/safety/surge.htm http://www.hanford.gov/lessons/sitell/ll00/2000-02.htm
And finally: http://www.rbs2.com/fire.htm

Funny. That is not how Pop said they work. Funny. Pop would even call plug-in protector house fires acceptable when the surge is too large. Funny. He is so knowledgeable that he insults rather than provide numbers, science concepts, or citations. Worry about those grossly undersized power strip protectors as even Rob Mills demonstrates.
Pop wrote:

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open circuit! I haven't seen anyone say the CREATE an open circuit.

obviously not only don't know much about the subject and your reading comprehension appears to be even worse.

or what an equivalency might be? You don't "install" joules.
The owner never knows a surge exists AND the protector

the MOVs have done their job and BECOME OPEN CIRCUITS, which will no longer have a knee voltage at which they begin to turn on at. That does NOT say they open the ckt; it says the MOVs become an open ckt. Learn to read if you're going to give advice. It would also help if you knew what you were talking about.
Power strips that are undersized will

under/over size a power strip? A "power strip" literally does NOT have ANY surge protection. Your terminology is all mixed up.
Then

example?
engineers and technicians and those with horizontal experience records. "Naive" appears to be a word you like, but not one that is descriptive in the context you're using it in.
Protection already inside the adjacent

usable levels. It's also possible after such an event, that the "protection" inside the computer (it's actually in the power supply and telephone connection ckts, by the way) could concievably be no longer in existance. The MOVs could easily have also done their job, and been blown before the "power strip" clamped. You'd have to know the knee voltages and the clamping times to make such a statement as you' ve tried to argue here.
The surge was too small to

ratings used in most PC supplies? And those in the so called "power strips"? I am, and I've evaluated and repaired a LOT of them. THEN you have to go further and consider CMOS damage, whether it's lost ITS protection, and so on.
Why put sufficient joules inside a protector when

rather pathetic, so I'm going to write you off as a troll and you'll not hear further from me until/unless you find something sane and sensible to say. Your record is pathetic and you are a dangerous person to rely on.

This is getting comical, and rather pathetic, so I'm going to write you off as a troll and you'll not hear further from me until/unless you find something sane and sensible to say. Your record is pathetic and you are a dangerous person to rely on.
You're a troll.\\
PLONK! Thud!
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<snip some extremly rude stuff>
Most of the posts I have read here are very friendly. What is your problem? Is it because it's Usenet and no one knows who you really are? Pop, someday you may find out that things are not so cut and dried as they may seem to be to you. Life (facet) is to short and what we hold dear we hold near. Good luck with your struggle Sir.
:-)
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2_Biz snipped-for-privacy@allthetime.grr. wrote:

I have a feeling Pop will be here long after you've come, condescended, and disappeared...
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