Several years ago, my built-in dial-up modem was evidently damaged by
static electricity from a nearby lighting discharge. Anyhow - it no longer
worked and I had to get an external modem. Since then I always unplugged
the phone line from the modem during stormy times or when the computer is
not in use. Normally I don't use the computer if thunder is in the area.
Now I have DSL. Should I unplug the phone line from the CenturyLink
(Actiontec) C1000A modem as I did with the other or is it protected? Anyone
know? Or found out the hard way?
You know it's time to clean the refrigerator
when something closes the door from the inside.
Proper surge protection pretty much eliminates these problems.
At a bare minimum be sure the Telco surge protection at the Demark is
connected to your electric service electrode.
Be sure that electrode is effective. If in doubt, drive another rod
and connect everything together.
That is just the first step. The next thing I would do is put a surge
protector on the PC that also picks up the phone line if you have a
A whole house protector is a good addition to that.
A lot depends on where all of your utilities come in. If they are in a
central location, add grouped protection for all of your "inputs",
connected to the ground electrode with as short a wire as you can
I added a bus bar in the wiring closet where my stuff comes in and
have all of my protectors tied to that. I still have point of use
I do live in a place where daily ass kicking thunderstorms are the
norm all summer and I never unplug anything.
On Monday, September 29, 2014 1:56:48 PM UTC-4, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
Agree with the above, except I'd put the whole house surge protector at
least equal to, if not ahead of point-of-use protectors. In general,
the DSL modem is like any other modem or piece of equipment connectd to
the phone line. If a surge got the analog modem, it could also blow a
We lost both a watchguard firewall and aSMC CABLE modem to a ground
strike 3 weeks ago. Total cost of damaged equipment was over $8000.
It was underground service. I'd want a good lightning arrestor on the
dsl / phone line if above ground. Ground strike taking out equipment
on an underground feed is a pretty rare occurrence, apparently.
Twenty years ago, my mother lost a computer because it was connected to
the phone line; probably there was a thunderstorm. The phone company
and power company used separate grounding electrodes. With an extension
cord and a voltmeter, I found they were not bonded. I dug a shallow
trench and bonded them.
Afterwards, I learned that the phone company prefers not to bond
electrodes, although this violates the electrical code. When a neighbor
kept having to replace modem cards, I found that his electrodes were not
bonded. Instead of connecting them with a few cents' worth of wire, he
decided to depend on a surge protector and disconnecting everything in
the event of a storm. That meant he began losing surge protectors as
well as modems.
Lightning hit my house, causing $3500 in structural damage and destroyed
electronics. I was online. I restarted my computer and found
everything fine. Across the street, the ground surge wiped out my
neighbor's computer, modem, surge protector, phone system, and satellite
TV system (connected to the phone line). He still refused to bond.
I like to disconnect everything in threatening weather, but it hasn't
worked. I was online when lightning hit a tree 30 feet from my service
entrance. The phone man had to replace a protector on the pole across
the street, but I had no damage. When a tree 70 feet from my service
entrance was hit, it lit the neighborhood and blew bark 50 feet. I
continued surfing the web. Lighting hit the house a second time,
destroying the control board of my HVAC system and a battery-powered
thermometer. I kept surfing.
Bonding between the phone system and the power system is vital. I do
run my internet cable (used to be the phone line) through the same surge
protector as the computer, and I do have a whole-house protector that I
installed on the breaker box about 1983. (I wonder if it still works.)
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.