Computer Help forum


Lightning Surge

by Electric Funeral / July 17, 2016 5:16 PM PDT

Hello all. I've scoured Google and had some problems finding an answer to my specific question so I figured a place like this may be able to help me out. Yesterday, my house got hit by a lightning surge and it took out some electronics (in addition to some power outlets) throughout the house. Included was my nice Asus router and my stereo system.

My question is this though. Both of these devices were on surge protectors with other devices plugged into their own outlets. Why didn't anything else on these protectors get hit? Am I missing something? Should I check anything else on the devices to make sure they are actually not functional any longer?

My router actually still powers on, but appears to not get a signal from a hardwired internet connection and devices cannot connect to it. I'm just pretty ignorant about lightning surges and am curious if anyone has experience with it before I call the insurance company and start chunking stuff. Thanks!

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All Answers

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That would take an engineer to do a forensic investigation.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 17, 2016 5:32 PM PDT
In reply to: Lightning Surge

Here's the thing. It's a big one. Strikes come in all sizes, locations, duration and magnitude. Only those new to the field would think protection is always going to work. It can help the average strike, do better when the power system is installed for such strikes and we can go on and on.

Years ago I was on a team for a system and when it came to lightning the engineering lead would not sign up the system would survive since no one could quantify what the strike load would be.

So there it is. You can't be sure of much but installing more protection over time is how I deal with it. This starts at the junction box or input panel of the house, all lines that come to the house and then simple surge bars everywhere to spread the load when it happens.

As to what to chuck, that's whatever has died. Since some items may die over the next year you need an engineer and lawyer to be sure they don't cut the payout off too soon.

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it is not clear

can you explain detail more?

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In detail.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 18, 2016 8:05 AM PDT
In reply to: it is not clear

This will take an electrical engineer that you hire to examine the building, wiring and answer your questions.

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by Bob__B / July 17, 2016 8:29 PM PDT
In reply to: Lightning Surge

If you take a direct hit or a nearby hit all bets are off.
How that surge will travel through your electrical system is a flip of a coin.

Get an electrician to come in and replace the sockets and inspect the system.
As best you can test every device that was plugged in to the system.
Do replace all your surge units.
Do notify your insurance carrier to get the ball rolling.
Do ask your carrier how they handle something that fails 30/60/90 days from now.
Do keep a list of every busted item and all cost.

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What It Really Does
by w_tom / July 18, 2016 7:47 PM PDT
In reply to: Lightning Surge

Lightning means a current was incoming to everything. Lightning is electricity. That means an item must have both an incoming and another outgoing path to earth. If both paths do not exist, then damage does not happen. That venue has a direct lightning strike without damage.

If that current connects to earth BEFORE entering, then everything is protected. If not, that current hunts for and selects best (destructive) paths via one or some appliance. Nothing on a power cord will avert that hunt. As in nothing - such as plug-in protectors or UPS.

Once that current finds earth via a few appliances (destructively), then it need not blow through other appliances.

Best protection at an appliance is already inside each appliance. Your concern is to earth a massive current so that it does not overwhelm that robust protection.

TV cable already has that protection as required by codes and other standards. A hardwire connects a cable low impedance (ie less than 10 feet) to single point earth ground. Then hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate harmlessly in earth. Then energy is not inside a building destructively hunting for earth.

Phone lines cannot connect direct to earth. So a 'whole house' protector (installed for free by the telco) is earthed. A protector makes a low impedance connection otherwise done better by a hardwire.

Every wire inside every incoming cable must make a low impedance (ie no sharp bends) connection to single point earth ground - either directly or via a protector. Only then is a surge not inside to overwhelm superior protection inside all appliances. Lightning is typically 20,000 amps. So a minimal 'whole house' protector for AC electric is 50,000 amps. And, of course, makes a a low impedance (ie hardwire not inside metallic conduit) connection to what actually does protection. It does not exist unless you install it. It harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. It requires most of your attention - single point earth ground.

Existing protector had no earth ground connection and will not discuss it. It permitted a surge to hunt for whatever appliance makes a best and destructive connection to earth. Nothing on a power cord averts that connection.

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by Plumber101010 / May 23, 2017 5:31 AM PDT
In reply to: What It Really Does

I am basically a nobody and I joined this forum for one specific reason but I see there is no internal messaging system from one member to contact another so I must make this statement here.

I am not an expert in this field whatsoever in fact I would say I'm just a regular every day guy that has absolutely no concept to the actual deeper knowledge that would be needed to even partake in this discussion.

What I am however is very intelligent, very logical and can figure things out in a
short time. I am also patting myself on the back when I say I'm a very good researcher and can come to conclusions that most people cannot and in fact I will use W Tom as that example.

I began my search to get information on surge protectors and came across this website and went back many many years and delved into any and all information I could find and for the last 4 hours I have been following and reading literally every single post in every single thread I could find dealing with surge protection and an hour or so into it, after determining who is the obvious expert hands-down, started following only W Tom has posts.

I have to ask everybody, why are people still arguing with this gentleman? It is blatantly obvious that this guy is at the top of the electronic / electrical food chain when it
comes to information on surge protection. Probably many many other topics and subjects as well but I cannot comment on that as I have only been following him on this subject. But somebody who has the knowledge that he does is normally not limited to something as simple and childish as a search protector..

I feel his pain. He has been trying for many many years to tell the world that they are being duped. They are being taken advantage of. That the world has been misinforming consumers for so long, that the world now believes that the dog **** they have been fed is ribeye steak!

Now I will admit that he contributes in a major way to the reason that more people don't take them as serious as they should. Why?

WTom, are you listening? Well, are you reading? Your biggest problem is you are definitely not the most articulate individual I have ever run into and you do a VERY poor job of explaining things I hate to say.

I had to reread what you wrote sometimes a dozen times and even then fill in the blanks for myself in trying to ascertain just what the heck it was you were saying!!

So many times I desperately wanted to take your paragraphs and rewrite them in a manner in which people could have easily understood what it was that you were saying.

But such is the mind of a genius sometimes that they are unable to correctly articulate the million thoughts twirling through their head.

Now add to this his frustration and desperation in trying to get some simple points across to others and most times it appeared to be nothing more than common gibberish spewing forth in his posts.

It's really sad because WTom has information that could transform this world and turn the retail business of surge protection on its heels and into the outside dumpster and could save millions perhaps billions of dollars being spent on this junk by consumers and after many hours of reading that's what surge protectors are complete junk!

It's obvious that WTom is an experts expert and even when reading the other "expert" posts, people who work for the utility company, people who work for computer companies, people who are hands down experts in their own rights, it's obvious that W Tom is even above those gentlemen by leaps and bounds.

He is in fact so intelligent and so far advanced that most people simply don't understand what he is saying and simply don't have the intellect to be able to dissect his information and as such write it off as him just to be almost an arrogant, overzealous Looney Tunes Happy

People have been so misinformed for so long (as I was as I began my quest for information many hours ago) they have just got it in their heads that surge protectors work and they have it in their head by nothing more than underhanded, misleading and downright false advertising.

They have got it in their heads because that's what Americans do, they swallow everything they hear, see and read.

So they look at that big fancy box with colorful graphics and see this huge monstrosity of an apparatus built purposefully with fancy aesthetics and throw a $200 price tag on it and Americans just naturally assume that it MUST be the best surge protection device ever built because my goodness, if it cost THAT much money...

People you been taken advantage of by corporate America (which is such a common event I'm really shocked no one thinks so) and here stands WTom trying to save you from it and explain it to you, very poorly again I will blame him for, but trying to protect you all the same.

And if it was frustrating for me I can imagine how frustrating it was for WTOM reading comments to what he is saying like:

Thanks Tom for your "opinion"
(Hello! Saying the sun rises in the east is NOT an opinion)


Well, some of what you're saying is right or I agree with you partially.
(which equates to listening to a talk on black holes from Stephen Hawking and making that comment to him)

So I am here to simply say the following:

1) WTOM I have been listening to you and I understand what you're saying! Surge protectors are complete junk whether they cost $7 or $12 million and if you have to buy one to pacify your hard headedness, buy the seven dollar one because it has the same 20 cents part in it the $12 million one has regardless of how hard the company has went out of the way to convince you it's a $12 million product.

2) To ALL consumers and purchasers of surge protectors DO NOT BUY THEM, regardless of what you have convinced yourself of, regardless of what other experts have tried to convince you of, regardless of what the manufacturers try to convince you of. It's a sham people wake up it's a sham!!!

3) WTOM, rather than make 5 million posts over many many threads over many many years basically trying to make the exact same point lover and over can I make a recommendation to you? Write one VERY long and VERY articulate explanation, involve any and all variables that you have covered in the past, then just copy and paste on every thread that involves surge protection. Then turn your back and walk away from the thread because you know in your heart that no matter what you write they are going to insist that the world is flat!

4) I'd like to offer my services to you, as I've already gathered enough info in reading all your posts that I'd like to write such an indepth post for you, send to you and not even involve me. You have a worthy cause and I would like to assist you for free!!! If you say no I'm going to write it anyway and post..

People are not taking you serious cuz you lose them as they read cuz you're too technical to begin with, plus your frustration is leading you to make rude and arrogant remarks pissing them off, which further encourages them not to take you serious, plus you just don't really have the ability to write in a manner in which people can understand Happy

I haven't read this thread so you could be nice here don't know. I'm done reading! Thanks to YOU no further reading required!

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My contact
by Plumber101010 / May 23, 2017 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: W_TOM

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