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A lot of us have lots of $ invested in our PC, risk of storms destroying it? Thoughts

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by Phusius, Aug 15, 2012.

  1. westom

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    Even when switched off, an appliance is still connected to AC mains and the surge. A protector too far from earth ground and too close to appliances gives a surge even more paths to find earth destructively via the appliance. In fact, an adjacent protector can bypass superior protection in a computer's power supply by connecting that surge directly to its motherboard.

    Did you really think a 2 centimeter part inside a power strip will stop what three miles of sky could not? Most do only because hearsay and advertising says that.

    Two completely different devices exist; both called protectors. One located adjacent to appliances does not even claim to protection from destructive surges. And costs tens or 100times more money.

    The other is located adjacent to earth ground. Has numbers that define protection even from direct lightning strikes. And costs about $1 per protected appliance. This completely different device is the only solution found in any facility that cannot have damage. Separation between the protector and appliance increases protection. But more important is what makes any protector effective: that low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth ground.

    Lightning will easily blow through an open switch or blown fuse. But it need not do so. Since an adjacent protector provides more wires to bypass superior protection inside the supply. Protector connects a surge directly to the motherboard.

    Above says what one device, called a protector, does. And why it does not even claim to protect. Above also introduces another completely different device, also called a protector. That routinely protects from direct lightning strikes, is many times less expensive, is the only solution used where damage must not happen, and is properly sized so as to not fail.

    Or read manufacturer spec numbers. How does that 'adjacent to the computer' protector absorb hundreds of thousands of joules when its own numbers only claim to absorb hundreds of joules? Either that 2 cm part must block the surge. Or must absorb it. In reality it does neither. It only does what its spec numbers claim: protect from surges that typically cause no damage.
     
  2. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Direct lighting strikes huh? :laugh: Here you go again.
     
  3. INSTG8R

    INSTG8R

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    Only thing I can think of that I lost due to a storm was the AC Adapter for my Router. My whole system is plugged into a "half decent" Belkin unit, PC was off but didn't think about the router. "Surge Master" my arse didn't even trip just fried that adapter...
     
  4. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    When you buy stuff, be sure to get warranty on it.

    There is nothing that can 100% protect your PC. In fact, your GF spilling coffee on your gaming rig (or you spilling your beverage) or a pipe leak, or a fire, or some other random physical act is just as likely (if not more) than a surge to take out your gear.

    Bottom line - look at your computer exactly as you said - $ invested. If it is a large enough sum, insure it.
     
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  5. CJCerny

    CJCerny

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    A well-made and well-designed surge protector is capable of stopping a lightning strike. That doesn't mean it is capable of stopping every lightning strike. Even the best surge protectors, however, cannot stop it completely. Lightning is a tricky beast. It can leap to electronics in a lot of different ways. Even if your device is completely unplugged from the wall, the EMP effect of a direct lightning strike can still destroy sensitive electronics if the strike is close enough. Getting a good surge protector, and making sure that all of your connections (network, cable, etc.) are run through it offers you some protection, but not complete protection. You'll need to make sure your devices are insured if you want complete protection.
     
  6. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    I mean unless you live in a very high, dry, elevation with lots of lightning the odds of this are pretty low. If that is the case get a proper APC/power filtering unit and be sure to use plastic rizers/ insulating case components?

    I think if you are that worried about lightning hitting your rig, you should get a bit more than a surge protector.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  7. westom

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    Did you read those Belkin specs? It does not even claim to protect from destructive surges. Its numbers define protection only from surges that typically do no damage.

    Despite popular hearsay, one effective protector must protect everything in the house even from a direct lightning strike. Its spec numbers will say so. For example, lightning is maybe 20,000 amps. So a 'whole house' protector is rated at least 50,000 amps - so that even the protector is not damaged. Facilities that cannot have damage always earth a 'whole house' protector. They need protection; not a scam.

    For protection, buy something completely different that, unfortunately, has the same name. More responsible companies provide these 'whole house' protectors. Including General Electic, Intermatic, Ditek, Siemens, Leviton, ABB, Square D, and so many other companies known by any guy for their integrity. Critical is to earth a surge BEFORE it can enter the building. Only effective protectors also have a dedictated earthing wire. Any protector adjacent to electronics can sometimes make damage easier. Best protectors also increase separation between protector and electronics.

    An effective protector connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. Not to motherboard digital ground, chassis ground, wall recpetacle safety ground, or TV floating ground. That 'as short as possible' connection must be to what actually absorbs all surge energy - earth ground.

    It's easy to sell magic boxes to the naive. The naive do not ask damning questions. For example, a protector adjacent to that router must either block a surge or absorb it. How does that 2 cm part block what three miles of sky could not? It cannot. How does its hundreds of joules absorb a surge that is hundreds of thousands of joules? It doesn't.

    It does not have to. Notice how many just know it protects from lightning even if the manufaturer specifications do not even claim that protection. Honest replies include underlying facts and numbers. The Belkin did near zero protection that its own spec numbers said it would do. In some facilities, an employee could be fired for installing that Belkin. They cannot have damage.
     
  8. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showpost.php?p=2659006&postcount=17
     
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  9. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    It take roughly 30,000 volts to jump a 1 inch gap

    A typical lightning bolt contains 1 billion volts, you do the math.
     
  10. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    LOL :toast:
     
  11. westom

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    If 30,000 volts can jump 2.5 centimeters, then how does that 2 cm protector part in a magic box stop 1 billion volts? Magic power strips will stop it? Even its specs do not claim protection from a typically destructive surge.

    Telcos all over the world suffer about 100 surges with each storm. How many times has your town been without phone service for 4 days while they replace that $multi-million computer? Never? How can that be if nothing can stop 1 billion volts?

    Simple. Informed consumers and telcos do not buy expensive protectors that claim miracles. Do not buy protectors located adjacent to electronics. Do not buy protectors defined by the NIST as "useless".

    A surge connected low impedance (ie 'less than 3 meters') to earth ground is not inside the building. Routine is to absorb surges harmlessly in earth. Then everyone in town uses telephone without interruption during and after every thunderstorm. Superior solution costs about $1 per protected appliance.

    Do the math. Number of days your town has no phone service after each thunderstorm? Zero. Protection, as used even 100 years ago, is that effective. And is not found or provided in 'many times more expensive' magic boxes. It did what it manufacturer specs said it would do. Did not even protect a router's supply.

    Protection from all lightning is always about a current path into earth. If that path is inside via appliances, then damage is inevitable. If outside, then hundreds of thousands of joules (and that rumored billion volts) dissipate harmlessly in earth. Nobody even knew a surge existed. As Franklin first demonstrated in 1752.
     
  12. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    Here we go comparing telcos with normal residential houses again. Next up the Ufer ground system. When you gonna stop spreading unpractical FUD man.
     
  13. ChristTheGreat

    ChristTheGreat

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    All powerbar, UPS I have have the 3 pins like this:

    [​IMG]

    All what is important have this. Never had any issue. The only thing I saw that broke, was a VHS at my parent'S home, long time ago. Hydro-Quebec did pay for the broken stuff.

    [​IMG]

    this was the problem. As for lightning, I guess before a lightning just hit your cable and not the transfo, it will broke your house and put it in fire lol.. There is alot of people having their house damage from lightning. I would care much more about my house and life, then my computer..
     
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  14. Capitan Harlock

    Capitan Harlock

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    same in italy, the only problem is then italy and other country in europe bring energy from france ,and is a shit paying the company for energy than they dont make it xd
     
  15. m1dg3t

    m1dg3t

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    My "main" rig is plugged into a Monster combo avs2000/hts5100 mk2, but thats only because it is in the rack beside the TV. My other box is plugged into an earthed $15 supressor with a $125k replacement coverage "guarantee" :rolleyes:

    Haven't decided what to do with my next build yet, still waiting on some parts so no rush :roll:

    Edit: I'm more concerned with the 12g/10g ALU wire running throughout this apt building than being kicked by a lightning strike
     
  16. westom

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    Worry about a power bar that claims hundreds of joules. A surge - hundreds of thousands of joules - can easily overwhelm that protector. It has two choices. Disconnect protector parts as fast as possible while leaving the computer connected to that surge. Or not disconnect fast enough and create a house fire.

    Grossly undersized protectors disconnect fast enough - most of the time. But many, such as ramjet33 on 6 Jun 2012, discovered the resulting house fire that almost killed his entire family. In "My 110 Tall had a fire over the weekend!":
    Just another reason why informed consumers earth one 'whole house' protector. So that power strip protectors are protected - do not cause house fires.

    melbourne architect in "Safety Switches / Surge Protection" at describes another protector created fire:
    Even firemen sometimes have to learn this stuff the hard way. rather than read spec numbers. Protection means that current is not inside a building.
     
  17. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    To be completely safe...

    [​IMG]

    For the unitiated, that is a Faraday cage
     
  18. pantherx12

    pantherx12 New Member

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    How many lightning rods do you get on buildings in the US?

    Anything over three stories high tends to get lead strips bolted to the top and side of the buildings here.


    Also in an "emergency" you can use them to climb up the buildings XD

    ( I noticed that buildings in Italy, Torino anyway have the same strips)
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2012
  19. ChristTheGreat

    ChristTheGreat

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    We can't be 100% protected ;) a TV open could make a fire, your electrical system while lseeping could start burning, without having a lightning strike..

    So, basically, we should not buy anything that have electricity, or fire... We are sure to have only lightning strike to burn our house? ...
     
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  20. westom

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    Nobody said anything about 100% protection. But the IEEE says proper earthing provides "99.5% to 99.9% protection". Protection by earthing only one 'whole house' protector means a current need not hunt for earth inside; destructively via appliances. The IEEE then says, "Still, a 99.5% protection level will reduce the incidence of direct strokes from one stroke per 30 years ... to one stroke per 6000 years ... ".

    Are those numbers good enough?
     
  21. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    It depends on the area. From what I've witnessed, if a building is struck and damaged by lightning, the owners will usually end up installing one, after the fact.

    National Electric Code:

    I'm sure city codes are more stringent.
     
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  22. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    The NIST and IEEE also say surge protectors are effective. So what is it westom? Also if you think a whole house protector can stop a direct hit I got a bridge to sell ya.

    In FL it goes by county. Miami-Dade has some of the more strict codes in the US.
     
  23. ChristTheGreat

    ChristTheGreat

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    http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf

    one question I would like to ask, if proper earthing provides 99.5% to 99.9% protection, why not Grounding all what exist? So there would be no lightning strike?
     
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  24. Batou1986

    Batou1986

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    My thoughts, a surge protector is like a seat belt it will save your ass most of the time but when you drive off the road and hit a tree at 100mph not much is going to save you.

    Same apply's to lightning, most strikes and surges are going to occur away from your house which the surge protector will stop most of the time, lightning hits the ground 5ft from your house all bets are off.

    When we get storms with lots of lightning and wind here i flip the breaker that all my equipment is hooked to and disconnect the cable line where it comes in the house.
     
  25. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    I can show you photo evidence of this. Hold on let me find the link.

    Edit:
    http://forums.mikeholt.com/showthread.php/111891-Inspecting-for-lightning-damage?
     
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