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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. Phusius

    Phusius New Member

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    This topic could have died a long time ago, lol.

    I already told you guys I now I understand the best option when there is a lightning storm is just to unplug PC from wall and read a book while I wait for it to pass. xD
     
  2. Batou1986

    Batou1986

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    don't forget the ethernet/cable too my buddy just lost a GB P45-UD3P and a router thanks to that.
     
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  3. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

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    We've been using heavy grade indoor surge protectors plus a beefed up surge panel in the garage for years, and never have we had anything attacked by electricity. So, that's all I can really recommend. If your computer equipment is actively processing or holding some critical information, buy the best UPS you can afford. Same thing goes for surge protectors: do research on the models and purchase the best you can afford.


    Americans have become pretty careless in our treatment of lightning preparedness, mostly because of our urban and suburban upbringings. Rarely do you see lightning rods on buildings, never on houses. Nevertheless, I know of people every year who lose something to lightning. Cultures that have roots to open plane farming and other range duties are going to be more cautious when entering lightning's territory, since its effects on their forefathers was much more tragic.


    3000th post! I'm halfway there, living on a prayer :rockout:
     
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  4. TheMailMan78

    TheMailMan78 Big Member

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    lol You should come to Central and South Florida. Lighting is an every day concern. Power just went out an hour ago from lighting. Almost every day we have lighting storms around 3pm in the Summer.
     
  5. phanbuey

    phanbuey

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    Yup. And I have yet to lose something to bad power or a lightning strike.
     
  6. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    yogurt_21 says thanks.
  7. Soylent Joe

    Soylent Joe New Member

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    It's the same thing here man. In fact it's storming outside right now. Has been every day for at least a week.
     
  8. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I have a lightning rod on the building I currently live in. At my old place I had horrible power/outages/surges/spikes/etc... Anyways, a good UPS with good power conditioning will do good to protect your stuff. If you are going to use a surge protector, have one off of your fuse box, don't bother with something you plug into the wall. In the end, if lightning/God/Zeus/whatever wants to take your computer down with lightning, it will.
     
  9. westom

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    I am not sure I understand the question. But ground is about taking what exists. And upgrading it to also exceed code. Grounding as defined by code is only sufficient for "human safety". Grounding for "transistor safety" means installing a earth ground that both meets and exceeds National Electrical Code requirements.

    For example, the breaker box is earthed per code. A bare copper, 6 AWG wire may go up over the foundation and down to an earth ground rod. Meets code. And has excessive impedance. For surge protection, that wire is rerouted through the foundation and down to earth ground. To eliminate sharp bends over the foundation. To separate it from other wires. And to make that wire shorter. Every foot shorter means lower impedance; better protection. And example of earth ground that "exceeds" code requirements.

    Do not earth ground appliances. That only makes an a destructive path to earth. Earth the surge. Then that current need not hunt for earth destructively via appliances.

    Neither a UPS nor power strip has that earth ground NOR will even discuss it. Discussion would only harm obscene profit margins. Informed consumers protect all appliances even from direct lightning strikes for about $1 per appliance. Informed homeowners upgrade earthing connected short (low impedance) to a 'whole house' protector. Superior protection for tens of times less money.
     
  10. bud-- New Member

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    Excellent information on surges and surge protection is at:
    http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf
    - "How to protect your house and its contents from lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC power and communication circuits" published by the IEEE in 2005 (the IEEE is a major organization of electrical and electronic engineers).
    And also:
    http://www.eeel.nist.gov/817/pubs/spd-anthology/files/Surges happen!.pdf
    - "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to protect the appliances in your home" published by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2001

    The IEEE surge guide is aimed at people with some technical background.

    The IEEE link was also posted by ChristTheGreat.

    Complete nonsense.

    Many Belkin protectors even have protected equipment warranties.

    It is not possible to provide reliable protection from "a direct lightning strike" to a building without lightning rods.

    The author of the NIST surge guide looked at the surge current that could come in on residential power wires. The maximum with any reasonable probability of occurring was 10,000A per wire. That is based on a 100,000A lighting strike to a utility pole adjacent to the house in typical urban overhead distribution.

    Recommended ratings for service panel protectors is in the IEEE surge guide on page 18. Ratings far higher than 10,000A per wire mean the protector will have a long life.

    Service panel protectors are a real good idea.
    But from the NIST surge guide:
    "Q - Will a surge protector installed at the service entrance be sufficient for the whole house?
    A - There are two answers to than question: Yes for one-link appliances [electronic equipment], No for two-link appliances [equipment connected to power AND phone or cable or....]. Since most homes today have some kind of two-link appliances, the prudent answer to the question would be NO - but that does not mean that a surge protector installed at the service entrance is useless."

    Service panel suppressors do not by themselves prevent high voltages from developing between power and phone/cable/... wires. The NIST surge guide suggests most equipment damage is from high voltage between power and signal wires. An example of where a service panel protector would provide no protection is the IEEE surge guide example starting page 30.

    Service panel protectors are very likely to protect anything connected only to power wires from a very near very strong lightning strike.

    All these "responsible" manufacturers except SquareD make plug-in protectors and say they are effective. (Westom says plug-in protectors are a scam.)

    SquareD says for their "best" service panel protector "electronic equipment may need additional protection by installing plug-in [protectors] at the point of use."

    They are only magic for westom. He can't figure out how they work.

    Of course not.

    Protectors do not work by "blocking" or "absorbing".

    As anyone who can read can find out in the IEEE surge guide (starting page 30), plug-in protectors work primarily by limiting the voltage from each wire (power and signal) to the ground at the protector. The voltage between the wires going to the protected equipment is safe for the protected equipment.

    ***When using a plug-in protector all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same protector. External connections, like coax also must go through the protector.

    Of course not.

    The author of the NIST surge guide investigated how much energy might be absorbed in a MOV in a plug-in protector. Branch circuits were 10m and longer, and the surge on incoming power wires was up to 10,000A (the maximum that has any reasonable probability of occurring, as above). The maximum energy at the MOV was a surprisingly small 35 joules. In 13 of 15 cases it was 1 joule or less.

    Plug-in protectors with far higher ratings are readily available. High ratings mean long life. A plug-in protector, wired correctly (as above), is very likely to protect from a very near very strong lightning strike.

    (Neither service panel or plug-in protectors protect by absorbing surges. They both absorb some energy in the process of protecting.)

    Complete idiocy.

    At about 6,000V (US) there is arc over from service panel busbars to the enclosure. Since enclosure is connected to the earthing system that dumps most of the energy from a strong surge to earth. There is also arc over at about 6,000V at 15 and 20A receptacles (US). That is one reason the maximum energy measured at a plug-in protector was 35 joules.

    What does the NIST surge guide say about plug-in protectors?
    They are "the easiest solution".
    And "one effective solution is to have the consumer install" a multiport plug-in suppressor.
    And "plug-in...The easiest of all for anyone to do. The only question is 'Which to choose?'"

    Both the IEEE and NIST surge guides say plug-in protectors are effective.

    The 99+% figures are from the IEEE "Green" book. They are for lighting rods. The have nothing to do with surge protectors.

    Westom googles for "surge" in his compulsive crusade to rid the universe of the scourge of plug-in protectors. A significant part of this post is repeated from a post linked by TheMailMan78 from 2 months ago. Westom just ignores anything that conflicts with his limited beliefs about protection.
     
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  11. OneMoar

    OneMoar

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    iv lost 6 machines to lighting surge protectors do little good for anything beyond a +50V spike lighting loves Ethernet ports to so ...
     
  12. de.das.dude

    de.das.dude Pro Indian Modder

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    simple rule. if you have overhead electricals, plug off electricals. if you have internet, definitely plug that off. then you are safe.

    lightning stuck my ISP and a couple of their routers were fried, and my lan chip onboard died. but rest of my pc is fine.
     
  13. OneMoar

    OneMoar

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    Ethernet is a common ground so all that really needs to happen is a lighting strike to happen nearby and "charge" the air and it will fry he lanport because copper wire+highvoltage=current iv had it happen a lighting bolt struck a tree ~300 foot from the house fried every lanport in every device in the house
     
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