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

Phusius

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#1
Been wondering lately, being in Indiana we tend to get a lot of storms with a lot of lightning. Power usually gets shut off several times through the year without notice (which is scary enough for the PC), but what about lightning or surges? It hasn't happened in awhile, but it does happen.

How much can I and I assume most of you rely on our Wal-Mart branded Belkin surge protectors to protect our monitors/PC's?


Just wondering, storm season is picking back and I am getting paranoid. :roll:
 

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#2
Surge protectors does nothing against actual lightning. When there's a storm on top I unplug everything (depends a bit on if the house is grounded against it, but even then it's not sure), mom and dad have had a couple of faxes and computers destroyed by it.
 
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#3
you'll get people that range from simple surge protectors, to expensive ones, all the way to UPSs. I personally use a UPS with an expensive protector but that's because I have crucial work data on a server.
truth be told, get the one with the best warranty and keep your data backed up - then just use the warranty if the surge protector doesn't do it's job.

edit: and agree with frick, if you know there will be electrical activity, shut your stuff down.
 

Frick

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#4
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#5
And unplug it. :roll:

How does UPS's fare agains lightning btw?
lol yes, and unplug it. minor detail ;)

i've killed a few batteries but not an actual unit yet. that being said i have to assume the unit could go pretty easily as well.
 
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#6
Surge protectors does nothing against actual lightning. When there's a storm on top I unplug everything (depends a bit on if the house is grounded against it, but even then it's not sure), mom and dad have had a couple of faxes and computers destroyed by it.
Not all the way true. You can install a surge protector at the breaker box thats pretty damn effective. Most people dont think about/know about them. Good one is about 500 bucks but only protects the power. You need to watch the coaxial and phone lines also. They do come cheaper but I don't trust them.

At the end of the day if Zeus wants your ass he will have it.
 
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#7
when a storm comes a knockin turn off everything. unplug even

I got zapped once before, lighting hit outside my window, passed into my comp, into my mouse into my arm.
 

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#8
All my computers have UPSs on them because I lose power frequently. All other expensive electronics (TVs, entertainment system, etc.) have a surge supressor. The last direct lightning strike was over a decade ago.
 

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#9
I don't have any such protection and never experienced any problems. Germany's power network is great though, there's a short outage maybe once every two years.

Does anyone actually know anybody who had damage from lightning?
 

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#10
I did, twice. First time, a surge supressor caught it and it left black marks all over the inside of it. Stupid me kept on reusing it (didn't think to look inside until after the fact) not knowing it was blown and the second computer was totaled. The surge took out other electronics in the house too.
 
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#11
I don't have any such protection and never experienced any problems. Germany's power network is great though, there's a short outage maybe once every two years.

Does anyone actually know anybody who had damage from lightning?
I live in Florida.....west cost no less. Lighting capital of the world. Its like living on a giant Brillo pad. Ive had lots of damage over the years. Hell Tampa means "Sticks of Fire" in the native.
 
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#12
Surge protectors does nothing against actual lightning. When there's a storm on top I unplug everything (depends a bit on if the house is grounded against it, but even then it's not sure), mom and dad have had a couple of faxes and computers destroyed by it.
Surge protectors are perfectly fine for indirect lightning strikes. For direct strikes, what difference does a surge protector make when all the cables are thrown out of the walls?
I've had 2 surge units fried by indirect strikes. No harm was done to my hardware and i got a new surge protector for free because it was still in warranty.
 
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#13
mobo got fried. yet, surprisingly msi rma sent it back fixed same board.
everything else but mouse worked

had modems, routers, dreamcasts fried from Zeus
 
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#14
Surge protectors are perfectly fine for indirect lightning strikes. For direct strikes, what difference does a surge protector make when all the cables are thrown out of the walls?
I've had 2 surge units fried by indirect strikes. No harm was done to my hardware and i got a new surge protector for free because it was still in warranty.
It depends on the setup. Some places can take a direct hit ok. All highrises are setup this way. Ive even seen some very expenisve homes setup too.
 
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#15
I don't have any such protection and never experienced any problems. Germany's power network is great though, there's a short outage maybe once every two years.

Does anyone actually know anybody who had damage from lightning?

Germany earths everything plugged in like the UK doesn't it? ( my power adaptor from Germany looks like it has two earthing plates in the top and bottom anyway)


I've never had any problems and neither has anyone I know in the UK. ( Well aside from other problems like fires because the internal wiring in most houses is shit here :laugh: )

The only power outages I've had are when the local transformer packs in because again, it's shit. :laugh:
 

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#16
I did, twice. First time, a surge supressor caught it and it left black marks all over the inside of it. Stupid me kept on reusing it (didn't think to look inside until after the fact) not knowing it was blown and the second computer was totaled. The surge took out other electronics in the house too.
I am now convinced to just unplug whenever there is a storm, thanks. :nutkick:
 

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#17
Germany earths everything plugged in like the UK doesn't it? ( my power adaptor from Germany looks like it has two earthing plates in the top and bottom anyway)
that's correct. we have three wires in the cable. one phase, one ground and one additional ground which is connected to the outer metal of the device. if the phase gets lose for some reason and touches the metal shell you'd get a nasty shock normally, but with that system it will just kick out the circuit breaker and people don't die.

for the discussion in this thread this makes no difference though
 
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#18
Storms here almost always cause outages, so UPS's are pretty common at businesses and homes. Been lucky in regards to damage. Pool pump, router, house plant (was near an outlet that sparked).

I live in Florida.....west cost no less. Lighting capital of the world. Its like living on a giant Brillo pad. Ive had lots of damage over the years.
Actually, we're the lightning capital of the US. Rwanda has twice as many lighting strikes :)
 

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#19
Surge protectors are perfectly fine for indirect lightning strikes. For direct strikes, what difference does a surge protector make when all the cables are thrown out of the walls?
That was the point. :)

I don't have any such protection and never experienced any problems. Germany's power network is great though, there's a short outage maybe once every two years.

Does anyone actually know anybody who had damage from lightning?
As said, at home we've had printers (because the fax line was plugged in generally), a TV and at least two computers broken by it. Some minor stuff (in one computer the PSU was destroyed) and one printer partly melted.

EDIT: UPS's are not common though (diesel generators are) even though outages are common in the winter. People don't do computers a lot out there, and UPS's seldom last for days. :laugh:
 

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#20
Basically, there is no way to be totally protected. Those cheap "surge suppressors/protectors" aren't going to do jack if a real spike comes, and definitely won't do anything with lightning. And the fact that lightning can come in from more sources than just the power lines means it is almost impossible to protect against.

However, a good UPS or Surge Suppressor will have a connected equipment guarantee, so if anything connected to it dies from a storm or power surge, they will replace it up to a certain amount(mine are all Cyberpower and they guarantee up to $500,000).

Also, your home owners insurance should replace anything that is damaged, minus your deductible of course.

Does anyone actually know anybody who had damage from lightning?
I have, and I live close to the OP(both in Indiana, I'm in NWI about 45 minutes away from Chicago).

In my case the lightning came in through the cable line, not the power. I fried two of my Comcast boxes, completely killed the TV connected to one of the fried boxes via coax, all HDMI ports connected to the other fried box via HDMI. Oddly it also killed one port on an 8-port Gigabit switch.
 
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#21
Yeah it can be a bummer and a pain but I don't chance it anymore and unplug everything too just to be safe (though against my better judgement we often leave the TV and such on...sure would suck to lose that too. Time to start, for sure).

Yeah my dad and his wife had a similar thing happen at their farmhouse out in western Illinois. Came down in through the dish coax all the way to the basement at the box on the plywood wall frying everything along the way and starting a fire.
 
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#22
i don't know of people who got damaged electronical components from lightnings,but still when heavy storm is coming i unplug TV and PC
 
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#23
Az has plenty of lightning storms throughout the year, I do decent surge protectors + insurance. In the end if it's lightning it won't matter how expensive your protection is.
http://hypertextbook.com/facts/1997/BrookeHaramija.shtml

you're talking trillions or more watts, even if you paid 10,000$ for the worlds best consumer UPS it won't matter. Surge protector for the odd jolt and insurance for lightning. UPS is nice if the power goes out often, but like everything else is useless against lighting.
 
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#24
as i said - get the one with the best warranty and back your data up :)
 
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Storage WD 320 / 500KS / 500KS / 640KS / 640LS / 640LS / 640LS / 1TBFAEX and a NAS with 2x2Tb WD Black
Display(s) 24" DELL 2405FPW
Case Rosewill Challenger
Audio Device(s) Onboard + HD HDMI
Power Supply Corsair HX750 (love it)
Mouse Logitech G5
Software Win 7 Pro
#25
Does anyone actually know anybody who had damage from lightning?
I lost my very first compter (386/25, with 64k cache!) to a lightning strike, so yes. I had it hooked to a "surge protector" that was even switched off. The surge jumped the contacts I suspect.

Insurance paid for a good part of an upgrade to a 486/66, the damn CPU was like $650 back then.

It also took aout an answering machine and a ground fault recepticle in my basement.

This should be a poll.