Lightning strike...what now? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-16-2014, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Question Lightning strike...what now?

Hi everyone

I just recently lost a DVR, Modem, PS3 and apple tv, cathode tube tv from a strike. The led tv that was connected to the apple tv, ps3, dvr was left unharmed (maybe only one hdmi was shot, the one connected to the apple tv ). A tv in another room that was connected directly with a coax to the wall also is dead..it turns on but shuts off instantly. Along with this, my AC probably blew a capacitor.

Cable co came out, and replaced modem and dvr. They also replaced the same to one of my neighbors. Another neighbor only had his oven damaged...lucky I guess.

I am trying to understand what I can do to prevent this in the future. I have always feared coax/phone lines damaging more than electricity. So what can you recommend?

I thought about getting a UPS like this, http://www.amazon.com/APC-BR1000G-Ba...ywords=apc+ups

this would have coax protection, and I would hook the tv, dvr, apple tv etc to this. I don't mind about a UPS, but it seems this would help with surges, and so on. I also really care about the coax protection...

Otherwise, is there a power strip that can offer similar protection? Everywhere you read, all the complaints are about warranties being impossible to claim.

Thanks so much
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-16-2014, 01:18 PM
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You can protect your household electrical wiring with a surge supressor on the incoming power line. In my locale, we buy those little boxes and call the power company and they come out and install it on the incoming power line. Your power company may operate the same.

For coax protection,make sure your outside cable at or near the hoese has a grounding connector with a spike in ground. Mine is screwed into the outside brick. It's like an in-line coax connector with a little tab for attaching the grounding wire to the ground spile and a tab for screwing into the exterior surface. The cable company supplies this and *usually* installs it... you may already have one.

A good quality, multi-outlet UPS is vital in lightning-prone areas as inside protection.

On buying new equipment, look into the extended wrranties and see if it, like Walmart's, cover "lightning strike." No worries with that added to any new equipment!


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Last edited by wajo; 06-16-2014 at 02:14 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 06-16-2014, 02:31 PM
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Call your insurance agent. On your homeowner's insurance, get a rider for your A/V gear. Next time it happens... it's covered.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-16-2014, 02:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
You can protect your household electrical wiring with a surge supressor on the incoming power line. In my locale, we buy those little boxes and call the power company and they come out and install it on the incoming power line. Your power company may operate the same.

Ok, so I'm guessing some sort of whole house surge protector you can pick up at HD. Check.

For coax protection,make sure your outside cable at or near the hoese has a grounding connector with a spike in ground. Mine is screwed into the outside brick. It's like an in-line coax connector with a little tab for attaching the grounding wire to the ground spile and a tab for screwing into the exterior surface. The cable company supplies this and *usually* installs it... you may already have one.

The setup at my house at the moment is some sort of metal wire goes from the cable box to the pipe that brings the electricity to my house, via wires. I'll try to upload an image. It seems pretty rudimentary...Would something like this http://www.amazon.com/TII-Broadband-...rds=coax+surge work?


A good quality, multi-outlet UPS is vital in lightning-prone areas as inside protection.

I was thinking of picking up a UPS like this http://www.amazon.com/APC-BR1000G-Ba...ywords=apc+ups to protect surge and coaxial.

On buying new equipment, look into the extended wrranties and see if it, like Walmart's, cover "lightning strike." No worries with that added to any new equipment!

What do you mean when you say Walmart covers lightning strikes? I couldnt find any info on a product like the one above http://www.walmart.com/ip/APC-Back-U...r-UPS/15105344
Also, can you recommend any power strips with surge protectors for additional items? I have read bad things about many different companies when it comes to warranty claims...it seems no one wants to stand behind their ridiculously high money payouts...
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-16-2014, 03:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscione View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo View Post
You can protect your household electrical wiring with a surge supressor on the incoming power line. In my locale, we buy those little boxes and call the power company and they come out and install it on the incoming power line. Your power company may operate the same.

Ok, so I'm guessing some sort of whole house surge protector you can pick up at HD. Check.

I got mine at my local electrical supply store.

For coax protection,make sure your outside cable at or near the hoese has a grounding connector with a spike in ground. Mine is screwed into the outside brick. It's like an in-line coax connector with a little tab for attaching the grounding wire to the ground spile and a tab for screwing into the exterior surface. The cable company supplies this and *usually* installs it... you may already have one.

The setup at my house at the moment is some sort of metal wire goes from the cable box to the pipe that brings the electricity to my house, via wires. I'll try to upload an image. It seems pretty rudimentary...Would something like this http://www.amazon.com/TII-Broadband-...rds=coax+surge work?


That *might* work but it's a "self-contained" unit compared to the passive unit my cable company installed. Not sure it could "contain" lightning strike energy, which it has to do since it doesn't send the energy to ground.

My cableco block looks more like this"
http://www.amazon.com/F-pin-Coaxial-.../ref=pd_cp_e_1
It has a screw where you attach a fairly large-diameter wire with the other end of the wire on a spike driven into the ground right next to our foundation. Amazon shows a spike in the "other" items below.


A good quality, multi-outlet UPS is vital in lightning-prone areas as inside protection.

I was thinking of picking up a UPS like this http://www.amazon.com/APC-BR1000G-Ba...ywords=apc+ups to protect surge and coaxial.

Yes, that APC unit has 600W output power and 4 batery-backed outlets for your equipment (plus 4 more non-backed-up outlets).

On buying new equipment, look into the extended wrranties and see if it, like Walmart's, cover "lightning strike." No worries with that added to any new equipment!

What do you mean when you say Walmart covers lightning strikes? I couldnt find any info on a product like the one above http://www.walmart.com/ip/APC-Back-U...r-UPS/15105344
Walmart's "Extended Warranty" used to (and probably still does) cover "Lightning Strike." When you buy new equipment, check the seller's extended warranty fine print for what it covers and look for Lightning Strike?

Also, can you recommend any power strips with surge protectors for additional items? I have read bad things about many different companies when it comes to warranty claims...it seems no one wants to stand behind their ridiculously high money payouts...
UPS mfgrs recommend that you do NOT use power strips with their units. For use in places without a UPS, there are many. Look for the highest Joule rating and equipment warranty, and don't plug coax into them (can "mess with" the video).


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post #6 of 13 Old 06-16-2014, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok, so this is what the setup is at the moment:







The cable co uses the same block you listed, but it seems to be grounded to the electricity meter pole, don't see any 'ground'.

You mentioned not using the UPS for coaxial protection? If the same block that you have outside the house didn't help protect me this time, what can I do in the future??

thanks

Edit: What do you think of this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CHMR70/...=IV4Z9I63D32T1

Also, what benefit would I have with using a power conditioner instead of a power strip with surge protection? or UPS?

Last edited by biscione; 06-16-2014 at 08:06 PM.
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post #7 of 13 Old 06-17-2014, 05:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscione View Post
The cable co uses the same block you listed, but it seems to be grounded to the electricity meter pole, don't see any 'ground'.

You mentioned not using the UPS for coaxial protection? If the same block that you have outside the house didn't help protect me this time, what can I do in the future??

Edit: What do you think of this: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005CHMR70/...=IV4Z9I63D32T1

Also, what benefit would I have with using a power conditioner instead of a power strip with surge protection? or UPS?
Here's one article that describes the "hundreds of thousands" of joules in lightning, so the "pathetic" surge protectors or "power conditioners" are not doing any good for very-high-surge events like lightning, only for mild surges. (You can find many more articles like this.)

The article also mentions "earth" many times to reinforce the fact that you need to go to mother earth for grounding. If you don't find a metal rod driven into the ground near your foundation with a wire attached, you're not "grounded." You don't want your "ground" to be some other part of your home's wiring or structure.

Your pictures show that you don't have a surge protector at the top entry point for your power lines, which would normally be attached by the power company right at the downward portion of the entry pipe, way up top, as shonw in pic below.


I don't think you can divert a lightning strike from your power-line entry point with an earth ground and even some sort of wiring around the metal pole to ground would probably not divert a strike from the power lines themselves... dunno anything about that. The only other way I know of to protect your power lines besides that add-on surge suppressor is a modern, surge-suppressed main electrical box which, of course, no one would consider unless doing a complete remodeling like we did 10 years ago... I think they "disconnect" under extreme input voltage but I'm not sure they're fast enough... maybe so, but I don;t want to find out..

That in-line coax "protector" in the box looks like one of those with some minimal internal surge protection, and there's no wire on the screw that goes to ground via a heavy duty wire (less than 10 ft) to a spike driven into the "earth.

I think if you read enough articles on lightning strike you'll understand that buying "surge protectors" will do little to protect your equipment from strong over-voltages. They only help to dissipate mild surges, and they're certainly not "grounded" to dissipate bigger surges they're not designed for.

As the linked article states, the only way to protect against a direct lightning strike is to buy more insurance and/or install actual lightning rods (that will divert a strike to them and to the earth ground to which they're attached).
.


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Last edited by wajo; 06-18-2014 at 02:48 PM.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by wajo View Post
Here's one article that describes the "hundreds of thousands" of joules in lightning, so the "pathetic" surge protectors or "power conditioners" are not doing any good for very-high-surge events like lightning, only for mild surges. (You can find many more articles like this.)

The article also mentions "earth" many times to reinforce the fact that you need to go to mother earth for grounding. If you don't find a metal rod driven into the ground near your foundation with a wire attached, you're not "grounded." You don't want your "ground" to be some other part of your home's wiring or structure.

Your pictures show that you don't have a surge protector at the top entry point for your power lines, which would normally be attached by the power company right at the downward portion of the entry pipe, way up top, as shonw in pic below.


I don't think you can divert a lightning strike from your power-line entry point with an earth ground and even some sort of wiring around the metal pole to ground would probably not divert a strike from the power lines themselves... dunno anything about that. The only other way I know of to protect your power lines besides that add-on surge suppressor is a modern, surge-suppressed main electrical box which, of course, no one would consider unless doing a complete remodeling like we did 10 years ago... I think they "disconnect" under extreme input voltage but I'm not sure they're fast enough... maybe so, but I don;t want to find out..

That in-line coax "protector" in the box looks like one of those with some minimal internal surge protection, and there's no wire on the screw that goes to ground via a heavy duty wire (less than 10 ft) to a spike driven into the "earth.

I think if you read enough articles on lightning strike you'll understand that buying "surge protectors" will do little to protect your equipment from strong over-voltages. They only help to dissipate mild surges, and they're certainly not "grounded" to dissipate bigger surges they're not designed for.

As the linked article states, the only way to protect against a direct lightning strike is to buy more insurance and/or install actual lightning rods (that will divert a strike to them and to the earth ground to which they're attached).
.
thanks for the reading material. I also can agree that there is no surge protector that can stop a force of nature...

I think that power companies are charging a monthly fee to install a supressor/surge protector...quite ridiculous since it should be standard equipment when wiring a house.

Someone recommended this surge supressor: Furman PST 8D (power conditioner/surge) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A2X5H3Q9X2KAV3

Similar priced to the APC ups, but I am leaning towards the furman to avoid battery headaches. I don't really care about having battery time. Also, noise wise, it's a better fit in a bedroom.

In the mean time...is there any point of trying to file a complaint to the cable co? Clear proof of possible erroneous grounding being a tv in another room that was connected solely by coax cable and not power cable...was also a victim.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-19-2014, 04:31 PM
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thanks for the reading material. I also can agree that there is no surge protector that can stop a force of nature...

I think that power companies are charging a monthly fee to install a supressor/surge protector...quite ridiculous since it should be standard equipment when wiring a house.

Someone recommended this surge supressor: Furman PST 8D (power conditioner/surge) http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...A2X5H3Q9X2KAV3

Similar priced to the APC ups, but I am leaning towards the furman to avoid battery headaches. I don't really care about having battery time. Also, noise wise, it's a better fit in a bedroom.

In the mean time...is there any point of trying to file a complaint to the cable co? Clear proof of possible erroneous grounding being a tv in another room that was connected solely by coax cable and not power cable...was also a victim.
Was that other TV that got zapped not plugged in to power? If so, the over-voltage came in to that TV via coax, not the power lines or in-house wiring. That's where you needed that grounding block WITH A WIRE, NOT MORE THAN 10-FT IN LENGTH, FROM THE BLOCK TO STEEL ROD DRIVEN INTO THE GROUND.

You don't seem to have ANY grounding to mother earth in the stuff you shown so far.

You DO seem to want to "shortcut" things by putting your reliance on self-contained surge suppressors. They'll help with minor surges only and maybe make you feel better.

You probably should do like that article advised: buy more insurance and install actual lightning rods grounded to mother earth.


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Last edited by wajo; 06-19-2014 at 04:34 PM.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-24-2014, 12:20 PM
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i'm in a high strike zone living less than a 1/4 mile from a substation. In a 7 year period had 3 TVs fried plus various other household electric items (battery chargers, cordless phones etc).

I'm not electrically literate but a friend is extremely so - and he pointed me at the panamax line - they've also got some AV specific protection products. Got a whole house surge protection panel from them as well as a "AC regenerator" for the Entertainment center (Panamax Max 5500).

Since they've been installed have had two lightning strikes, one that took out my neighbor's house big time and zero damage here. The AC regenerator is an interesting item - from what i can tell, it brings in 115V to drive a mechanical generator to regenerate 115V out to the equipment - total physical isolation from outside current, plus it cleans the current up for my equipment. The mechanical generator looks like a l2" bass speaker (yeah i opened the case, i was curious). It was a little pricey, about $1000 in 2001. Unfortunately i don't see it offered in their current line up but suspect another mfgr offers something similiar.

fwiw

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post #11 of 13 Old 07-09-2014, 05:30 AM
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We had something like a "regenerator" here. It was a huge flywheel, driven by a huge motor, and ran a huge generator.
It was a prototype unit.
The first day it was being tested, a small diode blew out in the control circuits. It went crazy, putting out a much higher frequency and voltage than was specified, and blew up the MOV's (protection circuits) in every power supply in the building.
We now have a UPS that's rated for about 500 KVA.

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post #12 of 13 Old 07-09-2014, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by larryccf View Post
i'm in a high strike zone living less than a 1/4 mile from a substation. In a 7 year period had 3 TVs fried plus various other household electric items (battery chargers, cordless phones etc).

I'm not electrically literate but a friend is extremely so - and he pointed me at the panamax line - they've also got some AV specific protection products. Got a whole house surge protection panel from them as well as a "AC regenerator" for the Entertainment center (Panamax Max 5500).

fwiw
Wattbox also make great power protection products.

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post #13 of 13 Old 07-12-2014, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Well today I came home and tried turning the TV on...nothing. For a second I panicked, went to check the power strip (Furman PST 8D) and the red light for Extreme Voltage was on

There weren't lightning strikes in the area, so the power company must have done something

Anyhow, flipped the switch off and back on and everything works.

We'll see what else I run into...
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