Originally Posted by Daffypuck
In the future, is there anyway to protect the sensitive parts of the rcvr from storms and power surges etc?
Originally Posted by jdsmoothie
The Monster console should have done this, although you may also want to consider installing a "whole house" surge suppressor as well which can be purchased and installed by an electrician. Also best to ask him for a recommendation from the products he sells as to what is most effective.
Agree on the whole house surge protector. Here is more detail on surges and your options.
Two levels of surge protection are best.
One level, the whole house surge protector, will lower surges that originate external
from the house, such as lightening strikes, to between 600 volts and 1,000 volts. These external surges can be up to 10,000 volts or so. Closer lighting strikes will likely produce arcs in your service entrance equipment so you'll be out of luck. Such close strikes happen, but are not common unless you live in places such as Central Florida. In that case, consider lightening rods plus surge protection.
The type of whole house service protection you install is very dependent how your existing service entrance, that is electrical panel, is installed and its characteristics. The easiest install is to replace an existing 240V breaker with a combination surge protector/breaker. The existing breaker needs to occupy two full height slots in your panel for the new breaker to fit easily. The best place for this breaker is at the end of the panel where the service from the power company enters the panel. This is usually at the top. The potential issue with these breakers is that many panels use 1/2 height breakers so this breaker requires moving wires around to create two full sized slots or this breaker won't fit at all if the panel is full. Here is an example breaker from Eaton for use in Eaton panels (and relabeled panels sold by other companies). Both 30A and 50A 240 breakers are available. Consider EBay for lower prices. Similar breakers for entrance panels from other suppliers such as Square D are likely available.
The next major option is to mount a separate surge protector external to your electrical panel. Here is an example from Eaton.
There are two considerations with this device. The first is that access to your panel from the side, as shown in the product listing picture, is best. If you have a flush-mounted, outdoor panel this maybe impractical. The second issue is that lightening can be modeled as a 1MHz signal, that is 1,000,000Hz. At this frequency the inductance of the wires connecting the device to the bus in the panel becomes significant. The voltage may drop as much as 25V per inch. The means one of these devices connected with 12-inches of wires loses as much as 300V of protection since it "sees" a pulse 300V smaller. This may or may not be important. The combination surge protector/breakers described above attach directly to the bus so loss of protection due to wire length is less of an issue.
As JD notes, it's good to get an electrician involved in these installations. Electricity can injure or kill you. The above text gives you an idea of the options however.
The second level of power protection is typically provided by a surge protection power strip. Most all of these strips use metal oxide varistors (MOV's) for protection and can work very well. Always look for a strip which is UL listed. Low quality strips can start fires.
Most local protection is designed to reduce surges (let through voltage) to 330V or so. This means that connected equipment must handle surges at least at this level, perhaps higher depending on the protector. Damage comes from not only single high surges, but also from repeated small surges. Surges can be very high if not reduced by a whole house protector. Surges also come from equipment in the home such as a motor turning on or off, or devices controlled electronically such as many vacuum cleaner motors, refrigerator motors, ECM furnace motors, etc.
Often power strips or power conditioners with surge protection also provide filtering, typically using passive components such as capacitors and inductors. Since the impedance of the power circuits connected to the power strip, and the electrical characteristics of the devices connected to the power strip and other locations in the facility is not known, devices with filtering may cause unanticipated issues such a power spikes. Not all circuits cause these issues. This teardown in Tom's Hardware gives an example of an issue. You have to read a way into the piece; look for the pictures of the oscillliscope traces and associated description.
Ideally a local surge protector will indicate when its surge protection is no longer effective with a light. The MOV's used in these devices essentially wear out over time. Some protectors will shutdown when the protection is lost which may or may not be a good thing depending on the installation.
As with any topic theses days, much more information is available on surge protection on the Internet.