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Discussion Starter #1
It's a long story but I would love some opinions as to the cause so that I can pursue in small claims court.

Here it goes...
One of my three cable boxes was not working properly. For some reason some channels were not working. Cable company sent a tech over. He wanted to swap the bad box with my other box that was working well. When he proceeded to insert the HDMI cable into the second box, sparks started shooting out of the cable box and my Marantz receiver. So, the result was that the cable box, Marantz receiver and WD media player are fried. Luckily the TV and DVD player still work properly. My set up is...cable box, DVD player and media player IN to Marantz and Marantz out to TV. Pretty simple. ALL my components are plugged into a $100 Belkin surge protector with a four light display screen.
The next day the technician's boss came over and blamed the Belkin surge protector for not doing it's job and will assume no responsibility whatsoever. He told me to claim Belkin.
I had this set up for years and I messed around with the wires many times and nothing happened. This tech comes over and fries all my stuff. To his defence all I saw him do was plug in the HDMI cable in the cable box and then all he'll broke loose.
Lastly, the wiring in my wall outlet is fine, I had it verified.
Any thoughts in what could have happened?
 

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Very Odd....:rolleyes: Im curious to know what happened that cause a hdmi cable to fry two components!

Cable company should be responsible, since theyre tech was doing work when the incident happened! Thays why the cable co. carries insurance!;)
 
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It's a long story but I would love some opinions as to the cause so that I can pursue in small claims court.

Here it goes...
One of my three cable boxes was not working properly. For some reason some channels were not working. Cable company sent a tech over. He wanted to swap the bad box with my other box that was working well. When he proceeded to insert the HDMI cable into the second box, sparks started shooting out of the cable box and my Marantz receiver. So, the result was that the cable box, Marantz receiver and WD media player are fried. Luckily the TV and DVD player still work properly. My set up is...cable box, DVD player and media player IN to Marantz and Marantz out to TV. Pretty simple. ALL my components are plugged into a $100 Belkin surge protector with a four light display screen.
The next day the technician's boss came over and blamed the Belkin surge protector for not doing it's job and will assume no responsibility whatsoever. He told me to claim Belkin.
I had this set up for years and I messed around with the wires many times and nothing happened. This tech comes over and fries all my stuff. To his defence all I saw him do was plug in the HDMI cable in the cable box and then all he'll broke loose.
Lastly, the wiring in my wall outlet is fine, I had it verified.
Any thoughts in what could have happened?
Did he do anything to any equipment once the Marantz smoked? Hopefully, he didn't.

Do you have a multi-meter? Remove the coax from the cable box and measure the DC voltage from the center to a good ground and from the shield to a good ground. By 'good ground', I mean not through the Belkin- to the ground for the receptacle used for the equipment. Remove the wall plate and connect to the metal flanges for the outlets. You're going to measure a fairly high voltage, so you might want to videotape the whole process, narrating as you go. DO NOT touch anything until you start recording and make sure you have plenty of light.

This is an incredibly common problem and it's because cable * satellite installers don't think they have time to ground the service feed according to National Electrical Code.

If you go to the point where the cable enters the building, look for one of these (could be inside, too)-
http://www.solidsignal.com/pview.as...KPrNdetZqHgDBDNPBMH5YBGm2sg6r95UJJRoC2gDw_wcB

Code info-
http://ecmweb.com/code-basics/nec-and-communications-circuits

Yeah, not grounding this is a code violation. They need to learn.

It's not recommended that cabling be removed or inserted when the equipment is powered up. That advise is contradicted on some occasions, though. I have been told by some tech support people to unplug, wait and re-plug HDMI cables, as a way to reset the EDID.
 

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Very Odd....:rolleyes: Im curious to know what happened that cause a hdmi cable to fry two components!

Cable company should be responsible, since they're tech was doing work when the incident happened! Thays why the cable co. carries insurance!;)
It's also the reason we independent installation contractors have insurance- I don't want to lose my house or anything else, just because I didn't feel like spending less than $1000/year for $1Million in liability insurance.
 

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While he's right that the Belkin box probably didn't do it's job, that's not the answer. There's no requirement for you to have a surge protector for your cable box.

You would sue the company (or the tech and the company vicariously) for negligence. They owed you a duty of care and they breached that duty of care. Sue for what you paid for with the receiver. File a lawsuit and the company will deal with it. Your state small claims court should have information on how to file a suit, alternatively there's lots of information online.

You could also dig up some higher up folks at the cable company. Once you file a suit, they'll quickly deal with it.
 

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It's also the reason we independent installation contractors have insurance- I don't want to lose my house or anything else, just because I didn't feel like spending less than $1000/year for $1Million in liability insurance.
Youd be insane to not carry liability insur.!
 
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While he's right that the Belkin box probably didn't do it's job, that's not the answer. There's no requirement for you to have a surge protector for your cable box.

You would sue the company (or the tech and the company vicariously) for negligence. They owed you a duty of care and they breached that duty of care. Sue for what you paid for with the receiver. File a lawsuit and the company will deal with it. Your state small claims court should have information on how to file a suit, alternatively there's lots of information online.

You could also dig up some higher up folks at the cable company. Once you file a suit, they'll quickly deal with it.
If the voltage came from the coax, the Belkin or any other brand/model wouldn't have helped, anyway. I got a good tingle from my cable before I switched to satellite and have seen this on many other jobs. If the coax had been disconnected, the HDMI wouldn't have had a problem but the fact that the voltage difference was strong enough to cause an arc is bad news.
 

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Gotcha. My point was more that they don't expect people to have a voltage protector anyways, so he was just looking to use any reason to make it go away. The guy shouldn't let them do that. Corporations pay attention to lawsuits of any kind. Picture you're the regional manager for X cable company and now someone at the director level is calling you about the lawsuit. A lawyer is $200 an hour and the cable company isn't going to represent itself.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Here in Montreal, Quebec it is difficult to sue. I sent the cable company a Demand Letter asking them to pay for damaged equipment within ten days or I will proceed to small claims court where you cannot have a lawyer and must represent yourself.
I just need to determine a logical explanation of what happened so that I can defend myself properly. I will begin by checking the cable wire to see how many volts are coming out of it. They are adamant that the problem is with my Belkin which makes no sense to me.
The technician is the "professional" here and he should have taken proper measures to turn off whatever equipment necessary in order to avoid a possible short.
 

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If this happened to me, I would, of course, be very upset, but I wouldn't even consider spending the time, money and emotional energy needed to sue. If all the tech did was plug in the cable, he was not being negligent. I'd use the situation as a good excuse to buy myself a shiny new receiver. :) But hey, that's just me.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
If this happened to me, I would, of course, be very upset, but I wouldn't even consider spending the time, money and emotional energy needed to sue. If all the tech did was plug in the cable, he was not being negligent. I'd use the situation as a good excuse to buy myself a shiny new receiver. :) But hey, that's just me.
I don't know man, $1000 worth of equipement is a lot of money for me.
I did not do anything wrong, the tech should have been more competent and taken measures to avoid this by unplugging certain equipment if needed be. I am an enthusiast but not a professional. If indeed there are too many volts coming out of the coax cable, then why should I have to pay for that?
 

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I understand completely and was not trying to diminish the seriousness of it. My life experience has been that suing isn't worth the trouble for relatively "small" things, but everyone sees things differently and must do what is right for them.

I've often found that a simple letter from an attorney that hints at some further actions often gets the desired response. I wish you the best.
 

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If this happened to me, I would, of course, be very upset, but I wouldn't even consider spending the time, money and emotional energy needed to sue. If all the tech did was plug in the cable, he was not being negligent. I'd use the situation as a good excuse to buy myself a shiny new receiver. :) But hey, that's just me.
I agree. Not worth the hassle. Our power company was doing work in my neighborhood and sent a voltage spike. Tripped a bunch of circuit breakers. One that didn't trip had my computer and it was run through a surge protector which tripped. Well after that I discovered my PSU and mother board were no longer functional. I just bought replacements from Newegg. Wasn't worth suing over $400.

The thing about this is it will be difficult to determine who's at fault. It doesn't seem like the technician did anything wrong. He did what I've done many times. Even if he had unplugged everything, once everything was plugged back in and turned on, it still may would have fried your components.
 

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It's going to be hard to prove the tech did anything wrong unless you have an expert witness to testify on your behalf that something was wrong with the cable box or the cable coming into the house that caused the short to occur. In the end, you'll only get the value of the avr etc as used equipment depending on how old it was at the time of the incident, you won't get $ to buy a brand new one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
It's going to be hard to prove the tech did anything wrong unless you have an expert witness to testify on your behalf that something was wrong with the cable box or the cable coming into the house that caused the short to occur. In the end, you'll only get the value of the avr etc as used equipment depending on how old it was at the time of the incident, you won't get $ to buy a brand new one.
Even if I swallow this pill, how do I proceed to NOT fry my new gear? Obviously there is a problem somewhere.
 

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Hire an electrician to do his thang & go from there.
 

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All three are at fault. Belkin surge should have tripped but tech should have disconnected the main power source or you the owner should have disconnected power source if tech didn't.
 

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It's going to be hard to prove the tech did anything wrong unless you have an expert witness to testify on your behalf that something was wrong with the cable box or the cable coming into the house that caused the short to occur. In the end, you'll only get the value of the avr etc as used equipment depending on how old it was at the time of the incident, you won't get $ to buy a brand new one.

It would not be hard to prove that simply powering down the equipment before you work on it, which is in every elementally electronics manual,.. was skipped. We never do this simple task as we don't want to mess with powering it back up, but its the correct manner. At work we have to "lock and tag" everything before you touch anything with power going through it. I don't care if its 24 volts...we shut it off.
 
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