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Author Topic: Vicious thunderstorms here... anyone have a "whole house surge protector?"  (Read 870 times)
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mytocles
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« on: June 23, 2008, 07:16:05 PM »

For two days, I've been plugging and unplugging a variety of electrical devices, due to 2-3 days of horrendous thunderstorms in western Massachusetts.  Every "important" item has a surge protector on it, but I'm thinking of installing a whole house surge protector.  Here's why: yesterday, despite it's having a good (read: expensive) surge protector on it, one of our garage door openers was blasted, and is now defunct; also, same day, the socket that our cellar refrigerator is on was also zapped (also defunct), despite the fact that it has a ground-fault detector on it.

Considering the amount of sensitive - or expensive - items we have in the house, ie, video game consoles, laptops, PC's, televisions, etc., I'm now thinking that a whole house surge protector is likely a Good Thing.  Unfortunately, the prices range from $200 to $2,000, and there are all kinds of details about them that I know nothing about, like the voltage and Joules, etc.

If you have one, can you share the efficacy, price tag, brand, etc.?  I'm tired of waiting for the next "lightning surprise..."  eek

Thanks!   icon_razz


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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2008, 07:18:16 PM »

May I recommend a lightning rod? Or at least planting a really tall tree nearby? biggrin
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dbt1949
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2008, 07:22:35 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 23, 2008, 07:18:16 PM

May I recommend a lightning rod? Or at least planting a really tall tree nearby? biggrin

That's what we have. A six foot copper bar hammered into the ground.
I also find the goat attract lightning. They are quick little buggers to dodge it!
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2008, 07:23:12 PM »

Here in Chicago we had the worst hail storm I've ever had the misfortune of seeing yesterday afternoon.  I was seriously worried my car was going to get destroyed.
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mytocles
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2008, 07:28:48 PM »

Quote from: Destructor on June 23, 2008, 07:18:16 PM

May I recommend a lightning rod? Or at least planting a really tall tree nearby? biggrin

Actually, when I was Googling stuff, I found one site that sells lightning rods, so I guess that's actually a viable choice.  Though I understand the concept, I've never understood how attracting lightning is a good idea.  icon_eek

And we are nearly surrounded by tall trees, none of which seem to get blasted!

The problem may have something to do with the fact that we found out - later, of course - that the electrician that wired the house when it was built... erm... let's say, had a penchant for "daytime alcoholic beverage intake."  mad

The goat idea is sounding good - if it goes awry, you just get to make some Moroccan food I'd guess, but I think we are zoned residential, darnit.   crybaby
« Last Edit: June 23, 2008, 07:34:34 PM by mytocles » Logged

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happydog
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2008, 08:05:42 PM »

Quote from: mytocles on June 23, 2008, 07:28:48 PM

Actually, when I was Googling stuff, I found one site that sells lightning rods, so I guess that's actually a viable choice.  Though I understand the concept, I've never understood how attracting lightning is a good idea.  icon_eek

The don't attract lightning. They send the energy straight to the ground when they get hit... that is all.
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McNutt
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2008, 08:07:59 PM »

Check with your energy company.  Ours sells something called Strikesafe which acts as a surge protector for your house.  I don't know if there's an initial cost, but it's a monthly fee deal.
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Moliere
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2008, 08:16:20 PM »

ONEAC protects all of my computer equipment.
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2008, 10:21:12 PM »

Quote from: McNutt on June 23, 2008, 08:07:59 PM

Check with your energy company.  Ours sells something called Strikesafe which acts as a surge protector for your house.  I don't know if there's an initial cost, but it's a monthly fee deal.

Florida Power has something similar.  Note that if a bolt of lightning hits close by, everything's toast anyway, no matter what.  No circuit breaker in the world will protect against that.  It will protect against surges from further away though.
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Daehawk
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« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2008, 10:31:08 PM »

Ive never unplugged anything and I leave it running 24/7 even during storms. I once turned my tv off as a storm came in. Lightning passed through my computer and fried the tv!
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2008, 05:40:04 AM »

Quote from: Aliasbuck on June 23, 2008, 10:21:12 PM

Quote from: McNutt on June 23, 2008, 08:07:59 PM

Check with your energy company.  Ours sells something called Strikesafe which acts as a surge protector for your house.  I don't know if there's an initial cost, but it's a monthly fee deal.
Florida Power has something similar.  Note that if a bolt of lightning hits close by, everything's toast anyway, no matter what.  No circuit breaker in the world will protect against that.  It will protect against surges from further away though.

Yeah, I remember the three times our house in Florida got struck by lightning (or had near misses). Twice in one week, believe it or not. Blasted the pool pump apart one time as well.
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2008, 06:28:43 AM »

I'm in WI and the last few weeks have been crazy. One week it just all t-storms every day. Lots of places got flooded here too. road about half a mile away was under water.
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2008, 03:08:28 PM »

Yeah we have had some crazy lightning strikes nearby. Florida is the lightning capital of the country. Last night we saw one hit close by, heard a boom and smelled smoke. Typical storm behavior this time of year biggrin
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dbt1949
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2008, 04:21:06 PM »

I have two battery backup/surge protectors for my computers. My wife has a cheap WalMart surge protector.
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mytocles
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« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2008, 04:55:22 PM »

That's funny, dbt!  icon_lol

We had an excellent surge protector on the garage door opener, because it had gotten zapped once before, and the light on it was still on, showing us that it was on guard, lol.

We don't take any chances with the "big stuff" like computers and game consoles, of course, and we have several ground fault detectors scattered through the house (it's code here) - but from what occurred the other night, I'd say it could've been a lot worse.

Btw, I forgot to mention why all this happened.  We saw our electrician - not the drinker, his replacement - that very day.  He told us all about his great vacation trip he was leaving for in a few hours.  It's all his fault, clearly.

I'm off to check the websites and electric company, which I should've thought about.  Just because they think you have to cut trees away from their lines, I assumed they'd be less than helpful. I'll give them a chance to win back my love.   Roll Eyes

Oh, and happydog - I was kidding about the lightning rod, lol.   icon_razz
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Mytocles (MY-toe-cleez)

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- I don't remember who said it, and probably neither do they...
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