Are mains surge protectors needed in the UK?

Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
the UK?

here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
countries (including the US).

However there seem to be very many surge protector products
advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).

I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
surge coming in through the power supply.

So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.

Am I being too complacent?
236 answers Last reply
More about mains surge protectors needed
  1. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Lem" <lem@mail.com> wrote in message
    news:9520A0A2FB83791F3A2@130.133.1.4...
    > Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > the UK?
    >
    > here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > countries (including the US).
    >
    > However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    >
    > I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > surge coming in through the power supply.
    >
    > So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    > Am I being too complacent?

    Do you live in an area where lightning is frequent? A lightning strike that
    is merely _near_ to an underground utility circuit can induce damaging
    voltages into them meaning that your power mains, telephone, and cable TV
    are all possible carriers. Admittedly there is no place in the UK that I've
    heard of that experiences the sort of storms that ravage parts of the USA,
    Flordia comes immediately to mind, but if you ever do have even one event
    then a small investment in protection would be invaluable.
    --
    John McGaw
    [Knoxville, TN, USA]
    http://johnmcgaw.com
  2. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 15:47:28 +0100, Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:


    <snip>

    >
    >Am I being too complacent?

    I've never used one. I've never had a surge blow anything either. My
    next door neigbour as one for her PC, but makes SFA difference. Of
    course in our house the fuse box has one of those quick trip over
    fueses where even if a light bulb blows you have to reset the trip
    switch, but even then its only ever the light bulb circuit that trips.
  3. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:10:40 +0100, Bagpuss
    <rich.bagpuss.ard.hal.bagusss.ford@low.orbit> wrote:

    >On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 15:47:28 +0100, Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    ><snip>
    >
    >>
    >>Am I being too complacent?
    >
    >I've never used one. I've never had a surge blow anything either. My
    >next door neigbour as one for her PC, but makes SFA difference. Of
    >course in our house the fuse box has one of those quick trip over
    >fueses where even if a light bulb blows you have to reset the trip
    >switch, but even then its only ever the light bulb circuit that trips.

    We are the same with regard to the fuse box tripping out.

    I do have surge protectors on my PC equipment. For an extra few quid
    it seemed a good safety measure.

    Chances of a power surge are probably 5000 to 1. But wouldnt you feel
    silly if you were that 5000th person?

    At then end of the day its your call. Do you feel lucky? Just how many
    thunderstorms are we having compared with last year, and the year
    before?

    cheers

    from "The Harbinger of Doom"
    :o)
  4. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem wrote:
    > Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > the UK?
    >
    > here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > countries (including the US).
    >
    > However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    >
    > I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > surge coming in through the power supply.
    >
    > So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    > Am I being too complacent?


    I've never used one either, no probs.

    I think that if you need a new multi plug then you might as well get one
    with a surge protector but I wouldn't get one otherwise.
    --
    Nick
    -----------
  5. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    <snip>
    >
    >
    > I've never used one either, no probs.
    >
    > I think that if you need a new multi plug then you might as well get
    > one with a surge protector but I wouldn't get one otherwise.

    Actually you might as well get one that protects the modem/DSL as well.
    --
    Nick
    -----------
  6. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    >>> Am I being too complacent?

    >>I've never used one. I've never had a surge blow anything
    >>either. My next door neigbour as one for her PC, but makes SFA
    >>difference. Of course in our house the fuse box has one of
    >>those quick trip over fueses where even if a light bulb blows
    >>you have to reset the trip switch, but even then its only ever
    >>the light bulb circuit that trips.


    Harry <A@A.A> wrote:
    >
    > I do have surge protectors on my PC equipment. For an extra
    > few quid it seemed a good safety measure.
    >
    > Chances of a power surge are probably 5000 to 1. But wouldnt
    > you feel silly if you were that 5000th person?
    >
    > At then end of the day its your call. Do you feel lucky? Just
    > how many thunderstorms are we having compared with last year,
    > and the year before?


    I don't want to take stupid risks. But I don't stupidly want to
    spend money to prevent almost non-existent risks.

    I don't have a surge protector on my TV or my stereo. So, do I
    need one on my PC?
  7. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:58:57 +0100, Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:

    >>>> Am I being too complacent?
    >
    >>>I've never used one. I've never had a surge blow anything
    >>>either. My next door neigbour as one for her PC, but makes SFA
    >>>difference. Of course in our house the fuse box has one of
    >>>those quick trip over fueses where even if a light bulb blows
    >>>you have to reset the trip switch, but even then its only ever
    >>>the light bulb circuit that trips.
    >
    >
    >Harry <A@A.A> wrote:
    >>
    >> I do have surge protectors on my PC equipment. For an extra
    >> few quid it seemed a good safety measure.
    >>
    >> Chances of a power surge are probably 5000 to 1. But wouldnt
    >> you feel silly if you were that 5000th person?
    >>
    >> At then end of the day its your call. Do you feel lucky? Just
    >> how many thunderstorms are we having compared with last year,
    >> and the year before?
    >
    >
    >I don't want to take stupid risks. But I don't stupidly want to
    >spend money to prevent almost non-existent risks.
    >
    >I don't have a surge protector on my TV or my stereo. So, do I
    >need one on my PC?

    The only time I know of a lighting strike potentially affecting
    equipment round here was where I used to work. But then the lighting
    hit a cable outsite, passed down into the network switch then fanned
    out from there blowing several PCs and melting the switch unit and the
    wall mounted box it was located in. Of course a mains surge protector
    would have done nothing for that.

    If you have a quick trip fuse box in the house its probably not worth
    it. If you don't then OK your PC is saved, but your TV, HiFi, Fridge
    e.t.c is screwed :-)
  8. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <9520A0A2FB83791F3A2@130.133.1.4>, Lem says...
    > Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > the UK?
    >
    > here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > countries (including the US).
    >
    > However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    >
    > I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > surge coming in through the power supply.
    >
    > So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    > Am I being too complacent?
    >
    Yup.
    Have you never witnessed lightning in your area? WE've had some in East
    Yorks as recent as this week.

    Also there must be a need for one because I've just had to replace my
    Belkin (free of charge) because it committed hari kari but it did its
    job.

    Remember a surge can come from alot of places such as a workman hitting
    the mains lines with a digger.

    --
    Conor

    Dumb as a box of rocks...
  9. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Lem" <lem@mail.com> wrote in message
    news:9520A0A2FB83791F3A2@130.133.1.4...
    > Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > the UK?
    >
    > here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > countries (including the US).
    >
    > However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    >
    > I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > surge coming in through the power supply.
    >
    > So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    > Am I being too complacent?


    unlikely youll ever have a problem but it does happen to some people.
    for the sake of a few quid ive got one downstairs for the tv, amp etc and
    upstairs on the pc. If they were expensive i woudnt bother but as theyre
    cheap, theyre worth having imo.
  10. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem wrote:
    >
    > Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > the UK?
    >
    > here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > countries (including the US).
    >
    > However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    >
    > I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > surge coming in through the power supply.
    >
    > So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    > Am I being too complacent?

    Definitely good to have one as an insurance. Heavy machinery can induce
    start currents and outages can result in spikes. Also heavy crossposting
    can overload the system.
  11. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote in news:9520A0A2FB83791F3A2@130.133.1.4:

    > Am I being too complacent?

    Like others said .. depends.
    I know ONE person whose system was destroyed by lightning.

    Here's a secret .. well I worked it out myself so could be wrong but...

    Instead of buying an expensive one, just buy the small cube thingy (like
    the old two-ways) and then run a multi socket extension from it. Last I
    looked they were less that 15 quid with a phone/modem socket whassname..

    --
    Lordy
  12. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem wrote:
    >
    > Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > the UK?
    >
    > here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > countries (including the US).

    Wasn't there a big black out around London last year just after the
    North American black out?

    > However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).

    A surge protector can be very simple, doesn't need to cost a lot.

    > I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > surge coming in through the power supply.

    My first PSU was killed by a spike, but then you don't know me. At a
    place where I once worked, they had problems with fuse timings on the
    entire building, the engineers would sometimes test which fuses went
    first, thereby inducing enormous currents in the power network.

    > So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    > Am I being too complacent?

    Entirely up to you.
  13. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?

    Probably a lot cheaper?

    Probably a waste of money.

    You probably have a greater chance of deing struck by
    lightnening.
  14. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    The frequency of destructive surges is about once every
    eight years. What is that frequency in your neighborhood?
    That is a question that only you (and your long term
    neighbors) can answer. Surge damage is a function of
    underlying geology, frequency of CG lightning, and a properly
    wired building. Properly wired means all incoming utilities
    enter at same location and use the same single point earth
    ground.

    What can affect your frequency of surges? How and what kind
    of trees are nearby (that might act as lightning rods)?
    Underground utilities such as transcontinental pipeline?
    Monolithic earth means better equipotential geology and
    therefore less probability of transients. Again, time to
    discuss history with the neighbors.

    Effective 'whole house' protectors cost about £1 per
    protected appliance. Is it necessary? Only you can provide
    the other numbers.

    In the meantime, plug-in protectors are not effective, cost
    tens of times more money per protected appliance, and are
    typically undersized. No sense wasting good money on
    ineffective protectors that don't even claim to protect from
    the typically destructive transient. A protector is only as
    effective as its earth ground - which plug-in power strip and
    UPS manufacturers fear you might learn.

    Lem wrote:
    > I don't want to take stupid risks. But I don't stupidly want to
    > spend money to prevent almost non-existent risks.
    >
    > I don't have a surge protector on my TV or my stereo. So, do I
    > need one on my PC?
  15. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    half_pint wrote:
    >
    > How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?

    No, a fuse takes time to burn. In the meantime the spike will do its work.

    > Probably a lot cheaper?
    >
    > Probably a waste of money.

    If you're cheapskate, you can make one up from an old 50nF high voltage
    capacitor. Anyway, they don't eat any bread and last a lifetime.

    > You probably have a greater chance of deing struck by
    > lightnening.

    Depens where you stand :-)
  16. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Bagpuss wrote:

    > On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:58:57 +0100, Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>>>>Am I being too complacent?
    >>
    >>>>I've never used one. I've never had a surge blow anything
    >>>>either. My next door neigbour as one for her PC, but makes SFA
    >>>>difference. Of course in our house the fuse box has one of
    >>>>those quick trip over fueses where even if a light bulb blows
    >>>>you have to reset the trip switch, but even then its only ever
    >>>>the light bulb circuit that trips.
    >>
    >>
    >>Harry <A@A.A> wrote:
    >>
    >>>I do have surge protectors on my PC equipment. For an extra
    >>>few quid it seemed a good safety measure.
    >>>
    >>>Chances of a power surge are probably 5000 to 1. But wouldnt
    >>>you feel silly if you were that 5000th person?
    >>>
    >>>At then end of the day its your call. Do you feel lucky? Just
    >>>how many thunderstorms are we having compared with last year,
    >>>and the year before?
    >>
    >>
    >>I don't want to take stupid risks. But I don't stupidly want to
    >>spend money to prevent almost non-existent risks.
    >>
    >>I don't have a surge protector on my TV or my stereo. So, do I
    >>need one on my PC?
    >
    >
    > The only time I know of a lighting strike potentially affecting
    > equipment round here was where I used to work. But then the lighting
    > hit a cable outsite, passed down into the network switch then fanned
    > out from there blowing several PCs and melting the switch unit and the
    > wall mounted box it was located in. Of course a mains surge protector
    > would have done nothing for that.
    >
    > If you have a quick trip fuse box in the house its probably not worth
    > it.

    Circuit breakers and fuses, quick trip or not, will not prevent equipment
    faults. They are there to prevent fires after the equipment fault.

    > If you don't then OK your PC is saved, but your TV, HiFi, Fridge
    > e.t.c is screwed :-)
  17. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:

    >Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    >the UK?
    >
    >here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    >relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    >countries (including the US).
    >
    >However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    >advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    >
    >I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    >in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    >surge coming in through the power supply.
    >
    >So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    >
    >Am I being too complacent?

    Probably. In my experience mains surges do not tend to cause problems, either your
    trip switch or the general robustness of most devices rules them out.

    However.....

    modems are different. If the strike hits a telephone pole then the resulting surge
    down the phone line can easily take out a modem, and if you're unlucky your mobo as
    well. Usually though your modem will act as a very expensive fuse.

    Buy a surge protection device that also protects modems and you should be okay. IMHO
    Belkin are the best, but others may have a different view.

    Look at it this way. A couple of years ago we had a massive storm in our area -
    apparently there were 30,000 odd lightening strikes over the county. (according to
    the electricity people). Over a two week period, I replaced several dozen modems for
    people who "suddenly couldn't get online". My supplier ran out of stock! Even the
    local PCWorld ran out (someone from there even phoned my business to see if we had
    any modems left in stock that they could buy!!).

    You can save £30 or so and take the risk - its up to you in the end.


    --
    Email addy is a spam trap - Spam will go to a spammer
    Please post in the group to reply.
  18. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Stormsinger" <support@wirednic.com> wrote in message
    news:oaere0ttgmbfeh2mk69nkvchs77tlohih4@4ax.com...
    > Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:
    >
    > >Are surge protectors on the main power supply actually needed in
    > >the UK?
    > >
    > >here in the UK we have few overhead mains power lines and have a
    > >relatively steady mains power supply when compared to many other
    > >countries (including the US).
    > >
    > >However there seem to be very many surge protector products
    > >advertised for sale in the UK (Argos, Maplins, etc).
    > >
    > >I am quite sure it is not bad practice to use a surge protector but
    > >in fact I have never known anyone who has has a problem from a
    > >surge coming in through the power supply.
    > >
    > >So personally I don't bother using a surge protector on my PC.
    > >
    > >Am I being too complacent?
    >
    > Probably. In my experience mains surges do not tend to cause problems,
    either your
    > trip switch or the general robustness of most devices rules them out.
    >
    > However.....
    >
    > modems are different. If the strike hits a telephone pole then the
    resulting surge
    > down the phone line can easily take out a modem, and if you're unlucky
    your mobo as
    > well. Usually though your modem will act as a very expensive fuse.
    >
    > Buy a surge protection device that also protects modems and you should be
    okay. IMHO
    > Belkin are the best, but others may have a different view.
    >
    > Look at it this way. A couple of years ago we had a massive storm in our
    area -
    > apparently there were 30,000 odd lightening strikes over the county.
    (according to
    > the electricity people). Over a two week period, I replaced several dozen
    modems for
    > people who "suddenly couldn't get online". My supplier ran out of stock!
    Even the
    > local PCWorld ran out (someone from there even phoned my business to see
    if we had
    > any modems left in stock that they could buy!!).
    >
    > You can save £30 or so and take the risk - its up to you in the end.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Email addy is a spam trap - Spam will go to a spammer
    > Please post in the group to reply.

    I had a house electrical check a few weeks back from the local council, 2
    guys, well one guy and his chimp, while doing it i said i do not want any
    testing or surges as i run a large lan, although pre powerd down, they said
    it was a good job i told them as at the end its normal to do something and
    shove a surge? of some kind around the system.


    They said, and i knew before hand even tho switched off at the wall but
    still plugged in it could have blown the lot, how true this is i dont know

    Never had a surge pretector in years, always thought about it but never got
    round to it, ok the LAN i have is cheap old junk, but the data should i lose
    it would be a proble
  19. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    half_pint wrote:

    > How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?

    The proper fuse is always a good idea but fuses do not protect from power
    line faults. They blow after your 'protected' device is fried and pulling
    too much current as a result of it.

    >
    > Probably a lot cheaper?
    >
    > Probably a waste of money.
    >
    > You probably have a greater chance of deing struck by
    > lightnening.
    >
    >
  20. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Stormsinger <support@wirednic.com> wrote:

    > modems are different. If the strike hits a telephone pole then
    > the resulting surge down the phone line can easily take out a
    > modem, and if you're unlucky your mobo as well. Usually though
    > your modem will act as a very expensive fuse.
    >
    > Buy a surge protection device that also protects modems and
    > you should be okay. IMHO Belkin are the best, but others may
    > have a different view.
    >
    > Look at it this way. A couple of years ago we had a massive
    > storm in our area - apparently there were 30,000 odd
    > lightening strikes over the county. (according to the
    > electricity people). Over a two week period, I replaced
    > several dozen modems for people who "suddenly couldn't get
    > online". My supplier ran out of stock! Even the local PCWorld
    > ran out (someone from there even phoned my business to see if
    > we had any modems left in stock that they could buy!!).
    >
    > You can save £30 or so and take the risk - its up to you in
    > the end.
    >


    See this posting to a second thread started with the same posting
    as this one. news:40EDC0A0.31DADBE8@hotmail.com

    It says the following.

    ====== QUOTE =======

    A plug-in surge protector is on the order of tens of times
    more money per protected appliance. Furthermore it does not
    even claim to protect from the typically destructive
    transient. Protectors do not stop, block, filter, or absorb
    destructive transients. Ineffective protector manufacturers
    get one to wish that is how they work. In reality, the
    protector is not protection. Protector and protection are two
    separate components of a surge protection system. Effective
    systems must include the protection. And the connection to
    protection is either a hardwire (less than 3 meters) or a
    protector (also part of a less than 3 meter connection).

    In short, the protection is called single point earth
    ground. Destructive surges may enter the building seeking
    earth ground. If not earthed (either by hardwire connection
    or by surge protector), then the destructive surge may find a
    path to earth ground via computer. One classic example is due
    to a direct strike to lines highest on utility poles - AC
    electric. Incoming on AC electric, through computer and its
    modem, then outgoing to earth ground via phone line. Many
    then *assume* the surge entered on phone line, damaged modem,
    then stopped - a violation of even primary school science.

    Effective protection means all incoming utilities are
    earthed before entering the building. All must be earthed to
    the same single point earth ground. That means even the CATV
    wire drops down to earth ground, connects ground block 'less
    than 3 meters' to that earth ground, and only then rises back
    up to enter building. Again, no surge protector required
    because earthing is accomplished by a direct and short
    hardwire connection.

    These concepts are explained further including some examples
    of 'whole house' protectors for AC mains at:
    "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004 in
    pdx.computing at
    http://tinyurl.com/2hl53 and
    "strange problem after power surge/thunderstorm" in
    comp.dcom.modems on 31 Mar 2003 at
    http://tinyurl.com/2gumt .

    Additional information on how surge protectors work, how
    they are rated, installed, etc was posted in:
    "Opinions on Surge Protectors?" on 7 Jul 2003 in the
    newsgroup alt.certification.a-plus at
    http://tinyurl.com/l3m9 and
    "Power Surge" on 29 Sept 2003 in the newsgroup
    alt.comp.hardware at
    http://tinyurl.com/p1rk

    One industry professional demonstrates how two structures
    are protected. Notice every wire entering each structure
    (building and tower) must first connect to single point
    ground. Even the buried phone wire carries a potentially
    destructive transient which is why even buried wires must
    enter building at the service entrance with the 'less than 3
    meter' connection to earth ground:

    http://www.erico.com/public/library/fep/technotes/tncr002.pdf

    How do we identify ineffective protectors? 1) No dedicated
    connection to earth ground AND 2) manufacturer avoids all
    discussion about earthing. A surge protector is only as
    effective as its earth ground - the protection.

    Those ineffective protector manufacturers fear you might
    learn about the essential earth ground AND discover that
    plug-in protectors cost tens of times more money per protected
    appliance.
  21. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote in news:9520E94266B391F3A2@130.133.1.4:

    [SNIP informative stuff I'm sure]

    I just dont understand this bit..

    > plug-in protectors cost tens of times more money per protected
    > appliance.

    "tens of times" more than what??


    --
    Lordy
  22. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Johannes H Andersen" <johs@sizefitterlikneasfuongtuintgsjadfasejk.com>
    wrote in message
    news:40ED9651.397F529D@sizefitterlikneasfuongtuintgsjadfasejk.com...
    >
    >
    > half_pint wrote:
    > >
    > > How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?
    >
    > No, a fuse takes time to burn. In the meantime the spike will do its work.

    I still think it would prevent damage to your computer.
    A lightening conductor myght be a better bet.

    whats the point in saving your computer if you house is burnt out and
    gutted?

    I guess you can log on and tell folks about it :O)


    >
    > > Probably a lot cheaper?
    > >
    > > Probably a waste of money.
    >
    > If you're cheapskate, you can make one up from an old 50nF high voltage
    > capacitor. Anyway, they don't eat any bread and last a lifetime.
    >
    > > You probably have a greater chance of deing struck by
    > > lightnening.
    >
    > Depens where you stand :-)
  23. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem wrote:
    >
    [...]
    >
    > See this posting to a second thread started with the same posting
    > as this one. news:40EDC0A0.31DADBE8@hotmail.com
    >
    > It says the following.
    >
    > ====== QUOTE =======


    The problem with this quote is that people might think it's too
    complicated and simply give up. But protection is a matter of degree.
    Clearly if it is a lab with expensive scientific equipment, they would
    have more full proof protection, but my assertion is that simple
    protection is better than no protection. A 50nF high voltage capacitor
    across the appliance can kill many spikes and possibly increase the
    life of a PSU, in many cases such protection is already included. Then
    you can go on with more elaborate surge protectors for more and more
    rare incidents. All these incidents are possible with associated
    probabilities. In any case, a decent surge protector is a once only
    investment, so why making a fuss about it?
  24. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Lem wrote:

    > Stormsinger <support@wirednic.com> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>modems are different. If the strike hits a telephone pole then
    >>the resulting surge down the phone line can easily take out a
    >>modem, and if you're unlucky your mobo as well. Usually though
    >>your modem will act as a very expensive fuse.
    >>
    >>Buy a surge protection device that also protects modems and
    >>you should be okay. IMHO Belkin are the best, but others may
    >>have a different view.
    >>
    >>Look at it this way. A couple of years ago we had a massive
    >>storm in our area - apparently there were 30,000 odd
    >>lightening strikes over the county. (according to the
    >>electricity people). Over a two week period, I replaced
    >>several dozen modems for people who "suddenly couldn't get
    >>online". My supplier ran out of stock! Even the local PCWorld
    >>ran out (someone from there even phoned my business to see if
    >>we had any modems left in stock that they could buy!!).
    >>
    >>You can save £30 or so and take the risk - its up to you in
    >>the end.
    >>
    >
    >
    >
    > See this posting to a second thread started with the same posting
    > as this one. news:40EDC0A0.31DADBE8@hotmail.com
    >
    > It says the following.

    The article below is misleading. They talk of earthing "all incoming
    utilities" but fail to recognize that any incoming 'utility' is not simply
    a single wire, as evidenced by their stating "even the CATV wire drops down
    to earth ground." It's a coax cable folks, not a 'wire', and the wire in
    the middle is not 'earthed' or else there's be no signal. It IS however,
    'protected', to some degree, by the shield, which is what's earthed.

    Power lines are more problematic. True, the incoming power line 'earth'
    should be 'earthed', as they describe, but the others are not, or else your
    incoming power would be a direct short to each other through this common
    'earth' point.

    The 'protection' for power and signal lines is an arc gap suppressor to
    that common earth ground which, hopefully, arcs a lightning strike to earth
    at that point rather than having it find earth through the devices, or you,
    in the home so lucky you end up with only a few hundreds, or thousands, of
    volts transients dancing around on the home wiring and your home equipment
    with the brunt going through the arc gap suppressors.

    Now you, as a human being, are probably safe from those remaining
    transients, unless you have your finger stuck in a socket, but electronic
    devices are not as they ARE plugged into the socket. And it is those
    transients that an in-house transient/surge suppressor is meant to deal
    with, not 'lightning strikes' per see.

    It is true that small in-house 'protectors' are essentially useless if the
    home utilities AREN'T properly protected (earthed) but the implication
    derived from the small snippet that if the home has 'proper' incoming surge
    suppression that it's then 'safe' for electronic devices (I.E. they're
    sufficiently 'protected') is simply hogwash.

    It should also be obvious that if the surge protector has no path to earth
    then it's function is lost, which means the outlet(s) it's plugged into
    must have the proper earth, or it's own wired earth. I.E. Using a '3 wire
    to 2 wire adapter' on a surge suppressor disables the majority of it's
    protection.

    'Protection' is a multistage process. You have the 'protection' on the
    utilities themselves, meaning the power company equipment/line outside the
    home, which absorb the brunt of most faults. Then there is the protection
    going into the home, which depends on the incoming line impedance to limit
    the surge. And then you have protection (or lack thereof) from the
    'remnants' left on the interior wiring.


    > ====== QUOTE =======
    >
    > A plug-in surge protector is on the order of tens of times
    > more money per protected appliance. Furthermore it does not
    > even claim to protect from the typically destructive
    > transient. Protectors do not stop, block, filter, or absorb
    > destructive transients. Ineffective protector manufacturers
    > get one to wish that is how they work. In reality, the
    > protector is not protection. Protector and protection are two
    > separate components of a surge protection system. Effective
    > systems must include the protection. And the connection to
    > protection is either a hardwire (less than 3 meters) or a
    > protector (also part of a less than 3 meter connection).
    >
    > In short, the protection is called single point earth
    > ground. Destructive surges may enter the building seeking
    > earth ground. If not earthed (either by hardwire connection
    > or by surge protector), then the destructive surge may find a
    > path to earth ground via computer. One classic example is due
    > to a direct strike to lines highest on utility poles - AC
    > electric. Incoming on AC electric, through computer and its
    > modem, then outgoing to earth ground via phone line. Many
    > then *assume* the surge entered on phone line, damaged modem,
    > then stopped - a violation of even primary school science.
    >
    > Effective protection means all incoming utilities are
    > earthed before entering the building. All must be earthed to
    > the same single point earth ground. That means even the CATV
    > wire drops down to earth ground, connects ground block 'less
    > than 3 meters' to that earth ground, and only then rises back
    > up to enter building. Again, no surge protector required
    > because earthing is accomplished by a direct and short
    > hardwire connection.
    >
    > These concepts are explained further including some examples
    > of 'whole house' protectors for AC mains at:
    > "RJ-11 line protection?" on 30 Dec 2003 through 12 Jan 2004 in
    > pdx.computing at
    > http://tinyurl.com/2hl53 and
    > "strange problem after power surge/thunderstorm" in
    > comp.dcom.modems on 31 Mar 2003 at
    > http://tinyurl.com/2gumt .
    >
    > Additional information on how surge protectors work, how
    > they are rated, installed, etc was posted in:
    > "Opinions on Surge Protectors?" on 7 Jul 2003 in the
    > newsgroup alt.certification.a-plus at
    > http://tinyurl.com/l3m9 and
    > "Power Surge" on 29 Sept 2003 in the newsgroup
    > alt.comp.hardware at
    > http://tinyurl.com/p1rk
    >
    > One industry professional demonstrates how two structures
    > are protected. Notice every wire entering each structure
    > (building and tower) must first connect to single point
    > ground. Even the buried phone wire carries a potentially
    > destructive transient which is why even buried wires must
    > enter building at the service entrance with the 'less than 3
    > meter' connection to earth ground:
    >
    > http://www.erico.com/public/library/fep/technotes/tncr002.pdf
    >
    > How do we identify ineffective protectors? 1) No dedicated
    > connection to earth ground AND 2) manufacturer avoids all
    > discussion about earthing. A surge protector is only as
    > effective as its earth ground - the protection.
    >
    > Those ineffective protector manufacturers fear you might
    > learn about the essential earth ground AND discover that
    > plug-in protectors cost tens of times more money per protected
    > appliance.
    >
    >
  25. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "John McGaw" <nowhere@at.all> wrote in message
    news:2TdHc.18827$285.1164@bignews6.bellsouth.net...
    > Do you live in an area where lightning is frequent? A lightning strike
    that
    > is merely _near_ to an underground utility circuit can induce damaging
    > voltages into them meaning that your power mains, telephone, and cable TV
    > are all possible carriers. Admittedly there is no place in the UK that
    I've
    > heard of that experiences the sort of storms that ravage parts of the USA,
    > Flordia comes immediately to mind, but if you ever do have even one event
    > then a small investment in protection would be invaluable.

    My house (in England) was struck by lightening - great big sodding hole in
    the roof, and of course it was raining (doh!). My computer and everything
    attached to it was safe as I had a surge protector incly telephone sockets.
    Unfortunatelky I didn't have surge protectors on my 2 widescreen TV that
    each had a DVD player attached to and my stereo so they all got
    fried..........literally there was black scorth marks!!

    They say lightening doesn't strike twice, but I have everything on surge
    protectors now - Worth every penny imho
  26. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Assumed is that lightning confronted everything inside the
    house equally. Just not true. Based upon your description,
    the circuit from cloud to earth borne charges found a good
    path via those TVs. Therefore only TVs suffered a direct
    lightning strike incoming and outgoing. Incoming and outgoing
    are essential requirements for surge damage. If the computer
    only had an incoming path and no outgoing path, then lightning
    currents did not pass through nor damage computers. That
    complete electrical path to earth ground is the essential
    requirement for surge damage. Clearly other household
    appliances did not make that same "complete electrical
    circuit" connection; therefore were not damaged.

    No adjacent protector that will stop, block, or absorb the
    transient. An effective protection must shunt (divert,
    connect, short circuit) the direct strike to earth so that the
    direct strike does not find a better path via TVs. In your
    case, that solution was a lightning rod (and not plug-in
    protectors that cost tens of times more money per protected
    appliance).

    But again, first identify why lightning took that path to
    earth ground through TVs and not through computers to learn
    why damage occurs. First lightning passes through everything
    in a circuit from cloud to earth. Only then does something
    inside the TVs get damaged - even though other parts also
    carries the electrical transient.

    Concepts such as 'whole house' protectors and lightning rods
    are long ago proven to be superior protection. Why? They
    (unlike the ineffective plug-in protector) make a superior
    connection to earth ground so that lightning does not find
    earthing via TVs or computer.

    AK wrote:
    > My house (in England) was struck by lightening - great big sodding hole in
    > the roof, and of course it was raining (doh!). My computer and everything
    > attached to it was safe as I had a surge protector incly telephone sockets.
    > Unfortunatelky I didn't have surge protectors on my 2 widescreen TV that
    > each had a DVD player attached to and my stereo so they all got
    > fried..........literally there was black scorth marks!!
    >
    > They say lightening doesn't strike twice, but I have everything
    > on surge protectors now - Worth every penny imho
  27. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    AK wrote:

    > My house (in England) was struck by lightening - great big sodding hole in
    > the roof, and of course it was raining (doh!). My computer and everything
    > attached to it was safe as I had a surge protector incly telephone sockets.
    > Unfortunatelky I didn't have surge protectors on my 2 widescreen TV that
    > each had a DVD player attached to and my stereo so they all got
    > fried..........literally there was black scorth marks!!

    Hint: could you possibly have had the TVs connected to some wiring on
    the roof?
  28. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 23:16:17 UTC, "AK" <false@xxx.com> wrote:

    > My house (in England) was struck by lightening

    Did it change colour - say from beige to white? :-)

    --
    Bob Eager
    begin a new life...dump Windows!
  29. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 23:41:08 UTC, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com> wrote:

    > The frequency of destructive surges is about once every
    > eight years. What is that frequency in your neighborhood?

    Lightning isn't the only cause of surges. I've seen excessive voltage
    several times over the last few years. Switching transients, etc.
    --
    Bob Eager
    begin a new life...dump Windows!
  30. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 21:44:41 GMT, "JULIAN HALES"
    <julianhales@blueyonder.co.uk> wrote:

    >>> --
    >> Email addy is a spam trap - Spam will go to a spammer
    >> Please post in the group to reply.
    >
    >I had a house electrical check a few weeks back from the local council, 2
    >guys, well one guy and his chimp, while doing it i said i do not want any
    >testing or surges as i run a large lan, although pre powerd down, they said
    >it was a good job i told them as at the end its normal to do something and
    >shove a surge? of some kind around the system.

    yep they usualty shove 20,000 volts around IIRC as a surge test. They
    do it once in a while at work and we have to unplug all the kit from
    the mains.

    >They said, and i knew before hand even tho switched off at the wall but
    >still plugged in it could have blown the lot, how true this is i dont know

    Potentially yes, espesh if one of the sockets was suspect.

    >Never had a surge pretector in years, always thought about it but never got
    >round to it, ok the LAN i have is cheap old junk, but the data should i lose
    >it would be a proble
  31. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Harry wrote:

    > On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 16:10:40 +0100, Bagpuss
    > <rich.bagpuss.ard.hal.bagusss.ford@low.orbit> wrote:
    >
    >>On Thu, 08 Jul 2004 15:47:28 +0100, Lem <lem@mail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >><snip>
    >>
    >>>
    >>>Am I being too complacent?
    >>
    >>I've never used one. I've never had a surge blow anything either. My

    I have, and a couple of friends too. We have a flaky power supply round
    here and usually have about half a dozen power cuts each winter but we
    had a strange one last winter; for several seconds before the power went
    off there were big voltage fluctuations. When the power came back I had
    a dead PS/2 port on one machine and two friends both had dead PSUs. I've
    now got all my kit plugged into and 8-way trailing socket with surge
    protector.

    >>next door neigbour as one for her PC, but makes SFA difference. Of
    >>course in our house the fuse box has one of those quick trip over
    >>fueses where even if a light bulb blows you have to reset the trip
    >>switch, but even then its only ever the light bulb circuit that trips.
    >
    > We are the same with regard to the fuse box tripping out.
    >

    The solution to that is to replace the type B MCBs with type C on the
    lighting circuit. I did and have not had a problem with nuisance
    tripping since.
  32. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    Yes, utility switching does cause transients. But nothing
    that should overwhelm internal protection in household
    appliances. If switching transients were so destructive, then
    we all would be replacing RCDs, dimmer switches, and clock
    radios weekly. Once numbers are applied to those switching
    transients, then those transients become irrelevant.

    Bob Eager wrote:
    > On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 23:41:08 UTC, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >> The frequency of destructive surges is about once every
    >> eight years. What is that frequency in your neighborhood?
    >
    > Lightning isn't the only cause of surges. I've seen excessive
    > voltage several times over the last few years. Switching
    > transients, etc.
  33. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    w_tom wrote:

    > Yes, utility switching does cause transients. But nothing
    > that should overwhelm internal protection in household
    > appliances.

    Except that it can and sometimes does.

    > If switching transients were so destructive, then
    > we all would be replacing RCDs, dimmer switches, and clock
    > radios weekly. Once numbers are applied to those switching
    > transients, then those transients become irrelevant.

    That's as illogical as saying if lightning strikes were so destructive we'd
    be replacing RCDs, dimmer switches, and clock radios every time it rained.

    Neither are 'destructive' till the relatively infrequent occurrence when
    they are.

    >
    > Bob Eager wrote:
    >
    >>On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 23:41:08 UTC, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >>
    >>> The frequency of destructive surges is about once every
    >>>eight years. What is that frequency in your neighborhood?
    >>
    >>Lightning isn't the only cause of surges. I've seen excessive
    >>voltage several times over the last few years. Switching
    >>transients, etc.
  34. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Strange Lad wrote:

    >
    > a friend of mine has had a machine totalled by a surge following a
    > nearby lightning strike that shot up his phone line, in through the
    > modem and spaltted his mobo to hell and gone.
    >


    I thought BT master sockets, NTE5s, have a built in lightning arrestor?
    Maybe they don't, or he has an old type?

    Parish
  35. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Wall receptacle is safety ground; not earth ground - as
    explained in another post in this thread. However let's
    assume the plug-in protector does earth a destructive
    transient via wall receptacle. Now that transient is on a
    wire bundled with other wires. Induced transient is now
    created by that plug-in protector. By earthing on safety
    ground wire, we have now induced transients on all other
    adjacent wires. What kind of protection is that?
    Ineffective.

    Same problem applies to the service entrance and single
    point earth ground. All earthing wires must be installed from
    each utility wire to earth ground separated from all other
    wires. Too many installers want to be neat. They make clean
    sharp bends and nylon ty-wrap all wires together. IOW they
    compromise the protection 'system'. Even sharp wire bends
    increase wire impedance. Earthing wires must be shorter (less
    than 3 meters), no splices (which wall receptacle safety
    ground wires violate), not inside metallic conduit, and
    separated from all other wires.

    Just more reasons why plug-in protectors are so
    ineffective. Therefore plug-in protectors avoid all
    discussion about earthing. They fear you might learn about
    the less than 3 meter necessity. So they avoid all discussion
    about earthing. They would even encourage the consumer to be
    confused about safety ground verse earth ground.

    Mike Tomlinson wrote:
    > In article <40EDDB94.2AC3F3A6@hotmail.com>, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com> writes
    >> In the meantime, plug-in protectors are not effective,
    >> cost tens of times more money per protected appliance, and
    >> are typically undersized.No sense wasting good money on
    >> ineffective protectors that don't even claim to protect
    >> from the typically destructive transient. A protector is
    >> only as effective as its earth ground - which plug-in power
    >> strip and UPS manufacturers fear you might learn.
    >
    > And in Europe, the "earth ground" on mains wiring is good,
    > hence plug-in surge protectors do the job they were designed
    > to do, shunting the surge to earth.
    >
    > In the States, not all power outlets can be assumed to have
    > an earth connection, so plug-in surge protectors have to
    > shunt surges to the other phase line, which makes them vastl
    > less effective.
    >
    > --
    A. Bottom posters
    Q. What's the most annoying thing on Usenet because they
    complain too much and make their posts harder to read?
  36. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <9520E94266B391F3A2@130.133.1.4>, Lem <lem@mail.com> writes

    >
    >See this posting to a second thread started with the same posting
    >as this one. news:40EDC0A0.31DADBE8@hotmail.com

    It was posted by an idiot with a bee in his bonnet about "whole house
    surge protection", a superficial understanding of his subject, who only
    ever posts to threads like this one, and who goes remarkably quiet when
    challenged to substantiate his claims or to provide technical detail. A
    google.groups search for w_tom in various uk.* groups will provide much
    entertainment.

    Said idiot is American and refuses to acknowledge that UK/European
    wiring, because of its superior earthing system, is not as prone to
    surges as American installations. In short, ignore.

    --
    A. Top posters.
    Q. What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?
  37. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    On 9 Jul 2004 06:46:06 GMT, "Bob Eager" <rde42@spamcop.net> wrote:

    -On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 23:16:17 UTC, "AK" <false@xxx.com> wrote:
    -
    -> My house (in England) was struck by lightening
    -
    -Did it change colour - say from beige to white? :-)

    I hear the whoosh of passing thuneder.

    Thanks for the chuckle, Bob.


    -Rob
    robatwork at mail dot com
  38. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <40EDDB94.2AC3F3A6@hotmail.com>, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com>
    writes

    [drivelectomy]

    >typically undersized. No sense wasting good money on
    >ineffective protectors that don't even claim to protect from
    >the typically destructive transient. A protector is only as
    >effective as its earth ground - which plug-in power strip and
    >UPS manufacturers fear you might learn.

    And in Europe, the "earth ground" on mains wiring is good, hence plug-in
    surge protectors do the job they were designed to do, shunting the surge
    to earth.

    In the States, not all power outlets can be assumed to have an earth
    connection, so plug-in surge protectors have to shunt surges to the
    other phase line, which makes them vastly less effective.

    --
    A. Top posters.
    Q. What's the most annoying thing on Usenet?
  39. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Mike Tomlinson wrote:

    > In article <40EDDB94.2AC3F3A6@hotmail.com>, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com>
    > writes
    >
    > [drivelectomy]
    >
    >
    >>typically undersized. No sense wasting good money on
    >>ineffective protectors that don't even claim to protect from
    >>the typically destructive transient. A protector is only as
    >>effective as its earth ground - which plug-in power strip and
    >>UPS manufacturers fear you might learn.
    >
    >
    > And in Europe, the "earth ground" on mains wiring is good, hence plug-in
    > surge protectors do the job they were designed to do, shunting the surge
    > to earth.
    >
    > In the States, not all power outlets can be assumed to have an earth
    > connection,

    You mean a separate earth. Neutral is, of course, earthed. The problem is,
    even though it is supposed to be on the large terminal in two prong sockets
    you can't always count on the wiring to be proper in older homes. Modern
    construction is 3 prong.

    > so plug-in surge protectors have to shunt surges to the
    > other phase line, which makes them vastly less effective.
    >

    No, they expect an earth ground too. The problem is people who don't
    understand it and use 3 to 2 wire plug converters (actually, it has the
    earth terminal brought out for a separate connection but no one uses it)
    and then wonder why the surge protector didn't work.
  40. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Surge protectors (be they capacitors, varistors, or anything else) must
    absorb the energy they're dealing with. Anything physically small will
    vaporise and give little protection against a direct lightning strike on
    the building, though they may protect against surges from further away.

    I would expect a suitable Uninterruptible Power Supply to provide
    reasonable lightning protection -- some APC units guarantee this, though
    you'd have to ensure that all computers, monitors, etc. on a network are
    powered through the UPC for safest results (or use fibre optic cabling
    or wireless networking).

    Surge protectors are probably of some use. A lightning rod for the
    building is important. Personally I unplug computer equipment from mains
    and phone during electrical storms if possible, But, in a city
    environment, I haven't come across lightning damage, though I've heard
    of it.

    Obviously there are differences between a building in the middle of a
    city and a house on a lone mountaintop!

    Best wishes,
    --
    Michael Salem
  41. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Please find the manufacturer datasheet that claims surge
    protectors "absorb the energy they're dealing with". Surge
    protector components absorb energy just like a wire absorbs
    energy. Does a wire also stop, block, or absorb surges? They
    are called shunt mode devices for very good reason. The
    protector does not stop, block, filter, or absorb surges - as
    so often promoted by myth purveyors.

    Furthermore, if a component vaporizes, then the surge
    protector was defective by design - grossly undersized. MOV
    manufacturers even provide charts on life expectancy. The
    number and size of transients determined when the MOV has
    degraded. Not vaporized. There is no part on the chart for
    vaporization because that is a failure beyond what MOVs are
    designed for. Surge protectors shunt every surge without
    human knowledge. Eventually, MOVs degrade - and do not
    vaporize.

    This assumes the protector is properly sized. Since they
    are not selling effective protectors, then many plug-in
    protectors are so grossly undersized as to be vaporized. Then
    the naive consumer recommends these ineffective and grossly
    overpriced products to friends. It is how a product gets
    promoted by myth purveyors. Effective (properly sized)
    protectors shunt transients to earth ground without damage.
    That is the difference between real world protectors and the
    junk sold as plug-in protectors.

    In the big city, electronics for TV and FM stations atop the
    Empire State Building is struck about 25 times per year
    without damage. In the WTC, that was 40 times per year. Why
    no damage? Incoming lightning is earthed - and is not stopped
    or absorbed by protectors or UPSes. So what is the difference
    between the big city and atop a mountain? The big city
    suffers more strikes in the same location. (BTW, a valley
    between two mountains is just as likely to be struck. Geology
    and not height more determines frequency of strike.)

    That plug-in UPS offers the same protection circuit found in
    power strip protectors. A plug-in UPS for surge protection
    is also mythical. Notice a fundamental difference between
    plug-in UPSes and building wide UPS systems. The building
    wide system has the short connection to earth ground;
    therefore can provide effective protection. The plug-in UPS
    does not even claim (see its numerical specifications) to
    provide protection from the destructive type of transient.

    Michael Salem wrote:
    > Surge protectors (be they capacitors, varistors, or anything
    > else) must absorb the energy they're dealing with. Anything
    > physically small will vaporise and give little protection
    > against a direct lightning strike on the building, though
    > they may protect against surges from further away.
    >
    > I would expect a suitable Uninterruptible Power Supply to
    > provide reasonable lightning protection -- some APC units
    > guarantee this, though you'd have to ensure that all
    > computers, monitors, etc. on a network are powered through
    > the UPC for safest results (or use fibre optic cabling
    > or wireless networking).
    >
    > Surge protectors are probably of some use. A lightning rod
    > for the building is important. Personally I unplug computer
    > equipment from mains and phone during electrical storms
    > if possible, But, in a city environment, I haven't come
    > across lightning damage, though I've heard of it.
    >
    > Obviously there are differences between a building in the
    > middle of a city and a house on a lone mountaintop!
    >
    > Best wishes,
    > --
    > Michael Salem
  42. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    Bob Eager wrote:
    >
    > On Thu, 8 Jul 2004 23:41:08 UTC, w_tom <w_tom1@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >
    > > The frequency of destructive surges is about once every
    > > eight years. What is that frequency in your neighborhood?
    >
    > Lightning isn't the only cause of surges. I've seen excessive voltage
    > several times over the last few years. Switching transients, etc.

    Ignore w_tom, his pontification has run before at lentht. He doesn't
    understand the UK wiring system.
  43. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    In article <10es432b4cmbkb8@corp.supernews.com>, David Maynard says...
    > half_pint wrote:
    >
    > > How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?
    >
    > The proper fuse is always a good idea but fuses do not protect from power
    > line faults. They blow after your 'protected' device is fried and pulling
    > too much current as a result of it.
    >
    Or don't blow at all. Sister in Law is running a washing machine and
    tumble drier off an extension. THe tumble drier developed a fault this
    week. THe extension cable got red hot - too hot to touch. To get that
    hot it had to have exceeded the plug fuse rating. Neither the fuse in
    the extension chord or the fuse in the tumble drier mains plug blew.


    --
    Conor

    Dumb as a box of rocks...
  44. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Conor wrote:

    > In article <10es432b4cmbkb8@corp.supernews.com>, David Maynard says...
    >
    >>half_pint wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?
    >>
    >>The proper fuse is always a good idea but fuses do not protect from power
    >>line faults. They blow after your 'protected' device is fried and pulling
    >>too much current as a result of it.
    >>
    >
    > Or don't blow at all. Sister in Law is running a washing machine and
    > tumble drier off an extension. THe tumble drier developed a fault this
    > week. THe extension cable got red hot - too hot to touch. To get that
    > hot it had to have exceeded the plug fuse rating. Neither the fuse in
    > the extension chord or the fuse in the tumble drier mains plug blew.
    >
    >

    Yeah. That can happen. Obviously, since it did ;) If it's not sized right
    the wire resistance of the extension can act as a current limiter
    'protecting' the fuse.
  45. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    Conor wrote:

    > In article <10es432b4cmbkb8@corp.supernews.com>, David Maynard says...
    >> half_pint wrote:
    >>
    >> > How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?
    >>
    >> The proper fuse is always a good idea but fuses do not protect from power
    >> line faults. They blow after your 'protected' device is fried and pulling
    >> too much current as a result of it.
    >>
    > Or don't blow at all. Sister in Law is running a washing machine and
    > tumble drier off an extension. THe tumble drier developed a fault this
    > week. THe extension cable got red hot - too hot to touch. To get that
    > hot it had to have exceeded the plug fuse rating. Neither the fuse in
    > the extension chord or the fuse in the tumble drier mains plug blew.
    >

    The "fuse" isn't an M5x25 bolt is it? ;-)

    Parish
  46. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    On Fri, 09 Jul 2004 12:07:50 +0100, Parish <me@privacy.net> wrote:

    >Conor wrote:
    >
    >> In article <10es432b4cmbkb8@corp.supernews.com>, David Maynard says...
    >>> half_pint wrote:
    >>>
    >>> > How about using a plug with the correct sized fuse in it?
    >>>
    >>> The proper fuse is always a good idea but fuses do not protect from power
    >>> line faults. They blow after your 'protected' device is fried and pulling
    >>> too much current as a result of it.
    >>>
    >> Or don't blow at all. Sister in Law is running a washing machine and
    >> tumble drier off an extension. THe tumble drier developed a fault this
    >> week. THe extension cable got red hot - too hot to touch. To get that
    >> hot it had to have exceeded the plug fuse rating. Neither the fuse in
    >> the extension chord or the fuse in the tumble drier mains plug blew.
    >>
    >
    >The "fuse" isn't an M5x25 bolt is it? ;-)

    Thats the Commodore 64 internal fuse replacement isn't it?
  47. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    "Parish" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message
    news:2l71kvF9j4tkU2@uni-berlin.de...
    > Strange Lad wrote:
    >
    >>
    >> a friend of mine has had a machine totalled by a surge following a
    >> nearby lightning strike that shot up his phone line, in through the
    >> modem and spaltted his mobo to hell and gone.
    >>
    >
    >
    > I thought BT master sockets, NTE5s, have a built in lightning arrestor?
    > Maybe they don't, or he has an old type?
    >
    > Parish

    Dunno. It is an old Victorian house but I don't know how old the sockets
    were. All I saw was his knackered computer.

    Strange lad

    --
    I do not consider it an insult, but rather a
    compliment to be called an agnostic.
    I do not pretend to know where
    many ignorant men are sure --
    that is all that agnosticism means.
    Clarence Darrow
  48. Archived from groups: uk.comp.vendors,uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

    w_tom wrote:
    >
    Some deja vu. You're not in the States m8. In a densely populated
    country like the UK, most of the risk are spikes from manmade
    installations, induction from heavy machinery, fuse testing, outages.
    A simple protector is well worth having and a once only investment.
  49. Archived from groups: uk.comp.homebuilt,alt.comp.hardware,alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt,uk.comp.vendors (More info?)

    Long before computers existed in homes, why were LED clocks
    and radios replaced daily? Because switch generated
    transients were and remain destructive? Why are RCDs and
    dimmer switches - things more easily damaged and without any
    external protection - also failing daily? Because again those
    transients from switching are so destructive. Put some
    numbers to those switch generated transients. Some who
    promote utility switching as a source of destructive transient
    never provide numbers and ignore those above real world
    examples. They are promoting junk science made obvious by
    their fear of numbers and a shortage of weekly examples. We
    can see from dialy damaged electronics equipment that those
    transients are so destructive.

    You are replacing RCDs daily because of daily utility
    switching and the resulting transients? We also don't put
    umbrellas over that RCD because rain also does not damage the
    RCD. Why install protection when sufficient protection
    already exists?

    Utilities are reconfiguring their grids every month for
    maintenance, reconfiguring loads, and adjusting voltages.
    Transients from such events can be seen sometimes as often as
    daily. So where are all those damaged refrigerators?
    Transients are well below what all appliance must be designed
    to withstand without damage.

    We install surge protection for a so destructive surge more
    typically known as lightning. Other far less frequent events
    do occur. Unfortunately some people confuse blackouts and
    brownouts with surges. Surge protectors do nothing for a
    blowing fuse or a utility line snapped by a construction
    machine. Furthermore, destructive transients of all types
    are made irrelevant by the less expensive and more effective
    'whole house' protector.

    David Maynard wrote:
    > w_tom wrote:
    >> Yes, utility switching does cause transients. But nothing
    >> that should overwhelm internal protection in household
    >> appliances.
    >
    > Except that it can and sometimes does.
    >
    >> If switching transients were so destructive, then
    >> we all would be replacing RCDs, dimmer switches, and clock
    >> radios weekly. Once numbers are applied to those switching
    >> transients, then those transients become irrelevant.
    >
    > That's as illogical as saying if lightning strikes were so
    > destructive we'd be replacing RCDs, dimmer switches, and
    > clock radios every time it rained.
    >
    > Neither are 'destructive' till the relatively infrequent
    > occurrence when they are.
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