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HIT by Power Surge!!!! Now my PC is gone!

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June 29, 2006 5:02:38 AM

hi, i am kinda confused why is it even i hv an APC-UPS 500va i'm still strucked w/ power surge? you what guys? it hitted my motherboard!!! now it's just sitting here no power, no use at all, everything is gone! can somebody tell me what's the problem? what do i need to protect my pc from power surges/ frequent fluctuations. because i have two pc, one was strucked in the power supply, but my board is still good but the other one, i have power supply working but both processor and mainboard are not functioning... can you give me further explanation? thanks a lot guys! it's killin' me!!! :-(

More about : hit power surge

June 29, 2006 2:20:24 PM

Monster Power I'm not a fan of monster power, but I can tell you this.. They do offer warranty coverage when you buy the product..they will stand behind it.. and i've personally witnessed this save over 20k in home stereo equipment. A surge of over 148v came through and killed the monster power, which was fully replaced by them..had it not they would have bought 20k in broken equipment. I don't know if it will stop lightning, but getting this would atleast get your investment back.
Oh, and sorry to say it..but you're probably dead in the water if it won't post
June 29, 2006 3:00:35 PM

Lets see. A spark plug in a car needs about 50,000 volts for the current to jump the small gap in the plug and create a spark. Now, think about how much voltage is required for lightning to create a 'spark' measured in hundreds of yards, or even miles.

Don't rely on anything to save you from a lightning strike. If you're not prepared to accept the consequences, then unplug your computers during storms. If you get hit by an unforseen event, like no storm around but you still get fried, well, stuff happens, but surge surpressors and UPS's are only preventative devices, they are not 100% effective.
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June 29, 2006 3:01:35 PM

APC has a connected equipment warranty that you can try to cash in on. I've never tried to use one but what do you have to loose right?

I lost a TV and a good set of Logitech speakers last year to a lightning strike (were plugged into a cheapo power strip) but my computer survived (were plugged into an APC UPS). Got the TV replaced with a bigger one for free because I had Best Buy's service plan on it.

Most power strips won't stop a direct strike. But good ones will die and let your equipment live. And most UPSs don't have as good of power surge protection as a dedicated strip. Monster Power makes some very good power strips.

P.S. - Learn to speak please.
June 29, 2006 3:06:23 PM

I can think of a few possibilities, but they're only possibilities. One is that the PC is still good, but the ups is cooked, thereby not letting anything any power through to the PC. Don't know if you've tried hooking up the PC directly to the wall socket yet, so this is just a guess.

If there was a lightening strike or something similar, unfortuanately, that can overwhelm even a ups. I know, I had it happen once. Then my house insurance company paid for a new computer, TV, stereo and a few other electrical items.

There might also be a problem with the computer's psu. Some have fuses or circuit breakers that can be replaced or reset, or the on/off switch pops and just needs to be pushed to on again. Also, the psu might just be bad, while the components are still useable. Keep in mind that just because a fan or something on a psu works, it doesn't mean that enough power is being produced to start the rest of the computer.

Since you have two computers, if the components are interchangable, try taking them out of the non-working one and testing them one at a time in the working one. That should narrow down what's really bad and what survived. If they aren't, but you know of someone who has a similar system, try to do that with his.

Don't have any other ideas at the moment. Surge protectors, ups, etc are all good, but not perfect. Lightening and extreme power surges happen, and I don't know any real defense against them. Sorry about your loss.
June 29, 2006 3:58:37 PM

Quote:
I can think of a few possibilities, but they're only possibilities. One is that the PC is still good, but the ups is cooked, thereby not letting anything any power through to the PC. Don't know if you've tried hooking up the PC directly to the wall socket yet, so this is just a guess.

If there was a lightening strike or something similar, unfortuanately, that can overwhelm even a ups. I know, I had it happen once. Then my house insurance company paid for a new computer, TV, stereo and a few other electrical items.

There might also be a problem with the computer's psu. Some have fuses or circuit breakers that can be replaced or reset, or the on/off switch pops and just needs to be pushed to on again. Also, the psu might just be bad, while the components are still useable. Keep in mind that just because a fan or something on a psu works, it doesn't mean that enough power is being produced to start the rest of the computer.

Since you have two computers, if the components are interchangable, try taking them out of the non-working one and testing them one at a time in the working one. That should narrow down what's really bad and what survived. If they aren't, but you know of someone who has a similar system, try to do that with his.

Don't have any other ideas at the moment. Surge protectors, ups, etc are all good, but not perfect. Lightening and extreme power surges happen, and I don't know any real defense against them. Sorry about your loss.

good info. I'd also like to advise about the grounding system. If you really has a 10 ft copper bar buried in your garden or you just connected the ground to the neutral? Or you have no grounding at all?
June 29, 2006 4:21:12 PM

Quote:
I'd also like to advise about the grounding system. If you really has a 10 ft copper bar buried in your garden or you just connected the ground to the neutral? Or you have no grounding at all?


Um, what?!
June 29, 2006 4:30:44 PM

nothing will stop a direct lightning stike. good new is if you registered your UPS they should replace your equiptment
June 29, 2006 5:19:14 PM

Quote:
I'd also like to advise about the grounding system. If you really has a 10 ft copper bar buried in your garden or you just connected the ground to the neutral? Or you have no grounding at all?


Um, what?!
i'll suppose you know the purpose of the ground wire in your electric outlet. The way it works is to connect your electric device to the biggest negative charge, which is the earth. To do that, you bury a copper rod of about 3 meters and connect that rod to the ground pin in your outlet. That way, any unwanted electric charge, like static or a leaking current will be routed to the earth. Copper is used because it is a relatively cheap metal, with good electric characteristics.

edit: that also explains why it is called "ground"

I also found this FAQ which says:

Quote:
What's a ground and why do we need to check it?

A ground is a way to provide excess current an alternative path around the electrical system of your home or workplace by intentionally connecting the system to the earth.

The electrical grounding system serves the purpose of protecting personnel health and safety, as well as, protecting equipment and buildings from physical loss. The National Electric Code requires your home's electric system be connected to the earth.

Surge suppressors route excess current through the ground wire preventing damage to connected equipment. No surge suppressor, no matter how expensive, will work if there is a problem with your home's grounding system.


http://powerhousetv.com/stellent2/groups/public/documents/pub/phtv_yh_su_000417.hcsp
June 29, 2006 5:31:57 PM

Yes, I am aware of it's use. I just wasn't sure what you were trying to say, or in reference to what was discussed in this thread. But, to speak to what you said above, it's not going to necessarily protect anything from static damage. It could if you ground the charge before you touch any electric component, but simply having a good and proper ground will not protect the device, in and of itself.

However, since we're not talking about static, you are right, a surge protector needs a good ground, so no using 3 prong adapters, or at least be sure to tie the ground lug to the metal outlet box if it's only a 2 prong outlet.

In the US, the panel box is grounded by tying to earth ground via the cold water pipe and a ground rod, sometimes 2. It does not have to be copper, it can be galvanized, but check local codes for your particular area as they may have different requirements, etc.
June 29, 2006 5:46:10 PM

Quote:
Yes, I am aware of it's use. I just wasn't sure what you were trying to say, or in reference to what was discussed in this thread. But, to speak to what you said above, it's not going to necessarily protect anything from static damage. It could if you ground the charge before you touch any electric component, but simply having a good and proper ground will not protect the device, in and of itself. However, you are right, a surge protector needs a good ground, so no using 3 prong adapters, or at least be sure to tie the ground lug to the metal outlet box if it's only a 2 prong outlet.

In the US, the panel box is grounded by tying to earth ground via the cold water pipe and a ground rod, sometimes 2. It does not have to be copper, it can be galvanized, but check local codes for your particular area.

well, it will protect from static. Actually it will avoid static, which is the same. Static can come from your hands, but can also be generated on the device and be discharged if you touch the device and you are grounded. About the copper stuff, i was giving an example, the metal itself may vary from country to country, but the principle is the same.
June 29, 2006 5:51:45 PM

We're off on a static tangent which is my fault and I appologize, but some people may read that and assume that if their computer is grounded then they don't have to follow static safe principles, which is not true. That's all I was saying. Of course grounding will discharge static, but it will not prevent static damage if not handle properly.

Back to your point, ground = good. If you live in the US and your house is older than 30 years old, then you might want to have an electrician check your system if you aren't skilled enough yourself. I don't recommend you go driving ground rods all over your yard and connecting it to the ground lug on your outlets if you've never done that sort of thing. :wink:
June 29, 2006 6:45:34 PM

Sorry to hear of your loss. It's possiable that the APC has fried some circuts. Test going directly to the wall jack, as previously mentioned. Did you by chance have a phone line connected to a modem. This may be the reason for more damage to one. Most people forget to protect the the phone line.

I've used UPS units for years when a 250va unit cost $1200-$1500. I had a remote test site that I used these units on. It was hit with lightnig twice. The units I used were true UPS, NOT Switchers like the ones today. One hit blew out the power switch and some minor componets. Unit was repaired, $200. The second hit blew up the transformer and a bunch more, was not repairable this time. In each case none of the equipment it was protecting was damaged, $25.000 of Acquisition and control equipment. This old unit has a remote jack for hooking up exterenal batteries, like a deep cycle marine battery x 2.

My dad had a tree 10' from his house that took a direct hit. Besides knocking out all of his home electronics, ref, freezer, AC, and plumbing. It all so burned off the ground rod connection to the electrical panel. The dirt around the tree roots were blown clear. It bridged over to a under ground feeder to his work shop, taking that electrical panel out. Blew out 8 breaker from his home panel. Burned out wirenuts connections throughout the house. It took me 4 days to repair all of the connections that got burned up inside wall plates.

So Consider your self lucky if that all you lost.

The good news is that APC Back their equipment. They will want the ups to see what componets were damage. Which verifies the hit.
June 29, 2006 7:03:27 PM

Quote:
I can think of a few possibilities, but they're only possibilities. One is that the PC is still good, but the ups is cooked, thereby not letting anything any power through to the PC. Don't know if you've tried hooking up the PC directly to the wall socket yet, so this is just a guess.

If there was a lightening strike or something similar, unfortuanately, that can overwhelm even a ups. I know, I had it happen once. Then my house insurance company paid for a new computer, TV, stereo and a few other electrical items.

There might also be a problem with the computer's psu. Some have fuses or circuit breakers that can be replaced or reset, or the on/off switch pops and just needs to be pushed to on again. Also, the psu might just be bad, while the components are still useable. Keep in mind that just because a fan or something on a psu works, it doesn't mean that enough power is being produced to start the rest of the computer.

Since you have two computers, if the components are interchangable, try taking them out of the non-working one and testing them one at a time in the working one. That should narrow down what's really bad and what survived. If they aren't, but you know of someone who has a similar system, try to do that with his.

Don't have any other ideas at the moment. Surge protectors, ups, etc are all good, but not perfect. Lightening and extreme power surges happen, and I don't know any real defense against them. Sorry about your loss.

good info. I'd also like to advise about the grounding system. If you really has a 10 ft copper bar buried in your garden or you just connected the ground to the neutral? Or you have no grounding at all?

I have two grounding bars, one at the house and one at the garage. Having been raised on a farm, I know about the need to have a good grounding system. However, a bolt of lightening coming through the living room window will do a lot of electrical damage in a hurry, as I found out once.
June 29, 2006 11:44:32 PM

If you have a subpanel in your garage, then you probably are required to have a ground rod for each by code. It depends on how far the sub is away from the main, and again, local codes. In my area, I need 2 rods for just the main. But yeah, ground = good, and always a good idea to have a rod at the sub, even if not required and if feasible.
November 14, 2008 3:05:54 AM

If youre psu has an active pfu then the battery back up may and youre psu might fight each other as I found out I had an 500va ups and an antec quattro 1000watt psu and becouse of the power fulctuations it fried my computer so bad I had my mobo go up in smoke. You can read about this issue on apc's website. I am a computer tech and did alot of reading on this issue. I could also be that the outlet that you pc is plugged into is faulty. You could also have loose wires on the outlet causing a voltage jump. At any rate contact apc they will take care of you. They did me and good luck to you.
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