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Forum topic by giser3546 posted 12-29-2015 04:47 PM 640 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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giser3546

179 posts in 932 days


12-29-2015 04:47 PM

I just spoke to a friend who just had a lightning strike destroy a considerable number of appliances in her home. Of course this and an impending thunderstorm led me to run and unplug every power tool in my shop. Now I’m wondering if there is usually any kind of surge protection to protect against something like this from happening?

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"


13 replies so far

View HerbC's profile

HerbC

1592 posts in 2319 days


#1 posted 12-29-2015 04:59 PM

They make surge protectors which install in the power distribution panels (breaker panels) that will provide some protection. Get a qualified electrician to help with selection and installation.

Be Careful!

Herb

-- Herb, Florida - Here's why I close most messages with "Be Careful!" http://lumberjocks.com/HerbC/blog/17090

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1756 days


#2 posted 12-29-2015 05:08 PM

I’ve lost a washing machine control board, a satellite receiver and a computer printer. I unplug things like that now if I hear thunder.

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716

502 posts in 376 days


#3 posted 12-29-2015 05:12 PM

The difference between your friend’s appliances and your equipment is that most appliances now days are constantly on, while your tools are physically disconnected from the grid when they are off. Plus most power equipment does not have any electronics in them to fry. It would be very unusual for a drill press to get damaged by an electric impulse caused by a remote lightning.

-- It's nice!

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5764 posts in 946 days


#4 posted 12-29-2015 05:19 PM

What he said. If it’s not on you shouldn’t have to worry.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2527 days


#5 posted 12-29-2015 05:34 PM

If you wish to go that route, then a whole house surpressor in your panel is in order, but that ain’t cheap. They act as absorbers. Wiring an inline protector of sufficient strength will be major $$$. Me I have a special rider just for my tools. If I take a hit Thats the route I took. Keep in mind most ins carriers have limits on tools. Mine was 2500 of my total policy. I added a 25k rider for about 50 bucks a year just for my tools.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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giser3546

179 posts in 932 days


#6 posted 12-29-2015 05:45 PM

ok the open circuits makes sense. That wouldn’t cover my air cleaner but I can find a solution for just that one thing. thanks guys.

-- "If you wait for it to rain, It will"

View TheFridge's profile

TheFridge

5764 posts in 946 days


#7 posted 12-29-2015 05:47 PM

If you are that worried then put it on a TVSS receptacle. Or put a TVSS in your panel. It’ll kill surges. Transient voltage surge suppressor.

-- Shooting down the walls of heartache. Bang bang. I am. The warrior.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2527 days


#8 posted 12-29-2015 07:27 PM



ok the open circuits makes sense. That wouldn t cover my air cleaner but I can find a solution for just that one thing. thanks guys.

- giser3546

wow, then the whole house is in order. Last one I did was about 2k

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

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USAwoodArt

243 posts in 402 days


#9 posted 12-29-2015 07:52 PM

Several years back one of the local power companies offered a whole house surge suppressor that they installed for a monthly fee of $7.95
I had it for about 2 years and then they decided that they were not offering it anymore and removed them from the houses that they were installed on.

-- Wood for projects is like a good Fart..."better when you cut it yourself"

View dhazelton's profile

dhazelton

2322 posts in 1756 days


#10 posted 12-30-2015 12:28 AM

My washing machine and computer printer and satellite receiver weren’t ‘on’ but they all still blew. They all had circuit boards. I would suggest if you have a tool with some kind of circuitry or maybe a VFD that you disconnect it.

View clin's profile

clin

510 posts in 456 days


#11 posted 12-30-2015 01:40 AM



My washing machine and computer printer and satellite receiver weren t on but they all still blew. They all had circuit boards. I would suggest if you have a tool with some kind of circuitry or maybe a VFD that you disconnect it.

- dhazelton

They were and they were not on. Most electronics like receivers, and computers don’t rely on the good old fashioned on-off switch on the AC line. The on-off switch is more like a button to send the signal to turn it on. The actual circuit to turn on is some solid-state electronic switch or just the power supply circuit itself. These circuits are vulnerable whether the device is on or not.

As said, something like a drill press that is pretty much mechanical switch to motor, is not likely to be damaged.

Though keep in mind that it’s all a matter of degrees. An actual direct hit to your house wiring by lightning can destroy anything. It can destroy the actual wires in the house. There’s really no practical protection for a direct hit. It’s also, not very likely. More likely a surge or spike from an indirect or distant power line hit.

Surge suppressors are rated based on the amount of energy they can absorb. Something is better than nothing, but none of them are going to provide 100% protection.

I like the idea of making sure you are properly insured.

-- Clin

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

814 posts in 380 days


#12 posted 12-31-2015 01:23 AM

I recently installed an EATON Surge Trap (Model CHSPT2ULTRA) to provide power surge protection to all electrical circuits in the house. I did so because I was concerned about suffering a power surge from the power company or as a result of a lightning strike. I installed the Surge Trap myself and the unit I purchased cost about $150 from an electric supply house. The model is CHSPT2ULTRA and has a surge capacity of 108,000 Amps (maximum one time surge) and Nominal Discharge Current of 20,000 Amps (the current the surge trap can withstand over 15 pulses). I have seen other models of EATON Surge Traps in the local home centers for less money, AND less capacity.

Information on the Surge Trap packaging defines a surge as a high voltage electrical event that travels though utility, cable, and telephone lines. The packaging also states that surges can originate from Lightning, Utility Disturbances, and Home Appliances turning on and off. I am thinking that all the LED lamps I have installed over the past year could also suffer from a surge, since these are electronic devices. Most of the workshop would probably be unaffected by a surge event except for the radio and computer – but I do not know.

The Surge Trap mounts to the home’s main Load Center. The unit requires a dedicated 50 amp circuit breaker, which is purchased separately. It only took me about 15 minutes to install; therefore the cost of an electrician to install the unit could not be that much, probably under $100. The workshop receives power from a sub- panel. The sub-panel receives power from the main load center; so the workshop is protected.

I cannot say whether it is worthwhile. It has yet to trap a surge – and I hope I never find out. I am pretty sure that a lightning bolt hitting the grounding rod would wipe me out. But a lightning ground strike some distance away hopefully would be trapped before anything is damaged. I have homeowners insurance with a large deductible. But then even if the deductible was $0, an unabated surge (or surge pulses) would wipe out all appliances and electronics. That would be a HUGE inconvenience.

View Knothead62's profile

Knothead62

2581 posts in 2421 days


#13 posted 12-31-2015 10:01 PM

What does your insurance company said about power surges? I have a dedicated power strip with surge protector for my computer and copier. They have an unconditional guarantee that if anything goes Kaplooey, they will replace it up to about $2K.

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