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PC Protection During Thunderstorm Season


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Posted

Hi All

 

First time I had cable internet since 2004, so wondering if there is anything special I need to do to protect PC During Storm season?   The device has built in battery backup, Modem, Gateway, and such for our WOW Ultra tv service, (battery backup only for phone)   on a surge protector,  Main PC on a UPS battery backup.    Do I just shutdown PC like I used to on DSL and disconnect Ethernet cable, and put it away from the PC. 

 

 

Reason wondering mainly is can't afford a replacement PC if anything should happen to it, so little extra extra cautious nowadays

 

 

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Posted

Get a surge protector.

I tend to unplug everything in a major lightening storm.  Not worth the risk.  They only last about an hour usually.

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Posted

unplug your most valued devices from the power outlets. Simple and effective solution.

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Posted

Yeah i'm considering unplugging everything, though Family members may complain as WOW Ultra tv gateway also supplies TV signal to Media player boxes upstairs, but rather be safe than sorry myself.   

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Posted

As long as things aren't connected directly and you don't have crappy surge equipment you should be fine.

 

I only unplug when it's particularly interesting outside.  Heh.

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Posted

If you are not using an APC for backup power and surge protection then you fail at running any computer.

A surge is rare ok, but brown outs and unclean power is constant no matter what type of home or building you are in so invest in even a small APC!!!!

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This PC Does have an APC for it, rest don't at this time, I need to get more APC battery backups for those PC's, Cyberpower UPS AVR 700 is got a new battery for that one, i'll be setting that one up for one of the PC's soon, not sure which one yet for that UPS device.   Will invest in a small APC for laptop, and other Desktop

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Posted

I tend to unplug everything in a major lightening storm.  Not worth the risk.  They only last about an hour usually.

 

As do I.  Even if I leave on vacation I unplug all my equipment.  TV, computers, XBOX.  Came back home a few times with blow PSUs or burnt out TVs.

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Posted

If you are not using an APC for backup power and surge protection then you fail at running any computer.

A surge is rare ok, but brown outs and unclean power is constant no matter what type of home or building you are in so invest in even a small APC!!!!

 

i dunno how is the electrical cabling but in my house the current flow is great; also power surges is extremelly rare. Having said that i have friends that live in semi rural places that have like every week power problems :/

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Posted

If you are not using an APC for backup power and surge protection then you fail at running any computer.

A surge is rare ok, but brown outs and unclean power is constant no matter what type of home or building you are in so invest in even a small APC!!!!

my APCs surge protection is horrible, heh.

 

I guess I fail.  Cool.

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Posted

As do I.  Even if I leave on vacation I unplug all my equipment.  TV, computers, XBOX.  Came back home a few times with blow PSUs or burnt out TVs.

 

that happens because those devices stay on even if you power them down (they stay in standby mode).

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Posted

that happens because those devices stay on even if you power them down (they stay in standby mode).

 

Yea, I know.  Why I unplug them when I leave for a few days.  Never know when a bad storm will roll thru.

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Posted

Hello,

In the not-quite-ten years I lived in Colorado Springs I had one computer totally damaged by electricity (damaged Super I/O controller on South Bridge), but had to replace modems and serial cards yearly (or more frequently), until I finally got in the habit of disconnecting things when a lightning storm arose (or was very likely to arise). And this was using UPSes along with grounded surge suppressors on phone lines and RS-232C ports.

Surge suppression equipment like APC, Cyberpower, Tripp Lite, etc., is not designed to protect your computer from a lightning strike on (or very near) your property--at least their consumer-grade stuff isn't. What it is designed to do is to not start a fire when that does occur. If you are in a location where there's a possibility of a head-on lightning strike, I would suggest looking into grounding rods at the exterior of the house to direct lightning away from inside, and also a whole-house surge suppression system with things like lightning arrestor gas-discharge tubes on potential ingress points (power, telco, cable TV, etc.).

It is important to keep in mind that surge suppression equipment itself has a finite life, too, based on how much voltage their metal oxide varistors (MOVs) dump. You can think of the MOVs as kind of like break pads in your car, except that they don't get replaced (at least, not unless you send the equipment containing them to the factory for repair).

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky

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Posted

2 things you learn living in Texas:

 

1.)  If you dont like the weather, wait 10 minutes - it will change

2.)  When they say a possibility of a bad storm ...they mean go find shelter and dont mess with mother nature.

I have SmartUPS for PC, and the good consumer APC stuff for TV - if it looks like Noah is going to be floating by soon, I unplug everything - why risk it ?  Not like I HAVE to get out an email before the funnel cloud relocates my roof.

FWIW:

 

2 years ago my rather large BBQ grill was moved over 15 feet...and all 4 wheels were locked in position. - no tornado in the area either.

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Posted

A dece

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Posted

I have  brand new electrical board in the house since 2 years ago, with a big ass surge/lighting protector. It'll take care of all lighting strikes that will happen.

 

for my DSL modem and router I have an extra combo box with surge protection for one power and the DSL line. 

 

I'm good to go. no need to unplug anything. it also serves little purpose since where I live far out in nowhere, the ground is full of metals. before the new electric system we burnt a modem and a router and a modem after(from the DSL line). The thing is, the strikes that took out the stuff here aren't the ones you know about, its the strikes the strike before you even know there is a lighting storm, the lighting you don't even hear.

 

one of them we where sitting outside on the porch putting together the new Weber grill. and suddenly there's a huge burst of light and pop from the kitchen where the modem and router was. outside it was nice and sunny. until a while later when the thunder from the stroke came rolling by. You'd have to be prescient to unplug stuff before the strikes here. the majority of new modems and routers sold to users here is to people in the area I live. if lighting strikes anywhere in the region, it WILL find a power or phone line to ride along. but good surge protection stops it anyway.  

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Posted

This PC Does have an APC for it, rest don't at this time, I need to get more APC battery backups for those PC's, Cyberpower UPS AVR 700 is got a new battery for that one, i'll be setting that one up for one of the PC's soon, not sure which one yet for that UPS device.   Will invest in a small APC for laptop, and other Desktop

 

View surge protection numbers for the battery backup.  Its hundreds of joules will absorb destructive surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules?  A near zero hundreds of joules means they can claim 100% protection. Most who recommend also ignore those damning numbers.

 

Disconnect to protect.  Disconnect expensive and 'at risk' appliances when you go to bed.  Including dishwasher, furnace, air conditioner, smoke detectors, clocks, and bathroom GFCIs.    Disconnecting is also as effective as the protection inside that APC.

 

Your cable should already have best possible protection.  That means no protector since protectors and protection are completely different devices.  Best protection for the cable is a wire from cable, low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground.  If the cable guy was properly trained, then cable already has best protection.

 

Your concern is the utility wire that typically has no protection - AC electric.  That also must connect to what does protection.  But AC electric wires cannot connect directly to earth.  Informed homeowners spend less money than what you plan to spend for the superior 'whole house' solution.  Best protection would be a wire.  Since AC electric cannot be wired directly to earth, then a 'whole house' protector does the next best thing.

 

Since lightning is typicallly 20,000 amps, then a minimal 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps.  Since protectors must earth direct lightning strikes and remain functional.  Another requirement not found in that APC battery backup - with numbers that do not even claim effective protection.

 

Effective protection means everything is protected. Especially the most important device during a surge: smoke detectors.  Disconnecting is a most unreliable solution.  Best solution means all appliances remains functional after most surges ... that mostly occur when unexpected.  Best solution means even the dishwasher and air conditioner are always protected.

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Posted

Yes I shutdown some items last night, storm ended up being not as bad as originally predicted it was, but better safe than sorry is way I feel on these things.    I need to invest in a newer APC battery backup soon for this Desktop as a matter of fact, this one been in use since 2008, so probably time for replacement definitely.

 

 

Based on my PC specs would a 430 watt or higher be ideal?

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Posted

2 things you learn living in Texas:

 

1.)  If you dont like the weather, wait 10 minutes - it will change

 

 

This is a saying from Chicago not Texas  :D.  We have the weirdest and strangest weather.

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Posted

Minnesota too ;p

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This is a saying from Chicago not Texas  :D.  We have the weirdest and strangest weather.

 

 

Minnesota too ;p

 

 

Seems to be common saying throughout the Great Plains and the Midwest. In fact, almost everywhere in the country.  :p

 

A good quality surge protector from APC, Cyberpower or Tripp Lite,etc, work well for me.  Our local electric power utility offers whole-house surge protection for a $6.99 monthly fee.  Provides protection against electrical surges at your home

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Posted

The best protection is to unplug everything. A surge protector *may* work, depending on what it's rated at handling (the higher joules number, the better) but even then I would NEVER recommend leaving things plugged in when lightning is striking closeby.

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Posted

The best protection is to unplug everything. A surge protector *may* work, depending on what it's rated at handling (the higher joules number, the better) but even then I would NEVER recommend leaving things plugged in when lightning is striking closeby.

The one in my fucebox will burn up before letting anything through, and then it really won't ;)

For phone lines and cable the quality ones you can buy are more than enough, as there's only so much those cables can carry without burning out themselves, and since they're supposed to stop far more than that, it's ok.

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Posted

I just have a surge protector. I rarely. Unplug anything unless I'm going away. The desktop is on during severe thunderstorms (using the weather software tracking them). Never had an issue besides the power going out and coming back on.

Reading this topic I think I should buy a ups. And just unplug it from the wall until it's done.

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Posted

FWIW - If your "surge protector" was less than $30 - its not a surge protector - its a power strip - dont fool yourself.

 

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