Lightning Strike Woes

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fstjohn
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Lightning Strike Woes

Post by fstjohn »

The house recently got a direct lightning hit. Actually it hit an oak 20ft from the house and dug a 6" trench from the tree to the underground AC power and cable junction on the side of the house. We lost some major appliances plus my desktop computer, router and cable modem. At first this was puzzling since the computer equipment was on an UPS and nothing in the house that was protected with surge protectors was damaged except for the surge protectors themselves.

The nickel dropped when the cable guy came and replaced the ISP's modem and the cable splitter on the outside of the house. Apparently lightning came in on both the AC power wiring AND the cable. It fried the cable modem, fried the router via the ethernet connection and fried my desktop the same way over the ethernet (desktop was only 4 feet from the router so I had it wired direct). The UPS was effectively bypassed by the cable/ethernet route.

I changed so that the cable modem and router are connected to power through a surge suppressor and the desktop and peripherals are on UPS, with the desktop communicating via a USB WIFI dongle rather than ethernet. This way if we again get a surge in over the cable it'll only take out the modem and router (and I've got a spare router).

Something to think about if you have a similar arrangement.
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lsemmens
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Re: Lightning Strike Woes

Post by lsemmens »

We would see it all the time in Darwin (which has the highest number of Thunder days of any Capital in the world). I was in Telecommunications during the 70s and 80s. During the wet season we were flat out keeping up with lightning related faults. Even had techs hospitalised because lightning hit the cable as they were fixing the phones from the previous hit!

ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, buy the best protection that you can possibly afford AND USE IT!!! Don't forget your TV aerial, along with your telephone line and power. ANYTHING that is connected to a potential Lighning rod is susceptible. Good protections works! We were renting a home whilst building and only had good protection on our computer. The building next door took a direct hit. (This was in the days before internet). On of my kids was watching TV, another was playing on the computer and another was playing an early game console. We blew a few light bulbs and it blew a fuse in one TV set. The line conditioner attached to the computer actually protected the whole house. (That was not it's intent, nor did we expect it to). All the computer did was re-boot. (8086 CPU - just to give you some idea of the era). The kid playing the console felt a tingle, fortunately, that was it. The buildings around us were not so lucky.
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RollyShed
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Re: Lightning Strike Woes

Post by RollyShed »

A large part of this country now runs internet via fibre so that tends to stop damage from one source.
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AZgl1500
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Re: Lightning Strike Woes

Post by AZgl1500 »

RollyShed wrote:
Sat Oct 17, 2020 4:26 am
A large part of this country now runs internet via fibre so that tends to stop damage from one source.
I wish that were true in the USA......
we are like Australia, gobs of wide open ranch and farm lands, and not enough population density to make Fiber/Fibre a Profitable venture.

I have begged for Fiber to be brought into Oologah, but none of the Cable companies will even listen to me...
we are roughly 1200 souls 12 miles from the nearest town with cable.

So, I use wireless LTE internet, that isolates my computers from the outside, as they are behind a UPS or they are laptops....

during a recent Lightning episode, one of the laptops developed a shorted power supply cord, the one that plugs into the Mains.... Easy fix, found another cord and replaced the cord, the Laptop was unaffected.

My entire Avocation time from 1958 to 2011 was in Communications, in one form or another.... Lightning protection is something that must be dealt with.
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cliffcoggin
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Re: Lightning Strike Woes

Post by cliffcoggin »

I put my router and computer on a UPS because of power cuts and power surges. I didn't realise they would also be protected from lightning strikes.
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Re: Lightning Strike Woes

Post by Welcome »

In 2017 my house was hit by a direct lightning strike. Sounds like a bomb exploding. Wiped out a lot of electronics and electrical appliances, except those protected by surge protectors. Even fried the electrical power usage meter on the side of the house. Thankfully, the house did not catch fire. I considered whole house surge protection and lightning rods, but ended up purchasing a lot of small outlet and appliance surge supressors (US$10,000 vs US$400).
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