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  1. #141
    When i get into a new house i check the grounding (as mentioned) of the wall plugs, approx 1/5th of the plugs in the houses i have been in were wired improperly (undoubtedly by certified electricions), with the hot lead on the wrong side of the plug, takes a few minutes to correct, and the testing plug thing costs some $5-12 total.

    1/2 of the Telephone connections were wired improperly, heck i didnt even know there is a proper way, but a simple telephone testing device i had for other purposes displayed that. again takes a few minutes to switch back to correct. (i have no idea if this effects the grounding of it, as any discharges through the Un-Sheilded pair big enough would still nuke things).

    Most of the locations had proper grounding for the cable, the gas, and other things that should have some sort of grounding. doesnt hurt to check, why is that pole in the ground there with no wire connected to it ? a duhh moment from a contractor, his supervisor and a inspector that doesnt do its job? or has it just rusted off?
    Does the big Lightning rod (antenna or sat dish) have the minamalist grounding wire and grounding pole into the ground? is it connected? did the idjut from the Sat company who installed even know its purpose? When you take a look at your house cable box, is the sheilded cable grounded , at the street box where your and other connects are made to the trunk is it grounded?

    Did anybody ever pre-emtivly check to see if things that are supposed to be wired correct are, and things that are supposed to be grounded were? Like say you get to a New house or newly purchanced or moved into or rented, they basically HAVE TO fix this stuff, with no cost to you, all you have to do is discover it missing or wrong.
    If the sat company the cable company or PG&We doesnt have thier grounds in proper, they would be happy to send someone to fix them, it sure beats post litigation due to installers not doing thier jobs correct.

    obviously proper grounding and wiring wont interfere with a direct strike, but it certannly has a purpose that works, but does it even exist? CODE!

    My computers and other electrical nessities for job operation all have upses, most with isolation transformers and the minor surge protection.
    we dont get lightning strike at the actual location, but i still Turn off the expencive tech junk before harsh storms, which resulted (more often here) in the power companies transformer explosions and meltdowns. aparentally THEY have thier grounding proper in this area.
    So i have limited chance of getting 18" sparks flying around and jumping across stuff, but hard surges and browns i dont need, so off it goes. even if the upses are insured, it isnt worth the trouble. I wouldnt let my house burn down , or drive like a foo because i have "insurance" somebody is going to be paying for it one way or another.

    by the way, where is the receipt anyways ???? :-)

    Last edited by Psycogeec; 08-29-10 at 06:51 PM.

  2. #142
    Member Sammich's Avatar
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    I lost a laptop and desktop in one year via electrical storms, along with 3 modems..

    There is one method for electrical storms to protect your products, and its unplugging them.

  3. #143
    Phone lines? LMAO. Mine go through my Surge Protector before it hits my PC.

  4. #144
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    Mar 2011
    Regardless of the protection I have, I unplug my computer if there are lightening. So far I've been lucky with only one fried 56k modem (also killed satellite reciever at the same time). Considering my first computer was a PET, that's a hell of a long time with no trouble till a couple years ago with that 56k modem.

  5. #145
    Member stunt's Avatar
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    I have a whole house surge protector in my breaker box. It is supposed to fry first on either hot or ground and protect the whole house. But at 500 bucks a pop. I hope I don't ever have to use it. Still wont protect phone or cable lines though.
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  6. #146
    Registered k1ndafad3d's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    i think its hilarious that companies sell "lightning surge protectors"

    there is simply no tech I know of that can harness a lightning strike's energy, they can only make a more attractive path to a solid ground that will hopefully allow the bolt to pass without blowing anything up.. haha

  7. #147
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    May 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by eobard View Post
    I haven't tested this myself but supposedly tying overhand knots in your power cable will insulate your devices from lightning. Apparently having overhand knots causes the lightning to loop back on itself and it burns out the power cord, not the actual device itself. My tv's got overhand knots in it's power cord just incase.
    Does anyone have any info on this? Does the proximity of the lines crossing each other cause the arc to jump as a short in this manner?


  8. #148
    Trailer Chasing Senior Adragontattoo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by garwain View Post
    it depends on the quality of the surge supressors / UPS.

    Actually the chances of getting a massive surge from a stike are not all that slim. I have changed several modems, and replace a few systems over the last couple years that were hit by a surge caused by lightning. The chances of a direct strike on the line are very slim though. I agree, if a bolt of lightning stuck the powerline outside my house, the my system would probably blow out, but as I said, only my main rig stays up unless it is a bad storm. I'm confident enough with my protection that I'll chance a surge coming in off the lines, but I will yank the remaining plugs if conditions get really bad.

    I have told this story a few times but here I go again.

    It does NOT depend on the quality of the UPS in regards to a massive strike/surge.

    Long ago, I was a lowly cable tech wiring a data center. THe data center was located on two different grids to minmize the necessity to use a generator. THe power Co decided to test the failover to the other grid which resulted in something along the lines of a 20kva surge...

    The ROOM sized industrial UPS didnt handle that surge well. In fact it didnt handle it at all. Ever seen a battery on fire? How about exploding batteries on fire? End result was that the brand new fully tested Industrial sized UPS was turned into plastic soot covered, molten lead laden, acid soaked shrapnel which required Hazmat to deal with.

    It doesnt matter the quality of the UPS, it doesnt matter the SIZE of the UPS, lightning carries a high enough voltage surge that you arent going to do much more then watch the UPS let all the magic smoke out and hope it doesnt make it past it.
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  9. #149
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    Here's the thing about lightning: It just jumped an air gap of miles. Air is a pretty good insulator, it generally takes around 1000 volts to get a spark started, and another 1000 per mm of air gap. There are an awful lot of millimeters in a mile.

    Nothing you do is going to stop it, your only hope is to send it somewhere else (lightning rods).
    The MOVs in a surge protector are strong, but they'll chunk themselves well before they get the entire lightning surge to ground.
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  10. #150
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    Tying cords in a knot seems to be a myth. The wire pair (or 3 if it's grounded) are generally separated by insulation and the actual metal wire may be under 1/4" apart. If the spike is strong, it will jump through insulation, and if by bad luck it doesn't jump through the insulation it will travel the entire length (tied or not) and fry everything in its path.
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  11. #151
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    House-wiring "ground"

    I just got a new system I'm leary of plugging in, now that I realize there isn't a grounded outlet in my room. AaaaaaahH!!rr rg. Can you really ground an ungrounded plug? One guy said the ground in "new" house-wiring (we-ve got this old "Romex" he called it, [I think]) isn't really "ground", like the ground, ground: it floats around with reference to the "trough" of the 120 ac signal and varies (between 2 and 6 volts, maybe) (so "ground", grounding wouldn't work). He happened to be an electrician. What do I know, I'm just a programmer.

    The breaker-box has ground-wires out of the bottom, to the ground-rod, outside. Also, there are some white, flat wires out of the box that say "14AWG/2 TRIANGLE WIRE & CABLE INC. S (UL) TYPE NM-B WITH GROUND 600V", and some are grey, round wires, out of the box.

    I just want to be able to get the light to turn out on my surge-protector that's labelled, "NOT GROUNDED" (so the warranty will still be "good").
    I'll still be unplugging, during a storm, but want to be protected in other kinds of surge.

    Can I just ground to a pipe (really), like I've read, here ? I've had this 'ol Gateway (8DT-084_) plugged in here for about 10 years--with a surge protector--with no lightning problems...I always turn it's main switch off (after I turn off the system off, though).

    It was big bucks this new system, an AMD A8-3850, ZT Affinity 7152Ma. It does have an MSI Military Class II motherboard (A75MA-G55) , but I'm just not sure I should even try it, without the ground.
    Last edited by captainmpirical; 08-26-11 at 01:55 PM.

  12. #152
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    Under normal circumstances, you can get away with ungrounded outlet for computers. The only issue that can arise is with cheap PSU that may have loose wiring on the HV side that could make the whole PC case hot and you could get zapped if it's not grounded. However if your area is prone to lots of surges, surge suppressor will not work here because they basically clamp excess voltage into ground. Without ground to dump excess voltage, the PSU ends up having to handle it and cheaper PSU will likely fail prematurely.

    Long answer: get an electrician to deal with it. Some insurance and product's warranty will not cover damage by lightening or excess surge from electric-heavy devices (vacuum, AC, washing machines, etc) if they think the damage could have been prevented with proper grounded outlet and working surge suppressor, which normally dump excess (from surge) right into ground.
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  13. #153
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    Quote Originally Posted by captainmpirical View Post
    I just got a new system I'm leary of plugging in, now that I realize there isn't a grounded outlet in my room. AaaaaaahH!!rr rg. Can you really ground an ungrounded plug? One guy said the ground in "new" house-wiring (we-ve got this old "Romex" he called it, [I think]) isn't really "ground", like the ground, ground: it floats around with reference to the "trough" of the 120 ac signal and varies (between 2 and 6 volts, maybe) (so "ground", grounding wouldn't work). He happened to be an electrician. What do I know, I'm just a programmer.

    The breaker-box has ground-wires out of the bottom, to the ground-rod, outside. Also, there are some white, flat wires out of the box that say "14AWG/2 TRIANGLE WIRE & CABLE INC. S (UL) TYPE NM-B WITH GROUND 600V", and some are grey, round wires, out of the box.
    Ok let me shed some light on how your power system works(should work) if its up to NEC spec. You have 3 wires coming in from local power co, these are both ends of a single phase 240 volt transformer and a center tap which I will call neutral from here forward. Inside your main panel you will have a solid copper #6 awg wire that runs either to two 8' ground rods ~5' apart OR to the rebar in the slab of the building(known as a ufer ground). This copper ground is bonded(mechanically linked) to the neutral wire. This is NOT done so that voltage carry to ground, It is done to give a reference electrical potential. Your cable, phone, gas, and water systems in your house SHOUD all also be bonded to this grounding electrode. This is done so that ALL systems have the same electrical potential NOT to dissipate current. Now inside your panel for normal newer installs the hot is connected to an OCPD(over current protection device) which can be a breaker, fuse, or any number of other devices. The neutral AND the ground are BOTH bonded into the neutral bus. The "ground" is a misnomer and is actually known as a bonding electrode. The reason for having two conductors to a common bus is simple. One is tasked with carrying normal current and the other fault current. When a circuit shorts to "ground" that current is not being dissipated into the ground, it is carried back to the panel and then out through the service drop neutral to the transformer.

    Saying that the wire is "Romex" is fairly uninformative as it is a brand not a cable type. If its 2 wire NMC(non metallic cable) you can still create a bonding while it isnt ideal it can allow you to have a marginal amount of fault tolerance without replacing the wiring in your home. Pre NEC-1993 it was farily common practice to install 2 wire and use a "bonding jumper" on 3 wire plugs rather than installing true 3 wire cable. All a bonding jumper is just a short piece of copper wire thats wire nutted with the neutral and lugged onto the grounding terminal of the outlet.

    So unless your planning to have an electrician come and rewire your house or run a single dedicated circuit to that room this is your best answer. Go to the depot and grab a proper 3 wire outlet and 6" of #14 THHN. Flip off the breaker and install. Easy as that you have a pseudo 3 wire "grounded" outlet.
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  14. #154
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    Aug 2011
    Thanks, ssjwizard. I used to be in a 2 yr. tech school (Electronics Engineering Technology) ...this stuff is very interesting, and useful [wish I would've finished the 2nd yr. out {made it up to Electronic Communications class}] . I opted for the safe way, and only got charged $340, for 2 hrs. + materials (we've got this plastered chicken-wire like wall to cut through--and $140 for 2 hrs. isn't that bad [is it?]) . Anyway, now I've got a grounded outlet, grounded to the box ("new" wire, and all).

    Never thought It would take me so long to plug my new computer in! My nephew thought I was crazy (whipper-snapper)!!

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    Last edited by captainmpirical; 09-08-11 at 09:31 PM.

  15. #155
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    I may be a lil' stupid.....

    I leave my computer plugged in unless it's a HUGE storm. I have a surge protector that isn't rated that high, but it protects phone lines, and the manufacturer will be giving me ten grand if anything on it dies while it is still working, and I have a system image from the last time I did something that I couldn't easily redo.
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  16. #156
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    Aug 2012
    I have 10,000 volt fuses on all lines (telecom,electrical,tv).

  17. #157
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    Feb 2012
    I unplug all my expensive electronics. My neighbor got zapped and one day I come home and I thought he was having a yard sale but it was all dead. My mother thought everything attracted lightning and would make us sit down and shut up during a storm.

  18. #158
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    Openreach Engineer here, Last time we got storms up here in Scotland a few weeks ago, the lightning damage even to dropwires was astounding. I had reports from customers how their socket "lit up" after a bolt of lightning. I replaced dropwires that looked ok on the outside, but the pairs inside had been fried. Lightning damage can and will wreak havoc on anything attached to the circuit. Any kind of protection is worth it if you have expensive gear that can be hit.

  19. #159
    Member azanimefan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maxvla View Post
    mine stays plugged in 24/7 even during storms. i'm safe.

    btw. surge protectors are a f'ing joke. you need a uninterruptable power supply that regulates the power to make any attempt at stopping lightning strikes.
    Yeah, that's my strategy. The plug actually helps ground your computer (actually the metal cage grounds it as well). Though you run the risk of a power-surge, I'd rather make sure my electrical eq is grounded adequately during a lightning storm, then ungrounded.

    An uninterpretable power supply should be standard equipment anyway.

  20. #160
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    Dec 2012
    A few years back, I was out of town on a trip, my roommate at the time, was using my Stereo and TV. I had a router hooked up, my computer, fish tank, etc.

    A bolt hit my house, fried the Stereo Receiver, sent a bolt of electricity out of the front and into a wall across the room. (according to my roommate.), Fried a fish tank (Fish were okay.) Took out the router, and busted a hole in the roof so it started leaking on my pool table. Not even joking......
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