Sublimating power surges ? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

A chuckle is ALL that's permitted !!

Some days ago,somebody mentioned the possibility of power surges & voltage spikes(was it Sparks?)and said that this could cause serious harm to electrical equipment. Can one buy a device that can be fitted to protect computers,TV's etc.?If so,are we talking money ?

-- Chris (, March 23, 1999


Just one.

There are all kinds of surge protectors at Office Max, Radio Shack and other similar supply houses. Various models are designed to fend off commercial power surges, lighting strikes, radio frequency interference and other erratic 60 power. You can spend as much as you want to protect against various disturbances and you should already have a fairly decent one on your system anyway. You can spend anything from $15 and up but something in the neighborhood of $100 can give you reasonable protection.

In addition, when you suspect a storm or y2k new years eve, etc., you should pull the plug on the entire system. Best way is to have one distribution strip which everything plugs into. All you have to do is pull the main plug from the wall socket when you're done with the computer. There was a school of thought that computers should kept running all the time but the reasons for that are less important today. If you can't turn them off during a lightning storm, you're asking for it.

Don't underestimate the power of a lighting spike, even with a surge protector. We had our system unplugged during a lighting storm. One printer was turned off but had been plugged into a regular outlet by mistake. The spike came in the power cord jumped the switch transferred over to the data line and blew the i/o card in the computer. A simple to change resistor but for most a major problem. The same hit also came in the phone line and blew the modem.

Just look at the value of what you're trying to protect. Spend 5 to 10 % of that amount for protection. It won't be 100% guaranteed but a lot better than nothing. There are also undervoltage trips if you want to protect against brownouts, etc.


-- Floyd Baker (, March 23, 1999.

Speaking of lightning, don't forget that phone line! We had a strike last summer - fried THREE modems, on three different lines in the house! Some surge protectors have phone in/out jacks. I still unplug though, when I'm home and a storm is on the way. <:)=

-- Sysman (, March 23, 1999.

Surge suppressor strips--I think it was Consumer Reports that recommended same instead of extension cords or multi-outlet plug-ins for plugging in more than two appliances of any kind to an outlet--much, much safer.

-- Old Git (, March 23, 1999.

I always wonder how these line protectors can protect equipment, in the case when the power has gone out (putting the line protection out of action along with everything else) and then suddenly comes back on, usually with voltage surges. Just how quickly do these line protectors become functional? I know they react very swiftly when intercepting surges while they're already powered up.

So when a thunderstorm is on the way I just pull the plug.

-- Tom Carey (, March 23, 1999.

Any surge protector does react instantly. They are a front end to the computer's power supply and are supposed to absorb anything that otherwise would have hit the supply. The various methods of protection include allowing arcing to ground for extremely high voltages, coils which slow down and smooth out any changes in voltage, and voltage limiting diodes. The quality of protection (price) is what determines how effective they are.

Still, no matter what you pay, they won't protect against everything. They should be there for the protection offered while the system is on but, again, pull the plug when not in use. The only sure way.


-- Floyd Baker (, March 24, 1999.

The surge suppressors I use are Panamax brand, which trip a circuit breaker when the line voltage drops to a certain level. This way, if the power goes off, the device is disconnected from the mains when they come back on and usually spike at that time.

-- Lurker (, March 24, 1999.

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