power strip phone jack

Is there a better way to provide surge protection for my pc modem than the phone jack built into a power strip. The phone surge protector blew last
night during a thunder storm.
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Jeff Dieterle wrote:

Unplug it during thunderstorms/when not in use?
--
Sue


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| Is there a better way to provide surge protection for my pc modem than the | phone jack built into a power strip. The phone surge protector blew last | night during a thunder storm.
It did it's job. Replace it. This is why I have extra surge protector strips already purchased and ready to deploy (to replace existing units that "took the surge" or to expand in a hurry as needed).
Do not go cheap with surge protectors, as they can be a fire hazard under two conditions: a very large surge can explosively destroy the MOV devices that provide the protection, and: cheap sockets make poor contacts. Both problems can cause a fire, which could be better contained in a metal enclosed power strip as opposed to a cheap plastic one. Choose only a name brand you known (where they are) and trust. I personally use the heavy duty Iso-bar products from TrippLite. I pay more and sleep better. I just wish they would make plugs designed for those of us that have the safer "ground-pin up" receptacle installations.
You want to either unplug things during times you are away or asleep when any significant chance of a storm exists, or construct some kind of system to provide isolation to minimize damage, such as fiber optic or wireless connections, if you want something better than what a surge protector can provide. If you need to keep something online all the time, you might want to go with a low power laptop or SBC/embedded system coupled with a large UPS that can be unplugged from the mains for an extended period of time.
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|---------------------------------------/----------------------------------|
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
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On Mon, 28 May 2007 08:03:56 -0500, "Jeff Dieterle"

Other than the protector the telco provides in the Demark, the answer is no. You want your point of use protection common with the power for that equipment so it all clamps to the same point. You also need to go look at that Demark protector. be sure it uses the same ground as your electric service panel. Telcos and cable companies have a bad habit of driving their own rod and not bonding that to the service. That is not code compliant and will cause you to blow modems or the whole PC (or TVs in the case of cable). If you don't have a panel protector ... get one. They have them at Dale-electric.com at a reasonable price.
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Agree - when using a plug-in suppressor you really want all wires, signal and power, to go through the suppressor.

You also want a *short* connecting wire from the signal demark protector to the earthing electrode wire at the power service.
-- bud--
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Jeff Dieterle wrote:

if you are persistant and lucky you can get you telco to provide a gas discharge protection device at your demarc.
additional protection devices on each item conected can be a prudent measure.
in some cases boadcast engineers modify devices by adding small fuses (1/10 amp or therabouts) to equipment at problem or remote locations. it is much easier and cheaper and faster to change a fuse now and then to repair fried equipment.
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TimPerry wrote:

I thought that's what the phone demarc uses (US).

A fuse might isolate equipment from the line, but a surge, by definition, is faster than a fuse can operate. Large surges, like lightning induced, are likely to arc across a fuse as it opens.
-- bud--
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Bud-- wrote:

if you are lucky... there are many Telcos with many different procedures.

problem locations may suffer repetitive hits on the structure, the power lines, and the phone lines in a single storm.
anything you can do to minimize downtime and repair costs while maintaining functionality is appropriate.
a direct hit is probably going to toast something, it all the near misses that the little protectors can sometimes help with.
this company make a respectable array of products that seem to be effective when properly installed. http://www.polyphaser.com /
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I've had the phone co. out in the past to look for problems but they reported everything normal. All told I've lost a computer modem, DSS receiver modem, and a couple of power strips. I've purchased a gas discharge protector mfg. by Hyperlink Technologies Model Al-D2VW that installs at my phone terminal box. My electrical system grounding is not near the phone terminal box. Will I create any problems by driving a separate ground rod at the phone terminal box to earth the surge protector?

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Jeff Dieterle wrote:

In the US, the NEC requires a ground rod if the grounding conductor from the phone entry protection to the power system is over 20 feet (residential). If a separate ground rod is used, the entry surge protector *must* still be connected to the power grounding system as gfretwell said. Not connecting them is inviting big problems for anything connected to both power and phone.
An excellent guide on surges and surge protection is at: http://omegaps.com/Lightning%20Guide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf Starting on page 31, pdf page 40, is an illustration of what can happen if the phone entry protector and the power service are connected but distant. In systems like the US, where the neutral and grounding wires are connected together at the power service, you want the phone, CATV, ... entry protectors connected with a short distance to the neutral-ground bond point. In the event of a major surge the voltage at the house ground will lift from 'absolute' earth potential. You want the phone, power ground and power to lift together.
I suggest running your phone wire from the entry point to near the power service and mounting your new protector there. Distribute the phone wiring from the new protector.
The IEEE guide, after the illustration above, shows how a plug-in surge protector with power and signal wires running through it can protect when the phone entry point is distant from the power service. As gfretwell said, voltage on power and signal wires are clamped to the same point.
-- bud--
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Phone company is required to make that earthing connection in 20 feet. For effective transistor protection, that distance is too far. You want to connect 'less than 10 feet'. And as gfretwell noted, all earthing from every utility must be to a common point.
A telephone protector blew. Does that mean a surge entered on phone line? No. Remember how electricity works. First an electrical path forms from cloud, through your house, to earthborne charges maybe miles away. Then electricity flows in everything in that path. Then something in that path fails. Surge could have been incoming on AC mains, through whatever, then out via that telephone protector.
Do not think the protector is protection. The protector is only a connecting device to protection. Protection is earth ground. A protector is only as effective as its earthing.
How to connect everything to a single point ground? Cinergy provides examples of good, bad, and ugly earthing: http://www.cinergy.com/surge/ttip08.htm
Of course a better solution is to surround the building with that buried ground wire - a halo ground. When building a new home, surge protection is installed when footings are poured - Ufer ground. In each case, surge protection is defined by the quality of earthing.
Most common source of damage on phone line is a surge on AC electric. Every wire in an AC cable must connect to that same earthing either directly (neutral wire) or via a 'whole house' protector (each hot wire).
Bud provides a perfect example of what happens when using a protector too far from earth ground, too close to transistors, and without the single point earth ground: http://omegaps.com/Lightning%20Guide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf Page 42 Figure 8 shows a TV destroyed by 8000 volts because the surge was not earthed where it entered the building. Bud promotes for plug- in manufacturers and therefore recommends protector without earthing. You can learn from facts. Notice how the plug-in protector contributed to TV damage. Why? Where was the short path to earthing? Did not exist. Therefore electronics damage resulted.
You had surge damage. Therefore a surge was not earthed - was permitted inside the building. Why is your earthing system defective? Even the phone company will only use whatever earthing you provided. For better protection, provide the teleco, cable TV, satellite dish, and AC electric a superior, single point earth ground so that each connection is less than 10 feet to the same earthing.
Protection is only as effective as the earthing system - and it must be single point earthing.

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You-all are probably correct in my case. The person that wired my house was infatuated with tail-panels. In a 3500sq.ft house I have 6 tail panels and none of them are bounded properly to the main panel grounding system. By that I mean a separate bond wire was not ran from each tail panel to the main panel bond, only 3-wire cable was used to feed the tail panels. So far I've replaced the main service entrance and panel with proper nec compliant wiring methods. The main panel I installed is large enough to eliminate all the tail panels and as I do away with each tail-panel I'll carry the correct size bonding wire to each branch circuit.
It's impractical for me to bond my telephone & catv at the service entrance grounding electrode or have the ufer system, so if I'm understanding all this I need to run a #6 cu bonding wire from my service entrance grounding electrode to the entry locations of the telephone and catv to establish the ground path for surge protection devices. Is that correct ? and thanks for your help
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Jeff Dieterle wrote:

That will still not give you a "single point ground", which emphasizes a *short* connection between the ground systems. Look at: http://omegaps.com/Lightning%20Guide_FINALpublishedversion_May051.pdf starting on page 31, pdf page 40.
#6 is good for power grounds. But surges are very short events. A lightning surge may last 200 MICROseconds. Currents are, in effect, high frequency. The inductance of the wire dominates over resistance. Large wire doesn't give the advantage you expect for surges. (In the US, only #14 wire is required to connect signal protectors.)
You can put a second phone (CATV, ...) surge protector near the power panel and distribute everything from there. Or you can use multiport plug-in surge suppressors at equipment connecting to both phone (CATV,...) and power - with power and signal wires going through the suppressor. The IEEE guide says that if there is not a 'single point ground' then "equipment can only be protected by multiport protectors".
The NIST also has a good (and less technical) guide on surges and surge protection at: http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/practiceguides/surgesfnl.pdf According to a NIST guide, US insurance information indicates equipment most frequently damaged by lightning is computers with a modem connection TVs, VCRs and similar equipment (presumably with cable TV connections). All can be damaged by high voltages between power and signal wires.
-- bud--
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In the Cinergy example, a separated phone and AC electric connect to a single point earthing because the entire earthing wire is buried. If the wire was not buried, then one end of that wire would be too long - excessive impedance - not effectively earthed.
Earthing wire for telephone need not be 6 AWG. I believe 12 is sufficient; 10 AWG is usually what telcos install. The buried wire according to code must be 4 AWG solid and must be buried 18 inches under. This wire is typically connected to 10 foot earthing rods at one or both ends. The earthing - those rods - must obtain earth that is below the frost line.
BTW, these wires are carrying surges. Therefore they should be routed separated from all other wires so as to not induce surges on those other wires.
If ground wire was above earth, then it has too much impedance. Wire gauge (diameter) is not the critical parameter here. Wire length is important. A wire that is buried for twenty feet makes both ends of that 20 feet into a single point earthing electrode. That is what cable TV & satellite dish ground wires, and telephone & AC electric surge protectors must connect to in 'less than 10 feet'.
One final suggestion. Some will put a four or six foot plastic pipe with covered on over the point where ground wire joins earthing rod. Therefore the junction can be inspected, additional earthing connections can be made, and the entire junction can even be covered (camouflaged) by dirt.
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w_tom wrote:

In the US, the phone company (1 & 2 unit residential) can use a longer than 20 foot connection but must then also add a grounding electrode.

w_ has a religious belief (immune from challenge) that surge protection must use earthing. Thus in his view plug-in suppressors can not possibly work. The IEEE guide explains plug-in suppressors work by CLAMPING the voltage on all wires (signal and power) to the common ground at the suppressor (as gfretwell and I both said). The IEEE guide explains earthing occurs elsewhere.

From http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/grounding_definitions.html Halo Grounded Ring: A grounded No. 2 wire, installed around all four walls inside a small building, at an elevation of approx. six inches below the ceiling. There are drops installed from the halo to the equipment cabinets and to waveguide ports, interior cable trays etc. Halo rings serve as connector points to achieve ground references of interior metallic objects. These, in turn, are connected to the main ground bus bar. It is a ground ring, not a halo ground.

It is not my example, it is the IEEEs. The illustration has a surge coming in on a CATV drop. There are 2 TVs, one is on a plug-in suppressor. The point of the illustration is "to protect TV2, a second multiport protector located at TV2 is required. Right before this illustration, the IEEE guide shows how a plug-in suppressor can protect when a CATV service entrance protector is too far from the power service (is not a single point ground). The IEEE guide says plug-in suppressors are effective.

To quote w_: "It is an old political trick. When facts cannot be challenged technically, then attack the messenger." My only association with surge protectors is I have some. Then w_ makes up opinions.

For anyone with minimal reading and thinking skills the protector did not contribute to any damage. The protector protected the first TV that was connected to it, and reduced the voltage at the second TV from 10,000V to 8,000V.
Bizarre claim - plug-in surge suppressors don't work No sources that say plug-in suppressors are NOT effective. Distorts opposing sources. Attempts to discredit opponents. w_ is a purveyor of junk science.
-- bud--
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