we had just had a storm here and all my computers that were hooked
into surge strips got reset at the same time during it.
The wierd thing is I also had a laptop running on a normal outlet and
it did NOT get reset - is the cutting off of power to the devices you
are trying to protect part of the protection system in action?
It just seems really odd that only the devices on surge strips got
reset - things on unprotected outlets like alarm clocks and the laptop
I mentioned did not...
I know thesw things use MOVs which will eventually "blow" given enough
jolts but I was unaware that surge guards might interrupt power to the
device during a surge.
anyway, maybe someone can educate me a little!
Why would the laptop reset? Even when plugged in, it is running off of the
Do your alarm clocks have battery backup? Do they have capacitor
backup?(something most newer VCRs, etc have now to avoid the blinking clock
VERY unlikely that the power was interrupted by the surge guards. You
experienced either a very deep voltage sag or a momentary interruption.
This reset everything without energy storage backup (like the laptop
Charles Perry P.E.
Power restored, but computers still down
After 45,000 customers in Washington County (Oregon) lost power, some
learned their PCs were damaged
Thursday, January 06, 2005
HILLSBORO -- The morning after a falling tree cut power to nearly
45,000 Washington County customers, residents and employees went to
work Wednesday replacing drained flashlight batteries and repairing
Portland General Electric officials said a 50-foot fir fell on two
power lines about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday. The toppled tree along Northwest
West Union Road west of Helvetia Road started a chain reaction of
failing power substations. Within minutes, a temporary blackout
blanketed North Plains, Banks, Cornelius and Hillsboro.
Repair crews restored service to about 25,000 residents and business
owners after two hours and to the rest by Wednesday morning.
"It went fairly quickly," said Vickie Rocker, a PGE spokeswoman.
While the blackout left some residents wondering who won the Orange
Bowl and others shivering for a few hours without heat, it caused few
serious problems, according to Hillsboro Fire & Rescue.
But several computer repair businesses were hit Wednesday with dozens
of calls to help small-business owners and homeowners reboot their
"It's been pretty busy all day," said Scott Pilcher, vice president of
Compatible Computers. "Problems can also come up weeks or months
later. If it didn't fail that day, it's possible that it could fail in
the next couple days. . . . It can have a cascading effect on a
Pilcher said his company, which serves customers in western Washington
County and other areas, spent the day assisting small offices and
manufacturers, along with homeowners hoping to access the Internet.
Problems ranged from ruined hardware to data corruption and hard drive
Most problems occurred as a surge of energy passed through when the
power was restored, said Ed Manivanh, co-owner of Compuchips Etc. in
"You should unplug your computer during an outage," said Manivanh, who
spent a busy Wednesday fixing zapped computers from Banks, Cornelius
PGE officials recommend that people buy surge protectors to guard
computers, televisions and other appliances during power failures. If
the surge protector fails during a blackout, it should be replaced
with a new one, Manivanh said.
It's not possible to know what really happened on the AC lines without
having a power monitor on it but your described results are not at all
surprising. All the devices that stayed on have something else in common
other than being on unprotected outlets; they have a built in 'UPS',
battery in the notebook and battery or capacitor hold up in the alarm
clocks, whereas the computer systems on the protected outlets do not.
And it doesn't take anything so dramatic as a lightning storm to do it.
Just go to the main breaker, flip it off for a second then back on, and
you'll get the same result. And that may very well be what the lightning
storm did, except to a power co. feed breaker. They automatically re-close
after a fault so if lightning caused one to trip it would drop power
briefly and then back on.
It wasn't the MOVs that caused the interruption. The lightning did. It
either tripped a breaker or it was on the power lines to the devices and
'lightning' isn't 'A.C.', and by that I mean it's not the 'A.C.' that the
power supplies expect for proper operation.
Surge protectors protect the device from being damaged. They don't 'keep it
doh! yep very good point about the laptop using the battery - well it
was 4am when I posted, sorry for not thinking too clearly :-)
anyway, these were belkin surgemaster protectors (gold, i.e. expensive
version, though I am not sure how much difference that makes).
Well everything seems to have survived so I guess they worked to some
Charles Perry wrote:
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Oh, I can't breathe.
Wrong. Likely, the damaged occured when the fault (tree) happened. It is
not uncommon to have a line to ground fault in a distribution system result
in an overvoltage on one, or both, of the two phases that are NOT faulted.
There is no "surge of power" when the power is restored. Sorry.
Charles Perry P.E.
Good job of seeing through the fog.
And 3:24PM on Aug 18 2004.
It doesn't since the surge suppressor was not the cause.
If you want something that works to any extent during a brownout or
blackout, you need a line conditioner or battery backup (also known
as an Uninterruptible Power Supply or UPS).
You could say Belkin protectors worked because,
fortunately, they did nothing. How good are those Belkin
products (and what model number)? Start with numbers. How
many joules? Is it at least 3000?
Dirty little secret. Effective protectors cost about $1 per
protected appliance AND protect from the typically destructive
type of surge. Those plug-in Belkin quietly prefer you to
assume all surges are same. Paint it with some gold, and more
assumptions will be made. Again. How many joules? And what
is the let-through voltage? And how much did each cost?
Lightning damage and surge suppression is a subject w_tom really
shines on, at least for eliciting intelligent replies.
http://t> You could say Belkin protectors worked because,
I followed the thread and Other than when Lightening Strikes a
substation, The same thing used to happen at my place here in NYC after
a total renovation the occasionally the lights suddenly dimmed and any
standby remote control equipment would come on (also heard of wired led
clocks resetting) when the power stablized again., i called and noted
this to the AHJ and it took an underground Transformer to blow up n
burn, and the problem ceased. I was up til 3am with the firemen & con-ed
but we were not affected by that incident., it served the nearby
comercial customers only. and, Thankfully none of my equipment was