Surge suppressors - lack of warning

Contributor

Surge suppressors - lack of warning

Our main TV with the DVR froze up and went blank Sunday evening. I called the 800 number and followed all of his instructions to no avail – got the big red “X” on the screen. Possible Harddrive issue. Scheduled an appointment for a tech Monday evening. The tech fixed it fairly quickly. The trouble was, it wasn't broken.

Two years ago, right after installation of Uverse I added a surge suppressor that had a place for the coax to pass through. Apparently that is a no-no. But I don’t believe it was stated anywhere in the uverse literature not to use a suppressor.

Anyway, the tech walked in, saw the cable going through the surge suppressor, disconnected it and ran it right to the TV - bingo - now it works. AFTER 2 YEARS of no trouble! Ok, I get it. But, again, nowhere have I been told or read that those types of surge suppressors should not be used. Now I have a bill for $55 for something I never knew was a problem.

The tech I spoke to on the phone Sunday night should have asked me if there was a suppressor in line with the coax. I could have saved $55 and my time and the techs time if the people on the phone had the correct questions to ask. He could have suggested bypassing the suppressor and everybody would have been happy campers.

Suggestion - add a question about surge suppressors to the arsenal and make sure that all instructions and literature boldly STRESS "NO in line surge suppressors."

I also realize that the suppressor might have just gone bad. Whatever. The service call should/could have been avoided if the tech on the phone would have asked the correct questions

Message 1 of 12 (665 Views)
Guru

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

The tech on my install (2007!) told me they have not had a good experience with surge suppressors with coax and recommended I not use it!  So they obviously know about it.  Too bad the ts folks didn't and you had to spend all this time not knowing.  I hope you called back to ts and spoke to a supervisor.  Seems like that should be high up on the troubleshooting checklist!!

Message 2 of 12 (627 Views)
Mentor

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

My last tech told me they doing even recommend surge suppressors for the power. He wanted it plugged directly to the wall outlet. I'm not sure I really understand that.

 

D-ick

Message 3 of 12 (610 Views)
Professor

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

Surge suppressors are not recommended for any Uverse, cable or satellite install because they sometimes can effect digital signals, which in turn can cause poor PQ, freezing, complete loss of signal, etc. 

 

I agree to a certain extent that the phone tech maybe should have asked if there was a suppressor on the line even though it's not part of a Uverse install, but on the flip side, if the OP had told the phone tech that he installed a suppressor on his own the outcome would also have been different.

Message 4 of 12 (593 Views)
Mentor

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

Do you mean to not hook up the AC power supply to a surge suppressor too?  I don't see how that can affect things, it can only help protect the gear during storms at best, do nothing at worst.

Message 5 of 12 (577 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

 


tnmats wrote:

Do you mean to not hook up the AC power supply to a surge suppressor too?  I don't see how that can affect things, it can only help protect the gear during storms at best, do nothing at worst.


I is amazing some of the wild stories the customer can hear from techs.  It's hard to know for sure if the guy is telling you something he learned in his training or if it is just personal opinion or scuttlebutt.  We have surge/spike suppressors on the power feed to every electronic device in our home.  But NOT in the signal path.  Re the wild tails.....I had one tech tell me that we should avoid rebooting the RG and/or the STB's too many times because it was hard on them and would shorten their life.  THAT doesn't make any sense to  me and I think it was just his misdirected personal opinion.

 

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money. .......Margaret Thatcher
*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 6 of 12 (571 Views)
Mentor

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

I'm an electronics engineer, I design ICs for power management.  I know a thing or two about electrical overstress in electronics.  Smiley Happy

 

I can see how you could get signal integrity issues with a network cable plugged into a surge suppressor but never in the AC line unless it's a poorly designed clamp that is making the line sag.  When I hear stuff like this (don't plug into a surge suppressor) I know it's garbage. I just like to hear the reasoning.

 

One thing I will say is you need to spend a few dollars and get a good unit.  I personally like the Tripp Lite Isobar series.  Panamax also makes some good ones too.  I had a near-by lightening strike at the house a few years ago and any gear I had plugged into the Panamax box and Isobar box didn't have a problem.  Unfortunately some equipment that wasn't protected or in cheapie suppressors got fried.  I learned my lesson the hard way.

Message 7 of 12 (555 Views)
Employee

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

tnmats did you replace the surge supressors after the hit. I have heard they may not work as well the next time they are hit. The compamy has used the Tripp lite Isobar to isolate electrical noise from other equipment like jogging machines.

Employee Contributor*
*I am an AT&T employee and the postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent AT&T's position, strategies or opinions.
Message 8 of 12 (512 Views)
Master

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

 


tnmats wrote:

I'm an electronics engineer, I design ICs for power management.  I know a thing or two about electrical overstress in electronics.  Smiley Happy

 

I can see how you could get signal integrity issues with a network cable plugged into a surge suppressor but never in the AC line unless it's a poorly designed clamp that is making the line sag.  When I hear stuff like this (don't plug into a surge suppressor) I know it's garbage. I just like to hear the reasoning.

 

One thing I will say is you need to spend a few dollars and get a good unit.  I personally like the Tripp Lite Isobar series.  Panamax also makes some good ones too.  I had a near-by lightening strike at the house a few years ago and any gear I had plugged into the Panamax box and Isobar box didn't have a problem.  Unfortunately some equipment that wasn't protected or in cheapie suppressors got fried.  I learned my lesson the hard way.


 

As with what you said my home theater is protected by Panamax and my computers and RG protected by APC

nothing in the signal path but normal grounds leading back to the master ground at the service.

Message 9 of 12 (504 Views)
Mentor

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

[ Edited ]

 I have the the coax going from the gateway into the APC  XS1300 UPS and then a coax going out to the DVR.  Is this an acceptable option to follow?

 

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows what is recommended.

 

Message 10 of 12 (485 Views)
Professor

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning


Bondman wrote:

 I have the the coax going from the gateway into the APC  XS1300 UPS and then a coax going out to the DVR.  Is this an acceptable option to follow?

 

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows what is recommended.

 


 

Although it's not recommended to run the coax through a surge protector, if your not having any issues with your service then leave it . If some problem occurs down the road, bypass the suppressor to make sure it's not the cause before calling TS, you just might save yourself a $55 service fee.

Message 11 of 12 (313 Views)
Highlighted
Master

Re: Surge suppressors - lack of warning

 


Bondman wrote:

 I have the the coax going from the gateway into the APC  XS1300 UPS and then a coax going out to the DVR.  Is this an acceptable option to follow?

 

Thanks in advance to anyone who knows what is recommended.

 


 

If you are not experiencing any problems then I would not worry about it but keep in mind for every split and connection point

there is a db drop in signal.

Message 12 of 12 (292 Views)
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