Lightning Protection

Lightning Protection

Hey all...my house got hit with a lightning strike the other day and I lost my RG and my main computer's NIC.  Could have been worse.  $11 later, I have a new NIC and a (refurb) RG.  Apparently the strike came in over the main uverse vdsl line and fried the RG and my NIC.  Does anyone know of a decent surge supressor for Cat5 cable?  Something like this maybe?

 

http://www.smarthome.com/48445/Panamax-MOD-CAT5-Gigabit-Ethernet-Signal-Line-Protection/p.aspx

 

 

Message 1 of 20 (3,914 Views)
Employee

Re: Lightning Protection

You can't do any better than a Polyphaser, they're the best there is.

 

Panamax is OK too, but Note: if the protector says "Cat5" it means Cat5, not 5e and may not protect all four pair (though it would be unusual). It will lower the spec from 5e to 5 if you have it inline on a Cat5e system.

 

 

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 2 of 20 (3,905 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Lightning Protection

[ Edited ]

presidentsdad wrote:

Hey all...my house got hit with a lightning strike the other day and I lost my RG and my main computer's NIC.  Could have been worse.  $11 later, I have a new NIC and a (refurb) RG.  Apparently the strike came in over the main uverse vdsl line and fried the RG and my NIC.  Does anyone know of a decent surge supressor for Cat5 cable?  Something like this maybe?

 

http://www.smarthome.com/48445/Panamax-MOD-CAT5-Gigabit-Ethernet-Signal-Line-Protection/p.aspx

 

 



Same thing happened to me June 27, 2010!  The RG "worked" but I knew something wasn't right and the NIC was also gone.  AT&T replaced the RG the next day.  I never replaced the NIC, instead using the mysterious PC-USB port on the old style RG and a wireless adapter with the newer (black) RG that I was given this past Spring.

 

I may have to look at a Cat5 surge protector.

*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 3 of 20 (3,884 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Lightning Protection

[ Edited ]

The only "sure" protection for your equipment from a direct lightning hit is for you to unplug it and disconnect all cables from all outlets and inputs.  Surge and spike protectors can be a big help when the lightning effects get past the power company's heavy duty protection.  But a direct hit on or near your home is fatal to most equipment unless it is NOT connected.  The problem is that most of us play Russian roulette with our systems and leave everything connected....even during storms.

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 4 of 20 (3,836 Views)
ACE - Master

Re: Lightning Protection

I have had a car radio destroyed by what I am certain was a proximity strike.  Neighbors car radio also was inoperable after that storm as well.  The diodes must have gotten energized by a nearby static crash.  So I'm not sure if unplugging / disconnecting is 100% sure, either in these days of more volatile components.

*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 5 of 20 (3,821 Views)
Mentor

Re: Lightning Protection

the power supply going to the RG is not a 3-prong grounded solution - this is not a good thing. i'm not sure why but every power supply and battery backup i've ever used uses 3 wire grounding solution to let surges/etc follow the correct path (to the earth) not the computers attached

Message 6 of 20 (3,777 Views)
Expert

Re: Lightning Protection


ereet wrote:

the power supply going to the RG is not a 3-prong grounded solution - this is not a good thing. i'm not sure why but every power supply and battery backup i've ever used uses 3 wire grounding solution to let surges/etc follow the correct path (to the earth) not the computers attached


 

The U-Verse RG power supply is specifically designed for 2-prong operation because the phone system itself is already grounded at the NID.  Grounding the power supply also would cause a ground loop which can cause VDSL interference in some situations.  Early 3800HGV-B power supplies were grounded and were redesigned to 2-prong operation for this very reason.

 

Message 7 of 20 (3,771 Views)
Employee

Re: Lightning Protection


ereet wrote:

the power supply going to the RG is not a 3-prong grounded solution - this is not a good thing. i'm not sure why but every power supply and battery backup i've ever used uses 3 wire grounding solution to let surges/etc follow the correct path (to the earth) not the computers attached


As SomeJoe pointed out, the original equipment was three-prong, and in some cases, that contributed to some "noise to ground" and ground loop issues. It was changed to a two-prong system over a year ago.

 

All of the equipment is UL approved, and also reviewed, approved and certified by several other independent safety monitoring organizations.

 

 

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 20 (3,758 Views)
Scholar

Re: Lightning Protection

I had lightning to strike two trees in my yard recently. Assuming the residual ground discharge ran in on the telephone line which is buried near those trees, but who knows, lightning/static can be very unpredictable . It took out one ethernet port on RG, my D-link router, an 8 port switch, wired printer, NIC card and an adjacent PCI slot on a PC, and a GFCI outlet. Luckily, the DVD player, NAS and Uverse receivers were not affected.

 

For 10 years, I had my phone line connected to a Panamax surge protector. The Uverse guys disconnected that the day they did the installation and said it may cause interference. I've had one Panamax hit 3-4 years ago but no equipment failures. Thinking I may hook my telephone line back to the protector and monitor interference.

Message 9 of 20 (3,707 Views)
Employee

Re: Lightning Protection


gght wrote:

I had lightning to strike two trees in my yard recently. Assuming the residual ground discharge ran in on the telephone line which is buried near those trees, but who knows, lightning/static can be very unpredictable . It took out one ethernet port on RG, my D-link router, an 8 port switch, wired printer, NIC card and an adjacent PCI slot on a PC, and a GFCI outlet. Luckily, the DVD player, NAS and Uverse receivers were not affected.

 

For 10 years, I had my phone line connected to a Panamax surge protector. The Uverse guys disconnected that the day they did the installation and said it may cause interference. I've had one Panamax hit 3-4 years ago but no equipment failures. Thinking I may hook my telephone line back to the protector and monitor interference.


Check with Panamax or Polyphasor to make sure the protector you're going to use is certified for VDSL2, or it may suppress your (intended) signal or reduce it enough to make it unstable.

 

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 10 of 20 (3,696 Views)
Mentor

Re: Lightning Protection

I think AT&T should be responsible for any damaged equipment since they chose to not use a 3 prong grounded solution.

 

Anyone notice in dsl diagnostics AFE SURGE shows up every time a lightining storm comes around. it looks like the router has some sort of voltage protection system that disconnects service when it detects anomaly voltage on the input line.

 

Coming from comcast (5+ years) - 3 prong grounded with integrated dual battery (10+ hours) ARRIS modem - i never had an any problems with an impulse. I also ran an APC SUA2200XL on that unit - but remember even behind a surge supressor - other entities can backfeed into a surge strip section which is why EVERY device should be 3 prong grounded - electricty passes to the path of least resistance.

 

What is the Beklin warranty? My $35 APC guarantees $25K of equipment damage. I suspect 2wire and Belkin - a solution created by AT&T should cover any damaged due to electrical storms.

 

Would any AT&T employee care to comment and the responsibility for damages here? I've got $50K of gear plugged in via ethernet - am i covered or not?

 

Comcast clearly stated that there is no coverage and they suggested the use of a surge strip or APC unit to protect your unit - but APC/Belkin doesn't cover products that don't use modern 3 plug grounding - so i can't claim against that.

 

Is the 2wire modem, and all receivers covered from lighning damage? Computers? if computers, how much coverage? Who covers ? Belkin ? 2wire? AT&T?

 

Inquiring minds would like to know.

 

2nd Question : What are AT&T recommended solutions to protect against line surges for the :

1. COAX connected devices

2. ETHERNET connected devices (to RG)

 

I have a coax connected receiver and Ethernet connected pc in my 5 year old childs room - if a electrical surge caused a fire - as a parent I feel uncomfortable.

 

If an AT&T employee wants to contact me via PM or EMAIL that would be great - but as a responsible parent I have to ask how the system works, and what the best setup is to protect the equipment. Fire + Child = no good.

 

Please no conjecture - If you have facts - please post them but do so representing AT&T.

 

A concerned parent .

 

Message 11 of 20 (3,737 Views)
Employee

Re: Lightning Protection

[ Edited ]

ereet wrote:

I think AT&T should be responsible for any damaged equipment since they chose to not use a 3 prong grounded solution.

 

Anyone notice in dsl diagnostics AFE SURGE shows up every time a lightining storm comes around. it looks like the router has some sort of voltage protection system that disconnects service when it detects anomaly voltage on the input line.

 

Coming from comcast (5+ years) - 3 prong grounded with integrated dual battery (10+ hours) ARRIS modem - i never had an any problems with an impulse. I also ran an APC SUA2200XL on that unit - but remember even behind a surge supressor - other entities can backfeed into a surge strip section which is why EVERY device should be 3 prong grounded - electricty passes to the path of least resistance.

 

What is the Beklin warranty? My $35 APC guarantees $25K of equipment damage. I suspect 2wire and Belkin - a solution created by AT&T should cover any damaged due to electrical storms.

 

Would any AT&T employee care to comment and the responsibility for damages here? I've got $50K of gear plugged in via ethernet - am i covered or not?

 

Comcast clearly stated that there is no coverage and they suggested the use of a surge strip or APC unit to protect your unit - but APC/Belkin doesn't cover products that don't use modern 3 plug grounding - so i can't claim against that.

 

Is the 2wire modem, and all receivers covered from lighning damage? Computers? if computers, how much coverage? Who covers ? Belkin ? 2wire? AT&T?

 

Inquiring minds would like to know.

 

2nd Question : What are AT&T recommended solutions to protect against line surges for the :

1. COAX connected devices

2. ETHERNET connected devices (to RG)

 

I have a coax connected receiver and Ethernet connected pc in my 5 year old childs room - if a electrical surge caused a fire - as a parent I feel uncomfortable.

 

If an AT&T employee wants to contact me via PM or EMAIL that would be great - but as a responsible parent I have to ask how the system works, and what the best setup is to protect the equipment. Fire + Child = no good.

 

Please no conjecture - If you have facts - please post them but do so representing AT&T.

 

A concerned parent .

 


First, note that I am an employee, but the following is not "Official" (see the disclaimer at the bottom). I do hope that I can help you understand why your concerns are misplaced. It is not likely that you will see an "Official" response; theis is not the place for "Official Responses" ... this is a user forum (and I am a user and consumer of U-Verse).

 

Next, as I mentioned before, all of the U-Verse equipment is fully tested by independent, third-party safety organizations, (Like UL) and certified "Safe" for all intended uses. An STB, DVR, or RG is NOT certified "Safe" to use as wheel-chock for your car while changing tires on a hill, for example.

 

Finally, the third prong is genarally a "Safety Ground" that ties to the (metal) chassis of the equipment such that any dangerous voltage is shunted to the outlet ground (and presumably to Earth ground, though not always the case).  All U-verse equipment operates on 12VDC, and has no direct path to ground because none is needed, and could, in several cases ADD to the danger (improper ground paths can cause fires, for example). The case of each STB, DVR, and RG is plastic, and all common contact points are also plastic. The only metal is the "F" connector for the coax connections. Properly installed coax will already have a ground point at the BALUN, which has a protection connection to the facilities ground (there are varients in the recent past where there are other or alternate grounding points, but all are covered by the entrance protection). While it is true that some power systems use the "ground" prong for (voltage) reference, that is not the case for any of the U-Verse-related devices. Just two connections: +12 and Negative / Return. The printed circuit board "floats" ... you could chew on it and get a 12VDC tingle, possibley a tap, but anything beyond that will cause one of the many on-board fuses or fused links to blow. Keep in mind the "Intended Use" thing I mentioned at the start.

 

The VDSL connection is protected by the same types of devices that your phone is/was, or at least as good as your cableTV coax, if you prefer (as offered by each provider). If you still have a POTs phone with "features" like voice mail, caller ID, speakerphone etc. then you will notice that it too almost certainly has a two-prong plug on the power cube that powers it. It has a connection to the external copper phone system ... in fact, there is essentially no difference between the U-Verse boxes and the phone system, except the POTs system uses -48VDC and rings the phone with 100VAC (+/-10%) ... i.e., not necessarily dangerous, but painful if you choose to strip the wires with your teeth as the wrong time. The U-Verse system can be delivered on "dry pair" (no -48VDC & no 100VAC ring voltage).

 

AT&T doesn't endorse any protection vendor specifically (that I know of), but they do carry Belkin and/or Trip-Lite power/surge devices on the trucks for customers with issues relating to EMI/RFI.

 

If you CableTV boxes have a three-prong plug, then they probably have an internal power supply (AC connects directly to the box, not using a Brick or battery back-up) and would offer a much greater risk than the UV equipment, especially if you were to spill various fluids, small metal objects,  or poke at it with pointy conductive instruments. Cable TV boxes are also probably covered by one or more of the various safety organizations, I guess, I don't know for sure, it's not my end of the stick.

 

I'd also like to offer the following question to you: Given a lightning hit, or even a near hit, which coper media do you think would carry more current towards (if not into) your house: a couple pair of 26ga twisted pair (thin phone wire), or Coax with at least one full shield (often three or four shields of various types) and no less than a 20-22ga center conductor (remember - smaller number means larger diameter / thicker conductor)?

 

As far as "coverage" from lightning damage, that is a function of your homeowner's insurance. You are likely at less risk from the AT&T equipment (and probably cable TV equipment) than you are from the power company's products. Phone and CableTV tend to operate with much more buried media than the power company, and National Electric Code demands "Entrance Protection." So if you're really worried, kill all power to your child's room and take all the electronic equipment out. Remove the carpet, because synthetics will "Out-gas" and I haven't seen a publicly published safety study (but a mass-spec study I saw once suggested it is not a Good Thing. Same thing for ANY paint, latex or oil-based, as well as synthetic wallpaper and wallpaper pastes.  Floor varnishes, shellacs,  and some waxes can also out-gas .. better check them too.

 

 

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 12 of 20 (3,722 Views)
Mentor

Re: Lightning Protection

You are correct about unplugging everything, but that gets more complicated with phone lines, TV cable, U-Verse, etc.

 

In the 2 years we have lived here, we have had the tuners on at least 2 TV's burned up from spike voltage coming in on the cable to the tuner. This would happen even if the electrical power is unplugged. As a result, we put APC surge protection on the previous cable and phone lines right where they come in the house as well as APC battery backup - surge protection on important electronics. When we had our U-Verse installed this week, I checked and the installer left the APC on the phone line, but there is nothing on the CAT5e line coming in the house. I was thinking of getting the APC PNET1GB ProtectNet Standalone Surge Protector for 10/100/1000 Base - T Ethernet Lines from Amazon for this protection. Anyone have experience with this one?

Message 13 of 20 (3,668 Views)
Mentor

Re: Lightning Protection

PS

 

I believe I remember when I first got my Bellsouth (now ATT) DSL, they said ONLY APC surge protectors were approved.

 

Message 14 of 20 (3,666 Views)
Master

Re: Lightning Protection

As was stated nothing will protect against a direct hit but a good surge protector for all of your equipment will protect it from a static hit externally or internally. Make sure all grounds are run to the service box (this will keep ground loops from happening ) also the neutral leg is technically tied to the ground leg another reason to have surge protection

on each peice of gear to protect from internal spikes. If you do use a surge protector for

the ethernet as was stated make sure it is compatible with Uverse I have seen issues with some that are not.

Message 15 of 20 (3,647 Views)
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