Protecting small firms from computer disasters
Cart 0

Real Defense against Lightning

protection vulnerabilities

Lightning can go right through power strips and uninterruptible power supplies, destroying your computers and appliances.

According to the National Lightning Safety Institute, the odds are one in 200 each year that the typical house in the US will be struck by lightning (a strike within 10 meters). The risk varies from location to location, but on average the risk is 1 in 8.5 that a house will be struck one or more times in 25 years.

Your surge protector power strip or uninterruptible power supply cannot stop a massive surge from a lightning strike near your house or business. Even a downed power line can send a spike through the wires that will fry computer motherboards, hard drives and other electronics.

Ten years ago, lightning struck a transformer pole 120 feet from our office. It destroyed our cable modem and we lost a half day of productive work.

The electrical circuits in your house and business are grounded. That is essential. But that grounding and your power strips are not enough to divert huge overloads. A whole house protector can protect your home and larger devices can protect an office building.

The most practical whole house surge protector is mounted next to your electrical panel and connected to a circuit breaker. You can shop for a good whole house surge protector and buy it yourself, but you should have it installed by a licensed electrician for both warranty and safety reasons. Here are some models to consider:

Leviton 51110-SRG

Leviton 51110-SRG Residential Surge Protection Panel - $50.97
Eaton / Cutler Hammer CHSPT2ULTRA - $118.00
Square D (by Schneider Electric) SurgeBreaker Plus SDSB1175C - $185.87

Prices quoted are from Home Depot and Amazon as of June 20, 2018.

The unit needs to be wired to a circuit breaker in your electrical panel. Count on an hour or two of work by an electrician. The wires from the device to the electrical panel should be as a short as possible, stranded and AWG #10 minimum connecting to a multi-pole circuit breaker near the top of the panel. The recommended breaker varies from 20 to 30 Amps depending on the model.

The device can be connected to a circuit breaker that is in use protecting an existing circuit although there is some difference of opinion on whether a separate circuit breaker should be used. See:

A whole house surge protector can defend all your expensive computer equipment and appliances from massive electrical spikes, saving you thousands of dollars and all the downtime spent on replacing them.

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published