Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice - Home Theater Forum and Systems -

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post #1 of 7 Old 06-19-14, 09:51 PM Thread Starter
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Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

Hi everyone, I found this forum after trying to research proper grounding methods.

I just recently lost a DVR, Modem, PS3 and apple tv, cathode tube tv from a strike. The led tv that was connected to the apple tv, ps3, dvr was left unharmed (maybe only one hdmi was shot, the one connected to the apple tv). A tv in another room that was connected directly with a coax to the wall also is dead (it was not connected to the power) turns on but shuts off instantly.

Cable co came out, and replaced modem and dvr. They also replaced the same to one of my neighbors.

I am trying to understand what I can do to prevent this in the future. I have always feared coax/phone lines damaging more than electricity. So what can you recommend?

I thought about getting a UPS like this,
But after reading more and more, I fear issues with batteries, and have been leaning more towards a Furman PST 8D power conditioner strip. Since it will be going in the bedroom I prefer not having a fan/alarms

this would have coax protection, and I would hook the tv, dvr, apple tv etc to this. My aim is to protect the coax as much as possible.

As for the actual cable co...I have embedded a couple photos showing the wiring outside the house. Having discussed with some people, it doesn't seem to completely follow NEC guidelines (buried copper wire that hooks up to meter. it's more of a copper wire with the shortest route to the meter.

Furthermore, only recently, the cable co had to replace the wiring of the coax to the house, as there was water in the conduits creating issues in my service. Considering the fact that there is proof that the surge did come through the coax, is there anything I can do to show that there is responsibility on their part? or is it wasted time?

Here is the layout of the grounding of the coax:



I really appreciate any feedback and advice. I'm still annoyed about my damaged electronics

Last edited by biscione; 06-19-14 at 09:59 PM.
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post #2 of 7 Old 06-19-14, 11:27 PM
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Re: Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

Sounds like you narrowed it down to the coaxial causing the issue. If they had to replace the coax because of water in the line previously there is a chance if it wasn't properly grounded when re-installed it caused an issue. And if they replaced the other equipment it kinda lends to their admittance of liability.
I would try and get them to replace your other electronics, it won't be fun and you may not get anywhere with it. Even if you do it will be a lengthy battle and long hours on the phone. I would call corporate, the local shops probably won't do anything for you.

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-20-14, 08:51 AM
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Re: Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

Not to rain on your parade. Go ahead and give it a shot.

However, you may find buried in all the legalize in the customer agreement some lawyer-ball indemnity clause regarding damage to household equipment not being covered.

If I was you, I would contact your insurance company. You may get further with your homeowner's or rental insurance covering that than the cable company. Then you can let the insurance company fight the cable company for the money back.

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post #4 of 7 Old 06-20-14, 09:10 AM
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Re: Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

Get yourself on of these Ethereal power centres and you will be protected against most issues.
Another option is one of these Tripp lite power bars.

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post #5 of 7 Old 06-22-14, 09:58 AM
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Re: Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

I don't see where the pictures indicate any code issue. Grounding to the meter is usually acceptable. I wonder about your electrical service ground. If it is loose or corroded this may be the real source of your problem. Where is the ground rod for the electrical service? Is there any difference in potential between the cable line and the electrical service ground?

If you do have reasonable evidence that the cable system was not grounded according to code or was not maintained, you may be able to get some relief from the cable company. It just depends on the company and how much they want to maintain good relations with customers and local government. If there is a pattern of non-code installations, you have some leverage. Get to their risk management people and let them know, and the problem may get fixed.

For many years I saw installations that were not up to code in cable and sat systems in both Baton Rouge and Gainesville. Cox bought cablevision in BR in the early 80s none of the system was properly grounded. They went about fixing that but it took years and they paid for many repairs. I never saw the degree of problems here, but when you could make a good case for a cable grounding issue, Cox also paid for repairs here. These days, cable companies are much better about grounding. Even the sat companies have realized the seriousness of the issue in high lightning areas like Gainesville and will correct a problem pretty quickly.

I recommend verifying grounds annually, cleaning and tightening them. ALWAYS connect an alternative path when disconnecting grounds, especially to the electrical system earth rod. If there happens to be a problem with the nuetral on the system, or if you have something leaky in the cable system, there could be voltage between grounds. I always connect a ground wire with clips before disconnecting the grounds to clean them. Then I carefully measure to see that there is no voltage.

If you have poor grounding, your surge suppression is less likely to be effective, particularly on the signal lines. They are usually going to dump to ground, while the a.c. usually is protected on all combinations of hot, neutral, and ground, and will dump current to neutral if the ground is compromised. Not so for signal lines. Much of the worst damage happens in the ground side of signal circuits.

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-24-14, 10:18 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

Hi, thanks for the reply.

I can't really verify the grounding of the electrical meter as it's underground. It should be the same layout as on the Trilogy pdf you included in one of your topics on this forum.

The only apparent thing I can notice is that the copper wire running from the cable junction to the meter is not run underground as per NEC code, rather just along the wall. I don't know if this is enough to do anything with.

I also wouldn't know how to approach the city, asking them if the cable co has had any other complaints brought against it for similar reasons. I will have to look into this.

Just to make it clear, this is what the layout looks like..the ground wire from the cable co is not buried like it says it should be

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post #7 of 7 Old 06-24-14, 06:13 PM
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Re: Lightning strike took out equipment...some advice

When I was struck, we had everything connected to surge suppresers except my projector. We lost every piece of electronic equipment in the apartment except the projector. I never figured out why. I always wonder if the energy hit through the devices and had nowhere to go. The strike was so direct that two of us in opposite ends of the place saw a blinding white light coming from the middle of our respective rooms.
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