Tom Morgan wrote:
> Is this the part where you tell me I shouldn't be worrying about
> surge protection?! ;)
> Seriously though, do RCD's offer any benefit at all over lightening
> strikes or random power surges (unlikely but possible?). We have a
> "modern" RCD unit, but I don't know if that offers any
> benefit...hence me using surge protection 4-ways on 'expensive'
> items, like TVs, computers etc.
No RCDs do not.
I have been in electronics for years, including in S Afgrica whose power
is poor in stability and absolutely liable to lightning strikes.
The major source of issues is not power line strikes - these generally
do not cause equipment damage due to the immmense loads on them waiting
to short them out.
I have seen lighting strikes *nearby* knock equipment silly - but not
via the mains. IN EVERY CASE THEY HAD WIRING CONNECTED TO THEM THAT RAN
A LONG WAY. Viz audio distribution lines to remote loudspeakers, alarm
wiring and telephone lines.
very near strikes can physically destroy the inputs of stuff connected
to these low voltage lines. Whilst you can fit surge arrestors to
telephone lines, they tend to fuck up ADSL.
So what I have seen buggered by nearby (not direct strikes) is
Audio amplifier output stages on outdoor sound systems.
Alarm inputs stages on large properties
Anything connected to a phone. I have had at least three Netgears gifted
to me that went 'odd' and never recovered after lightning storms. My
current Billion router goes 'odd' and needs a cold reboot sometimes, but
I have had a direct strike on a telephone drop wire. The drop wire
itself vanished. I did find a black smear on te road underneath.
That destroyed the modem attached to it (but US Robotics had a 'lifetime
gurantee on all their modems, so cash free replacement) , the answering
machine attached to it, the serial card unto which the modem was
plugged, the parallel printer plugged into the same card..although I did
get HP to fix it under warranty..three boards replaced. After that the
arc jumped into the mains wiring, blew an unused TV socket out of the
wall - literally - and destroyed a TV beyond economic repair, and a
digital record deck to the point of needing repair - CMOS chip gone.
After that it ran up into the mains wiring and burnt a hole in the
carpet where a light flex was trailing over the carpet and another one
was tucked underneath it.
It cost the landlords insurance a complete rewire. They refused to
insure him without it.
None of the above with the possible exception of the TV and record deck
would have been protected with a surge arrestor.
None of the above was ever damaged by mains surges.
Conclusion. Mains surge arrestors are worth less than used toilet paper.
If you want protection against power outages, get a UPS.
If you want protection against telephone line surges, don't get a Netgear.
If you want protection against a direct strike, get insurance.
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