Network Power Surge?

Discussion in 'Network Routers' started by Ted, Jan 5, 2007.

  1. Ted

    Ted Guest


    I can't find anything else similar to this strange problem I had today.

    When I came home today I noticed my Linksys router had died. I
    replaced the power supply and it works fine now. Upstairs a networked
    Xbox 360 on a surge protector also had a broken PSU. Back downstairs
    my old networked Xbox also failed. I've replaced the PSU and it works
    fine. The PC attached to the same network is fine and the network is
    working fine.

    Why would 3 items on the same network all die at once? Is it possible
    to have a power surge do this only on a network? At the time only the
    router was on. Everything else in the house (PS2, TVs, wireless
    phones, etc) is OK.

    Any ideas or is this a really wierd coincidence? How can I protect
    from this in the future?

    Cheers for any ideas.

    Ted, Jan 5, 2007
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  2. Ted

    w_tom Guest

    First learn why a surge happens. For example, most transients enter
    on AC mains. All appliances see the incoming surge. But from 2nd
    grade science; no complete circuit, then no electric current. Which
    appliances have an outgoing path to earth?

    Destructive surges seek earth ground. From cloud, to wires down the
    street, incoming to house and appliances, through that router, out via
    cable or phone line to earth ground. After current flows through
    everything in that path, only then does something in that path fail.
    This is only one possible circuit. There can be plenty more. But the
    transient was permitted inside the building where it found earth
    ground, destructively, via some appliances.

    What does a protector do? It is a shunt mode device. During a
    transient, all wires connect together. IOW an AC mains surge now has
    more paths to find earth ground, destructively, via adjacent
    transistors. How does your telco, with a $multi-million computer
    connected to overhead wires in town protect their computer? They
    disconnect all phone service until the storm passes? They use plug-in
    protectors? Of course not.

    Telco installs a 'whole house' protector on each wire of each cable
    to earth ground. Earthing that is as short as possible. A connection
    as much as 50 meters distant from transistors. All electronics -
    their switching computer, your router, and your Xbox - all contain
    internal protection. Protection that was overwhelmed because 1) you
    did not earth where utility wires enter the building AND your protector
    was adjacent to those Xboxes (gave the surge more paths into that

    An effective protector has a dedicated and a short connection to
    earth. Any surge earthed before it can enter the building will not
    overwhelm protection inside router, Xbox, dimmer switches, clock radio,
    etc. What protects the dishwasher, bathroom GFCI, smoke detector, and
    other electronics essential to human life? 'Whole house' protector
    with a 'less than 10 foot' to earth ground. A protector that costs
    about $1 per protected appliance.

    Provided are principles for effective protection; a technology well
    proven before World War II. It explains why some electronics were
    damaged. Your damage suggests the entire house remains at risk.

    Responsible solutions are sold in Lowes, Home Depot, and electrical
    supply houses. Effective solutions are not found in Radio Shack,
    Sears, Staples, Best Buy, Office Max, Circuit City, Wal-mart, or
    K-mart. Why? Where does that protector have a dedicated and 'less
    than 10 foot' earthing connection? Responsible manufacturers of 'whole
    house' protectors include Intermatic, Leviton, Cutler-Hammer, GE,
    Siemens, and Square D.

    Every incoming utility must be earthed as it enters the building.
    That means building earthing must be upgraded and exceed post-1990 NEC
    requirements. When was your house built? That means each incoming
    utility first connects 'less than 10 feet' to an earthing electrode.

    Provided above is the solution for AC electric. Telephone? Telco
    already installs a 'whole house' protector for free because that
    protector is so inexpensive and so effective (if you had provided
    earthing to connect to). Cable does not require a protector. Cable
    uses a ground block and 10 AWG wire to make a direct connection.
    Remember what a protector does. It connects each utility wire to
    earthing. But coax cable can be earthed without using a protector. We
    call that effective 'secondary' protection.

    Yes, 'secondary' because you are not done yet. Inspection of the
    'primary' protection system is required:

    What is the most critical component in every protection system?
    Earthing. The surge overwhelmed protection already in those Xboxes to
    find earth ground, destructively via its transistors. No earth ground
    means no effective protection. Earthing - what ineffective protectors
    don't connect to and what their manufacturer will not discuss. In your
    case, the adjacent protector may be even contributed to damage of an
    w_tom, Jan 5, 2007
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  3. Ted

    bud-- Guest

    The best information I have seen on surges and surge protection is at
    - the title is "How to protect your house and its contents from
    lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC
    power and communication circuits" published by the IEEE in 2005 (the
    IEEE is the dominant organization of electrical and electronic
    engineers in the US).

    A second guide is
    - this is the "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to
    protect the appliances in your home" published by the National
    Institute of Standards and Technology (the US government agency
    formerly called the National Bureau of Standards) in 2001

    Both guides were intended for wide distribution to the general public
    to explain surges and how to protect against them. The IEEE guide was
    targeted at people who have some (not much) technical background.
    As explained in both guides, If you use a plug-in suppressor all
    interconnected equipment (like computer and printer) should be
    connected to the same plug-in suppressor, or interconnecting wires,
    like LAN should go through the suppressor. Other external wires like
    phone, CATV, ... also should to go thorough the suppressor. A plug-in
    suppressor works by clamping the voltage on all wires to the common
    ground at the suppressor.
    Telcos don't use plug-in suppressors on their switches because the
    switches are very large, high amp, hard wired devices with a huge
    number of phone lines coming in. It is stupid to talk about a plug-in
    suppressor in that application. You use the technology that is
    appropriate to the application.

    Both the IEEE and NIST guides say plug-in suppressors are effective.
    Plug-in suppressors, as described in the IEEE guide, work primarily by
    clamping the voltage on all wires to the common ground at the
    suppressor, not earthing.
    Telco protectors and CATV ground blocks must be connected with a short
    wire to the power system earthing wire close to the power service.
    (This is called a single point ground.) Illustrated in the IEEE guide
    starting guide page 31 is the problem of too long a wire connecting a
    CATV ground block and the earthing wire at the power service. If
    separation is unavoidable, the illustration also shows how a plug-in
    suppressor protects by clamping the voltage on all wires to the common
    ground at the suppressor.

    Voltage differences between power and signal wires could cause the
    damage described.
    As described in the IEEE guide, plug-in suppressors do not work
    primarily by earthing.

    Both the IEEE and NIST guides say plug-in suppressors are effective.
    But see the note above about all wires going through the suppressor.
    bud--, Jan 6, 2007
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