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Surge Protectors. Make sure you use good ones...


JoeyN
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Well today is a day i will not forget for a long time. I was eating breakfast this morning right before work and all of a sudden we heard a electrical surging sound. So i ran downstairs with my mom to shut off the main power to the house. Right before we did all power went out and we heard a popping sound from behind one wall and i smelt a burning smell. So while i was unpluging everything i could find , my mom called 911 and fire trucks came. They checked our house as well as the rest of our neighbors who also thought they were having a fire. No fire in any of the houses which was a good sign. Turns out our block plus 5 other blocks had this surge where voltage wasnt regulated . a Underground line fire happened. Finally around 5 tonight the electric company showed up a 2nd time once they got the line fixed. . Power went back on and the electric company had people checking all the houses. Every single house had major burnouts. My brothers friend house lost every electrical thing they had. 4 tv's, 2 xbox's and more. Our neighbor lost a microwave and a few other things. Thank god our house didnt loose anything major. Both the surge protectors in my home theater are black. But all my main equipment is perfectly fine. My s-vhs deck plug has a little brown on it. think it will still work. gonna test it out tommorow. Everything else in my house is on surge protectors and all were ok . So just remember when you think something wont happen to you it does. One of them means loosing $3000 worth of equipment or your house if it would have caused a fire to loosing nothing. Now i need to go buy 2 new surge protectors so i can use my home theater again

 

capt

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Yeah, definitely. Having lost a few modems and 1 whole computer to power surges when I was a kid, I never plug anything in without a surge protector now. I've got my main two computers on a UPS as well. I should probably get a UPS for some of my HT equipment too, since no matter how nice a surge protector I run my projector off of, every time there's a power outage the main fan dies and I have to fiddle with the thing quite a bit to get it working again. :? It's a complete mystery to me and it pisses me off to no end.

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I was just thinking about this the other day, I saw a bunch of UPS devices at Best Buy and I said to myself "hey dumbass, you should really have one of those for the projector!"

 

I already have a 1000va APC UPS on my computer, but the projector is more valuable!

 

I'm glad you escaped unscathed Joey, nothing like a near miss to remind you to protect your expensive stuff.

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Thanks guys. Seems the only casualty we found is the cable box in my moms room can no longer store its programming. Seems like a chip inside is burned out. No problem as cable replaces the box free. Other then that nothing. I was scared for a bit as i went to work after everything happend. When my brother called and said our neighbor two houses down had everything burned out i got a little nervous. The one thing i was scared I would loose was my tivo as it was on at the time. However the surge worked like a champ. Now to call Belkin and get a new one from there lifetime warrenty

 

capt

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I'm glad things are relatively well for you Joey, and thanx for the helpful reminder. Surge protectors are easily brushed off until it's too late. I know for about six months I've been saying I'll pick up some more soon. :oops: Your story got me thinking about protectors for other items as well, like our brand new fridge. It wasn't cheap and it would suck to lose it due to laziness. APC is actually is right near my home,... that's tantamount to living in Silicon Valley and not owning a computer or living in Vermont and not eating Ben & Jerry's. :green:

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Even something as simple as having the electric go out can cause damage. We lost our microwave last week when our landlord had to work on the electric wiring in the house. This house scares me to death. It is old and I am sure the wiring is old too. And since we live on the second floor, it is a fire death trap. I have spent some time thinking of how in the world we would ever be able to save any of our collectibles if anything ever happened. And finding renters insurance is next to impossible here in RI.

 

Cal's mom will sometimes smoke when she is in bed, and it drives me up the wall. One of the rules in my house has always been that smoking is only allowed in the living room or kitchen. And when I quit smoking, there will be no smoking at all. ( stop cheering Cal ).

 

We have some surge protectors, but not enuff IMHO. But all the important things we own are connected to them. We are lucky that we have another microwave from when we consolidated our 2 households. We don't have a spare TV or computer. :(

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I've never dealt with surges in my life, but the thought is scary. Of course I've dealt with power outages, but haven't seen any damage yet. Makes me feel better about spending extra money on the better Monster "power conditioner" thingies I have.

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Question:

 

If I leave the surge protector plugged in, but turn it off (i.e. hit the switch and the LED and light goes off, giving no power to the devices plugged in), am I protected?

 

I leave my adapters and stuff plugged in my surge protector all the time, but turn the protector off when I don't use it (don't want my adapters staying warm 24/7). Am I losing protection then?

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