Unplugging during storms

violetwestJuly 8, 2014

Do you unplug your TVs and computers, or other things, during an electrical storm? "You're" supposed to, but it involves for me crawling around on the floors behind furniture and I rarely do it.

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Yes, definitely computers. TV not usually.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:11PM
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    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:11PM
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Laptop yes if plugged in (same with anything on a charger). TV and DVD are on surge protector (that also protects cable), DH's computer, printer, router DSL modem all on UPS so no.

If you don't have any kind of surge protectors you may want to consider power strips so you don't have to reach behind furniture to unplug electronics. But really, the most expensive electronics we have in our house (I don't know about others) are the ones in our appliances and I'm not pulling the fridge or range out to unplug them every storm. If I had a new HE washer or dryer and cord was accessible I might. Or install whole-house arrester - they're cheap enough, it's the electrician that's expensive. But still less expensive than the deductible on the homeowner's insurance.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 9:41PM
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I have the same set-up that Ajsmama described in her first paragraph.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:14PM
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I have a whole-house surge protector and then certain electronics are plugged into protected strips on top of that.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Several years ago I had a power surge during an electrical storm. I heard a loud POP -- it was so loud I thought my house was struck by lightening. Here are the items that fried: 2 garage door openers, elliptical machine power cord, an older tv and a VCR (don't judge, I love my VCR and they are irreplaceable). Since then, I bought surge protectors for EVERYTHING, but my electrician told me surge protectors don't always protect. So, if I am home, I unplug.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:53AM
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I unplug the computers. If it is a long, bad storm, I will also crawl around and unplug the tvs. I know someone that lost appliances because of a surge.

The other night we had a random lightning bolt hit VERY close to the house and it wasn't even raining. So, my theory about long storms being more problematic really doesn't make much sense.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:26AM
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Annie Deighnaugh

I do unplug my computer, but we have a whole house surge protector anyway.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 7:35AM
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Timely topic. I've been up since 3:30 because of a long storm with a lot of lightening. Lightening hit around 5:30, made us all jump, the smoke alarm started beeping, but other than that, everything was fine.

Until I went to turn the kitchen sink light on. It got zapped, along with the under cabinet lighting, the dishwasher and outlets on one side of the kitchen. The coffeepot, stove and frridge work. Go figure.

I'm hoping they're on different breakers and we don't have to have alot of work done.

Calling an electrician at 8am! lol.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:42AM
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oh wow. Interesting responses. I've never heard of a whole house surge protector. And how would you "unplug" the garage door opener?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:25AM
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Surge protector here also - no unplugging.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:16AM
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I do for TV and computer. Two summers ago we a thunderstorm come through one night, I unplugged the TV, lightning still ran in on it through the Direct TV cable, fried the motherboard, so now I unplug it from the wall and from the DTV box.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 10:22AM
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Have never unplugged anything..and DH is in IT. Maybe he has secured everything...I've never thought to ask.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:03AM
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" And how would you "unplug" the garage door opener?"

By code they can not be hard wired... there is likely a receptacle in the ceiling of your garage.

I NEVER have unplugged that for a storm. My electronics are all on UPS's - I'm more concerned with the power company's attempts at restoring power that I am an actual lightning induced transient.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 5:12PM
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I *do* unplug things during a long power outage (like with Sandy) b/c of transients when power is restored. Don't want everything coming on at once (times how many thousands or hundreds of thousands of houses)! But I've never unplugged the garage door openers either.

My mom had to replace her newish HE washer after a storm - thinks it was when power was restored.

Oakley - maybe those kitchen receptacles are all same circuit? Have you checked the breaker? Should be a GFI breaker, may just need to be reset. At worst I hope replaced. Hope your DW is OK!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:21PM
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Just the computers, because they contain data that can't be replaced. Everything else can be replaced. Oh, and if the phones are charging we unplug them, too. We are landline-less.

And while we know from experience that surge protectors don't always work, all the other electronics are on them. Oh, but wait, the new oven has electronics. What if it got fried?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 9:35PM
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I remember my parents doing it, and I did when I was still living in IL, because we used to have such terrible storms, but that was over 30 years ago. I' ve been in TX going on 7 years, and we've had a few lighting storms, but have never done any unplugging.

I remember also being told not to take a bath or be at the sink running water when it's a severe storm with a lot of lightening.

My son lives in NC where they have severe storms, and during one he was in the bathroom, sitting on the 'thrown'. He heard his wife yelling, jumped up as fast as he could, and watched a as a large pine tree fell, barely missing the side of the house the bathroom was on. Moral of the story:maybe you shouldn't be using the toilet during a storm. lol

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:19AM
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I do now after my huge new t.v. got zapped by lightning. Poof, that was the end of it. I unplug everything, even the surge protectors.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 12:52AM
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AJ, it was the breaker afterall! Whew! At least I learned that half the kitchen is on one switch, and another for the other side.

I thought I would have to buy a new dishwasher and I didn't......but......while using my washing machine yesterday it died during a load. So I had a new one delivered.

Darn. :)

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 7:48AM
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To answer the question of a whole house surge protector, your local electric company can install one for a fee naturally.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 9:19AM
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Oakley - figured that was it, when you said half the kitchen. Really, they should be installed so every other one is on different circuit (2 small appliance circuits required by code) and not half the room on one and half on the other. Sorry about washer!

bpathome - yes, that was my point - our TV and modem/router, printer etc. are on pro-quality surge protectors, not those power strip things but the range, DW, fridge (I have very old W/D) have electronics too and I worry about them but not enough to pull the range and fridge out to unplug them every storm. Maybe we'll get whole-house protector installed, just hate to spend $100 min for electrician when I could do it myself, but warranties generally void unless professionally installed. Engineering degrees don't count.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 1:33PM
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Whole house surge protector here, too, through power company. We can get some rather impressive storms and it offers a real sense of comfort knowing we are protected.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 9:57AM
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Not usually. However, if the forecast calls for severe lightning, I will try to get back there and unplug the tv. Of course, then the cord falls back there even when I carefully lay it where I can reach it again.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2014 at 11:22PM
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