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Lightning fried part of my HT last night

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Crissy_S, Mar 27, 2002.

  1. Crissy_S

    Crissy_S Auditioning

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    Several of my appliances and electronics got fried last night in a pretty nasty storm that passed through. [​IMG] I lost my sat receiver and 3 month old Integra 7.1 receiver despite having everything hooked up to a surge protector. I'm hoping that I'll be somewhat covered between home owners insurance and the coverage from the surge protector company. (Yeah right!)
    The strange part was that after the storm passed, this stuff still worked. I turned on the sat receiver to check it and it came up with the "acquiring signal" screen so I thought it was okay. And the stereo receiver powered up no problem. But today, the sat receiver won't power up and just makes a clicking noise and the stereo receiver comes on but just emits white noise.
    So does anyone have any stories to share on trying to get their home owners insurance and these surge protector companies to pay up?
    After this experience, I'm thinking of getting the surge protection offered by the local power company. Anyone know if this is better than just getting new surge protectors?
    Boy am I bummed! I guess I just gotta keep looking at all the stuff that didn't get fried - like the new big screen tv.
     
  2. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    Man, does that suck! Sorry to hear about that. I don't have any personal experience with this, but I think I read somewhere that all the surge protection in the world won't protect your equipment from a direct lightning strike to your house. I've heard that the best (perhaps only?) thing to do when you have a big storm coming your way is not only turn off your components, but unplug them until the weather lets up. Again, I have no personal experience with this, so hopefully someone else will have more concrete info.

    BTW, my sister-in-law's house got a strike not all that long ago and her insurance paid to replace all the HT equipment that got fried, so if that's any indication then hopefully you'll be going on a shopping spree soon!
     
  3. Michael Caicedo

    Michael Caicedo Second Unit

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    Central Florida, lightning capital of the world. Chauncey is right, the homeowners ins. co might pay up. I don't really have any experience in this as I have been pretty lucky so far.
     
  4. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    Crissy> Florida is the lightning capital of the world. As such, TVSS (Transient Voltage Surge Suppression) is even more important than some other areas of the country. Think of building multilple lines of defense. I would invest in a panel mounted device as well as surge strips at the point of use. That way, any surge that gets past the panel will be stopped (hopefully) by the next device. You should also protect the cable feed and even phone lines. There are several reputable makers of the equipment as well as a lot of snake oil. Leviton is one manufacturer to look at. Your local electrical supply house would probably have a good line.

    The good news is that your home owners insurance should cover any damage. Hopefully, you will get replacement cost and not the current value.

    I sold a lot of the equipment to day surgery centers when I lived and worked in south Florida. Just think how you would feel if lightning fried your $400,000 XRay machine.
     
  5. AllanN

    AllanN Supporting Actor

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    It is true that NOTHING can stop a direct lightning strike. Getting a whole house surge protector might only help if the power company really screws up sends out large unexpected surge. This happened once where I live and allot of people lost allot of stuff. As far as insurance, I've never dealt with it with HT or electronics. But my family’s insurance company has paid for theft and for a snowstorm knocking down part of an old fence.
     
  6. Richard Travale

    Richard Travale Producer

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    I know nothing about lightning but would installing a lightning rod help in any way?
     
  7. Pat K

    Pat K Stunt Coordinator

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  8. Brian E

    Brian E Screenwriter

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    Also remember (you probably already know) that all it takes is one weak link in your surge suppression. Makes sure and phone lines and coax lines going to your stuff are also protected. I can't count the number of times people would come in with a fried computer when I was fixing them that was "surge protected" but torched anyway because they didn't have the phone line protected.
     
  9. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    I posted something like the above post a week ago. Basically, a lot of us hook a lot of stuff together for example....

    home theatre receiver connected to tv, which has tv cable on it that must be protected, home theatre connected to computer, which has telephone line on it that must also be protected, not to mention satellite dishes.

    Protection is only going to be more important in the near future as our appliances become more sophisticated and talk to each other via some central home pc.
     
  10. Glenn Overholt

    Glenn Overholt Producer

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    As for most of the regular 'strip' type surge protectors, be aware that with some of them, they will take one, and only one hit. Unfortunately, these strips don't tell you that, and after that happens, they are only extension cords.

    Glenn
     
  11. Crissy_S

    Crissy_S Auditioning

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    I thought I was reasonably protected since I also had the phone lines and coax cables running through the surge protector too. And the surge protector has two lights on it - one indicating that the power is on and another one to indicate that the surge protection is working. BTW, both lights are still lit.

    I had a storm come through about 6 months ago that did blow the same model surge protector I currently have installed. I heard a pop in the house during the storm and when I checked the surge protector, the thing was dead with a burnt electrical smell coming out of it, but all of my gear was okay. I replaced the surge protector the next day with the same model figuring it did a good job. I guess it just depends on what type of hit you take.

    I do suspect the surge came through the phone lines though cause none of my phones work in my house and the sat receiver was hooked to a phone line. So it makes me question how good these surge protectors are with phone lines and if there's anything you can do where the phone service comes into your house????

    BTW, I contacted the surge protector company and they are sending me claim forms along with a self addressed package to send the surge protector back.
     
  12. Neil Joseph

    Neil Joseph Lead Actor

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    Damn right too!!

    There is a guarantee that the surge protectors will protect your equipment so let them pay for all of the damage. Not sure what the insurance will do but let us all know what happens. I am very interested in the outcome.
     
  13. Scooter

    Scooter Screenwriter

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    In the spirit of this thread..I would like to recomend to all of you, get an Exact Replacement Rider on your homeowners policy. This made a HUGE difference with 2 claims I have had to make in the last 7 years.

    Instead of depreciation..they got me what was the current version of what was lost/stolen/destroyed. If a RPTV was the top of the line that I had from 1986...then they got the one that is at the top in 2002!!!!

    It makes a difference!
     
  14. Chauncey_G

    Chauncey_G Second Unit

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    Good advice, Scooter. I've been meaning to get with my insurance rep. about that very thing but haven't gotten off my lazy butt to do it. I think this thread will prompt some action on my part (finally!).
     
  15. Jeff Brink

    Jeff Brink Stunt Coordinator

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    I have been in the insurance business as an agent for a couple of years now and, while certainly not an expert, I may have some helpful input here.
    First, to echo the above statements, it is imperative that you ask for replacement cost values on your personal property coverage. This type of protection, both on homeowner's and renter's policies, will guarantee the best coverage available. As mentioned above, if your gear was the best then, it will be replaced as the best now. (Less your deductible of course.)
    Secondly, it is important to remember that you should only make a claim to your insurance company if you have no other means of replacing your lost property. What I mean by this is, you don't want to impair your future insurability, at reasonable prices that is, by developing what the insurance companies will refer to as a frequency or severity issue with claims. For example, in Crissy's case, if she would have filed a claim with her insurance comp 6months ago and again last week, a red flag would have risen by her account with most companies out there. The average homeowner makes 1 claim every 12 years - hard to believe! When a company sees more than one claim, and in her case the type of the claim was the same - lightning strike, in a short time they begin to wonder how long until the next one. Insurance companies are firm believers that homes with more than one weather related claim are prone to even more. How many of you thought about where your house was positioned relative to the main wind direction before purchasing it? Probably not too many. In any case, I just like to share this information so you don't get that cancellation or nonrenewal notice or even a major rate increase from your insurance company due to claims history. Most people have the opinion that they should use there insurance whenever possible. Before making any claim, ask your agent for advice on how they would handle it if it were them and how it will impact your future insurability should you file a claim.
    If it were me, I would go full steam ahead with pursuing the manufacturer of the surge device prior to filing a claim. Sorry to get so long winded. Hope it helps some, though!
    [​IMG]
     
  16. James Bergeron

    James Bergeron Supporting Actor

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    Basic insurance mentality proven, you pay all your life you claim and your rates go up, up up!

    Now add up all those insurance premiums you paid over the years compound them assuming stocks etc. andthey owuld probably pay for the damage to your equipement!

    This is especially true for car insurance, I pay $2K a year, if I add that up over 5 years that's $10K! I would fix my car easilly unless I totalled it, even then add in interest etc and your easily talking $13K may even $15K. Gah I hate them insurance thugs!
     
  17. Albert M

    Albert M Stunt Coordinator

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    Crissy,

    What is the name and model# of your surge protector?
     
  18. Crissy_S

    Crissy_S Auditioning

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    The surge protector I was using was a Fellowes "home theater premeire" model. I got it for about $50 at Lowes. It was rated for 1000 to 1500 joules and came with $100,000 connected equipment coverage.

    Thanks for the tip about the insurance. I will talk to my agent about the impact of this claim. However, there were other things damaged that weren't plugged into a surge protector (like the garage door opener)or aren't covered by insurance (like the sat receiver). Plus, isn't that the reason we pay for insurance - well besides the fact that the mortgage company requires it?
     
  19. Rick Radford

    Rick Radford Supporting Actor

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    Crissy,

    I once had a storm take out the modem portion of my satellite receiver. Other than the phone hookup, the sat receiver worked normally for years afterward!

    However, at the time, I tried to use the phone and was unable to. The phone line was still plugged into the sat receiver and the modem was still taking down the other phones in the house. After disconnecting the phone line to the sat receiver, the house phones worked normally.

    PS. I did take the hint and got phone, power, and cable surge protection.
     
  20. Crissy_S

    Crissy_S Auditioning

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    The insurance company wants me to take all these items around to repair shops and get estimates to see if they can be repaired or if they have to be replaced. I've called the local tv and stereo repair places to see if they would look at the satellite receiver and so far I haven't been able to find anyplace that repairs these things. I've even called Dishnetwork to see if they could refer a place and even they couldn't tell me where to take it. Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm working on trying to get the local satellite dealer to day it can't be repaired.
     

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