Protecting expensive electronic equipment: Pull the plug in case of lightning and thunder?

Protecting expensive electronic equipment: Pull the plug in case of lightning and thunder?

Safety of expensive electronic equipment
Pull the plug in thunder and lightning?

by Klaus Wedekind

Seeking beaches and avoiding pastures during a thunderstorm is certainly wrong and even dangerous. But what about the rule of unplugging TVs, computers and other expensive electronics in case of thunder and lightning? Is this also just a myth?

It used to be common practice to unplug the TV when the storm was coming. Most homes now have many other expensive and sensitive electronic devices, but many users do nothing to protect them from lightning, believing it is no longer necessary. Are they right?

Overvoltage protection only mandatory for certain years

No it’s not true. Since a transitional period has expired at the latest at the end of 2018, overvoltage protection in new buildings is mandatory, among other things, if “buildings have installed equipment of overvoltage category I or II”, which is prescribed in each residential building. may be considered. However, this is not the case with older buildings and lightning rods are not required by law.

“Most homes do not have lightning rods on the roof, so-called external lightning protection, which diverts the energy to the ground,” told ED NetJ’s Harald service“.” If the homeowner has a satellite dish installed on the roof, lightning is likely to hit the dish first, which acts as the antenna for the electricity. Such metal objects literally attract electricity and forward it to the installation of the house. Then things are bad for computers and home appliances.”

three-level internal security

However, to protect electrical equipment, one needs above all internal lightning protection. he is loud Association of Electrical, Electronic and Information Technology (VDE) divided into three phases. They are also known as coarse, medium and fine preservation.

Level 1 are the so-called lightning current arresters or overvoltage protection devices type 1 (SPD1). So to speak, they are the first wall against electric currents that enter a building via water, data and other lines and are usually installed in front of an electricity meter. coarse protection grips allianz direct Accordingly, the full energy content of the flash is reduced and the remaining residual voltage is reduced from 1300 to 6000 volts.

Type 2 surge protection devices, also called surge arresters, are commonly used in meter boxes or other so-called sub-distributors. The medium protection level limits the remaining overvoltage to less than 600 to 2000 volts.

Building security is not enough

However, this balance is still enough to potentially exhaust electronic equipment. noisy “pc magazine“They only need to be able to withstand 500 volts to get the mandatory CE marking. Brochure”overvoltage protectionAccording to the Elektro+ initiative, electronic components have a dielectric power of at least 1,500 volts to supply power. This means that even if there is overvoltage protection, it may be advisable to unplug valuable electrical equipment when a thunderstorm strikes.

However, the unplugging method is of little use if no one is home when the storm hits. One option is Type 3 protection equipment. These are usually power strips with overvoltage protection. However, if no level 1 and 2 overvoltage protection is available, this fine protection is of little use. In addition, in the event of a lightning strike nearby, there may be a higher voltage than the strips, despite the upstream arresters. So when you buy one, you should make sure that you can dissipate as much power as possible.

Also pull data and telephone cables

If you want to protect your equipment, you shouldn’t just think about electrical wiring. Connected Internet, telephone or antenna cables can also be fatal. AVM So clearly advises, for example, to pull the plug on Fritz boxes and accessories or landline telephones during a thunderstorm. Alternatively, Elektro+ recommends installing a special combined arrester for communication technology in the meter cabinet.

Photovoltaic systems, heat pumps, building system technology, etc. also require special protection against overvoltage. Information and advice can be found in the brochure “overvoltage protection,

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