Sunday, July 01, 2007


Cannot live without it, cannot live with it sometimes. 

I was on vacation last week and normally I pull the plugs on many things before I leave for a week.  This time, I forgot.  And that was really bad timing.

When I came back - I found we had a powerful thunderstorm come through town while I was away.  Half of the breakers had tripped and all of the GFP plugs tripped.  After resetting everything, I found that three of the plugs were in fact not just tripped but fried, to a nice golden brown color:


So, many plugs in the house were taken out by the storm.  Not only that but the surge that must have hit jumped over the surge protectors and took out:

  • A printer
  • Pair of speakers
  • Laptop computer
  • Desktop computer
  • 3 of 4 ports on my router

So, now I have new printer (got a network printer so I didn't need to replace the computers for sharing it as well), a new set of speakers and my wireless router uplinked to another old router via the one functioning port.

And - some of the non-GFP plugs were fried as well...  That takes out those circuits.  Waiting for an electrician to come and replace them all (and make sure everything is OK).

At least the air conditioning still works :)



Blogger Tommy Fox said....

Wow, I've never seen lightning do that much damage all at once. Just curious, does homeowner's insurance cover that? I'm guessing they would considering it's weather related.

How did the family do during that storm? I'm sure it caused quite the ruckus, and am glad to hear all is okay.

Sun Jul 01, 09:01:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Tim... said....

On the plus side, you get to take all the insurance money and buy lovely new kit.



Mon Jul 02, 03:55:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Noons said....

one of those a few years ago took out most of my hifi and tv gear and all the puters...

awesome spectacle, but soooo dangerous!

good to hear you had no major damage to the house.

Mon Jul 02, 07:31:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

> At least the air conditioning still works :)

:'( :'( :'( :'(

do you *really* need one ?
it's just between 55° F and 65° F
in Leesburg, isn't it ?

poor Americans !

Mon Jul 02, 08:06:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

it's just between 55° F and 65° F
in Leesburg, isn't it ?

A couple of days per year maybe. Virginia is hot in the summer 95F, 35C is not uncommon with very high humidity levels.

This week we are uncommonly cool - and in fact, didn't have the AC on this weekend, had the house open.

but normally, AC is sort of necessary, yes.

Mon Jul 02, 08:13:00 AM EDT  

Blogger bill said....

nice golden brown color that.;-) good luck getting everything replaced. let us know what laptop you choose.;-) being on the hunt for a nerw one myself.

Mon Jul 02, 09:11:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

The laptop was a really old one that I used as a print server (my printer was a cheap HP without a network connection).

So, instead of getting a computer just to drive the printer, I paid a little more for the printer/copier/scanner/fax machine and got a network ready one.

I won't be replacing the laptop or desktop (I'll miss the desktop though - used it for testing small things, I'll just be using the dell poweredge from now on)

As for laptops - I'm still using my sony vaio and love it.

I'll be getting another one of those, waiting for them to come out with the solid state disk first :)

Mon Jul 02, 09:19:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Stew said....

Ouch! Even with a little help from homeowners insurance, the deductible's probably steep!

We lost the power supply to our TV last summer to lightning, though the 2 small UPS's protected everything else. We have 1 for TiVo (required, it seems), which the TV was also plugged into but still managed to get fried. The computer setup were all fine and dandy.

Better luck next time!

Mon Jul 02, 10:20:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Try this, it works ....

Terry from Dallas

Mon Jul 02, 10:48:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Here is a little vacation tip...
How do you know the stuff in your freezer ( especially the frostless kind ) is still good when you get home? As there could have been a power outage that you do not know about while you are away. This really low tech solution will give you the answer.

Put a few ice cubes in a plastic bowl in the freezer. If you come home and find discrete ice cubes still in the bowl, all is ok. If you come home to find a single piece of ice the shape of the bowl, you could have a problem with the frozen food still being safe to use. If you come home to find the ice cubes partly frozen together, well...

Mon Jul 02, 12:15:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Thomas Kyte said....

... Put a few ice cubes in a plastic bowl in the freezer. ...

it is all about ice makers these days :)

there would be a big block of ice where all of the ice cubes that were made by the machine used to be.

Mon Jul 02, 01:50:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Wow!! Some solid building codes and smart electrical engineers save you from coming home to a pile of ashes.

I do not think I would ever want to come home to find all that -- really scary.

Mon Jul 02, 05:00:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Jim said....

We had a client who had a lightning strike and the lightening must have traveled up the network cable or something. Anyway the RAID 5 disk drives didn't save them. The disk drives would no longer spin.

Mon Jul 02, 07:28:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


do you know if the more expensive surge protectors give better protection?

Tue Jul 03, 11:24:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....


Look for surge protection ratings of at least 2000 Joules.

Tue Jul 03, 01:11:00 PM EDT  

Blogger Richard said....

Tom - you should see if just the power supply on the desktop/laptops is fried. Usually these are the "sacrificial lambs" when a surge occurs.

Sorry for all your troubles, but at least your AC worked. I spent 3 weeks in summer of 2005 without AC during a heat wave (95 plus) because my condenser went (not due to power issues, but due to bad installation issues from the builder), which was unbearable but also expensive to replace.

Tue Jul 03, 02:36:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous David Aldridge said....

"Amen" on the air conditioning. It's the humidity that gets to me, even at 75deg, and the a/c takes care of that even if it only drops the temperature in the house by a couple of strictly unnecessary degrees.

I've been commuting by motorbike through DC recently (hooray for HOV lanes!) but if you take your eye off the weather forecast and end up sitting in traffic on one of those 95deg afternoons ... it gets a bit fruity inside the helmet, I don't mind saying.

Have you thought about how solid-state disks compare to hard drives in power surge robustness?

Wed Jul 04, 11:20:00 AM EDT  

Blogger BabyKeveen said....

Nice carpet...

Thu Jul 05, 06:37:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Jeff Hunter said....

Had a similar experience a few years back. The lightning took out:
- the underground fence
- two TVs
- two garage door openers
- washing machine (which, to tell you the truth, was probably on it's way out anyway)
- two GFI outlets
- Icemaker on the fridge (although not the fridge itself, which was interesting)

Only computer equipment hit was a monitor I had plugged into the wall instead of the ups because I didn't have enough plugs (last time that happened).

Thu Jul 05, 09:28:00 AM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

One comment about surge protectors, they do have a limited lifetime (I think that the capacitors go bad or something), I am trying to remember if it is 5 years or so. Anyway, the rule I remember is to replace a surge script when you get a new computer.

Thu Jul 05, 02:50:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Mark Brady said....


In Baltimore BGE offers a whole house surge protector that they install at the main panel. I bet Pepco does too.

Fri Jul 06, 01:11:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Mark Brady said....

Capacitor? What kinda killer surge protectors do you use, anon?

Fri Jul 06, 01:25:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Dave said....

surge protector. Monster strip. Cheap insurance.

Wed Jul 18, 04:23:00 PM EDT  

Anonymous Anonymous said....

Whole house surge protectors installed at main panel won't do much. The lightning surge can enter from many points like outdoor yard lights, telephone lines, cable connection and so on. The whole house surge protectors carry a connected equipment warranty. On reading the fine print, you will find that the warranty is valid only if the surge protector itself has been damaged. Now, if the lightning surge enters the circuits through yard lights, it probably will not damage the surge protector at main panel but will fry lot of other things. Better to do some research and call professionals to install surge protectors at strategic locations.

I hope your homeowner's insurance has actual replacement clause. Otherwise they will have all kinds of depreciations applied to the claim. They also do not cover more than one computer/computers over a certain value unless you have had these added specifically. The premium goes up as you add these small coverages.

Sat Jul 28, 02:03:00 AM EDT  

Blogger Fayyaz said....

I know that AWR data can be transported to other database by the two scripts i.e. awrextr.sql and awrload.sql. The staging schema will be dropped automatically after import to target db (SYS schema). Also, the transporting should be done under Oracle support advise. What are the potentional issue while transferring AWR from one db (prod) to other db (test) ?

Tue Aug 21, 05:02:00 AM EDT  


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