How to protect phoneline & landline phone from lightning surges

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BuzzLOL

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Electrical in 1930's was very different from now... One of first things is make sure the circuit breaker box is properly connected/grounded to a ground rod and to any nearby underground metal water pipes... to try and keep lightning spikes from getting past the breaker box...
 

zannej

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Buzz, we don't have any metal pipes and I don't think we have a grounding rod. I've looked for one but haven't been able to find one. I'll probably have to buy one and install it and then figure out how to hook it to the electrical. Although, I suppose once we get the place cleaned up more we can have an electrician come in. Looks like hoarder house right now & most of the outlets are inaccessible. I'd love to add more outlets.

I just remembered there is a metal pipe sticking out of the ground near a small concrete pad (I think it covers an old grease pit or something) I think I saw some wires going down into it but don't know what they are. Certainly doesn't look to be enough for the whole house's grounding. I think I need to put a rod near the power pole. Our meter is on a pole instead of on the house.

Any tips on how to add outlets on wood panel walls? We don't have drywall.
 

BuzzLOL

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Buzz, we don't have any metal pipes and I don't think we have a grounding rod.

Any tips on how to add outlets on wood panel walls? We don't have drywall.
Your well water isn't piped into house via metal pipe?

The neutral buss bar in the circuit breaker box should be grounded...

There are prolly youtube videos about how to add outlets to existing walls...
 

zannej

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Buzz, no, the original pipes to the house had rusted/broken and were replaced with PVC going underground from the well. It went out to the barn, back fields, front fields, and house. Right now the line to the house is the only one turned on. Inside the house we had PVC for cold water and CPVC for hot water, but some of the cold water and ALL of the hot water lines ruptured in a rare winter storm so we replaced them all with PEX.

I'll have to get a picture of the metal pipe outside at the back of the house that seems to be going into the ground. I wish my father was still around to ask about the electrical because he knew way more about it than I did. I can't really see under the house at the spot where the breaker box is inside. My setup has a power pole several feet away and a line going from it to a pipe on the roof and then down into the breaker box.

My friend is a certified electrician so I'll have to get him to look at stuff and figure out if anything is attached for a grounding rod. I have a whole house switch on the pole but its jammed. The meter box had to be moved from the old pole (that was rotting) to a new pole that is tethered to the old pole. Again, I'll have to get pics when my body is cooperating with movement again. Having trouble even walking right now.
 

BuzzLOL

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My setup has a power pole several feet away and a line going from it to a pipe on the roof and then down into the breaker box.
That conduit going down into the breaker box should also be grounded to the box...
 

BuzzLOL

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Ground rods are usually covered. The clue to look for is a bare copper wire or a small conduit running to the ground under your meter box or main panel which goes to a buried ground rod.
Most of the ground rods I see stick up 2 - 8" above the ground and have a clamp at the top allowing the ground wire to be attached... the ground wire may be bare or insulated...
Ground rods are typically steel with a copper coating for corrosion resistance and electrical conductivity...
 

zannej

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I don't know if there is conduit going to the breaker box. I'll have to get pics during daylight next time I can bring myself to go outside. Me no likey the heat. LOL.
I have to go outside tomorrow to get groceries anyway so I need to remember.
 
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I'm in Central Illinois. Around here the newer ground rod connection clamps are usually placed 6 to 10" inches below ground level. The wire is protected by PVC conduit. Keeps the lawn mowers etc. from damaging the grounding system.
 

zannej

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Ok, I went out and took pictures so I wouldn't forget. I had to fight the procrastination. LOL.
I was wrong about the pipe out back. It is PVC and the top was sealed with caulk. There is a metal pipe out there somewhere but I don't know what it was for. I couldn't find it with all the grass/weeds being so high.
I got pics of the meter and the whole house switch but I need to cut these trees back.
This is the pole with the meter on it.
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Note a metal thingy to the left. It appears to have wires running to it but I'm not sure from where. I got a closer pic but its hard to see what is going on. The weeds got in the way. Stupid weeds have thorns.
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The cables come in at the top of the pole and then more cables go out the top of the pole. Some go down toward the barn and others go to the house.
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Here is where it enters the house
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Here is what I found out on the other side (back) of the house
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I'm assuming that is grounding for antenna or something. Might be for the dishnetwork satellite. I didn't notice the green ground wire before. I will have to trace it back.
 

zannej

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Ok. So I have 2 grounding rods but for different things. I'm guessing the rusty one is older. I'll have to trace wires and figure out what goes where. I wonder if ground wires come back out and travel back to the pole and to that rod. I wish I could get a professional electrician to come out. Only one in the area won't come out here. Maybe my friend (who is certified as an electrician) can take a look.
 

BuzzLOL

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One of the three wires entering the house is the neutral/ground... the box inside should also be additionally grounded/bonded to a nearby ground rod...
 

zannej

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I'm guessing the box inside is not grounded but I would have to look under and see if there is any sign of a grounding rod. Might have to add one.
 

sheilaf

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So, I have a recurring problem-- something that has happened at least 4 times in the past several years. We get bad thunderstorms and the lightning somehow manages to fry the line between the phone jack and the phone and kill my landline phones. It has burned the jack a few times as well.
The phone itself is plugged in to a surge protector but no longer have protection for the line between jack & phone. We used to have a protector for it but it was killed in a storm & the phone was still toast. We just got a brand new phone after a previous storm killed the last one.
In the past the phone was charred where the line entered it, end was melted.
Last night's storm had such bad lightning we heard an electrical pop in the kitchen, it tripped breakers for the water pumps, & it made the phoneline EXPLODE and disintegrate. The RJ11 part is still in the jack but the line fell apart and there is still a small shredded piece dangling from the phone as well. This is just a small piece of what is left of the phoneline.
View attachment 28178
What is the best way to prevent this from happening in the future?
I had a thing I was supposed to attach to the phoneline itself but Mom lost it somewhere in her room. Do they sell jack extensions or jacks that have built-in surge protection?
There are two options here, you can either become a computer expert and fix the phone yourself or you can get a new one. If you have a computer, then you can fix it yourself. The phone is a fairly simple device and consists of only a receiver, a microphone, and a dialer. Once all the parts are together, then it is just about plugging it into the computer to see what is wrong with it. I am assuming that this is a landline phone, not a cordless phone. If you decide to get a new one, then it is best to either use an online phone service or use a wireless home phone that is connected to the internet. That way you don't have the risk of losing your phones if it is struck by lightning again.
 

zannej

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Sheilaf, I already got a new phone. This is one with an answering machine, call waiting, intercom, etc.
I have satellite internet and I lose internet when the power goes out and my power goes out too frequently because my power company sucks and I live in the middle of the woods. No reliable cell signal out here. I get one bar but I have to go stand on the porch or in the front yard to get signal. Which sucks when it is raining.
 

BuzzLOL

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Sheilaf, I already got a new phone. This is one with an answering machine, call waiting, intercom, etc.
I have satellite internet and I lose internet when the power goes out and my power goes out too frequently because my power company sucks and I live in the middle of the woods. No reliable cell signal out here. I get one bar but I have to go stand on the porch or in the front yard to get signal. Which sucks when it is raining.
You can have Magic Jack landline phone service over the internet for $3/month... includes long distance calling... call waiting...
 

zannej

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BuzzLOL, that would be fine if I didn't have satellite internet. But even with the new location the signal still drops when it rains for no apparent reason. It didn't when I first got it, but now it does. So, I would be without phone service whenever it rains.
 

BuzzLOL

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So, I would be without phone service whenever it rains.
You could drop back to cell phone service while it rains... maybe find out why it quits during rain... it's a pretty big savings each year... huge over a decade...
 
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