Power strips for computer systems

Discussions around the setup, operation, replacement, and disposal of clerk computers, not to include using MLS
rscorse47
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Power strips for computer systems

Postby rscorse47 » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:22 pm

Driving by our stake center today, I met with a JLL contractor who mentioned that he had been working in the building when he noticed a burning smell coming from the stake clerks office. Upon inspection, he found the plastic power strip was extremely hot and had scorch marks on the top and sides, and disconnected and removed it. When he googled the issue, found that power strips should be replaced every few years.

My question then is this: Is there a standard on the type of power strips (metal versus plastic) we should use, and a possible replacement cycle for them that I am not aware of??

drepouille
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby drepouille » Thu Sep 03, 2020 5:48 pm

For some reason, I can't pull up the Meetinghouse Technology Policy from the Help Center right now.
https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/help/support/meetinghouse-policy

I still have an email discussion with my FM from six years ago, in which I quoted the part that mentions surge protectors:
4.14 Surge Protectors and Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs)

4.14.1 Church-owned computers, printers, and copiers must be protected with surge protectors.

4.14.2 Surge protectors are to be paid for using FM budgets.

4.14.3 FMs determine if a UPS is required in exceptional circumstances. FMs may consult with ICS to determine if there is a need. Where required, FMs purchase and install UPSs.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

russellhltn
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby russellhltn » Thu Sep 03, 2020 6:37 pm

Hopefully FM buys a good quality unit and not just goes by price. It sounds like the MOVs in the surge protector shorted out. Hopefully it had a thermal fuse that kept things in check.
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lajackson
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby lajackson » Fri Sep 04, 2020 4:58 pm

I did not realize that a power strip was sufficient as a surge protector. But I am grateful you reposted the FM email. I just requested a surge protector for one of our meetinghouses, but did not know if they or the stake would furnish it. We get hit by lightning every year, and I also just order a new firewall. The cable guy fixed his box this afternoon.

We are three for three with the lightning storms, except that we did not lose the firewall one year.

drepouille
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby drepouille » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:00 pm

You must be very careful. When I was taking an inventory of how many surge protectors we had in the stake, and how many we needed from the FM, I found that a significant number of "surge protectors" that the FM had previously provided were just "power taps" which provide no surge protection at all.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

russellhltn
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby russellhltn » Fri Sep 04, 2020 7:45 pm

lajackson wrote:We get hit by lightning every year, and I also just order a new firewall. The cable guy fixed his box this afternoon.

I'd suggest looking for protection not just on the power line, but on whatever line (cable or DSL) your internet feed comes in on. (If it's fibre, you can ignore this). From what I've seen, the device most likely to be damaged connects to more than one electrical service. In your case, the cable box.

Protecting both routes increases the odds of surviving future hits. If it's really bad, you might consider protection between the cable box and the firewall. Not real common, but they do exist.
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rmrichesjr
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Sep 06, 2020 9:49 am

russellhltn wrote:... (If it's fibre, you can ignore this). ...


There is no guarantee that fiber cannot be a vector for damaging electrical effects. If the fiber has an overhead run, there's likely a metal wire inside the black plastic sheath around the fiber, and that metal wire could catch and/or conduct lightening-induced voltages.

russellhltn
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby russellhltn » Sun Sep 06, 2020 10:45 am

rmrichesjr wrote:
russellhltn wrote:... (If it's fibre, you can ignore this). ...


There is no guarantee that fiber cannot be a vector for damaging electrical effects. If the fiber has an overhead run, there's likely a metal wire inside the black plastic sheath around the fiber, and that metal wire could catch and/or conduct lightening-induced voltages.

Would it go all the way to the fiber modem? I think most preventable damage is caused by surges that are directly electrically connected. (Power, phone, coax, etc.) If we're talking about a strike with a high enough voltage to jump several inches, all bets are off.
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rmrichesjr
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Sep 06, 2020 5:48 pm

russellhltn wrote:Would it go all the way to the fiber modem? I think most preventable damage is caused by surges that are directly electrically connected. (Power, phone, coax, etc.) If we're talking about a strike with a high enough voltage to jump several inches, all bets are off.


I don't know for certain that it would take out the fiber modem, but having seen equipment damage a solid distance away from a strike, I wouldn't want to bet heavily against it. IIUC, it would depend mostly on how the grounds are set up. If the metal wire that runs parallel to the fiber is connected to the ground of the ONT (fiber modem?) then a strike in the neighborhood could bounce that ground, which would bounce everything referenced from that ground. It's plausible such a bounce could affect equipment electrically connected to the ONT/modem.

(A couple of decades ago, lightning hit a utility pole about 100 yards from my house. I had an underground RS-422 link about 100 feet long between the house and an outbuilding. Due to grounds and such bouncing around from the strike, it fried the transceiver chips in the equipment in at least one end of the link.)

russellhltn
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Re: Power strips for computer systems

Postby russellhltn » Mon Sep 07, 2020 1:52 am

rmrichesjr wrote:IIUC, it would depend mostly on how the grounds are set up. If the metal wire that runs parallel to the fiber is connected to the ground of the ONT (fiber modem?) then a strike in the neighborhood could bounce that ground, which would bounce everything referenced from that ground. It's plausible such a bounce could affect equipment electrically connected to the ONT/modem.

If the bounce is big enough, anything is possible. But from what I've seen, the problem comes when one service bounces and the other doesn't - or at least not the same way/magnitude. For example, you have a surge come in on the coax cable and it's not grounded properly or surge suppressed. Anything connected to both cable and power is going to receive the brunt of that bounce - including cable modems, cable boxes, tv sets VCR/DVD/DVR, etc.

If everything bounces together, then there's nothing across the two inputs (cable in and power). If only one bounces, then that bounce is across that device.

i suspect the metal that rmrichesjr is talking about is for taking the strain of overhead runs. I've only seen fiber indoors - and there's no electrical connection or even any metal in the connection at all.
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