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Thread: Pool Electronics and its Susceptibility to Lightning Storms

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    TripleB4me's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007

    Pool Electronics and its Susceptibility to Lightning Storms

    Saturday night we had a very violent storm pass through that knocked out my IntelliTouch and indoor remote. I got everything operating again at the outside panel, except for the pool heat pump, but the inside controls are not communicating with the outside panel.

    Has anyone else had problems with electrical storms causing such damage with any pool equipment? Everything seems to be well grounded and seems to have survived, don't know about the heat pump yet, but I was wondering if there are any lessons learned that you could pass along.
    20x40 IG Vinyl, 1.5 HP Whisperflo, Sta-Rite System 3 (300) Sq. ft Cart
    Intellichlor IC40 SWCG, 125,000 BTU Pentair heatpump, Polaris 280
    7' IG FG Spa, 2 HP Whisperflo, Pentair Dynamic III Cart (100) Sq. ft

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    Join Date
    May 2007
    Baton Rouge, LA
    Hi Triple,

    I'm still in the getting started/installation stage, and was having a conversation with my electrician just a few days ago.

    He was in the process of installing my pentair easytouch box, with my 4x160, and asked me if I planned on getting a "Strikesafe" installed? In my area, one of the electrical utility companies offers a product that is installed on/near your meter, that supposedly protects your household electronics from lightning strikes... and they call it strikesafe. I've resisted to give in to the $~100 installation and ~$5 month to "protect" my stuff.

    uhhh, why do you ask?

    He said that these boxes are the first things to go when lighting strikes near, and strongly suggested that I get one.

    As its lightning outside right now... it reminds me that I need to make that phone call. Might be worth a few dollars if it saves me just once from having to reprogram, much less to have to re-place.... not to mention the electronics IN my house.

    Sorry that I can't offer any help on your situation, but would really be interested to hear your results.

    Best of luck,
    18,000 gallon gunite free form, with spa, 4x160, EasyTouch, SWCG, Pentair cartr filter, Colorlogic lights.

  3. Back To Top    #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    The GFCI for my pool light has popped a few times during an electrical storm - the light wasn't even on.

    My brother had his wiring in his house take a lightening hit. He has 5 kids, so lot's of stereos, tv's, etc. Everything was damaged. He didn't even turn it into his insurance, because he had 2 home invasions a month or so prior, where they took everything. He had just replaced everything after the first one and got burgled again - just replaced it again and the lightening hit. He figured the insurance company might cancel him if he turned in another claim. Sad, but probably true.

    14,000 gallon, in ground, plaster, free form, play pool.
    Sta-Rite Max-E-Glass with a 1.5 hp Emerson motor
    WaterCo Micron High Rate sand filter S750 490 lb, 4883 sq ft - using ZeoBest
    In floor Polaris cleaning system
    Blue Diamond robot for those after storm days when I can't wait overnight for the in floor to clean it.

  4. Back To Top    #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    New Hudson, MI
    The truth of the matter is that nothing will protect your house's wiring, appliances, etc if lightning hits it directly. However, panel surge supressors will absorb some energy at your panel or meter if the lightning hits nearby and the energy not too great.

    You used to be able to purchase such devices (Whole House Surge Suppressors) at Home Depot and such, but my local stores no longer carry them. I did, however, find them easily on the 'net. They are easy to install yourself, but the cost is only slightly less than the $100 fully installed price that you have been given. I have one (actually a second one on a sub-panel as well) and we've never had any damage, but my next door neighbor did. My GFI tripped on that hit, and that was all. Might have just been lucky, but maybe the supressor did help me out.

    I cannot figure out what the $5/month covers, but I am not familiar with that particular system so I won't outright acuse it of being worthless (but I am skeptical).

    When I was wiring my basement several years ago I researched this topic quite extensively and concluded, based on a study conducted by Florida State University, that the best protection was with a panel surge suppressor. A slight additional level of protection is achieved with point of use supressors, such as properly protected power strips, computer suppressor outlets, etc, but that additional benefit is pretty small, and the "insurance" such devices contain has never actually covered anybody via a paid claim that I could verify.

    Bottom line is that pool electronics are no more or less susceptible to lightning damage, as a device anyways, than any other appliances in your house. But if you live in an area prone to lightning strikes, you should try to protect your electrical system and appliances.

    27'x52" AG Vogue Impact, Waterway Cyclone 200 cartridge filter, Waterway pump w/2 HP 2-sp motor, 8mil solar cover, Raypak 206 nat gas heater, Pool Rover Jr.

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