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  • Does an Ethernet connection need to be Surge Protected?

    Posted on WSStevenXXXX Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums Networking – routers, firewalls, network configuration Does an Ethernet connection need to be Surge Protected?

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    • Author
      • #2292572
        AskWoody Plus

        My fiber optic service runs underground up to my house.

        Then it runs up the exterior wall, into boxes, & then up into my attic.

        The Ethernet cable runs from 1 of the boxes into  the attic then down into an interior wall & out to my Apple  router.

        I then have 2 other Apple Routers connected to this 1st Router.

        Both cables run back up into the attic.

        One cable goes back down into the Living Room interior wall  & out to the 2nd Router & the Smart TV.

        The other cable goes outside into a PVC conduit which goes underground & then up into the attic of a separate building in my back yard & exits from a side exterior wall into that building & then to the 3rd Router & Desktop.

        ALL “electrical” connections at all 3 locations are surge protected – but NOT the Ethernet connections.

        QUESTION IS:

        Should any of the Ethernet connections also be Surge Protected?  At what point(s)?


      • #2292577

        If the equipment connected via the Ethernet cables are all grounded to a single common ground (which – if your building is up to code they should already be this way) then no. *

        • But this could change in future revisions of the NFPA code and standards.

        If there is an Ethernet cable that runs outdoors, then that cable should be using a grounded port system back to the buildings common ground – and all devices connected via that cable must also be grounded to that same ground. Example:  we install outdoor Wi-Fi AP’s and they MUST be grounded.

        If you have two buildings with Ethernet running between them, with two separate grounding systems – then yes.  Or better yet use a fiber link to prevent cross talk between the electrical systems on that shared connection.

        Of higher concern than traditional surge protection for low voltage wiring is static discharge arrest and mitigation.

        Plain english version: no static sparks please!

        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      • #2292590
        AskWoody Plus

        I would recommend protecting everything electrical with some sort of good surge protection. In this context ‘everything electrical’ means exactly that, and ‘good surge protection’ also means exactly that. Some surge protectors are that in name only, so make sure you get a good one.

        A convenient alternative if you have the budget for it is to put a good surge protector into every electrical service panel (i.e., circuit breaker panel) you have on your property. Probably a job for an electrician who can also guide you to the correct “size”, or in other words, the Joule rating the protector will withstand.

        As I’m writing this I’ve just read NetDef’s response, and while I agree with him, you should definitely check (or have checked by somebody competent to do so) that your electrical system is properly grounded. Doesn’t matter how new or old your buildings/electrical systems are – have it checked.

        For your consideration here’s a true story. I lived in a house that was properly grounded, at least to the best of my knowledge. Lightning hit a pine tree 100 yards from the house, traveled to a chain link fence that came up withing 6 inches of the house, jumped to a floor HVAC vent, blew said vent straight up to the ceiling bashing a hole in it, and left most of the electronic equipment in the house (TV, routers, computers, phone lines, stereo equipment, thermostats, etc.) fried (in some cases literally)

      • #2292647
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        left most of the electronic equipment in the house (TV, routers, computers, phone lines, stereo equipment, thermostats, etc.) fried

        No surge protector can prevent this.

        Air gapped backup will allow you to recover from this.

        Moral: air gapped backup is king.

        cheers, Paul

        p.s. does your household insurance cover equipment replacement due to lightning strike / power surge?

        • #2292670
          AskWoody Plus

          True, but my basic point was that more protection the better, especially if you’re concerned about the sort of thing the OP apparently is.

          I’m not quite sure how air-gapped backup allows recovery from a fried thermostat or some of the other items I listed.

          In the States I’ve seen insurance policies for coverage for equipment replacement ranging from nothing to essentially everything for either or both of lightning strikes and power surges.

      • #2292675
        AskWoody Plus

        My computing system : PC, printer, 2 external HDDs, Optic Fiber router, wireless iPhone charger, Apple Watch charger, Logitech speakers.. ALL are connected/protected by UPS Battery Backup Surge Protector.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
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