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Editor of 'Thought & Humor'
E-mail Newspaper (Read by
up to two million weekly in
offices, dorms & homes worldwide since July 26,1997).


Computer Hard Drives

Q. In October, my computer was damaged by lightning while plugged into
a surge suppressor. The surge suppressor's maker refuses to pay the
repair charges except for $35. The outside of the surge suppressor box
clearly states, "Lifetime Connected Equipment Guarantee $275,000." All
equipment was connected correctly. What can I do?

A. Surge suppressors are designed to reroute and dissipate surges in
the electricity supply. Electrical utilities sometimes send surges,
or appliances can cause them when they cycle on or off.

Typically, surge suppressors carry an insurance policy. They vow to
cover the cost of repairs if your equipment is damaged by a surge.
I have never had such a claim, so I don't know what problems you would
typically have.

It sounds like you are at an impasse with the suppressor's
manufacturer. I would complain to the Better Business Bureau and
to your state Attorney General's Office. Most of the latter have
a division that handles consumer complaints.

Your issue highlights a problem with surge suppressors: They can't
handle lightning. Some make grandiose claims about lightning, but
experts with whom I have talked dismiss them. They say lightning is
just too powerful for a surge suppressor to shunt aside. Some
utilities sell lightning breakers for the service entrance. But
these are expensive.

There's only one certain, inexpensive way to block lightning
damage: Turn off the computer. Disconnect it from the wall outlet
and the telephone.

Suppressors are essential for protecting your computer from garden-
variety surges. But don't count on lightning protection.

Hope this helps. I'll see you tomorrow with another great tip!
Kim Komando


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God loves you so much that He died for you!!!

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