The question of whether to turn off the computer during a thunderstorm appears quite often during summer thunderstorms. The opinions of users vary greatly, as some believe that a power surge can cause the computer to burn out. On the other hand, modern technologies guarantee the safety of equipment even in such weather conditions. It's easy enough to know if you can use your computer during a thunderstorm.
Why is it customary for people to turn off equipment during a thunderstorm?
Those who grew up with grandparents are well aware of the situation when, at the first sound of a thunderstorm, all appliances turned off and the plug of the device was removed from the outlet. And this was quite justified, since the devices of past years did not have any protection against thunderstorms and the resulting power surges. This could have caused the burnout of household appliances.
But whether a computer can burn out from a thunderstorm is a very controversial issue today. After allModern technology has good protection in case of power surges. However, the question of whether to turn off the computer during a thunderstorm can hardly be answered in the negative.
Reason for this situation
When a thunderstorm begins, a potential difference appears between the clouds and the surface of the earth, reaching several billion volts. When the value reaches its peak, a discharge occurs. The available lightning protection systems reduce the chance of a direct lightning strike into the electrical wiring, but do not exclude it. When such a situation occurs, all electrical appliances within reach will burn out.
In what case is there a high chance of burning equipment?
Often the cause of such an incident is induced voltage. And the longer the length of the wire and the power of the discharge, the higher the likelihood of such a situation. When picking up, an electrical impulse of thousands of volts occurs, lasting from units to thousands of microseconds. The prevalence reaches several kilometers.
Which networks are at risk?
Often, such situations are typical for Internet networks in residential areas, since they are often not designed in any way and can be laid anywhere. In this connection, they are more vulnerable (there are cases of laying Internet cables around a lightning rod). At best, network cards, routers, switches and other network devices will suffer. In the event of an extremely powerful charge, the entire computer may burn out withhard drive and monitor.
- Install an external network card to your computer. It should be used even despite the presence of an integrated element. When a discharge hits an external device, the matter is often limited only to the loss of the network card itself. If it hits an integrated device, there is a risk of failure of the entire motherboard.
- Install a lightning filter. This is required for internet and phone lines.
- Install an uninterruptible power supply with the function of smoothing incoming power surges. This will come in handy for PC users, as the mains voltage can fluctuate during normal times as well.
- Equip your home with a voltage stabilizer and grounding.
- Turn off your device during thunderstorms. Disconnect the computer and monitor from the network, remove the Internet cable from the network card, switch or router. Then turn off other electrical appliances like TVs, washing machines, microwaves, and more. Such actions will help with small power surges.
- With strong and fast power surges, automation may not work. The discharge will burn all devices connected to the power supply.
- Turn off existing electrical appliances when you are away from home for a long time. This should be done for those who leave home for weeks or more.
What should laptop users do?
In the case of laptops, the situation is much simpler. Simply unplug the device from the outlet and calmlycontinue to work (if the battery capacity allows). However, if the device is connected to a local network or cable modem, then the consequences will be the same as when lightning strikes a transformer, and it is quite clear whether it is necessary to turn off the computer during a thunderstorm.
Where is the probability of a computer burnout higher?
This topic is especially relevant for residents of old apartment buildings, since many of them do not have a protective ground loop, which should be provided for in the project. It is often destroyed during roof repairs.
In the case of modern multi-apartment dwellings, there is a chance of equipment failure due to lightning, but it is not as great as in the previous example.
In the case of a private house, especially one powered by a pole, the chance of breakage is close to 100%. A large impulse is induced on open wiring, while there are no special protective devices against impulsive overvoltages. Good network filters and UPS are equipped with them. Moreover, the more protective steps, the better, although in this case you need to turn off the computer during a thunderstorm.
A particular risk is the presence of an Internet connection. Usually it is carried out through a cable with copper conductors, which are easy to induce a pulse. To reduce the loss during thunderstorm weather, you should also turn off the network wire from the network computer card. In the case of a laptop, this is a must, since repairswill be very expensive, and the answer to the question of whether to turn off the computer during a thunderstorm is obvious. The best solution would be to buy a Wi-FI router due to the convenience and cheap replacement in case of burning during a thunderstorm.
The above reasons why the device may burn out during a thunderstorm make it clear whether you can use your computer during a thunderstorm. At the same time, the problem of combustion is relevant specifically for computers, and not laptops that can be operated while being disconnected from the mains.