Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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Registered: ‎09-11-2011

Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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On Sept 8th something hit my Fios line and caused loss of equipment. There were no storms or electrical outages on Sept 8th. I was at my computer online when I got a message saying that my Ethernet was disconnected. Seconds later my system shut down. At first I had thought that I had a power failure but the lights never went out. Two computer systems that were on line are totally gone. On the third computer system the onboard Ethernet port is fried. My plasma TV HDMI port 1 is no longer useable. The cordless phones which I had just purchased two weeks ago are also fried. When this happened I lost the phone service, internet, and TV. I opened the ONT box and found that all the lights were out. I then plugged in a phone to check to see if I had a dial tone at the ONT. There was no power and no dial tone. I attempted to contact FIOS repairs using my cell phone. After being on hold for 3 1/2 hours I gave up. I called my daughter to login on line and chat with a Verizon tech. After an hour wait time she got through. The earliest available appointment to come to my home was for Sunday Sept 11th. Which meant that all my services would be down for 4 days. Yesterday, Sept 10th I noticed that some of the lights that were out on the router were back on. I tried the phones but they were still out. Then I tried the TV's. I managed to get 2 of three TV's working. The High Def TV would not come on. I disconnected the HDMI cable and attached a coaxial cable and the picture came on.Went out to the ONT box and most of the lights came back on. The internet light on the router was now lit but no activity on the Ethernet. I installed a wireless card on the machine that was still running and managed to get that online. All of my systems are plugged into surge arrestors. That includes the TV's, Router, computers and cordless phones. The Verizon tech had just left my home minutes ago. The Ethernet ports on the router were fried. The router was replaced. The DVR box that was connected to my Plasma was replaced due to the HDMI ports being fried. HDMI port 1 on my plasma was also no longer working. Switched over to HDMI port 2 and the picture came back on. Anything that was attached to the 2 computer systems were also fried. The 3rd system was offline when this had happened and the only thing that was effected was the Ethernet pot being fried. The tech said that no surge could come through the fiber optic network. If that statement is true then why were none of the surge suppressors tripped. And why would I suffer all this damage. It seems to me that the surge had come through and hit the FIOS box and anything that was connected was fried. Is this possible? I need some answers to explain just what caused this. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

 

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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
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Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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The tech is correct in that no surge could have come from the Fiber cabling. That is all glass, and there is no electrical current being delivered via that cable. The only metal that is present on those Fiber cables would be for the shielding out at the plant, but keep in mind, it is covered up by many other layers of shielding, which act as insulators to electrical current. So either way, the fiber cable is out of the question.

 

Strange issue here, however for that equipment to fry out of the blue but having the rest of the house behave as if nothing had happened. The only point of failure I see, if it didn't come in from the electrical service would be from the Coaxial lines used to connect the ONT, Router, and Set Top Boxes together, especially if they were not being protected from overvolt. Even then, for the voltage to get that high to fry that many devices, if it did come from the Coax I would be very concerned about the wiring. Best suggestion would be to have someone inspect your cabling to ensure it is not close to making contact to an electrical service, and that the grounding is correct for it.

 

I'm not an electrical engineer, so I'm taking this based on my understanding on where a surge would have come from, provided the proper equipment is being used to protect from overvolt.

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Silver Contributor V
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Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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There is no electrical connection between the Verizon Central Office and the ONT. It is strictly optical, so there is no conductor for the surge to travel down from the Central Office. So the ONT cannot be electrically damaged from the Optical end of the connection.

 

However the ONT could be damaged  from Coax or Ethernet end, or the ONT power supply could be 'fried' by a surge in the local power line. The Scenario is that if the surge voltage is high enough, it breaks the isolation normally provided by the power supplies in the equipment, and can propagate down the Coax and/or Ethernet cable and/or HDMI cable from either end. . In that case the ONT can effectively be 'fried' by having the surge propagate through the Coax or Ethernet (if you have Ethernet on the ONT instead of MoCA) to the ONT. It doesn't take a whole lot of energy to fry Coax or Ethernet ports on the devices.

 

The typical scenario is either some sort of accident drops a high tension line onto much lower voltage transmission line (this sometime happens when a vehicle collides with, and takes down a telephone pole, or large branch falls on a line). The other scenario is a direct lightning strike on the local distribution line. Either way, equipment that is supposed to see only 120VAC can in fact seen voltages in the thousand or tens of thousands of volts until the electric company's switching equipment either clear the fault, or shut down the line(s).. In either situation, considerable damage can be inflicted on just about anything electronic that was connected at the time. The energy delivered by a lightning bolt vastly exceeds the surge protection provided by any consumer surge protector.

 

From where you sit, whether it is the optical end that was damaged, or the ethernet/coax end of the ONT, the ONT will no longer provide service for you.

 

Also my experience with home use surge arresters is they cannot handle anywhere enough energy to be especially useful.

They also assume that the surge isn't 'common mode'. BTW, I am an Electrical Engineer with education in high voltage transmisson system and insulation.

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Registered: ‎11-10-2009

Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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Sounds like something hit your residence internal ethernet cabling.  The ont appears to be delivering to you fine with a new router and did before via wireless with the old router.  Not sure why you would have damage in the hdmi ports as there is no real connection between them and the ethernet side.  If you are convinced that there was no lightening etc. on the 8th you may want to check your ethernet cabling for a short between it and your 110v power side.  Alternativley there may be a short in one of your connected pc's.

Are you possibly using a MUX and Diplexer setup with an external antenna to share the coax cabling that the fios signal is on?

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Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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I think matheww is on the right track here ... something likely struck the power lines (whether natural or artificial) and caused a power surge on the electrical lines which overwhelm whatever surge suppression you may have in place -- once that happened, the current could then travel thru the various devices finding it's way eventually to the ONT and router (the router being a common point for the power, ethernet, and coax).   

 

I'd check your homeowners policy and that of the surge suppressor manufacturers you were using because it sure sounds like a power surge.   Many policies, if you elect to have it provided, will provide some level of coverage for such repairs/replacement.

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Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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Thank You all for replying to my post.

 

I haven't been able to get back online due to my services going down once again. In fact the very next day that all was  repaired both my wife and I were awakened at 8Am by the police. It seems that my phone had made a 911 call by itself. Before all this happened I was very pleased with FIOS. As to what I plan on doing  will depend solely on Verizon.

 

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Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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Y E S    I T    C A N    I T  I S  C A L L E D   L O W   V O L T  A G E  P O W E R   S P I K E..  THEY CAN FRY SURGE PROTECTORS NO MATTER WHAT YOUR  BUDDIES SAY, NO MATTER WHAT THE PROS SAY.     D O N T   T R U S T  T H E    C O M M E N T S  O R   T H E  H E A R   S A Y   FROM ALL OF THE REHTORIC THAT IS FLYING AROUND OUT THERE.   GENEREALLY A RULE OF THUMB TO LOOK FOR.  I HAVE FOUND THE D-LINK SERIES WITH THE 10 FANS IN THE REAR PRODUCE   LOTS OF WIND,   A GOOD THING!!.  I FIND THEM USED FOR $10 TO $100  ON EBAY.  I STILL HAVE THEM RUNNNING.  USE GOOD GAT 6 CABLE.   REMEMBER THE STRENGTH OF YORU NETWORK IS THE STRENGTH OF YOUR WEEKEST LINK IN THE CHAIN.

 

 

BE [PREPARED FOR THEIS SLOW ANOMMOLY GOT GO ON TILLL THANKS GIVING.

 

 

ENJOY

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Registered: ‎09-12-2014

Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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I just had exact same issue.
We lost Everything that's connected to verizon equipments. We just lost TV, printer, PC and telephone adaptor that was connected verizon outside box to Verizon battery backup to verizon router to verizon DVR to all these equipments.
I think it's due to bad installation by Verizon or bad equipment that couldn't handle the surge. The earthing was not done well on outside box.
The technician also said its due to issue with the box, but he will not put that in writing.
Verizon knows this issue, however doesn't care to solve it for few customers.

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Platinum Contributor III
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Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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Verizon operates A passive optical network (PON.


A passive optical network (PON) is a telecommunications network that uses point-to-multipoint fiber to the premises in which unpowered optical splitters are used to enable a single optical fiber to serve multiple premises. A PON consists of an optical line terminal (OLT) at the service provider's central office and a number of optical network units (ONUs) near end users. A PON reduces the amount of fiber and central office equipment required compared with point-to-point architectures. A passive optical network is a form of fiber-optic access network.



 

 

 

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Platinum Contributor III
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Re: Can electrical surges go through the FIOS ONT Box

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That being said, the boxes do plug into your home electrical, so electricity can pass through the on site equipment, but not from outside the house.   outside the house it's all glass and light, but nearly everything that is installed AT your house has to run off of electricity. 

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