Accessibility Resource Center Skip to main content
Have a phone you love? Get up to $500 when you bring your phone.

Phone Line Surge Protector?

Bronze Contributor I
Bronze Contributor I
Posts: 60
Registered: ‎01-20-2009

Phone Line Surge Protector?

Message 1 of 2

Thunderstorm last week fried my Verizon modem by coming in through the phone line.


Can someone recommend a decent phone line surge protector?



Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 49
Registered: ‎05-20-2009

Re: Phone Line Surge Protector?

Message 2 of 2

  You have made assumptions.  Surges are electricity.  Therefore the surge must be conducting simultaneously through everything in a path from cloud to ground.  Instead you have assumed the surge crashed on your modem like a wave on the beach.  Long before knowing anything else, first determine what the incoming and outgoing path is through that modem.
  Did you know that all phone lines in North America already have a superior surge protector installed for free?  Will that protector  stop what three miles of sky could not?  Most who forget how electricity work assume that is what a protector does.
  First, a protector does not absorb or stop surges.  A protector either does nothing useful, or it connects that surge energy to earth.  Surges must be connected short to earth so that energy does not enter the building.  A surge absorbed by earth does not harm anything inside the building.
  Return to your damage.  Is your telco 'whole house' protector connected 'less than 10 feet' to the same earth ground used by cable and AC electric?  Why?  Because protection is earth ground.  A protector is simply the connecting device from surge to earth.  You must inspect that earth ground connection that also must have no splices, no sharp bends, separated from all other non-earthing wires, not inside metallic conduit, etc.  Why?  Earth ground is the protection.  A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
  Moving on. What is the most common source of surge damage?  Same wires that are highest on the pole.  AC electric.  A perfect path from cloud to earth is to strike electric wires on the street, into your home, through DSL mode, then out to earth ground via the telco 'whole house' protector.
  At this point, if you don't understand every paragraph, then go back and reread it.  You must understand the above before reading on.
  Surge protection for the past 100 years has always been about connecting every wire in every cable to earth before entering the building. Why does you CO not discontinue service for four days while they replace their computers?  Because they make earthing even better.  Most likely, you don't have a 'whole house' protector on AC mains where that wire enters the building.  Your earthing must be upgraded to meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical Code.  Not wires inside the house.  Earth ground which is a wire from the breaker box short to earthing outside.  Not inside metallic conduit.  Separated from other wires. It if goes up over the foundation and down to earth - too long and too many sharp bends.
  Now install one 'whole house' protector from more responsible companies such as General Electric, Siemens, Leviton, Intermatic, or Square D.  The Cutler Hammer 'whole house' protector sells in Lowes for less than $50.  This protector connects a surge on any AC electric wire short ('less than 10 feet') to the same earth ground used by the telco 'whole house' protector.
  You had damage because a cloud made an electrical connection to earth via your DSL modem.  That means you had no surge protection.  And if using power strip protectors, well, those protectors can even give a surge even more paths to find earth via nearby appliances. 
  Do your inspections - above is the secondary protection system.
  Also inspect your primary protection system:
Again, this is how surge protection was done for 100 years.  This is why Verizon need not waste time replacing CO computers.  Effective surge protection means the protector connects a direct lightning strike to earth - and you did not even know the surge existed.  Even the protector remains functional.  But only as effective as its earth ground.


How-To Videos
The following videos were produced by users like you!
Videos are subject to the Verizon Fios Community Terms of Service and User Guidelines and contains content that is not created by Verizon.
Have a spare Fios-G1100?Learn how to bridge it into your network
Get Started


Browse Categories

Verizon Troubleshooters
Unable to find your answer here? Try searching Verizon Troubleshooters for more options.
Modal Dialogue Title