How do Ground Currents Damage Phone, Cable, Satellite, Security & Networks Systems?

Are multiple components failing in your system and no one can figure out why?   As the distance increases between your equipment, along with the communications wires connecting them, the chance of damage from differences in ground potential also increases.  Add in multiple panels feeding the equipment, and the potential for damage can increase dramatically without lines ever leaving the building.  This is more common in very large homes, large offices, and custom barns where panels can be on opposite sides of the building and on multiple floors feeding interconnected equipment.  Add in multiple buildings, which means multiple grounds, and the problems will continue to increase.  See info on our Ground loop surge filter.

Lightning surges and transients are a major cause of ground currents in your system, but not the only cause.  Incoming power, phone, cable and satellite lines and the way they are grounded all play a part in either stopping or causing lockups, glitches and damage in the system.   Having all equipment fed from one breaker panel is the best way to eliminate the potential for ground loops, but that is often not possible.  Making sure all incoming phone, data, and coax lines are surge protected and grounded to the AC power ground is the key.   Avoid multiple grounds within the same system. Lightning damage to interconnected equipment is often the largest dollar value problem system integrators deal with.  Lightning can enter the home on power, phone, coax, and data lines; it can also enter the home on water pipes or through the ground itself, and the worst case scenario is when the lighting strikes the building or near the building.  When lightning currents enter a home’s structure and its wiring, the impulse energy looks for ground and during that time damages equipment.   Having surge suppression in the correct places to quickly divert the damaging energy to ground before it gets to the equipment is the key to stopping widespread damage.

When equipment is repaired, add surge suppression so the same thing does not happen again!  It is important to understanding what direction these surges are coming from, the inter-connectivity between the different systems, how the system is powered and which breaker panel(s) feed the equipment.  Although it may not be the responsibility of the installer to trouble shoot the phone, satellite or network system, understanding the fix allows you to help the end user understand the problem and eliminate future repair costs and headaches by allowing you to protect his investment.