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Why do my modem and router sometimes get burned out during an electrical storm despite being unplugged?

0 votes
I live in a rural, mountainous region of Costa Rica. During the rainy season, it's not unusual to have a severe electical storm. I unplug my phone, speakers, computer, and all electronic equipment, having had the ports on our IMAC burned out once. Nonetheless, the electric company will often have to replace the modem after a storm. The router is on us.
asked Nov 26, 2013 in Physics by Scribblegal Curious Newbie (105 points)

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2 Answers

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This is due to the extremely strong electromagnetic fields produced by the lightning discharges nearby. I once had a recent model automobile with computerized ignition etc etc totally burned out by a very strong electric storm nearby where the lightlning was also striking near my house. We had to take it to the dealer and have the circuitry totally replaced before the car would start or even show any life.

The only certain solution is to shield the circuits in a metal box or some other effective shield. There are also electrical devices which can target all electronic circuits and render them useless. Another example is that a nuclear bomb sends out an EMF field so strong that it totally ruins ANY electronics within many miles of the explosion - radios, phones, computers, cars, etc etc.

You can be certain that in a war scenario one of the first things to go will be the internet and other modern means of communication. You could get paranoid and bury some emergency devices in metal boxes but thats perhaps a bit over the top. Just saying.
answered Dec 2, 2013 by swamiv108 Curious Newbie (105 points)
Just build a Faraday cage and keep all your electronics in it.  Not practical, but it works if properly constructed and implemented.
0 votes
minor electrical discharge, its not burning out while its off, its burning out when you go to restart it. having left over electricity floatin about it pulls it in like a magnet  when you flip the switch
answered Jan 24 by idealman Contributor (188 points)