Avoiding charging during thunderstorm

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by JKroll, Sep 25, 2018.

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  1. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    I am avoiding charging during thunderstorm. Once time lightening hit took out all my phones and some other equipment.

    Wondering if anybody else is this cautious ?

    Also any idea how much the replacement Level 1 charger OEM costs?
    KentuckyKen likes this.
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  3. mattheo0118

    mattheo0118 Member

    Not sure what state you live in but in CA the OEM charger is warranty for 15 years 150k miles
  4. K8QM

    K8QM Active Member

    Living in North Carolina (which is somewhere around the top 10 lightning strike states) I have wondered about lightning as my car is charged in a detached garage about 50 feet from the house. A strike to a tree could travel to the buried electrical cable or even induce a large enough voltage to cause damage. However, I came to the conclusion this Summer that trying to avoid charging even when the risk of thunderstorms was below 50% was just too onerous so I generally have not bothered with unplugging most of the time.

    The question does bring up a great bunch of questions about outside charging stations, fully EV cars that must be charged, etc.

    I haven't read the warranty in detail but I would guess that in most situations nothing would be covered by catastrophic lightning damage - however in that case home and/or auto insurance would come into play.

    BTW I did have a catastrophic strike about 20 years ago that came in on an outside antenna and took out most every piece of electronics in the house and a second strike a few years later that came in on an incorrectly grounded cable TV entry that took out both TVs. With the proliferation of home electronics that has occurred in the last 10 years I shudder to think of the amount of damage that could occur now so I try to minimize external connections where possible.

    KentuckyKen likes this.
  5. RichL

    RichL Member

    I use the OEM Level 1 charger daily and have it connected to a Tripp Lite ISOBAR4ULTRA Isobar Surge Protector.


    It the most robust unit I could find for 120VAC. Its rated for 12 amps output and carries a $50K lifetime guarantee against surge damage to equipment. I've been running it for a month with no issues. However, I would still disconnect the charger during an active thunderstorm as you can't be too safe.

    Another approach is to have your whole house surge protected with an Eaton surge protector at the panel but this requires installation by an electrician.

    BTW, all my household A/V, computers, ISP internet, wi-fi, alarm system etc.. are connected to APC UPS battery backups with surge protection. My neighborhood experiences periodic power disruptions almost weekly and the UPS keeps everything running and surge protected.
  6. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    I have a friend who works in my dealer’s parts dept and on his lunch break he looked up as many parts as he could find that were electrical and that came to over $47,000! With labor, a lightening strike on a Clarity would most likely total it.
    I alway disconnect my TVs and computers during thunderstorms but hadn’t thought about the car in the garage with that thick cable linking it to the grid. Thanks for the reminder. You might have saved me from a terrible catastrophe in the future.
    This is why I love this forum. It’s chock full of great advice and money saving ideas.
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  8. Parja

    Parja New Member

    Alrighty then! Off to Amazon to buy a surge protector.
  9. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Wow, thanks @Parja. Another great idea. Maybe the lightening of good advice does strike twice in the same place.
    I’m having a solar PV system installed in Oct. and as long as the electrician is there already, it will be cheaper to go ahead and have him install a whole house surge protecter. Then I won’t have to worry about my Clarity being plugged in overnight in case I sleep they a storm.
  10. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    I have always thought it was particularly vulnerable to lightening strike especially since it needs to be plugged in so long and expensive components in the car.

    I had to get up at 3 am last night to unplug during lightening.
  11. Parja

    Parja New Member

    Nice. I did some searching and came up with the same one. I couldn't find anything else that came remotely close to that Joule protection level or insurance coverage for the price.

    Here's the Amazon US link for it...
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  13. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    The car will most likely take damage in event of a lightning strike. It might be covered by homeowner's insurance or your comprehensive insurance.

    As for surge protector, you would want to check with a lawyer to see if their insurance would cover you in the event of a lightning strike. They say your device must be used in accordance with directions ("All above warranties are null and void if the Tripp Lite product ... or if the connected equipment was not used... in accordance with any labels or instructions"), and Honda says not to use extension cords or multi plug adapters, so they might be able to weasel out of it. Honda: "Make sure you plug the charging cable directly into the wall outlet dedicated to vehicle charging". Several times they indicate it can only be charged directly from wall outlet. Meaning Tripp Lite's insurance requirements are not met.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2018
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  14. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    If that is the case EV manufacturers havent thought about this issue. Lightening strikes are fairly common in indiana.
  15. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Lightning is common, uncommon for a direct hit and nearly impossible to protect against unless you unplug the car. It really shouldn't be the concern of the car maker, instead it is concern of house.

    The house should have proper lighting protection to protect the car including lightning rods, surge arrestor, and appropriate breakers. It isn't possible for the car to arrest a lightning surge as it has no path to ground. I imagine it has some suppression included, but it won't be able to deal with a direct hit.
  16. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    They could have included lightening protector along with charging cable.
  17. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    It might have some minimal surge suppression built in. My point is a surge protector might not do much if your house isn't properly protected with lightning rod and surge arrestor to take care of a majority of the strike.
  18. I had a whole home surge protector installed by an electrician. They are available at Home Depot, Lowes and Amazon. wholehomesurge.jpg
    Viking79 likes this.
  19. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Exactly this, deal with it at the house level. It will deal with a majority of the strike. The in house devices people hook up all the time will only deal with minor surges, not a few billion joule lightning strike (like 2500 kWh discharge).
  20. Carro con enchufe

    Carro con enchufe Active Member

    I don’t use public chargers during lightning storms
  21. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    After researching for this post, I am going to install a whole house protector to reduce risk to my EVs, in Iowa we get a lot of thunderstorms.

    The Tripp Lite is still useful to use for light surges, but the the whole house protection works in conjunction with it reducing the surge coming in your panel, say from a nearby strike, AC compressor starting, etc.
  22. weave

    weave Active Member

    Like some others have said, get a whole house surge suppressor to go into your panel box. I had one of those save me a few years ago when some truck hit a power pole near my development that sent a mega surge down the line somehow. I was the only person in my neighborhood that didn't have everything destroyed. For everyone else they spent that week calling their insurance company since it took out all electronic equipment -- TVs, computers, refrigerators, ranges, everything. For me, all it did was kill my home burger suppressor (they tend to do their job and die, but if they die, you know it protected you from some major issue)
    Viking79 likes this.
  23. JKroll

    JKroll Member

    weave and rickreagan... can you elaborate on the architecture maybe photos on how/where its connected. Also typical cost to do something like this.
    My circuit box is in basement.

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