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Lightening strikes and Allen organs...

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  • Lightening strikes and Allen organs...

    Hi all

    I'm sure there's been plenty of discussion on this subject already but I just can't help stressing over it. I have bought a wonderful Allen Heritage Quantum organ (pre-owned) and being someone who absolutely couldn't afford to replace it, I really want to prevent any sort of electrical damage from ever happening to it.

    I've read posts on here where people say that surge protectors don't actually help. I've also read posts where people say that even unplugging the organ doesn't help...so I'm puzzled. What is the absolute safest way to go about this? I do intend to have the organ insured under renter's content insurance just to be extra cautious however I have also heard that these insurance companies often avoid paying out. The Allen dealer who sold me my organ is giving me a surge protector (I'm not sure if it's the official Allen version however).

    I'd be very grateful for some advice.
    Personal organs - (1) Allen custom Heritage III 58-Q (Q345); (2) Allen ADC 6300A (both in the drawknob console)

  • #2
    Have insurance. Read the policy, understand the policy, discuss it with your insurance agent. Follow the rules of the policy.

    There's nothing better that you can do. The odds of getting struck by lightning are not that much different than those of something falling out of the sky and crushing your organ, or a tornado, fire, earthquake, etc. etc. They call these things acts of God for a reason.

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    • #3
      Absolutely use a surge and voltage spike protector on your organ. This is not for lightning protection, but from power surges and noise spikes. These can occur that are not the direct result of local lightning, and you want to protect against them.

      Talk to your insurance agent to see what coverage your policy provides against lightning damage.

      Unplugging your organ during a storm can help if lightning strikes somewhat near your home, but if the strike is directly at your home or adjacent to it, there is no electrical protection available, and if you are home at the time you may very well be killed, too.

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      • #4
        Toodles has the best approach I think, as this is the same conclusion I came to. I have mine plugged into a high quality surge protector, but I intend to unplug the organ for storms, or if I am going to be gone for a while. Beyond that, find yourself a four-leaf clover.

        Tony
        Home: Johannus Opus 370

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        • #5
          Oh, and when I received my new Allen (1991) it came with a rather large surge protector. So, at least at that time, Allen put the money into a surge protector they could have left off. So they must have felt they are valuable. But all bets are off with a tornado, one of which crushed my house and the Schober inside of it in 1990. My insurance bought me the Allen. So having a rider for your instrument is a REAL good idea.

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          • #6
            I had an incident a few years ago. Was it an issue with a transformer? Lightening? I don't know, but a few neighbors lost electronic items like big screen televisions. I lost 4 surge protectors, but no computers, tvs, or anything else. A relatively minor loss compared to the hassle and aggravation and deductible I would have had to claim. Insurance is a good idea, but I always hope that insurance turns out to be wasted money.
            When I become dictator, those who preach intolerance will not be tolerated.

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            • #7
              Better safe than sorry, so take all reasonable precautions. (1) Do use a good quality surge protector. The good ones, with both inductors (coils) and MOV's inside, surely do filter out some of the power line noise and spikes. I actually have my home organ on TWO surge protectors in series.

              (2) Unplug the organ when the weather report calls for storms, and if you leave home for more than one day, unplug the organ, just in case a storm comes up before you get back.

              (3) Have it insured for the full replacement value. I've worked with several churches following lightning strikes. Insurers drag their feet and balk at spending $100K+ to actually buy a church a brand new organ of similar type and quality, but I have seen it happen once or twice. But they are often happy to "settle" with you by letting you either have it fully repaired (replacing all the electronics inside, which can be very costly) or getting a used organ of similar type.
              John
              ----------
              *** Please post your questions about technical service or repair matters ON THE FORUM. Do not send your questions to me or another member by private message. Information shared is for the benefit of the entire organ community, but other folks will not be helped by information we exchange in private messages!

              https://www.facebook.com/pages/Birds...97551893588434

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              • #8
                I have lived in a number of places over the years that have had spectacular thunder and lightning storms. I unplug everything electrical until the storm is over. It is a lot easier to do that than replace computers, printers, organs, etc. or deal with insurance companies. Whenever I am going to be out of town, I unplug everything. An ounce of prevention, as the old saying goes. I change the battery in the organ periodically so that my saved combinations are intact. I buy the strongest surge protectors available to protect against power spikes which do happen but rarely. Blessings.

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                • #9
                  Gents

                  Thank you all very much for kindly advising me on this worrying subject. I will definitely make sure I use a surge protector ALWAYS and when storms are predicted I will unplug the organ. I will also look into insurance for full, brand-new replacement value and will check the policy.

                  I’ve not heard of a voltage spike protector, is this like a surge protector - ie another socket for the organ plug to go into and then into the surge protector?

                  Many thanks to all!
                  Personal organs - (1) Allen custom Heritage III 58-Q (Q345); (2) Allen ADC 6300A (both in the drawknob console)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I can highly recommend Tripp-Lite Premium Isobar surge suppressors from my own experience and those of my clients. They're designed as a high-quality suppressors should be, including sacrificing itself if necessary to protect attached equipment from high energy surges.

                    --- Tom
                    Rodgers 660 with additional analog rack sets (practice), 36D/C in digital conversion, Yamaha CVP-107

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by twnelson View Post
                      I can highly recommend Tripp-Lite Premium Isobar surge suppressors from my own experience and those of my clients. They're designed as a high-quality suppressors should be, including sacrificing itself if necessary to protect attached equipment from high energy surges.

                      --- Tom
                      I use Tripp-Lite as well. Nicely made.

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                      • #12
                        So do I. I won't buy anything less.

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                        • #13
                          Same here. Their reputation is excellent for doing what they're supposed to do.

                          Tony
                          Home: Johannus Opus 370

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by twnelson View Post
                            I can highly recommend Tripp-Lite Premium Isobar surge suppressors from my own experience and those of my clients. They're designed as a high-quality suppressors should be, including sacrificing itself if necessary to protect attached equipment from high energy surges.

                            --- Tom
                            This is what I use and recommend.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              So it looks like I will be investing in a Tripp-lite premium isobar!! Does this protect against voltage and noise spikes too?
                              Personal organs - (1) Allen custom Heritage III 58-Q (Q345); (2) Allen ADC 6300A (both in the drawknob console)

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