Thunderstorms, do I always need to unplug?

Have you read up the thread ?

Yes. I tend to worry about risks that are likely versus those that are unlikely.

See the posts avove by Richard, Simon and Mike-B regarding lightning damaging their kit. My Unitiserve was a write-off too.

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I did. We’re up to about a .004% chance of this happening.

I was in Brussels away from the family when we got a lightning bounce onto the phone cable, apparently all hell broke loose as the alarm system got fried……in the siren mode. We had newly moved in, luckily the previous people had left the alarm guys number…….he came out at 1am. We have been with him and his son ever since. This was before this level of hifi.
Respect ever since, always turned off.

.004% of what? The overall chances of it happening to any particular individual may be low, but we’ve had 3 strikes to our house since we’ve lived there and one of them could have destroyed the place if nobody had been there to deal with it. A few simple precautions that take just a few seconds doesn’t seem like overkill to me.

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Yes, you’re unlikely to have a problem. All of my homes came with precautions that didn’t require me to do anything so I agree.

Here some french numbers, from a magazine :
« On average, since 2000, 453,000 lightning strikes on the ground have been detected in mainland France each year and 260 stormy days per year, indicates Météo France. In thunderstorms, lightning is a real danger. Each year in France, it affects between 200 and 300 people, causing nearly 30 deaths.«

It’s not so minimal.

It’s a risk but it’s not a risk that requires much attention.


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One danger comes from having dedicated (garden located) earthing. Many years back, we had a sudden thunderstorm with lightning and a ground strike nearby.

The kit was on and a channel was lost but returned post power down etc.

We are suggesting that people might consider pulling the plug out of the socket, not their fingers.


ok. shrugs shoulders

430 000 strikes per year affecting 300 people is 1,43 %. When you have an expensive system, it’s a bit risky I feel. If I had only a Rega Brio and Bluesound node, I would not bother personally.

If it’s risky in your mind then that’s all that matters. I’ll rely on the last 30 years of my personal experience to dictate my concerns. I’m sure I’m jinxing myself now.

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I’ve had kit damaged when the power came back on after a power cut so I’m always wary of the damage lightning could wreak.
I use an app named Lightning Tracker and set it to alert me if there’s a strike within 20 miles.

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A recipe for regret if lightning strikes, which by no means needs to be a direct hit! I tend to think better safe than sorry. Of course, one could always trust to insurance to buy new gear (assuming all matters pertaining to insurance are in place)…

I’ve had lightning strikes and somehow my houses seemed to manage it without any issues. Our monsoon season has started so I’ll be seeing storms, micro bursts, and all sorts of lightning in the coming weeks.

I was happy to continue listening during a thunder storm when I had my Sansui amp and even the Rega amps. I had soft start relays click off a couple of times but no damage. The Naim stuff is too expensive to chance it, well I don’t unplug the MuSo or even the Core (but the disc is backed up and the backup unplugged), but the main system goes off.

I was stood in a metal garage when it was hit, it’s quite a bang but not as loud as a balloon full of oxygen and acetylene mix that some joker floated across the bonfire at a Bracknell chopper club party I attended in the 80s. It was half an hour until I could hear again.


No point in looking at figures for humans who are struck by lightning. Electrical devices are far more likely to be damaged as they usually have at least one copper cable attached to them which leaves your home and runs for miles, or maybe ends on your roof, just like a lightning conductor.


With lower energy pulses from lightning strikes there may be a bigger risk to computer-based hifi gear such as music stores, renderers, streamers, DACs and ‘all-in-ones’ than to more robust components such as amps. As a consequence digital hifi may be more susceptible than vinyl systems.