As the owner of Custom Connections, L.L.C. a Kansas City, Mo.-based custom home installer of A/V and home automation systems, Keith Stewart knows about the importance of power management.

When Lightning Strikes

Keith Stewart | Custom Connections

When Lightning Strikes

Author: Keith Stewart, Custom Connections

As the owner of Custom Connections, L.L.C. a Kansas City, Mo.-based custom home installer of A/V and home automation systems, Keith Stewart knows about the importance of power management. Over the last fourteen years, he has met with scenarios where power management has saved him thousands of dollars worth of equipment, and has always insisted that power management be designed into his installations. “In the history of Custom Connections, we have had three houses hit by lightning, where everything electrical in the house was destroyed except the home theater equipment connected to a power management system.”


Selecting the right product is the first step. Sticking with the right product is the second. Once, Keith made the switch from his trusted power management company to another. “We made the switch because we had a very good relationship with the representative we bought from. I decided to give him a chance.” The relationship with the other power management company lasted about six months.

During that six-month period, Keith purchased a large unit from the company for his own equipment rack. Keith’s home setup consists of an extensive home automation and security system, along with a home theater and various electronics dispersed throughout the house. The relationship with the other company ended after a lightning strike near Keith’s home wiped out all the components running through the large unit he had purchased.

“The system in my house is valued at about $66,000, and a great deal of that was connected to the unit from the other power management company. Almost all of these components were damaged or destroyed by the lightning strike. Interestingly, I had some old Panamax floor models at my house with a few things running through them, and all of those components survived. These included Pioneer and Fujisu plasma displays, a surround sound system, a second DIRECTV satellite receiver, a Toshiba HD DVD player, a universal remote control processor, and a combination printer/copier/fax. I immediately made the switch back to Panamax, at home and Custom Connections.”

There were other things damaged or destroyed by the lightning strike that weren’t hooked up to anything at all, such as the garage door opener, security system, and several touch panels. To protect everything in his home, Keith is now using Panamax’s MIW-Power-PRO-PFP and the PM8C-EX. For the garage door opener, he’s using a Panamax MAX 2 surge suppressor.

Furthermore, Custom Connections has been specifying Panamax’s M5100-PM into installations, because it not only provides surge protection, it actually enhances the performance of A/V components by filtering out line noise. The result is an amazing listening and viewing experience for their customers.

“As an installer I have to make it a priority to choose the best products for my clients. Since we made the switch back to Panamax, we haven’t experienced a single problem, and I know that if lightning strikes again, we’ll have our customers covered.”

Keith Stewart may be reached at More information on Custom Connections is available at


The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of HomeToys

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