Panel Guard by Intermatic...Does It Work???

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Old 01-01-06, 07:56 PM
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Question Panel Guard by Intermatic...Does It Work???

Approx 9 months ago I had a Panel Guard Surge Arrestor by Intermatic installed at the main electrical box since there have been several problems with the electical company and frequent outages. I also have a surge suppressor attached to my stereo/tv. 4 months ago, there was a large electrical surge in the area that tripped some circuit breakers in several houses in the area including mine. The surge blew the surge suppressor attached to the tv/stereo and tripped the circuit breaker attached to that outlet. The panel guard still had a green light on it indicating it was alright. I called the electrician who had installed it and he did not want to assume any responsibility and said the panel guard was working properly even though the surge tripped the circuit after the electical box and blew the surge suppressor. Is the panel guard working properly...it doesn't appear to be in my judgement. Would appreciate your info/advice and suggestions onl how to deal with this. Thank You.
 
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Old 01-02-06, 03:01 AM
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I think your surge protectors are working as it seems you didnt lose any
equipment other then a a surge protector. Surge protection devices are rated for size and speed of protection. Some react faster then others and for different types of spikes and surges. I would check the specs on the whole house unit and compare those with the one installed on the tv to see if
the reaction time is slower.
Suppressors are made up with what is called a MOV. These divices normally
have a super high impedance but when a spike is received the impedance drops to much lower resistance to short the out the spike and sometimes
with lower resistance the current increases and trips the breakers. The devices can either short out completely or with smaller spikes just remove the spike and then return to its normal high impedance. The whole house units sometimes have many of these devices inside of them. I think my system has
about 70 of these and is designed to clamp down on many spikes before needing replaced.

Hope this helped some.
Larry
 
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Old 01-02-06, 08:35 AM
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Most surge surpressors are designed to protect against very short duration, high voltage transients e.g. lightning. In the case of lower voltage but longer duration transients, such as surges on the power company line, they tend to act to prevent fire, but not necessarliy damage. For example, the telepone company has a 1000 volt carbon block fuse at the point of interface to your house. This is for power cross ( elect. lines falling across phone lines.) 480 or 600 volts into your phone can cause it to burn and start a fire. The fuse will prevent this, but the telephone may already be fried. Surge surpressors for your electronics, the MOV essentially becomes a short circuit across hot to ground and/or hot to neutral. This will hopefully trip a breaker somewhere before damage is done to the equipment or the house.
 
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Old 01-02-06, 12:44 PM
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I've been looking into this myself recently as I want whole house protection myself. Apparently the lightning arrestors and Transient Voltage Surge Supressors (TVSS) are designed to limit the amount of surge not eliminate it. Lightning arrestors, TVSS and point of use surge suppressors are all supposed to work together to protect your equipment. They all have different specs and incrementally reduce the amount of surge so that the final unit (point of use) can do it's job protecting your gear. Even though the surge arrestor fried your equipment is likely okay and it may be because the Panelguard reduced the surge to a manageable level. Consider yourself lucky, get another surge arrestor for your gear and wait for the next hit.

Good luck.

Steve
 
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Old 01-03-06, 07:54 AM
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I considered the whole house surge unit leased out by the power company, until they told me there was NO warranty. At least the higher quality point of use units offer equipment coverage if a surge gets through.

Does the Panel Guard offer any such equipment coverage? If it doesn't, it is IMO, useless.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 09:10 PM
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Yes, the Panel Guard does offer coverage if anything should happen to electrical equipment ? $100,000. But I would rather buy a brand/type that would take care of the surge and not worry about my electrical equipment. Is there any way to determine whether or not the Panel Guard did attenuate the surge? I t would make me feel better to know that it was functioning. There is no indication from the outside panel that anything happened.Do they make a surge arrestor that works in these types of situations or are they primarily for lightning hits? BTW, I have surge suppressors on all my important elec equipment. I used to wonder if I was overdoing it. I guess I have my answer.
 
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Old 01-05-06, 11:30 PM
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If all your electrical is not up to code you may have a hard time collecting on the insurance, even if the unit was installed correctly. Those things are designed to take a certain amount of surges and still function. The stronger the surge the fewer times it can take, of course, but if the indicators say it is working you should still have some protection.

Like I said earlier, with a big surge it will still let a certain amount of voltage through. Depending on the size of your unit (can't believe I'm saying that) you may have a lot of life left or just a bit. If other people in the area got hit and their stuff fried where you just blew out a POU surge arrestor, the PanelGuard probably did it's job.

Here's the intermatic site with all the panelguard stuff.
http://www.intermatic.com/?action=cat&cid=63

Steve
 

Last edited by Bob Loblaw; 01-05-06 at 11:47 PM.
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Old 01-14-10, 12:19 PM
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Smile Useless Warranties

Originally Posted by Pendragon View Post
I considered the whole house surge unit leased out by the power company, until they told me there was NO warranty. At least the higher quality point of use units offer equipment coverage if a surge gets through.

Does the Panel Guard offer any such equipment coverage? If it doesn't, it is IMO, useless.
The "equipment coverage" warranties that are out there are virtually worthless. Read the fine print in the warranties. You will have to jump through extensive hoops to collect anything and every one that I have read actually says they are not responsible for "acts of God" i.e. Lightning. I would rather do research and look at products that have a record of performance rather than some marketing gimmicks of paying you $100,000 for a $50 dollar surge suppressor.
 
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