Help with surge "protection" for new panel

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Old 03-08-10, 07:53 AM
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Help with surge "protection" for new panel

Hello all, I have been lurking and reading here for a long while and have finally come to a point where I need help. I have done many searches and am still confused.

I am replacing my old panel with a new Cutler Hammer 200 amp BR Series Box, and I am SO confused about which surge "protector" to use in conjunction with surge protectors in the house as well….

I have narrowed it to the following three. Any suggestions, or is there a better choice for me?

Leviton Whole House Surge Suppressor / Surge Protector 51120-1

Intermatic IG1240 and IG3240 http://www.intermatic.com/products/s...%20ig3240.aspx

Cutler Hammer BRSURGE



Thanks For any suggestions!!!!!

Scott
 

Last edited by pcboss; 03-08-10 at 08:17 AM. Reason: added link
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Old 03-08-10, 08:21 AM
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I think it would be a good idea to compare the let-thru levels and the warranties and what is covered.

I like the idea and ease of installation and replacement of the breaker style like the BRSurge. you can also buy the panel with the surge built in, one is the CHSUR. The drawback to these is that they do not provide protection for the phone and cable lines.
 
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Old 03-08-10, 06:28 PM
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Any of the three would be a good choice, but I also like the convenience of the breaker style that plugs onto the bus like a circuit breaker.
 
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Old 03-08-10, 09:20 PM
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Originally Posted by spetrola View Post
I have narrowed it to the following three. Any suggestions, or is there a better choice for me?
How frequent over the past 10+ years is your neighborhood surge damage history? For most everyone, a 50,000 amp protector is sufficient. (other parameters such as let-through voltage or response time are irrelevant.) Is it a normal region or one with serious surge history?

That would determine protector life expectancy. Meanwhile, how good is each protector during a surge? Simple. That other question answered by the 'protection system' component that actually does protection. Memorize this sentence because all future answers are based in it: A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

How good is that protector? How good is your single point earth ground? Protectors are simple science. Plug-in protectors are ineffective due to no earth ground. Do you want a better 'whole house' protector? Then upgrade the single point earth ground - the only device that actually provides protection.

Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Which is why this sentence should be memorized. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
 
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Old 03-09-10, 08:16 AM
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I like the breaker mounted option as well but I am having a hard time finding specs for it that read like the other specs so I can compare them.

The IG3240rc is discontinued and is in the process of being re-certified to the new "3" standard from what Intermatic told me yesterday, but it should be out by the end of the month. The new model number will be IG3240RC3.

I am going to look at the ground and see how good it is.


On a side note does anyone know if the BR breakers will allow me to double tap into it so I can use it as a breaker as well as for a surge protector?

Thanks again,

Scott
 
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Old 03-09-10, 09:12 AM
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Originally Posted by spetrola View Post
On a side note does anyone know if the BR breakers will allow me to double tap into it so I can use it as a breaker as well as for a surge protector?
The plug-in surge protector breakers are designed to operate "in line" so you still get normal 20A breaker function in those two slots.
 
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Old 03-09-10, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by ibpooks View Post
The plug-in surge protector breakers are designed to operate "in line" so you still get normal 20A breaker function in those two slots.
The BRSURGE doesn't have a breaker built into it from what I can tell, it is just a surge protector.

Scott
 
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Old 03-09-10, 07:48 PM
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From what I can tell from a picture, you are correct. The Siemens plug-on surge protector is the only one that also gives you two single pole breakers in those same two spaces as the surge protector to the best of my knowledge, but the Siemens unit isn't U.L. approved to be installed in a BR loadcenter. You stated this is a new panel, are you out of spaces already?
 
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Old 03-10-10, 07:57 AM
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No, I'm not out of spaces yet......

I got the 30/40 box, should I have gotten the 40/40 box?
 

Last edited by spetrola; 03-10-10 at 09:15 AM.
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Old 03-10-10, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by CasualJoe View Post
The Siemens plug-on surge protector is the only one that also gives you two single pole breakers
Good catch. I usually install Siemens panels, so I'm familiar with that one. You're right it's not listed for use in any other brand except maybe Murray I think.

I got the 30/40 box, should I have gotten the 40/40 box?
I never met anybody who wishes he had fewer!
 
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Old 03-10-10, 07:15 PM
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Nope. Although todays Murray loadcenters and breakers are clones of the Siemens, Siemens breakers and accessories are not U.L. listed to be used in the Murray loadcenters. Seems pretty silly to me, but they aren't. I'd be willing to bet they even come from the same assembly line, but as of now, they can't legally be interchanged.
 
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Old 03-10-10, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by spetrola View Post
No, I'm not out of spaces yet......

I got the 30/40 box, should I have gotten the 40/40 box?
If you use the twin 20s or twin 15s you can still get a full 40 circuits from the 30-40 loadcenter. I think the catalog number is Q2020 or Q1515. I prefer using full sized breakers, but the twins are perfectly acceptable and rated for the load. I find it more important to use a copper bus panel, in my opinion. Siemens single phase loadcenters are available with either aluminum or copper bus and it is usually indicated by a "C" suffix in the catalog number. The 3 phase 4 wire loadcenters all come with copper bus as far as I know.
 
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Old 03-10-10, 07:28 PM
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OOOPPS spetrola, I missed the point that you have a Cutler Hammer BR loadcenter and not a Siemens. There are also BR twin 20 and twin 15 breakers for use in your panel so you can get a full 40 circuits. Did you buy the BR aluminum bus or copper bus loadcenter. They come both ways too.
 
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Old 03-11-10, 06:49 AM
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Unfortunately I bought the tin coated aluminum, although I would love to buy new copper bus bars, can I buy those at homedepot or something or mail order?
 
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Old 03-11-10, 06:52 PM
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Even if you could buy just the copper bus bars, they'd likely cost more than a complete new loadcenter with the bus bars factory installed. You are probably better off to stay with what you already bought unless the panel hasn't been installed yet. In my opinion, the aluminum bus bars are fine if you don't have any heavy loads. Be advised though, Cutler Hammer is having problems with the aluminum bus BR loadcenters burning up breakers. Be sure the bus stabs are very clean before installing the breakers. I recently saw about 60 two year old BR panels with breakers changed out in a loft apartment development because the breakers were burning up. Cutler Hammer attributed it to a fine mist of paint and dust that had settled on the top of each bus stab during construction. The breakers that burned up were almost exclusively installed on the left side of the panels. The reasons given for this are too hard to explain on here, just be sure your bus stabs are very clean before you install the breakers.
 
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Old 03-11-10, 08:44 PM
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Hmmm..... Should I return this box, which hasn't been installed yet and get a different box that has copper ground and neutral bus bars? I bought it at home depot, about a week ago so I can easily return it. Now, what box should I get?
 
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