Should you get surge protector for kitchen appliances?

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  #1  
Old 10-04-11, 06:22 PM
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Should you get surge protector for kitchen appliances?

Do you think I need a surge protect for kitchen appliances [blender, microwave, toaster, slow cooker, electic oven] even though I don't care if something happen to them as I got them very cheap in a garage sale.

However, My ONLY real reason for askingis because if their is a power surge and their is no surge protector connected to these kitchen appliances, will that mistake damage my High-end gaming PC AND MONITOR ONLY in any way [which will be connected to surge protector and on different outlets than kitchen appliances]?
 
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  #2  
Old 10-04-11, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by baby327nd View Post
Do you think I need a surge protect for kitchen appliances [blender, microwave, toaster, slow cooker, electic oven] even though I don't care if something happen to them as I got them very cheap in a garage sale.

However, My ONLY real reason for askingis because if their is a power surge and their is no surge protector connected to these kitchen appliances, will that mistake damage my High-end gaming PC AND MONITOR ONLY in any way [which will be connected to surge protector and on different outlets than kitchen appliances]?
Almost all kitchen appliances today are loaded with electronics. I'd suggest a whole house surge device for the main service panel. Your additional devices add supplemental protection where ever they might be plugged in provided your house has a grounded electrical system.
 
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Old 10-04-11, 06:59 PM
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Unprotected equipment will not affect protected equipment.

A whole house surge protector will protect you from a surge coming in from the main grid. Having additional surge protectors that your electronics plug into give you added protection from surges that originate inside the house.
 
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Old 10-04-11, 07:54 PM
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I was looking to get something under $19 as that is my budget for the time being. Therefore, the whole house surge cost above $70 [or do you know any cheap ones online?]

So have you got any suggestions for me?
 
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Old 10-04-11, 08:53 PM
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Originally Posted by baby327nd View Post
However, My ONLY real reason for askingis because if their is a power surge and their is no surge protector connected to these kitchen appliances, will that mistake damage my High-end gaming PC AND MONITOR ONLY
If you need a protector for anything, then you need a protector for everything. Even for a furnace, washing machine, dishwasher, dimmer switches, and bathroom GFCI. What most needs protection during a surge? Smoke detectors.

A budget made without first learning the science is bogus. Your best solution is only protection that actually works. You have assumed a $19 protector does what even the manufacturer does not claim. If it does that protection, then numeric specs define it for each type of surge. Numbers you then post here.

They can claim anything subjectively in advertising, sales brochures, and other sources of hearsay. They cannot lie in numeric specs. Where is the spec number that claims to absorb hundreds of thousands of joules? Where is the spec number that claims to stop what three miles of sky could not?

A solution that makes surges irrelevant must connect low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. No short connection to earth means no protection. Hundreds of thousands of joules must dissipate harmlessly outside the building. This solution costs about $1 per protected appliance. Has been the only solution for over 100 years. Means everything is protected. And has always been the least expensive solution.

All appliances already contain superior protection. Anything that might work on its power cord is already inside each appliance. Your concern is a rare transient (maybe once every seven years) that might overwhelm that existing protection. Only an earthed 'whole house' protector makes such surges irrelevant.

Lightning is 20,000 amps. So a minimally sized 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. Diverts that 20,000 amps harmlessly outside to earth. Can be purchased in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. Other superior solutions are found from more responsible companies including Siemens, ABB, Intermatic, Square D, Leviton, and General Electric.
 
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Old 10-05-11, 09:41 AM
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Originally Posted by westom View Post
A solution that makes surges irrelevant must connect low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground.
Can I ask by what do you mean by that?
 
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Old 10-05-11, 12:55 PM
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To the original question - a plug-in protector at the kitchen appliances won't damage the computer. It would be exceptionally difficult for a surge to damage appliances like toasters and slow cookers that don't have electronics.

The best information on surges and surge protection I have seen is at:
<http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf>
- "How to protect your house and its contents from lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC power and communication circuits" published by the IEEE in 2005 (the IEEE is the major organization of electrical and electronic engineers in the US).
And also:
<http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/practiceguides/surgesfnl.pdf>
- "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to protect the appliances in your home" published by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2001

The IEEE guide is aimed at those with some technical background. The NIST guide is aimed at the general public.


Originally Posted by westom View Post
A budget made without first learning the science is bogus. Your best solution is only protection that actually works. You have assumed a $19 protector does what even the manufacturer does not claim. If it does that protection, then numeric specs define it for each type of surge. Numbers you then post here.
"Each type of surge" is nonsense.

Manufacturers certainly say plug-in protectors are effective. Some of them even have warranties on the protected equipment.

Both the IEEE and NIST surge guides say plug-in protectors are effective.


Originally Posted by westom View Post
They can claim anything subjectively in advertising, sales brochures, and other sources of hearsay. They cannot lie in numeric specs. Where is the spec number that claims to absorb hundreds of thousands of joules? Where is the spec number that claims to stop what three miles of sky could not?

Neither plug-in or service panel protectors protect by "absorbing" or "stopping" surges. (Both absorb some energy in the process of protecting.)

The author of the NIST surge guide looked at the maximum energy that could be absorbed at a plug-in protector and found it was a surprisingly small 35 joules.

Originally Posted by westom View Post
All appliances already contain superior protection. Anything that might work on its power cord is already inside each appliance

Nonsense. Some equipment has some protection, some does not. Not likely any has as high a rating as a plug-in protector.

Originally Posted by westom View Post
Your concern is a rare transient (maybe once every seven years) that might overwhelm that existing protection. Only an earthed 'whole house' protector makes such surges irrelevant.

Service panel suppressors are a good idea, particularly in high lightning areas.
But from the NIST surge guide:
"Q - Will a surge protector installed at the service entrance be sufficient for the whole house?
A - There are two answers to than question: Yes for one-link appliances [electronic equipment], No for two-link appliances [equipment connected to power AND phone or cable or....]. Since most homes today have some kind of two-link appliances, the prudent answer to the question would be NO - but that does not mean that a surge protector installed at the service entrance is useless."

The NIST surge guide suggests that most equipment damage is from high voltage between power and phone/cable/... wires. An example of such damage is in the IEEE surge guide starting page 30. Service panel suppressors do not, by themselves, prevent that high voltage from developing. Service panel protectors are likely to protect anything connected only to power wiring (which is what the OP is talking about protecting in the kitchen).

If using a plug-in protector all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same protector. External connections, like phone, also need to go through the protector. Connecting all wiring through the suppressor prevents damaging voltages between power and signal wires going to the protected equipment.

Originally Posted by westom View Post
Lightning is 20,000 amps. So a minimally sized 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. Diverts that 20,000 amps harmlessly outside to earth.

There is essentially zero probability of a surge on a power wire larger than 10,000A (it is referenced in the IEEE surge guide). (It is based on a 100,000A strike to a utility pole behind a house in typical urban overhead distribution.)

The IEEE surge guide suggests 20,000 - 70,000A rating per service wire for a service panel protector, or 40,000 - 70-,000A for high lightning areas. A high rating means long life.

Originally Posted by westom View Post
Can be purchased in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. Other superior solutions are found from more responsible companies including Siemens, ABB, Intermatic, Square D, Leviton, and General Electric.
All of these "responsible companies" except SquareD make plug-in protectors (that westom says don't work) and say they are effective.

SquareD says for their "best" service panel suppressor "electronic equipment may need additional protection by installing plug-in [protectors] at the point of use."
 
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Old 10-05-11, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by baby327nd View Post
Can I ask by what do you mean by that?
What part of the sentence are you asking about? For example, a safety ground in a wall receptacle is not earth ground. Its impedance is excessive.

For example, a 50 foot connection from that wall receptacle to breaker box would be well less than 0.2 ohms resistance. That same wire may be 120 ohms impedance to a surge. A trivial 100 amp surge (100 amps times 120 ohms) means the receptacle approaches 12,000 volts. Where is the protection? That impedance might even be higher due to sharp wires bends, multiple splices, etc.

Critical to surge protection is a short connection to earth that has no sharp wire bends, no splices, not inside metallic conduit, separated from other non-ground wires, etc. All define why the receptacle safety ground is not earth ground. Why that connection to earth has excessive impedance. Protection means a connection to earth must be short (ie 'less than 10 feet').

Protection even 100 years ago was always about where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. Energy does not magically disappear. Either energy connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. Or that energy goes hunting for earth destructively via household appliances. Once that energy is inside, then nothing can provide protection.

Protection is always about were energy dissipates. Always ask where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. Without a low impedance connection to earth, then surges go hunting for and find earth destructively via appliances - with or without adjacent and unearthed protectors.

I am not sure which part of that sentence causes confusion. For over 100 years, protection has always been about energy absorbed harmlessly outside a building. Nothing stops a surge. Single point earth ground is essential so that surges do not go hunting for earth destructively via appliances. That solution is always installed in a facility that can never have damage. No exceptions. For example, Sun Microsystems' "Planning guide for Sun Server room" says:
> Section 6.4.7 Lightning Protection:
> Lightning surges cannot be stopped, but they can be diverted. The plans for the data
> center should be thoroughly reviewed to identify any paths for surge entry into the
> data center. Surge arrestors can be designed into the system to help mitigate the
> potential for lightning damage within the data center. These should divert the power
> of the surge by providing a path to ground for the surge energy.

Could Sun be blunter? Protection is always about a low impedance connection to single point earth ground. A protector is only a connecting device to what does all protection. Energy must dissipate harmlessly in earth. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. Therefore that dedicated connection to earth must be low impedance.

Your best solution is one 'whole house' protector connected short to an earth ground that both meets and exceeds code. One solution from Cutler-Hammer sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. Is rated to earth 50,000 amps. That means it earths a direct lightning strike (ie 20,000 amps) without any appliance damage. Even the furnace is protected. Without damage even to the protector. More responsible companies sell this superior and less expensive solution. But again, it works because it connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to earth. Because energy is absorbed harmlessly outside the building.
 
  #9  
Old 10-05-11, 05:39 PM
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So I should have two whole house surge protectors? One for each hot bus?
 
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Old 10-05-11, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by drooplug View Post
So I should have two whole house surge protectors? One for each hot bus?
I am assuming you are asking about two hot wires and one neutral wire. One 'whole house' protector connects both hot wires to earth ground. The neutral wire is already earthed if that existing earth ground both meets code (ie low resistance) and exceeds code (ie low impedance). A 6 AWG (4 mm) bare copper wire would earth both AC hot wires via that one protector.

Telephone would already have a 'whole house' protector that connects both (or four if you had two phone lines) wires to earth. But you are responsible for the earthing electrode. That protector (ie inside the subscriber interface or NID box) must also connect low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to the same earthing electrode that you provided. A 12 AWG wire (about 2 mm) would make that connection.
 
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Old 10-05-11, 06:39 PM
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Hmm. I don't recall my surge protector connecting to both hots. I'll have to look, it's been awhile.
 
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Old 10-06-11, 06:48 AM
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Originally Posted by westom View Post
For example, a 50 foot connection from that wall receptacle to breaker box would be well less than 0.2 ohms resistance. That same wire may be 120 ohms impedance to a surge. A trivial 100 amp surge (100 amps times 120 ohms) means the receptacle approaches 12,000 volts. Where is the protection? That impedance might even be higher due to sharp wires bends, multiple splices, etc.

As the IEEE surge guide (link in previous post) makes clear (starting page 30) plug-in protectors do not work primarily by earthing. They work by limiting the voltage from each wire (power and signal) to the ground at the protector. The voltage between the wires going to the protected equipment is safe for the protected equipment.

In the US, at about 6,000V there is arc-over from service panel busbars to the enclosure. After the arc is established the voltage is hundreds of volts. Since the enclosure is connected to the earthing electrodes that dumps most of the energy from a large surge to earth. You can't get 12,000V at a receptacle from a surge on power wires. And receptacles will also arc-over at about 6,000V.

And the same impedance in the branch circuit wires that prevents a plug-in protector from effectively earthing a surge prevents large currents to the plug-in protector.

As stated in my previous post, the NIST surge expert looked at the energy that could be absorbed in a plug-in protector. He used branch circuits 10m and longer and power line surges up to 10,000A, which as I wrote previously, is the maximum likely surge on power wires. The energy was a surprising 35 joules max. In 13 of 15 cases it was 1 joule or less. The reason the energy is so low is arc-over at the service panel and impedance of the branch circuit wires.

Plug-in protectors with ratings far higher than 35 joules are readily available. Connected correctly they are likely to protect from a very near very strong surge. That is why some of them have connected equipment warranties.


Originally Posted by westom View Post
Protection even 100 years ago was always about where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. Energy does not magically disappear.

It is only "magic" for westom. As clearly explained by the IEEE surge guide, plug-in protectors don't work primarily by earthing a surge.

Contrary to westom's belief, the IEEE, the NIST and all of westom's "responsible companies" say plug-in protectors are effective.


Originally Posted by westom View Post
A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

It is a religious belief (immune from challenge) that prevents westom from understanding how plug-in protectors work (as clearly explained in the IEEE surge guide).


Originally Posted by westom View Post
Your best solution is one 'whole house' protector connected short to an earth ground that both meets and exceeds code.

Repeating from the NIST surge guide:
"Q - Will a surge protector installed at the service entrance be sufficient for the whole house?
A - There are two answers to than question: Yes for one-link appliances [electronic equipment], No for two-link appliances [equipment connected to power AND phone or cable or....]. Since most homes today have some kind of two-link appliances, the prudent answer to the question would be NO - but that does not mean that a surge protector installed at the service entrance is useless."

Service panel protectors are very likely to protect anything connected to just the power wires. But they do not, by themselves, prevent high voltage between power and phone/cable/... wires, which the NIST guide suggests causes most equipment damage.
 
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Old 10-06-11, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by westom View Post
I am assuming you are asking about two hot wires and one neutral wire. One 'whole house' protector connects both hot wires to earth ground. The neutral wire is already earthed if that existing earth ground both meets code (ie low resistance) and exceeds code (ie low impedance). A 6 AWG (4 mm) bare copper wire would earth both AC hot wires via that one protector.

A service panel protector that is listed under UL1449 connects to both hot buses and the neutral/ground bar. (Neutral and ground are connected at the service disconnect in the US.) The protector will have MOVs (voltage limiting elements) from each hot wire to ground, and between the hot wires.

Say the service is earthed with a single ground rod and the resistance to earth is a very good 10 ohms. If a surge produces a 1000A surge current to earth the voltage of the system ground will be 10,000V above 'absolute' earth potential.


Originally Posted by westom View Post
Telephone would already have a 'whole house' protector that connects both (or four if you had two phone lines) wires to earth. But you are responsible for the earthing electrode. That protector (ie inside the subscriber interface or NID box) must also connect low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to the same earthing electrode that you provided. A 12 AWG wire (about 2 mm) would make that connection.

The phone and cable entry protectors need to be connected with short wires to a close point on power earthing system. Connecting to the earthing electrode typically gives you a wire that is far too long. You want to minimize the voltage between power and phone and cable wires (and dish). If the system ground rises to 10,000V, all the wires rise together, like a bird on a high voltage wire. This "single point ground" with short wires to the common connection point is an important element of protection. An example of a wire from a cable entry ground block that is too long is in the IEEE surge guide starting page 30.

In some houses the cable or phone entry points are too far from the power service panel. In that case the IEEE surge guide says "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector".
 
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