Help with Surge Protector Wiring!

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Old 01-15-12, 01:50 PM
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Help with Surge Protector Wiring!

I purchased a whole home surge protector but am unclear about the wiring. There are two hot (black) wires that are supposed to be connected to "line 1" and "line 2." Does line 1 and 2 refer to bus 1 and 2 meaning I need to have a breaker on each bus dedicated to the Surge Protector?

Also, I have noticed in the service panel the breakers start out with the highest amperage on top and the lowest on the bottom. The Surge protector needs a 20amp or less. Does it really matter where it goes or did they do that just cause...

I am a novice when it comes to home electrical but very familiar with electrical in general so I am fairly confident I won't kill myself!
 
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Old 01-15-12, 02:25 PM
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Does line 1 and 2 refer to bus 1 and 2 meaning I need to have a breaker on each bus dedicated to the Surge Protector?
Yes.


Also, I have noticed in the service panel the breakers start out with the highest amperage on top and the lowest on the bottom.
This is convention. Some electricians think that the highest amperage circuit breakers should be closest to the incoming power but in reality it doesn't matter.
The Surge protector needs a 20amp or less. Does it really matter where it goes...?
The instructions on many whole house surge suppressors state to connect the suppressor as close to the incoming power as possible. If you can do that without a large amount of difficulty I would recommend you do. If it would be difficult then lower will probably be okay. Use a double pole (240 volt handle-tied) circuit breaker rather than two single pole (120 volt) circuit breaker and try to mount it so the wires are as short as possible.
 
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Old 01-15-12, 03:27 PM
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Good comments Furd. .
 
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Old 01-15-12, 08:45 PM
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Thanks Furd,

One (hopefully) final question. I looked at the diagram of my breaker panel and it seems to show that when using a double breaker they will both be attached to the same bus.

How would I in this case use one double pole breaker rather than 2 singles?
 
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Old 01-15-12, 09:10 PM
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Panels are generally arranged so that adjacent circuit breakers are on alternate busses. The one brand I am aware of where there is sometimes a problem are certain models of General Electric panels that use "skinny" circuit breakers that CAN, under certain circumstances, have both breakers on the same bus.

If you post the make and model number of your panel then someone will be able to tell you if there is a potential problem.
 
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Old 02-18-12, 05:48 PM
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I cannot answer definetively in some regards but will offer this.

1) Only the neutral ground wire needs to be kept short as possible, no loops or bends.

2) Does it really matter if he is on two different single pole breakers? The main thing is to have the two black wires connected to dedicated breakers on the differenct lines. Otherwise, only one side would be protected.

The breakers are just a means by which to secure it to the lines.

I have a Siemens (QSA 2020) 20amp breaker style surge protector that has individual switches. The breaker will indicate an issue by tripping "one or both" circuits.

Some versions don't even have switches. I realize these are different than the external mounted units but the concept should be no different.

Siemens tells you to put it on circuits that are used often, but that is just becuase you will notice an issue faster. Otherwise, nothing has to be connected into those breakers.

Good luck
 
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Old 02-18-12, 08:29 PM
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2) Does it really matter if he is on two different single pole breakers? The main thing is to have the two black wires connected to dedicated breakers on the differenct lines. Otherwise, only one side would be protected.
In theory, no it doesn't matter if you use a 2 pole or two single pole breakers. That being said, the reality is that you are probably using a surge device that carries a U.L. Listing. To avoid violating the listing you must follow the manufacturer's instructions. If they say to use a 2 pole breaker, you must use a 2 pole breaker.
 
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Old 02-19-12, 11:52 AM
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CasualJoe; "In theory, no it doesn't matter if you use a 2 pole or two single pole breakers. That being said, the reality is that you are probably using a surge device that carries a U.L. Listing. To avoid violating the listing you must follow the manufacturer's instructions. If they say to use a 2 pole breaker, you must use a 2 pole breaker."

Yes that is correct CasualJoe and I would never suggest otherwise.

It was my impression the OP was intending on using two single pole breakers, "...need to have a breaker on each bus..." . I assume he read the manufacturers instructions and as he made no mention of not being able to use single pole breakers. He simply wanted to clarify that bus meant the same as line.

It was Furd who suggested he should use a double pole breaker upon which the OP immediately noted he'd have an issue with that setup. I only pointed out he could use two single pole breakers but that of course is contingent upon what the manufacturer states and whether it is to code(you can only have 6 throws in a lug only load center).

take care
 
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