Surge Suppressor Circuit Breaker

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  #1  
Old 05-24-12, 04:57 PM
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Surge Suppressor Circuit Breaker

Hello all,

What are your thoughts on surge suppressor circuit breakers? Do they work well?

How does a whole panel get surge protection if a couple of branch circuits have a surge suppressor circuit breaker?
 
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  #2  
Old 05-24-12, 05:12 PM
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I am not aware of such a thing as a surge suppressor circuit breaker. Do you have a manufacturer and model number in mind you are thinking about. If so, share it with us.
 
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Old 05-24-12, 05:15 PM
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Square D and Cutler-Hammer both have surge suppression in the form of a two pole part that attaches to the bus.

Here is one.
Surge Arrestor 2 Pole - Hardwire Surge Protection Devices - Voltage Regulation - 3XB84 : Grainger Industrial Supply
 
  #4  
Old 05-24-12, 05:27 PM
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Here is a Cutler-Hammer surge protector that plugs onto the bus in a BR loadcenter, but it is not a circuit breaker.

Cutler Hammer BRSURGE Plug On Surge Arrestor

Siemens has a similar one that has two single pole breakers built into it, but the circuit breaker part has nothing to do with the surge protector part.

Siemens Residential Surge Protection
 
  #5  
Old 05-24-12, 06:55 PM
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If the protector is better earthed, then everything on all sides of that protector are protected. You have assumed what scams and advertising promote. That a surge is somehow blocked by going through a protector. Any protector that works by blocking does not protect from a typically destructive surge.

As with all protectors, the connection to earth should be at least 50,000 amps. If one combination circuit breaker and surge protector is not rated that high, then another breaker may need be replaced by a breaker/protector to achieve at least 50,000 amps.

Again, it's not any protector that does protection. Protection is defined by an earth ground. Either a connection to earth is made by a wire. Or made by a protector. The protector is only acting like a wire when an incoming cable cannot connect directly to earth ground. Earth ground (not the protector) defines protection. A protector or protectors must be rated to connect even 50,000 amps to earth.
 
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Old 05-24-12, 07:12 PM
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So do you guys think suppressors like the Siemens/Murray circuit breaker suppressors are worth using?
 
  #7  
Old 05-24-12, 07:37 PM
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The Murray is rated at 40,000 Amps. Could two units be used simultaneously to double the protection or would they interfere with each other somehow?
 
  #8  
Old 05-24-12, 07:53 PM
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An effective protector connects AC hot wires to earth. Two protectors mean a better connection. (This assumes those protectors are connecting both phases to earth.)

Too much time is spent discussing the simple science. Art of protection is (and most of your questions should be) about what defines protection. Single point earth ground. And how that connection is made.

Amps only defined a protector’s life expectancy over many surges. How good is it during each surge? That is defined by earth ground.
 
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Old 05-25-12, 11:07 AM
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So do you guys think suppressors like the Siemens/Murray circuit breaker suppressors are worth using?
Yes. I installed ours a year or two ago and the change has been noticeable in terms of less flickering of lights, fewer annoying computer resets, etc. Plus all of the electronics in our other smart devices, such as our cordless land-line phones, our refrigerator and our other major appliances, are now protected from annoying - and possibly long-term damaging - fluctuations.

The one I installed occupies two breaker spaces, and is specific to the make and model of our panel, just as any replacement breaker would be.

Our service was, and is, well grounded to begin with. We're not relying on this device to protect the system from a lightening strike. We're relying on it to do what a small flotilla of plug-in suppressors would be doing, to do it more effectively, and to do it for everything in the house.
 
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Old 05-25-12, 04:54 PM
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So do you guys think suppressors like the Siemens/Murray circuit breaker suppressors are worth using?
Yes, they are definitely worth using, but the plug-in type don't offer the best protection when compared to other devices available. When you compare the price for a plug-in surge protection device at around $60-$70 to a panel mounted device, the panel mounted device offers you a lot more for your money. Here is a much better device at only slightly more cost.

Complete Home Surge Protection-CHSPT2MICRO at The Home Depot

The panel mount type device usually wires to a 15 or 20 amp 2 pole breaker in the panel so it isn't as easy to install although it isn't difficult.

Here's what you need to know about surge protection devices.

http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j...l_N8v0UKWF_-Nw
 
  #11  
Old 05-25-12, 05:50 PM
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Thanks I am going to stick with the Murray suppressor (it cost $106.88 at Amazon) because it matches my panel and it also does gives me circuit breakers (I am maxed out).

Though I am curious, why is the Eaton so much better?
 
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Old 05-25-12, 07:12 PM
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So do you guys think suppressors like the Siemens/Murray circuit breaker suppressors are worth using?
Yes, they are definitely worth using, but the plug-in type don't offer the best protection when compared to other devices available. When you compare the price for a plug-in surge protection device at around $60-$70 to a panel mounted device, the panel mounted device offers you a lot more for your money. Here is a much better device at only slightly more cost.

Complete Home Surge Protection-CHSPT2MICRO at The Home Depot

The panel mount type device usually wires to a 15 or 20 amp 2 pole breaker in the panel so it isn't as easy to install although it isn't difficult.
Ours is mounted to the bus bar in a full-height two-pole space. It doesn't plug into anything. And it cost less than $80, IIRC.
 
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Old 05-26-12, 04:48 AM
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Though I am curious, why is the Eaton so much better?
Check the specs. Also, a lifetime warranty.
 
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Old 05-26-12, 07:58 AM
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I like the lifetime warranty. You know how you cannot use non Murray circuit breakers in a Murray panel, is it fine to use other surge protectors in the Murray panel?

Perhaps when I get a subpanel I can get the Eaton some day but right now I have no space for it so I'll just get the Murray.
 
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Old 05-26-12, 09:12 AM
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The device may appear to mount properly on the bus but there are no guarantees and it is not listed for use in other brands of panels.
 
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Old 05-26-12, 09:42 AM
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Interesting discussion on similar topic:

Whole house surge protector [Archive] - RedFlagDeals.com Forums
 
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Old 05-27-12, 06:12 AM
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Warranty is most often to hype an inferior product to naive consumers. For example. Who has the best warranty in the auto industry? GM. Does that prove a Chevy is superior to Toyota, Hyundai, and Honda? Of course not.

As stated previously, amps only defined a protector’s life expectancy over many surges. How good is it during each surge? That is defined by earth ground.

Lightning is maybe 20,000 amps. So a minimal 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. Because any protector that fails was ineffective. How effective is that protector during each surge? That is why most of your question should be about the other item that does the protection. Single point earth ground.

Protectors are simple science. Earth ground is the art of protection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
 
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Old 05-27-12, 06:47 AM
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I like the lifetime warranty. You know how you cannot use non Murray circuit breakers in a Murray panel, is it fine to use other surge protectors in the Murray panel?

Perhaps when I get a subpanel I can get the Eaton some day but right now I have no space for it so I'll just get the Murray.
The Eaton device doesn't mount in the panel, but on the outside of the panel or adjacent to the panel so it isn't brand specific on which panels it can be installed with. In your case, the Murray may be the best choice as your panel is full and the Murray is designed to be installed and give you back two circuits with the thin circuit breakers built into it.
 
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Old 06-26-12, 06:56 AM
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deleted redundant message
 
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Old 06-26-12, 07:00 AM
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a

You are thinking that a protector somehow stops or blocks a surge. Putting a protector between lightning and an appliance to block a surge is bogus.

Lightning must be earthed before getting into the building. Connect it to earth so it will not be on branch circuits. If a 'whole house' protector (in a breaker or attached to the meter or breaker box) connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to earth ground, then lightning need be inside the building.

A minimal 'whole house' protector will earth even 50,000 amp lightning strikes. If smaller, then consider installing two. Ask few questions about any protector. Your attention should be focused on what actually does protection. Single point earth ground. An art. And where most protection mistakes are made.

Protection is about ‘low impedance’ earthing of every wire incoming to a panel. Either earthed directly. Or earthed via a ‘whole house’ protector. Only then is every interior house wire house protected.

Protection is about earthing every wire that enters the building. Not about earthing branch circuits.
 

Last edited by westom; 06-26-12 at 08:01 AM.
  #21  
Old 06-27-12, 08:42 AM
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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 a major organization of electrical and electronic engineers).
And also:
http://www.eeel.nist.gov/817/pubs/sp...%20happen!.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 surge guide is aimed at people with some technical background.

You are thinking that a protector somehow stops or blocks a surge. Putting a protector between lightning and an appliance to block a surge is bogus.
Apparently westom is talking about a plug-in protector. They do not work by "stopping" or "blocking". As explained in the IEEE surge guide (starting page 30) they primarily work by limiting the voltage from each wire (power and signal) to the ground at the protector.

If using a plug-in protector all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same protector. External connections, like coax also MUST go through the protector.

A minimal 'whole house' protector will earth even 50,000 amp lightning strikes. If smaller, then consider installing two.
Service panel protectors are a real good idea.
But from the NIST 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 suppressors do not by themselves prevent high voltages from developing between power and phone/cable wires. The NIST surge guide suggests most equipment damage is from high voltage between power and signal wires.

A service panel protector is very likely to protect anything connected to only power wires from a very near very strong lightning strike.

I would not install two. Install one that is proper sized.

The author of the NIST surge guide looked at the surge current that could come in on residential power wires. The maximum with any reasonable probability of occurring was 10,000A per wire. Larger ratings mean the protector will have a long life. Recommended ratings for service panel protectors is in the IEEE surge guide on page 18.

Protectors that plug into the panel are usually easier to install. Separate ones that mount through a knockout (like in the link from CasualJoe) are available with higher ratings and are likely cheaper for the same rating.

Some of them have some kind of protected equipment warranties.

Subpanels require a different surge protector (the neutral and ground are not bonded).

Surge protectors limit the high voltages from a surge. They do not protect from anything else.
 
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