Whole House Surge Protector.

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  #1  
Old 11-09-12, 10:15 PM
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Whole House Surge Protector.

I am looking at having a whole house surge protector added to our home.

Looking at the manual, is says put it on it's own breaker near the top/power feed.

I am not able to put the breaker near the top.. Only spot I got is mid way.... Am I going to take risk of breakers that are above it, and items below it will be protected?
 
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Old 11-10-12, 12:36 AM
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Having the surge arrestor as close as possible to the incoming feed is ideal but you should be fine with it connected to circuit breakers in the middle of the bus.

What brand/model are you installing?
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:56 AM
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I'm looking at leviton 51110.

I don't want to void the warranty if it's not placed as it says in the papers.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 07:00 AM
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Jay, if you're worried about warranty stuff, you could always pigtail the top breaker(s) down to the mid point and install the breaker for the surge protector at the top. What breakers do you have at the top and what are their amperage?
 
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Old 11-10-12, 08:20 AM
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On top, I have the 30 amp A/C breaker on the left, and on right I have the 15 amp kitchen outlets.

I have thought of dropping everything on the left down. So Surge on top, A/C next down..
 
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Old 11-10-12, 11:22 AM
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Moving the circuit breakers is the best plan.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 12:18 PM
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I am looking at having a whole house surge protector added to our home.

Looking at the manual, is says put it on it's own breaker near the top/power feed.

I am not able to put the breaker near the top.. Only spot I got is mid way.... Am I going to take risk of breakers that are above it, and items below it will be protected?
No. And I'll just add that a whole house surge protector does not protect any breakers or circuit wiring anyway. Those protections are provided by the Grounding Electrode Conductor (the ground rod(s) and the conductor bonding them to the service entrance), by the Equipment Grounding Conductors (the ground wires run with the branch circuit wiring), and by your circuit breakers, especially those that are Arc Fault Circuit Interrupters.

What your whole house surge protector will do is the same thing that your plug-in surge protectors have been doing: Protecting your electronic devices from damage from current fluctuations. The difference is that it will do it earlier, more robustly, and for every device in your house - including your HVAC controls, your entertainment system, your security system, your refrigerator, etc. Everything.

All that said, I did mot see an instruction about panel location in the installation instructions* that I found for the Leviton 51110-001 Residential Panel Surge Protection Device. Do you have a different set of instructions?

*Note: This link will download the .pdf file of the installation instructions that I found.

I was surprised that I didn't find that, because it's a common instruction. It's also one that I've taken with a grain of salt over the years. I've installed these in every conceivable breaker position, from the end of the buses closest to the feeders to the end furthest away. All have performed as expected, and still are, even though the oldest of them has now been in service for nearly 10 years. I wouldn't worry about it, and I certainly wouldn't make any great effort to re-work a panel to move the device closer to the feeders.

One question: Is there a reason you're considering this remotely mounted protector over one that mounts directly to the ungrounded buses? The installation instructions are full of cautions about minimizing the length of the conductors. As I was reading that, I was thinking "Why not just buy the one that plugs into a double breaker space, and eliminate the resistance and induction concerns they're raising, plus save the cost of the two 30A breakers the call for?"
 
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Old 11-10-12, 01:10 PM
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This is the one I installed at my panel: SYC-120/240-T2: Sycom Surge Inc. - Home

Mounts right in a knockout. I attached the wires to the first two breakers. Maybe it works, maybe it doesn't. All I know is that I haven't had anything fried since it has been installed. I will also note that I have never had anything fried before it was installed.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 04:00 PM
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Nash,

I must of been out of it when I was reading the install manual... It was step #4 that I was looking at.

This unit can be mounted on the panel's knock out so the run is very short, and I already do have a spare 30 amp breaker.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 05:41 PM
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I must of been out of it when I was reading the install manual...
Like you're the only one who's ever done that!

I already do have a spare 30 amp breaker.
You need two single-pole 30A breakers, one above the other, IIRC. I would join their handles with a handle tie if I were doing it.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:14 PM
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You need two single-pole 30A breakers, one above the other, IIRC. I would join their handles with a handle tie if I were doing it.
Some manufacturers specify a 2 pole 15 or 20 amp breaker, but all manufacturers I am familiar with specify that the wire that connects to the grounded neutral bar in your main panel should be as short as possible for maximum protection. Some manufacturers also specify in their instructions that the breaker should be near where the power enters the panel and some don't; I really don't know if it makes a difference or not.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 06:35 PM
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You need two single-pole 30A breakers, one above the other, IIRC. I would join their handles with a handle tie if I were doing it.
It's a 220v 30amp breaker that I have. Am sure that will work, right?
 
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Old 11-10-12, 07:10 PM
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Yes, Jay, that is correct. I am a bit surprised by the requirement for a 30 ampere breaker. As Joe mentioned, most manufacturers, at least the one's that I have come across, specify a 15 or 20 ampere circuit breaker.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 07:58 PM
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It's a 220v 30amp breaker that I have. Am sure that will work, right?
Yes, that will work to power your surge protector. But the manufacturer says
Originally Posted by Leviton 51110-001 Installation Instructions, Point 5
Leads from the SPD must be connected to the power mains through a 30 Amp (maximum) disconnect and fusing means. Either dedicated branch circuit breakers (independent single-pole preferred), or a fused disconnect switch may be used. [emphasis added]
The difference is that, in the way the manufacturer would prefer, either breaker can trip on its own without having to open the other one. This provides greater protection for the surge protector. If you use the 2-pole 240V breaker, it will either trip both sides or neither. If it were mine, I would only use two independent breakers.

And, as I said earlier,
Originally Posted by Nashkat1
I would join their handles with a handle tie if I were doing it.
That's so someone (like me) who's not paying full attention couldn't accidentally leave one half hot while thinking he'd shut off both legs, or accidentally cut off a breaker protecting a different circuit, that's mounted either right above or right below this pair.

Your call. I've told you the way I'd do it, for my own house or for a customer, and why.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 08:02 PM
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As Joe mentioned, most manufacturers, at least the one's that I have come across, specify a 15 or 20 ampere circuit breaker.
That makes at least three of us. I think a 3-pole device I installed some few years ago may have required a 30A breaker, but this is definitely the first time I've seen that for a residential split-phase installation.
 
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Old 11-11-12, 08:19 AM
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I would join their handles with a handle tie if I were doing it.
If you were doing this, then both breaker will trip together then?
 
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Old 11-11-12, 01:06 PM
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If you were doing this, then both breaker will trip together then?
No. the difference between a two-pole breaker, with only one handle for both poles, or two tied together with an inflexible link, and two individual single-pole breakers with their two handles connected with a handle tie is the difference between simultaneous trip and independent trip.

Both the two-pole breaker and the two tied-together individual breakers provide - ensure - simultaneous disconnect, but the two individual single-pole breakers can each trip without tripping the other half of the pair. That's why Leviton took pains to voice their preference for the two individual breakers in their instructions, and that's why I said that that's the method of disconnect I would install if I were doing the work.
 
  #18  
Old 11-11-12, 02:26 PM
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Thanks for the info, I will do the two breakers. That would be two 30 amps breaker on top of each other, right?
 
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Old 11-11-12, 03:01 PM
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That would be two 30 amps breaker on top of each other, right?
Yep .
 
  #20  
Old 11-12-12, 07:36 AM
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Thanks again, Nash!

One last question... Is there a reason why 220v breakers are on top? (like A/C, electric stove/dryers)

ONly 220v I got is the A/C, everything else is gas.. But in my past service days I've seen most of them on top.

A very very few case they are in the lower section or midway.
 
  #21  
Old 11-12-12, 08:44 AM
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The 2 pole breakers for 240 volt circuits can go anywhere in your panel. Many electricians group the 2 pole breakers at the top or bottom just for a more organized panel arrangement.
 
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