Protecting New Kitchen Appliances

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  #1  
Old 05-20-14, 10:37 AM
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Protecting New Kitchen Appliances

We are replacing all the major appliances and I am looking to protect them electrically.

I have already chosen a Leviton 51120-1 as a whole-house suppressor.

Now I am looking for "point protection" at the fridge, built-in dishwasher and wall oven. (Yes, we are spending that much....sigh) For the fridge, I am trying to decide between a plug-in strip or the added peace-of-mind of a UPS. (I have been using APC power strips with surge suppression in for years, and we have two CyberPower UPS protecting computers. Both UPS kicked in four time in the last year, twice for service interruptions and twice for low-voltage. That's the total of my knowledge/experience). For the dishwasher, I am planning a strip. For the wall oven, I'm at a loss.

- Neither the spec sheet nor the user manual for the fridge gives startup or static power draw. How would I appropriately size a UPS?
- Can't get "permission" to have a UPS visible, so any issues with putting a UPS in the cabinet beneath the kitchen sink?
- How would you protect the wall oven?

Thanks in advance for sharing your expertise or experiences!

(Apologies if this is already answered, I could not find a relevant thread.)
 
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  #2  
Old 05-20-14, 11:01 AM
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I have already chosen a Leviton 51120-1 as a whole-house suppressor.
That's where I would stop, the Leviton device provides more protection than most homes have. If you desire to add more protection, I wouldn't recommend or use a strip, but a surge suppressing receptacle for your refrigerator and dishwasher just for supplemental protection.

Receptacles > Type 3: Surge Protective Receptacles > Surge Protective Devices > Products from Leviton Electrical and Electronic Products
 
  #3  
Old 05-20-14, 11:08 AM
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Unless you go real big...I doubt an UPS is going to be suitable for those uses. It's the motors in the DW and fridge that are the deal breakers. Not like TV's, PC's and cable boxes...very low draw items and the motors are isolated from the mains in most (all?) cases. And if it's an electric oven...well, no way to use an UPS, and who cares if it's a gas unit?

No specs on the labels of the actual machines? I find that hard to believe. Manuals yes, cause they are often generic and have to cover many models.

Might want to read thru this...http://www.doityourself.com/forum/el...pply-unit.html
 
  #4  
Old 05-20-14, 11:23 AM
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No specs on the labels of the actual machines? I find that hard to believe. Manuals yes, cause they are often generic and have to cover many models.
Good catch. They get delivered day after Memorial Day. I downloaded the spec sheet and manuals because my Better Half wants these electrical details taken care of in advance. I want her to stay happy. (When I pay attention, Happy Wife, Happy Life has served me well for 23 years!)

After reading Joes reply and going to the link, I see there are outlets in 15a and 20a and self-grounding and isolated ground. Am I correct in assuming the NEMA 5-15R self-grounding is the way to go?
 
  #5  
Old 05-20-14, 11:29 AM
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Self grounding won't work unless you have metal grounded boxes. As to amperage...I imagine 15A is all that's needed. The small appliance counter outlets are 20A circuits I believe, but the rest (disposal, frige, etc) can be 15A....I think...wait for verification.

Hmmm...I may be confusing outlets and circuit capacities...so forget everything except the first sentence....lol.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 03:49 PM
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Self grounding receptacles work with metal boxes. If you have plastic boxes there is no advantage as you Still need to ground the device.
 
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Old 05-20-14, 05:38 PM
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I agree with Joe, the whole house surge suppressor is probably the best you should go. If you really want point-of-use protection, I would add a surge protector receptacle behind the fridge and maybe one at the range if it's gas. You could also probably use one as a pass-through for the dishwasher.

But if it were mine, I would just stick with the whole house protection. If a big enough surge comes through, it's my opinion that a point-of-use won't help much with that. But again - you have options!
 
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Old 05-20-14, 05:41 PM
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Am I correct in assuming the NEMA 5-15R self-grounding is the way to go?
Yes to NEMA 5-15R. Follow the statement by pcboss on the self grounding.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 08:37 AM
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Even the 'whole house' protector does not protect appliances. It is so effective because it connects to what does the protection. Protection means you can answer a simple question. Where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate?

The Leviton protector is effective only because it makes a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to single point earth ground. The wire from the Leviton to earth is critical. Many electricians are never taught this. For example, if the quarter inch bare copper wire goes up over the foundation and down to earthing, then appliance protection is compromised. That wire has sharp bends over the foundation, is too long, and is probably bundled with other non-grounding wires. It must be rerouted through the foundation and down to earth.

Same applies to a receptacle safety ground. It clearly has excessive impedance. A receptacle safety ground is to protect human life. Does nothing to protect appliances.

Same applies to that UPS. It also does nothing to protect computer hardware. Its function is to protect unsaved data. Obviously it does not answer a simple question: where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate.

Refrigerator should be on its own dedicated circuit. And without a GFCI.

Once final point. UPS power is typically so 'dirty' as to be potentially harmful to motorized appliances. Protection inside electronics is so robust as to make 'dirty' UPS power irrelevant.

How to make a 'whole house' protector even more effective? Upgrade what does protection: single point earth ground. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 09:08 AM
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While a good idea the refrigerator does not need nor does the code require a dedicated circuit. It should also be fine with GFI protection.
 
  #11  
Old 05-21-14, 05:26 PM
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I am not sure if your area has adopted the 2014 NEC but if so I am quite sure the refer. will require an AFCI breaker to protect that circuit.
Geo
 
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Old 05-21-14, 08:30 PM
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Code was specific about no GFCI on a refrigerator. Risk of electrocution is much less than the risk of food poisoning due to a tripped GFCI.
 
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Old 05-21-14, 08:41 PM
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I would also stop at the whole house surge arrestor. If anything severe comes through, homeowners insurance should cover it. Make sure you have a good grounding system as others have said.

I would not install a GFCI on the fridge circuit. While my fridge, freezer, boiler, network equipment, and a bunch of other things are on a GFCI in my house for 4 or 5 years now without a problem, it only takes one nuisance trip to spoil a whole bunch of food or give someone food poisoning.
 
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Old 05-22-14, 09:30 AM
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Code was specific about no GFCI on a refrigerator. Risk of electrocution is much less than the risk of food poisoning due to a tripped GFCI.
I would like to see the code cite for that, especially considering that refrigerators in commercial kitchens require GFI protection.

The NEC allows GFI protection for refrigerators in dwellings, but do not require it.
 
  #15  
Old 05-27-14, 09:59 AM
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What SHOULD I be Protecting Against?

Westom raises an interesting point...

Even the 'whole house' protector does not protect appliances. It is so effective because it connects to what does the protection. Protection means you can answer a simple question. Where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate?

The Leviton protector is effective only because it makes a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to single point earth ground. The wire from the Leviton to earth is critical. Many electricians are never taught this. For example, if the quarter inch bare copper wire goes up over the foundation and down to earthing, then appliance protection is compromised. That wire has sharp bends over the foundation, is too long, and is probably bundled with other non-grounding wires. It must be rerouted through the foundation and down to earth.
I was not originally intending to guard against the next-door lightning strike that slams into the house through the utility wires, but against the (more routine, at least in our area?) power spikes and slumps from the utility. (The point-protection of the outlets is my answer to internal-generated power problems I have read about elsewhere on the board.) I assumed my homeowners insurance would backstop the catastrophic loss after the deductible. I did just have the coverage conversation with my homeowner's insurance company, so we are covered for both lightning and "damage from artificially generated electrical current." In one sense, it feels like I am protecting my appliances from something my homeowners insurance also protects them from, in effect, to save myself from the hassle of filing and from paying the deductible.

I assume I can get whatever level of protection I am willing to pay for, but asking someone to pierce the foundation to protect the appliances from that kind of spike seems to be inviting almost-certain water problems down the road for the far-less-likely, but admittedly big-time hit, should it occur.

You have all been gentle so far , so I will ask,

"Am I misguided?"
 
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Old 05-27-14, 07:03 PM
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... but asking someone to pierce the foundation to protect the appliances from that kind of spike seems to be inviting almost-certain water problems down the road ...
Your foundation must have many items piercing it without a water problem. Meanwhile, an earth ground wire typically pierces above ground level.

Protection from any typically destructive surge (ie due to a stray car, a gnawing squirrel, linemen error, grid switching, lightning striking utility lines far down the street, high voltage wire failing on lower voltage wires, etc), then the only proven solution is that earthing. Even power strip protectors need that protection. And do not claim to protect from damage typically created by those listed surges. We simply discuss lightning. Because that defines other types of surges. Only proven protection from all those surges is defined by an answer to this essential question. "Where do hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate?"

Does you homeowner's insurance also cover CFL and LED bulbs, the furnace, refrigerator, dishwasher, air conditioner, clocks and cell phone? What most needs protection during a surge? Smoke detectors. Insurance is secondary protection. Best is an inexpensive effort to avert damage up front. This is especially true if using strip protectors that also have a history of causing fire.

BTW, above was only 'secondary' protection. Just as critical is your 'primary' protection system installed by the utility. A picture demonstrates what to inspect:
Florida Power & Light and BellSouth
When properly earthed, well, an IEEE Standard puts a number to it. Instead of damage every 30 years, expect damage every 6000 years. It's not 100% because humans make mistakes. But, properly installed, it should be that reliable.

How do you make protection better? Upgrade the earthing. Earthing is an Ďartí. Earth ground (and not a protector) defines quality of each protection layer. Most important is technical significance is all four words: single point earth ground. Without better earthing, a Leviton would only do a similar near zero protection afforded by plug-in protectors.
 
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