circuit protection for computers

Old 03-10-01, 12:09 PM
Able Sashweight
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I want to wire a home office for a rack of computers, and wonder about surge protection. I would have two circuits dedicated to computers and peripherals.

What are the advantages of installing a surge arrester on each computer circuit in the service panel vs a whole house arrester?
1. are circuit level arresters available?
2. Does either method give better or higher joule protection to the computers?

Also, when and why are isolated ground receptacles helpful? Do they isolate electrical noise (e.g. from a sewing machine), and if so why doesn't simply a dedicated circuit achieve the same result? Would isolated ground receptacles be redundant in my surge suppressor design?

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Old 03-10-01, 12:42 PM
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Isolated ground equip requires special installation procedures for grounding to isolate electrical noise from sensitive equip. Electrical noise can develop by the equipment grounding cond. being connected to many different devices that produce elec noise. The purpose is to provide a dedicated path for a given piece of equipment to use as a grounding path. The amount of protection provided by either a TVSS receptacle ($30 and up) or a whole house protection unit depends on its ratings. You will have to determine what you want.

Old 03-11-01, 07:32 AM
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I agree with Green Jackets reply.

Surges in the electrical system can be originated within you own structure. Thus I would recommend a surge protector at the computer rack one for each circuit. Computers are so sensitive to surge that static electricity from you walking on carpet then touching a component in the computer can knock out that component.

A dedicated grounding conductor is a 12 ga wire that runs from a dedicated grounding receptacle directly through the branch circuit, through the panel, and connects to the grounding source [ground rod serving as the grounding source to your home usually] This extra equipment grounding conductor does not attach to anything but the dedicated grounding receptacle and the ground rod. Not even connected in the main panel.

A dedicated grounding receptacle will have a hot connection and grounded connection a green equipment grounding connection and a dedicated grounding connection. The dedicated grounding connection [extra grounding conductor direct to the grounding source of the structure] does not make contact with the yoke of the receptacle, just makes contact with the round hole of the receptacle. The equipment grounding conductor [house grounding conductor] makes the contact with any metals such as the metal box containing the receptacle or the yoke of the dedicated grounding receptacle.

The manufacturers of computors recommend the installation of both the branch circuit surge protector and the dedicated grounding receptacle.

This is due to the sensitivity of the electronics inside your computor.

Hope this helps


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