New Panel + Whole House Surge Protector

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  #1  
Old 06-16-14, 09:57 PM
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New Panel + Whole House Surge Protector

Hello everyone. Does everything look proper with this new panel? ( As far as you can tell through a picture) I was also thinking of adding this surge protector to replace the left two 20 amp breakers. Here What do you guys think? Thanks in advance. I have been a long time reader. You guys are amazing, everyone you help with so little in return.

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  #2  
Old 06-16-14, 10:30 PM
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Other than the frayed looking cloth covered wires and the mismatched breaker I'd say it looks pretty good.
 
  #3  
Old 06-17-14, 04:31 AM
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Assume main panel since 3 wire feed and bonding screw is present.

The two white wires feeding the 240v breakers should be marked/re-identified with with black tape.

That surge breaker is nice. The two independent 20 amp breakers can not be combined though.
 
  #4  
Old 06-17-14, 05:18 AM
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One thing I never like is that 'clean' wiring. Each wire is cut so short to only go to that breaker. Better is to run each wire longer so that it goes down the side of the box and back up to the breaker. Then each wire is long enough to connect to some other breaker location, can be used in a new (maybe larger) breaker box in the future, and spare wire exists should the end of that wire need be cut off and reconnected.

Missing in that picture is the most important feature of a protector. How does that ground wire connect to the earthing electrode? What is the electrode?
 
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Old 06-17-14, 06:14 AM
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Rarely is there a need for extra conductor length to be left in the panel cluttering up the gutter space. If the wire is too short on the rare occasion it needs to be moved a piece can be spliced on.
 
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Old 06-17-14, 06:52 AM
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If the wire is too short on the rare occasion it needs to be moved a piece can be spliced on.
I had an electrician once tell me I couldn't splice in the panel? Not true?
 
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Old 06-17-14, 07:19 AM
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The NEC allows splices in the panel.
 
  #8  
Old 06-17-14, 07:21 AM
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I had an electrician once tell me I couldn't splice in the panel? Not true?
Not true. .......................................
 
  #9  
Old 06-27-14, 08:07 AM
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What do you mean by that? I can't attach the two single 20 amp breakers, one to each breaker on the surge protector? (The surge protector has two 20 amp breakers)

Also, does it need to be the top breaker? The directions don't say it does, but I have heard that it may?
 
  #10  
Old 06-27-14, 08:13 AM
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To clarify - That surge/breaker combo works fine to feed two 20 AMP 120 volt circuits but can not be used for a 240 volt feed as there is no handle tie available to disconnect both legs simultaneously.
 
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Old 06-27-14, 08:20 AM
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I can't attach the two single 20 amp breakers, one to each breaker on the surge protector? (The surge protector has two 20 amp breakers)
Sure you can.

Also, does it need to be the top breaker? The directions don't say it does, but I have heard that it may?
I prefer the surge device be in the top space, but just follow the instructions. Unless the instructions state you must use the top space, you do not have to.
 
  #12  
Old 06-27-14, 02:38 PM
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That's what I thought you meant, but I wanted to be sure. I was planning on using it for two 120 20 amp circuits. Okay, well I'll move the breakers around to get the surge protector to the top of the box.

So as far as I can see I only have one ground, in the new box and it connects to the houses water pipes. Isn't that incorrect for most areas?
 
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Old 06-27-14, 02:55 PM
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A single ground was common for many years. If a Ufer ground is used you will only have one ground even in a new house..
 
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Old 06-27-14, 05:33 PM
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Locating those breakers closer to incoming AC mains is about making a connection from each AC wire to earth every foot shorter. Distance of that connection, no splices, and no sharp bends are critically important to making a protector more effective.

Earthing to a water pipe is no longer sufficient. Of all earth grounds, a water pipe ground is the only insufficient electrode for human safety reasons (as defined by code). But is also insufficient for other reasons that determine transistor safety.

At minimum, the electric panel should connect to this other single point earth ground. An 8+ foot ground rod just outside the house (Ufer ground is even better but rarely exists). If other incoming wires (telephone, satellite dish, cable TV) do not also connect, then it is not a single point ground.

How that connection is made is important. If a bare copper quarter inch wire goes up over the foundations, is bundled with other non-grounding wires, has splices, or is inside metallic conduit, then earthing for transistor safety is compromised. Better is a ground wire through the foundation and down to an earthing electrode to eliminate every extra foot in that wire, to eliminate sharp bends over the foundation, and to keep it away from other wires.

Appreciate no protector does protection. Protection is defined by what harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. That is earth ground. And that is why most of your attention should focus on the critically most important component in any protection system.

Reason for moving those breakers closer to AC mains is to make a connection to earth just one foot shorter. Because short wire length (not a thicker wire) makes protection better.
 
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Old 06-27-14, 06:40 PM
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So as far as I can see I only have one ground, in the new box and it connects to the houses water pipes. Isn't that incorrect for most areas?
That ground wire to the water pipes should be to the cold water line within 5 feet of it entering the house, jumpered around any meters of PRV valves. In addition, you should also have a ground rod.
 
  #16  
Old 06-27-14, 09:30 PM
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Exclamation

Awesome, So I effectivley have 0 Grounds. The connection to the water pipe is at least 30 ft from where it enters the house, and there is no ground rod that i can see. No wire connects to the panel for one anyway. So I need to get the electrician back here for that. So The panel that he installed isn't to code? We follow the 2006 edition here.

On a side note, my cable isn't grounded as well. Where it enters the house or after it enters. Randomly the tv wouldn't turn on today. So I checked the others, and the cable box and Blu ray Player are also all completely dead. Could this have anything to do with the cable not being properly grounded?
 
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Old 06-28-14, 05:05 AM
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So I effectivley have 0 Grounds. The connection to the water pipe is at least 30 ft from where it enters the house, and there is no ground rod that i can see.
I wouldn't say 0 grounds at all, the water pipe is giving you a ground provided you have a metal piping system and the service line is metal although it is no longer an approved ground. It used to be that the electrician had his choice of driving a ground rod or connecting to the nearest cold water pipe for the ground. With the popularity of non-metallic piping, the water pipe connection requirement was changed to be within 5 feet of where the water service enters the house and now there has to be a driven ground rod too.

So I need to get the electrician back here for that. So The panel that he installed isn't to code? We follow the 2006 edition here.
Yes, he should come back and upgrade the grounding to code. Was the panel change inspected? The code changes every 3 years and there was an edition in 2005, not 2006. Subsequent versions were 2008, 2011 and now 2014.

On a side note, my cable isn't grounded as well. Where it enters the house or after it enters. Randomly the tv wouldn't turn on today. So I checked the others, and the cable box and Blu ray Player are also all completely dead. Could this have anything to do with the cable not being properly grounded?
You should have a single point ground for all systems. The 2008 NEC requires an intersystem grounding bridge for all these other system grounds. I'd recommend the electrician install one when he drives a ground rod. I don't think the lack of a proper ground would cause those systems to malfunction unless you had a high voltage event that damaged them.

Arlington | Intersystem Grounding Bridges
 
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Old 06-28-14, 05:07 AM
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It was common for the ground connection on the water line to be close to the panel. Your panel may have met code when installed but would not meet the current requirements. When was it installed?

The cable and Blu-ray do not need a ground to operate and only have 2 conductor cords.
 
  #19  
Old 06-28-14, 05:28 AM
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> Could this have anything to do with the cable not being properly grounded?

Absoutely. In terms of transistor protection, you have virtually no earth ground. You do not have single point ground which is the only item in a protection 'system' that does the protection - absorbs energy.

All appliances already have robust protection for most anomalies that many call a surge. In reality most anomalies are only noise. A rare events that cause damage typically occurs maybe once every seven years (a number that can vary significantly even in the same town). You have no protection from that typically destructive anomaly.

Water pipe grounds that were once code sufficient are now obsolete. But an electrician would not upgrade it because of grandfathering. It was good enough then. So no code reason to upgrade it. But appliance (transistor) protection is about doing things beyond what code calls for. Some of that previous post discussed what an electrician might balk at because code does not say (for example) that the ground wire must be so short or have no sharp bends. Human safety (the code) says it does not. Transistor safety says it must be that short, no sharp wire bends, etc.
 
  #20  
Old 06-28-14, 09:11 AM
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The whole panel was redone two weeks ago. So wouldn't that mean it's no longer grandfathered? I guess that's what I get for choosing the cheapest of the quotes. It was $575 for the whole panel installed. He was a licensed and bonded electrician. I am not sure if he had it inspected. He had to stay and finish after I had left for work. (He was late because of an emergency)

2005 edition, sorry it was adopted in 2006. Our code book is a very hard read.

As far as the tv and blu ray, they are 100% non functional. I took them apart and the main boards on both are fried as well as the cable board in both ( where the input outputs attach) that's why I think the surge may had come from the cable line. The outlet tests fine.
 
  #21  
Old 06-28-14, 10:59 AM
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When the panel was changed the grounding should have been upgraded to the current standard.

Surges can enter through any line like power, cable or regular phone. FIOS will not as it is a fiber optic.
 
  #22  
Old 06-28-14, 11:43 AM
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It's funny, the cable line isn't grounded but the old unused fios box is grounded off the main panel.
 
  #23  
Old 06-29-14, 04:11 AM
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> FIOS will not as it is a fiber optic.

In one event, a surge was incoming on AC mains. It used the multifunction fax printer to connect to FIOS telephone lines. Since FIOS was earthed, damage was on a protector in a multifunction printer (the outgoing path), and FIOS telephone interface. Verizon replaced two FIOS boxes. I replaced the protector in a Canon printer. All functions restored - no future failures.

Damage was on the outgoing path fhrough the printer. FIOS equipment remains at risk even if its incoming wire is fiber. As demonstrated here. And for other reasons.
 
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