Surge suppression

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Old 03-23-15, 01:37 PM
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Surge suppression

Hi All, looking for opinions on economical whole house surge suppressors.
Geo
 
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Old 03-23-15, 02:00 PM
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This is the one I installed in my Service panel. CHSPULTRA Surgetrap I haven't had any surge-related failures but to be completely honest I have never had a surge-related failure in any home with or without a surge protector.
 
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Old 03-23-15, 10:07 PM
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The only surge protectors I've used are the multi-outlet strips for computers and other electronic equipment. I've not used a whole house model. The ones I've used are a one shot and done. Are the whole house models resettable or do they have to be replaced when a surge occurs?
 
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Old 03-23-15, 10:17 PM
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I've put a few of these in as well as the surge protectors that plug into a panel like a breaker, and they seem like they're well-built and function well, as far as I can tell. IG1240RC3
 
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Old 03-24-15, 12:31 AM
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In addition to my service panel surge suppressor I also have a Brick Wall suppressor for my computer as well as an APC 650 UPS for my television and video equipment.

Standard Eight-Outlet Surge Protector | Brick Wall

I have a Leviton surge suppressor receptacle they sent me as a promotion that I might install for my refrigerator since it has an electronic control board.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 07:02 AM
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Furd: the CHSPULTRA, does that connect to the service line, prior to the main panel wiring (after the meter)? Says it connects with two-pole 15 amp breakers.. I'm still a newbie when it comes to this stuff... Is that sufficient for a 200 amp service?
 
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Old 03-24-15, 09:54 AM
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does that connect to the service line, prior to the main panel wiring (after the meter)? Says it connects with two-pole 15 amp breakers.
It installs at or on the main panel and wires into a 2 pole breaker in the main panel.

I have this one at my house.

Amazon.com: Cutler Hammer BRSURGE Plug On Surge Arrestor: Electronics

Are the whole house models resettable or do they have to be replaced when a surge occurs?
The whole house models can handle many surges with no resetting necessary. If the LEDs no longer light you have lost protection and need to replace the unit.
 
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Old 03-24-15, 11:57 AM
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so they basically just sit in the panel and route excess voltage to ground? I was wondering how they would 'trip' and shut off power to everything... Seems like that isnt what they do
 
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Old 03-25-15, 02:59 PM
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I was wondering how they would 'trip' and shut off power to everything... Seems like that isnt what they do
No, they don't trip. If after a period of years you have had no problems you can usually assume they have done their job. Some have LEDs that when lit tell you the protection is good. When the LEDs go out, replace the surge device.
 
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Old 03-27-15, 11:04 AM
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I'll give a second vote to Justin's Intermatic. It's a good price-point, not too expensive, and seems to have good specs. It's served me well for the few years that it's been connected.

They are designed to shunt small surges without any issue. Larger surges should be shunted to ground while likely destroying the unit. They are designed to take the hit so other devices don't.

Having seen a surge that caused a few thousand dollars of damage (shorted/blown poco transformer), I highly recommend both whole house suppression as well as point-of-use protection for high value equipment.
 
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Old 03-27-15, 11:41 AM
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> looking for opinions on economical whole house surge suppressors.

Completely irrelevant is what others use. Only useful reply says what works, why it works, and numbers that define how, why, and how long it works.

Protection means you know where hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate. How many joules does a power strip or UPS claim to absorb? Hundreds? That is near zero protection also hyped as 100% protection by many who recommend only from what was heard or from advertising.

A 'whole house' solution is in facilities that cannot have damage. So why does it work? Because it connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to what harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules. Then a surge current is not inside hunting for earth destructively via appliances. Again, that is how it was done even 100 years ago. Once that current is inside, then nothing will avert the destructive hunt. Nothing.

Best protection on cable TV coax is a hardwire connected low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. All four words have electricial significance. Some incoming wires (ie telephone, AC electric) cannot connect directly to earth. So a protector does what a hardwire does better. Telco installs one for free on all subscriber interfaces. Protector does not do protection. Protector only connects to protection. As was well understood even 100 years ago.

What should have most of your attention? Protectors are simple science. The 'art' is earthing. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

Life of a protector is defined by its amperes. IOW a protector should suffer multiple direct lightning strikes. And remain functional. Lightning is maybe 20,000 amps. So a minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Again, direct strikes without damage even to a protector. Note a recommendation also has numbers.

LED on any protector only reports on a type of failure that must not happen. An acceptable type of failure is degradation. That might occur after many decades. LED only reports a catastrophic type failure that protector part manufacturer datasheets define as completely unacceptable. If a protector's LED indicates a failure, then a protector was grossly undersized. And must be replaced or protected by one designed with larger spec numbers.

Normal failure mode for undersized plug-in protectors is a catastrophic type failure. Its thermal fuse had to blow as fast as possible to avert a fire. While leaving that surge still connected to adjacent appliances. A surge too tiny to harm an appliance also destroys these ineffective protectors. Sometimes that fuse does not trip fast enough. Yes, be concerned about fire. Another reason why plug-in protectors must be protected by a properly earthed 'whole house' solution.

All appliances contain robust protection. Your concern is a rare transient (maybe once every seven years) that might overwhelm that protection. Only a 'whole house' solution addresses that anomaly. Also essential to protect plug-in type protectors.

What number applies? A minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. And then spend far more time on what is more important - connection to and quality of single point earth ground. That is a least expensive solution - maybe $1 per protected appliance.
 
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