Surge Protector - House Generated Surges vs Lightning

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Old 12-10-17, 03:23 PM
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Surge Protector - House Generated Surges vs Lightning

I read somewhere that most of the surges in a home system are generated by items inside of the house. If that is the case, is it better to install a Type 2 Surge Protector at the main panel outside of the house near the meter or at the panel in the garage which has all of the house's breakers? The meter is located on the house exterior wall and there is also a panel there that has breakers for the AC units and pool equipment. Then, there are two more panels inside of the garage that have lots of breakers for all of the rest of the house wiring. My thinking is that if the Type 2 Surge Protector is installed in the outside panel, it would be closer to the source of surge in the case of lightning, but it would be further from the source if it is a surge generated from inside the house?

What are your thoughts on the best location for the Type 2 SPD?
 
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Old 12-10-17, 07:36 PM
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I'm not an expert on the subject but I usually install them as close as possible to the main breaker. Although some devices in the house can cause a surge.... in my opinion.... the biggest threat comes from outside the home.
 
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Old 12-10-17, 07:45 PM
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Lightning and external surges are thousands of volts which are what SPDs are designed for. One close to the point of entrance and then power-strip style ones at critical equipment that needs protected. Inside surges are usually mostly noise generators that SPDs don't filter out. Most equipment is not affected by that noise. Audiophiles would have issues and have different solutions.
 
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Old 12-11-17, 07:02 AM
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Here is a better read: http://www.nemasurge.org/faqs/

You won't find an appliance to create the magnitude and duration of an external lightning event.
btw: "surge" is defined as a sub-cycle overvoltage transient event. A high inductive device that is switched off can cause a transient, but may be more closely considered as a "electrical fast transient" event (EFT). EFT events are also high magnitude, but much less duration and energy level. Desctructive surge is almost always a lightning caused event.
 
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Old 12-11-17, 07:26 AM
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I can't imagine how surges from inside the house would be more frequent or severe than surges from outside the house, at least not in residential. In a commercial/industrial building with giant motors switching on/off this makes more sense. My opinion is that the best place for a surge protector is in the main service panel nearest the meter and the single point ground bond.
 
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Old 12-11-17, 07:29 AM
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Thanks for the info! It seems that the 'most' destructive would be the lightning events and so placing a single SPD closest to the service entrance is best. If I were to place a 2nd SPD at the breaker panel located inside the garage, would that catch EFTs that would not otherwise be caught by the SPD located further away (20-30ft) at the outside panel? Or would that unit at the outside panel be just as effective in preventing EFTs and so a 2nd SPD at the garage would be a waste of $? Thanks again!
 
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Old 12-11-17, 07:59 AM
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I don't think it would make much difference as they are connected in parallel over rather low impedance wires. It could possibly make a difference for lightning protection, but by the time we're talking about ground potentials that severe over the length of your yard, the strike is so close that no sacrificial surge protector will make a difference.

My opinion is that the best surge preparation is to ensure that your earth grounding system is up to snuff and that all of your utilities (phone, CATV, sat dish, OTA antenna, plumbing, gas) utilize a single point ground to your electrical service entrance. After all, any surge protector is completely worthless if it can't redirect the surge to somewhere safe.
 
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Old 12-11-17, 08:34 AM
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I opened my Panel and it looks like the only spot to insert a breaker - if I want to use a Type 2 SPD - would be to replace some of the breakers at the bottom left of the panel with a quad style to make room? If that is the case, it seems that the SPD protection would be diminished for the inside Breaker Panels that are being fed from the 200A breaker feed at the top of this panel(it comes directly from the meter)...

So I'm thinking of 3 options:
#1: Install IG2240-OMS (contains replaceable modules + it's own breaker switch) - as Type 1 - downside is spec is not as good as IG2280:
L-L VPR 1200 - MCOV 300 - In(kA) 10 - SCCR(kA) 10
L-N VPR 800 - MCOV 150 - In(kA) 10 - SCCR(kA) 10
L-G VPR 1500 - MCOV 300 - In(kA) 10 - SCCR(kA) 10
N-G VPR 700 - MCOV 150 - In(kA) 10 - SCCR(kA) 10

#2: Install IG2280-OM (w/user replaceable modules - does not have a switch) - as Type 2 + cheaper IG1240RC3s as Type 2 in Garage Panels
upside is spec on IG2280 is better, but it is not installed as Type 1, it would have to be on that bottom breaker.
L-L VPR 1200 - MCOV 300 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 100
L-N VPR 800 - MCOV 150 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 100
L-G VPR 1500 - MCOV 300 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 100
N-G VPR 700 - MCOV 150 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 100

#3: Install IG1240RC3 as Type 2 on that bottom breaker + an IG1240RC3 at each of the two breaker panels in the garage. Thinking that I would just have to flip the 200A service disconnects and then replace the IG1240RC3 if they die.

(I had a IG1240RC3 as Type 1, but it died after 3.5 yrs. Spec is:
L-L VPR 1200 - MCOV 300 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 50
L-N VPR 700 - MCOV 150 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 50
L-G VPR 1200 - MCOV 300 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 50
N-G VPR 700 - MCOV 150 - In(kA) 20 - SCCR(kA) 50

What would you do?
 
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Last edited by Bpet12; 12-11-17 at 11:32 AM.
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