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Whole house surge suppressor


LORisAwesome
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I've looked into myself a few years ago. I've read a few great testimonials (like lightning hitting the house, destroying the Surge protector but nothing in the house gets damaged.) but due to the cost could not bring myself to buy one. I do have both computers and peripherals on their own APC UPS units and a very good surge protector on my home theater equipment.

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I use both a whole house suppression system and BBU's on all the electronics, HVAC etc in my house. Shortly after we built, there was a power surge due to trees down and the power circuit switching that caused a fairly large amount of damage to the house systems that I managed to get covered under various warranty's. Now everything is double or triple protected. I used the same product used in the communications shelters where I work, they're manufactured by Wil-Can Electronics and after 2 years no further issues with any of the power outages. Fingers crossed, touch wood etc.

Cheer

Daryl B.

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I use an Intermatic suppressor. $150 from Home Depot. Installed it myself. Surge hit the house and the only thing that broke was the electric meter. It began logging double usage! Took a lot of work to get the utility to admit if was broken and replace it.

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We put one in when we built the house i think around $250 installed .....We have had it 5 yrs now & it works great it protected us from 2 major surges

 

It's cheap insurance especially when it comes to replacing all the micro processor controlled items in our homes now days

 

I would talk to a few electrical contractors and get there opinions , usually there up on the latest and greatest MFG's

Edited by gmac
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I will be adding one in once I upgrade our service, I will be useing a square D surge protector. You can normally get surge protectors anywhere between $50ish to $150+ If your service panel is flush with a wall check to see if the mfg of your panel makes a breaker version of a surge protector so you can have it inside your panel instead of having it on the side of the panel. The are very easy to install.

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I was wondering if any of the manufacturers have a warranty that replaces damaged equipment - if their surge suppressor failed to protect the equipment...

 

If they have this warranty require it to be installed by an licensed electrician?

 

From what I've heard they do not seem to be too difficult to install.

 

Jerry

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Your right, they are not hard to install at all.....BUT from a warranty standpoint I think it would be better to have it installed by a licensed contractor

 

if the need would arise.

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I have one on my shop panel and so far it has not caused any issues nor do I think it has been needed for any major surges since It has not tripped the breakers that feed it..  It may be saving minor ones, but I have no way to tell that. 

 

I have one for the house but have yet to install it.  That is where I really need it.. I think.. more electronics in there....

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When we built our house in 92' we "rented" one from own electric provider that installed under the meter base. The fee included an insurance policy for damaged equipment. Years ago they decided they didn't want to support the program any more. They dropped the fee / insurance but left the hardware. I guess it works, we've never had any damage.

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And maybe lighting strikes. Depending on to many variables. Each lighting strike has different energy levels. And then how far away on the line did it hit? What is the rating of your suppressor? And to the lighting, which branch circuit is least resistance to ground? So lets say it will help with the little strikes, but something is going to be toasted with a large strike just outside your house.

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And maybe lighting strikes. Depending on to many variables. Each lighting strike has different energy levels. And then how far away on the line did it hit? What is the rating of your suppressor? And to the lighting, which branch circuit is least resistance to ground? So lets say it will help with the little strikes, but something is going to be toasted with a large strike just outside your house.

Max, I would say it would be my underwear that would be toast if there was a large lighting strike just outside my house!  :blink:

Edited by plasmadrive
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This could be useful for brown outs and spikes after power outages, but I wouldn't think this would help for lightning strikes.

 

As one who has had lightning hit a tree just about 40 feet from the house when I was at the window nearby when it hit, I will back up this statement with physical evidence :)

 

-Gary-

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In my locale there isn't that much lightning activity to speak of, therefore I'm really only concerned with surges caused by line impact or electric company switching activity causing surges and brownouts. Work is a different story in that that standing a several hundred meter steel structure on end is kind of like an attractant for lightning. All of our sites have lighting arresting equipment and ground rings to remove as much energy as possible prior to the entrance of the utility or transmission lines into the shelter. This can be a very expensive installation, but if lightning is a factor of concern then I would probably install both Surge and Lightning protection systems to get piece of mind. Just a note, quite a few companies don't warranty their surge suppression product for lightning strike as it's considered an "act of god".

 

Cheers

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We're proof that lightning DOES strike in the same location again.  Our family residence has been hit by lightning a couple of times and we've felt the need to take aggressive measures with lightning protection in hour home.  I found Leviton whole house surge supressors and installed one on each of the two 200a power panels.  Shortly after, we also permanently "Rented" the "Strike Stop" supressor from the power company which sits directly in the meter base as well.    It no doubt sounds a bit crazy, but we had significant electronics loss in the first two strikes that far outweighed our investment in the lightning protection. Once installed, you should have significant protection against surges and lightning damage, but brownouts are a different story.  Nothing but a secondary power regulation system will help there. 

 

Every since we installed our 3 systems, we've never had a problem again.  

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As one who has had lightning hit a tree just about 40 feet from the house when I was at the window nearby when it hit, I will back up this statement with physical evidence :)

 

-Gary-

Gee thats ok Gary. I think speaking on behalf of the group. WE BELIEVE you, sans said evidence. :wacko:

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From what I've heard they do not seem to be too difficult to install.

 

 

Easy to improperly install these protectors.  Even some electricians make these mistakes.  No protector does protection.  Best protection means a hardwire from each incoming utility wire to earth ground.  But some wires cannot be earthed directly.  So a 'whole house' protector does what a hardwire would do better.

 

Critical is how this hardwire to earth is installed.  For example, if inside metallic conduit, then the ground is all but disconnected.  If that hardwire goes from breaker box up over the foundation and down to an earthing electrode, then protection is compromised.  It has excessive impedance (ie more than 10 foot connection), has sharp bends over the foundation, and is bundled with other non-grouding wires.  Best would route that hardwire through the foundation and down to an earth ground electrode.  Even some electricians do not understand impedance and why a connection from 'whole house' protector to earth must be so short (ie 'less than 10 feet').

 

  Protectors do not do protection.  Protectors are effective when connection low impedance to what does protection.  A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

 

 Big buck warranties are hyped on protectors that do not even claim to protect from typically destructive surges.  It's a marketing myth that works.

Edited by westom
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