Surge Protector recommendations - Page 27 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #781 of 788 Old 06-25-2015, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post
You are confusing the older technology and cheap, poorly made surge strips ($10) to series mode devices ($250 ++) - which is not a realistic comparison.

Parallel mode devices installed at the main service entrance of your residence can protect the whole house for a few hundred dollars versus protecting one or two items (series mode device) for a few hundred dollars. Yea, they are probably nice devices, but they are horribly expensive for what they do.

I haven't read up on it in a while, but MOVs were still sacrificial the last time I checked. They only take X amount of power before they die. Is that still accurate?

A friend of mine has the whole house surge device that the power company installs right at the meter and had all APC surge and UPS devices on everything in the house. There was no lightning in the area, but some surge hit and completely destroyed the power company's device and all of the surge strips/UPS devices and everything attached to them. It was like pulling teeth to try to get that stuff payed for. Needless to say, he took a major hit after it was all said and done.

Yes, series mode devices are quite a bit more money, but you get what you pay for. I live in FL, so lightning is a daily occurrence most of the year. I have a series mode device that has survived multiple surges that have destroyed APC, TrippLite & Cyberpower surge strips and UPSs. Some of them protected the devices that were plugged into them, but most of the devices they were "protecting" suffered some type of damage or complete failure. So yes, the MOV devices "lessened" the damage, but by the time I factor in my time and hassle, the money and time spent repairing the damage to the devices (at least the ones that survived) and the money spent on replacing said surge strips and UPS devices, it's a no brainer for me. Besides, with surge strips and UPS devices, you have no idea how much life is left in the MOVs, so you don't know when to replace them. You may think you are covered, and not realize that there is no protection until it's too late. The whole house models usually have a light on them that is "supposed" to tell you if you are still protected or not, but I don't think they are very accurate. Unless they tell you to replace it as soon as it gets any kind of decent surge, they don't have a way to know how much surge capacity is really left in the MOVs.

I didn't buy into the need for protection, until I got hit with a surge many years ago and took a beating from the insurance company to try and replace my stuff. At that point I went on the search for something better. Nothing will survive a direct lightning hit, but as far as I know, the series mode devices will take the largest surge and continue to function, instead of dying. Mine has proven to do so on multiple occasions.

It's not really feasible to purchase series mode protection for the whole house, unless that amount is no big deal to you. I chose to put series mode protection on my system and PC setup, the most expensive and fragile things in the house.

A whole house device as you mentioned in combination with these provides pretty good protection.

If you have any new information, please share it. I'm always interested in protecting my "toys". If there is something better, I would like to know about it.
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post #782 of 788 Old 06-25-2015, 02:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeus33 View Post
I haven't read up on it in a while, but MOVs were still sacrificial the last time I checked. They only take X amount of power before they die. Is that still accurate? MOV operation has not changed, just the way that UL tests and requires a 'rated' SPD device to handle large amounts of energy safely. I would not call MOV's sacrificial in the way that you probably describe. MOV's will take a certain amount of energy before they fail (thermally) but if you buy a well made unit which is sized correctly, they will protect downstream equipment for a long time.

A friend of mine has the whole house surge device that the power company installs right at the meter and had all APC surge and UPS devices on everything in the house. There was no lightning in the area, but some surge hit and completely destroyed the power company's device and all of the surge strips/UPS devices and everything attached to them. It was like pulling teeth to try to get that stuff payed for. Needless to say, he took a major hit after it was all said and done. To be fair, the power company probably installed a cheap meter-based unit. I have seen some forms of these units and they are nothing more than a few MOV's lined up on a board from L-L, L-N and L-G. Once the surge event caused the main device to fail, the cheap surge strips failed too. Higher quality strip type units designed to handle the standard test waveforms via UL should provide decent protection and not fail as you describe as long as they are used in combination with a unit at the main service.

Yes, series mode devices are quite a bit more money, but you get what you pay for. I live in FL, so lightning is a daily occurrence most of the year. I have a series mode device that has survived multiple surges that have destroyed APC, TrippLite & Cyberpower surge strips and UPSs. Some of them protected the devices that were plugged into them, but most of the devices they were "protecting" suffered some type of damage or complete failure. So yes, the MOV devices "lessened" the damage, but by the time I factor in my time and hassle, the money and time spent repairing the damage to the devices (at least the ones that survived) and the money spent on replacing said surge strips and UPS devices, it's a no brainer for me. Besides, with surge strips and UPS devices, you have no idea how much life is left in the MOVs, so you don't know when to replace them. You may think you are covered, and not realize that there is no protection until it's too late. The whole house models usually have a light on them that is "supposed" to tell you if you are still protected or not, but I don't think they are very accurate. Unless they tell you to replace it as soon as it gets any kind of decent surge, they don't have a way to know how much surge capacity is really left in the MOVs. Let me be clear, I have no problems with series mode devices other than they provide protection for only a few devices and for a high cost. You are trying to compare a series mode device to surge strips and UPS units, neither of which are made to withstand the service entrance overvoltage conditions you have indicated above. A high quality whole house device installed at the main panel will provide the majority of the protection and then the surge strips or UPS units can handle any let-through from that main service entrance device. Look at some of the better whole house units on the market for example: http://www.ggtechcorp.com/PDF/XT-40.pdf

I didn't buy into the need for protection, until I got hit with a surge many years ago and took a beating from the insurance company to try and replace my stuff. At that point I went on the search for something better. Nothing will survive a direct lightning hit, but as far as I know, the series mode devices will take the largest surge and continue to function, instead of dying. Mine has proven to do so on multiple occasions. You are absolutely correct that a direct lightning strike will not be survived. Most damage is not caused by direct strikes but rather overvoltage conditions due to nearby strikes, and switching transients from within your own home or from the utility. When you plug in your series mode protection, you are generally at an outlet some distance from the main service panel. The voltage let-through at that remote outlet point is going to be significantly less than the magnitude at the main service entrance panel- the series mode device and even the surge strip see this much smaller let-through voltage and will shunt or filter the energy to ground. The el-cheapo surge strip may or may not survive depending upon its design, whereas your series mode device (of higher quality and cost) simply filters and releases the energy it encounters. The UPS unit, which was never meant to be a suppression device, generally contains a couple of MOV devices to protect it for the warranty period, generally no more or no less.


I also refer you to a guide which can be helpful in researching suppression equipment: http://www.eaton.com/ecm/groups/publ...a01005003e.pdf

It's not really feasible to purchase series mode protection for the whole house, unless that amount is no big deal to you. I chose to put series mode protection on my system and PC setup, the most expensive and fragile things in the house. Series mode units would be way too expensive to protect an entire residence, that is why a layered approach to protect the whole house. You also need to remember to protect the other paths into the residence such as cable, satellite, telephone (copper).

A whole house device as you mentioned in combination with these provides pretty good protection. The best way to protect everything in the house is to install two levels of protection. The first level of protection needs to be a high quality device at the main service. A second level should be your series mode or high quality surge strips.

If you have any new information, please share it. I'm always interested in protecting my "toys". If there is something better, I would like to know about it.
...
Good luck with the lightning in Florida

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post #783 of 788 Old 06-25-2015, 03:49 PM
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...
Good luck with the lightning in Florida

Cool. Thanks for the info. I'll do some reading later this evening.
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post #784 of 788 Old 06-25-2015, 03:53 PM
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the key to any surge protection is double lightning strikes.

good luck

Power: Marantz sr7008, NAD C 275Bee x 2, Video: Oppo 103, Samsung 75un6300
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post #785 of 788 Old 06-25-2015, 04:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeus33 View Post

Yes, series mode devices are quite a bit more money, but you get what you pay for. I live in FL, so lightning is a daily occurrence most of the year. I have a series mode device that has survived multiple surges that have destroyed APC, TrippLite & Cyberpower surge strips and UPSs.
Which series mode device do you have? I am interested in looking into one.

Thanks!

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post #786 of 788 Old 06-26-2015, 11:08 AM
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Which series mode device do you have? I am interested in looking into one.

Thanks!

I have Brickwall, but ZeroSurge and SurgeX are also series mode devices. The ZeroSurge products appear to have the best pricing at the moment.

ZeroSurge

Brickwall

SurgeX
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post #787 of 788 Old 06-26-2015, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by zeus33 View Post
I have Brickwall, but ZeroSurge and SurgeX are also series mode devices. The ZeroSurge products appear to have the best pricing at the moment.

ZeroSurge

Brickwall

SurgeX
Thanks a lot for the info and the links.
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post #788 of 788 Old 09-29-2015, 06:03 PM
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My Surge Suppression Experience

I've been reading this entire thread for the last few days. After a while I would glance over the responses by some members as you could tell exactly what they were going to say. I appreciated the links to the IEEE guide on Surge Suppression and to Solving ground loops as well as others. I also enjoyed the Youtube videos of the SurgeX guy destroying their competition literally. Before reading this thread I had already installed an Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA device in the main electrical panel. I also installed a Midnite Solar MNSPD300-AC device on the PV Combiner panel just before the Solar generated AC back feeds into the main electrical panel.

For the house, I have been using a mixture of MOV based devices from CyberPower, Triplite, Belkin and some lesser brands purchased at Newegg. At first I was seriously considering the APC P11VNT3 but there was an issue with the value of the L-N, L-G, N-G UL 1449 Type 3 SPD voltage protection labeling on the device. APC states the voltage is 330V yet mine read 400V, 500V and 400V. So I opted not to go with this particular APC device. The Belkin BE112230-08 states UL Clamping Voltage (3-wire) UL1449 500V. It was through this thread that I found a link to a recall of nearly 15 million surge suppressors and had some that were on that list. I also found a link that suggested that the MOV based search suppressors be shook (lightly) periodically to see if there is anything rattling around. Sure enough 3 suppressors were rattling and in one all the MOV's were no longer connected on both ends, yet the indicator light was still on indicating that the device was functioning.

I had given serious consideration to the Furman PST-8 and PST-8D surge suppressors. What intrigued me the most was their ability to shut the device (and anything connected to it) off once the voltage hit 145 VAC. What disappointed me was that they still used an MOV device (at least one that they mention and can be readily seen in a photo of the circuit card).

Earlier this year we cut the proverbial cable cord and in designing my grounding system, I went with the Morgan Manufacturing M315 UHF/VHF/CATV arrestor which employs "a hybrid circuit of both gas discharge device and metal oxide varistors for fast attack speed, DC voltage passive up to 50 volt". This is a leg up to the TII Tech 212 device gas-discharge only tube (which I also left in the box for a future Satellite dish). Cables are also connected to a grounding block terminal & the antenna mast is grounded as well as all ends of the EMT. The box was placed over a hole in the side of the house where the builder left some quad shield RG-6 cables. I use a power inserter in the house where the cables come in to deliver power to the Winegard mast mounted pre-amp. Without it, I could only pull in 3 channels. With it more than 88 some over 130 miles as the crow flies. I ran a #4 gauge wire from the box to a new 8-foot buried ground rod which is connected to the main electrical service ground via a 100 feet of #6 gauge solid copper wire to a depth of 18" and making a half circle pattern (i.e., no sharp 90 degree turns). The telco connection at the side of the house has been disconnected at the NID since we no longer use a land line from the phone company (we do love our Ooma VOIP service). The cable guy was out at the house recently and installed a grounding block at the demarcation box, stating the code had changed from when the house was built to where its at now in 2015. The ground block also terminates to the main electrical panels ground rod.

There really is no need for further coaxial cable protection in the house or for telco protection (for us). The NID is also grounded to the main ground rod so even with a telco connection I still would have no need of further filtering or surge suppressing for it in the house.

I also looked at Series Mode devices from Zero Surge, Brickwall (which is a Zero Surge Private Label and made in the same factory as the Zero Surge devices). There is a reason that the products from Zero Surge and Brickwall look very much a like. Brickwalls products were more expensive, even with their 10%NOW coupon. Zero Surge is also offering a 10% off coupon on additional orders placed within 60 days of the first order. The Zero Surge representative mentioned that many of their units are still working after 25 years and some customers have sent them back to be re-tested and none have failed yet. You can find bargains on eBay for the Zero Surge, Brickwall and SurgeX devices.

In the end I went with SurgeX opting for 7 of their SX-1115 devices and 2 of their SA-82 devices. I have a detailed spreadsheet that I used to note the max watts/amps for all the devices that will be plugged in and to which device. I also added typ(ical) columns and observed columns. The Monster HTS 3600 looks nice and has a useful voltmeter and ammeter on it but I double checked everything with a Kilo-watt meter as well. In no case will I ever approach 70% max power and I can't imagine being in the room without heavy ear protection at that volume level. I have equipment throughout the entire house and the SX-1115's fit the bill nicely. Down the road I will build a nice 1U and 2U racks made out of wood for these devices but for now, little rubber feet will have to do.

I want to thank this forum for their contribution in helping me understand. You're all a bunch of swell people. Just thought I would share what I learned and what I ended up doing.
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