Whole House Surge Protector - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 220 Old 02-08-2011, 03:10 PM
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Just thought I would chime in here for anyone else who reads this thread and might be interested in the PTE160. I have contacted two Eaton distributors here in the Dallas area and was quoted $1648 and $1751. I don't guess Eaton really cares about little one-off sales, and I don't know who Steve knows at Eaton or his local distributor to get the deal he did, but I have no intention of paying three times as much for the same product. If anyone knows someone at Eaton who could help match me with a distributor/reseller who wants an easy cash sale, let me know.
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post #182 of 220 Old 02-08-2011, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
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My disttributor is
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"Doug Winsor" used to troll at some AV Forums as "Steve Bruzonsky"! My home theater at:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1158431
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post #183 of 220 Old 02-09-2011, 04:29 AM
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Is th there a good "spec" that could be given to an Architect/Builder at the home design stage?

Ideally it would offer "layered protection" and cover all inbound sources (AC, cable/dsl, phone, etc)
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post #184 of 220 Old 02-21-2011, 02:24 PM
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You might want to look at the Eaton CHSP series (micro, something, and ultra). I think they are IT designed.

Other comments; not all power companies will supply/allow meter-base surge devices. If possible (Puget Sound Energy says hell no - no reason, just hell no) that is what I would do for a first stage.

The CHSP devices are fairly small. My meter box is also a 4 breaker distribution box so I will put an ultra inside there with its' own breakers. I will also put one on my generator backup panel connection.

Some of the better performing units (according to their marketing documentation) require the periodic sacrifice of a small mammal within 1 foot of the surge device. They have technical explanations of the critical part this plays in the process. High end devices can be as little as once a year.

Just my solution.
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post #185 of 220 Old 03-04-2011, 08:12 AM
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I've been researching this same subject and there's some confusion since a lot of the small guys have been acquired by bigger more well known companies.

For instance, Innovative Technologies and Cutler Hammer are both part of Eaton now. Eaton also owns Powerware, the guys famous for double conversion UPSes.

Control Concepts, Liebert are now both part of Emerson Power.

Square D, APC are both part of Schneider Electric.

Myself, I'll probably go with the EP2000 guys with EP2050. Its the only at-the-breaker unit I've found (and I've gone research nuts) that doesn't depend on ground. I'm a bit of a masochist I guess and actually read their patent to see how it works though I'm no EE. Very interesting unit. If not EP, then my second choice would be Innovative Technologies.
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post #186 of 220 Old 03-04-2011, 09:34 AM
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I did not read their patent, but I did read through a bunch of the stuff on their web site. I still lean towards the IT units. At least some of the IT products also have a very similar noise filtering feature.

Most of the modern switching supplies first rectify the line voltage and then use an inverter of some sort. That initial rectification step is actually a source of the power factor slip. Any new power supply is required to have power factor correction. I have doubts if filtering low frequency noise in the power line will impact modern switching power supplies. The EP people show some traces that show large voltage excursions getting through the competing devices. But in the example, the spikes are high enough that I would think they would be clipped by anything meeting the appropriate surge protection standards. For more simplistic power supplies and things like lighting controls the noise may be more important. One must, of course, avoid filtering out the powerline carrier signaling frequencies.

They make a point of not using ground. That may have some merit for point of use protectors. I am not sure. But at the service entrance panel (and only there), ground and neutral are tied together. So it is rather pointless. By not routing to ground you make a bit longer signal path. My gut feeling is that in a remote part of the house (i.e., not the service entrance) you would want to keep ground and neutral from diverging.

And ground loops can be created that can interfere with low level audio circuits (hum). Usually this can be avoided with good wiring practices when interconnecting the equipment.

My take on it: IP and EP are very similar except for the isolated ground thing.
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post #187 of 220 Old 03-04-2011, 10:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alternety View Post

My take on it: IP and EP are very similar except for the isolated ground thing.

Hi Alternety, they both accomplish the same goal but do it very differently. I've read some white papers by a 3rd party contracted by EP about their high frequency filtering ability vs. Cutler Hammer and it looks excellent. Though of course they did pay for it, so I'll take it for what it is.

Here's an execellent article on IT:

http://powersurgeprotector.wordpress...f-a-protector/

Innovative uses more conventional design to accomplish their goal. The main shunt element is large MOVs shunting to ground. The biggest difference between them and say, Cutler Hammer or Square D is the use of an epoxy encapsulation. I actually bought one on the cheap off ebay and you can see it here, in black:



The article goes on to basically say, thanks to the dielectric strength of the epoxy, thermal expansion is negated so the MOVs are safe and sound for years and years under harsh conditions.

There's nothing really much on Eaton's site on what the Active Tracking Network is that filters out high frequency noise, but my educated guess is that its basically a very large implementation of NEMA's defination of Sine Wave Tracking, i.e. inductor chokes and large capacitors acting as RF/EMI filter. You can find these in most quality surge protectors.

The EP stuff is totally different in design. I've only found one other surge manufacturer that does something similar and they don't make whole house units. Marketing stuff aside, its basically a MOV (or other shunt devices) in parallel with a RLC circuit instead of the MOV shunting to ground. The magic is the L in the RLC which is of type nanocrystalline core making it very permeable therefore very high in inductance. Since the RLC circuit is a damping oscillator, it eventually dissipates the energy as heat from the resistor. They also seem to use some sort of epoxy as a dialectic and thermal conductor. This is all stuff I've learned from their patent. Doug Joseph, president of EP, has said similiar stuff in this old thread here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=277384

He uses a bit more marketing speak but the design and white papers I've read seem good. For instance the "spectrum multiplier" he talks about is what I think is an inductor, a device that basically stores power in a magnetic field and "trickles" it back out. The white paper where they subject the EP unit, a 80ka Cutler Hammer unit, and some other small manufacturer suggests this design also functions as an excellent filter.

I'd say if your ground is good with near 0 impedance and can can stay near zero as current rises any of the standard shunt to ground devices will be fine. That's everything from IT, Cutler Hammer, Leviton, Square D, Intermatic etc etc. If impedance rises as the current is shunted, the MOVs will experience thermal breakdown. The only thing you'd have to select from is how much it can handle (which also defines how long it will last) and if it has any sort of filtering. The IT design seems to be proven, the encapsulation epoxy really prevents thermal breakdown or runaway since they seem to last decades in their studies. That's why its my 2nd choice. Since I'm not sure about my ground and that residential grounding seems to be something of a pain in the ass, I'll likely go EP.

I'm sorry for the long post but I research a lot. No sales commission here, I'm just a software developer
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post #188 of 220 Old 03-04-2011, 11:41 AM
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Did you perchance mean Doug Deacon?

I appreciate your response. On the other hand, now I have to think some more.

One partial schematic showed IT with an RC network in parallel to the MOVs.
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post #189 of 220 Old 03-04-2011, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alternety View Post

Did you perchance mean Doug Deacon?

I appreciate your response. On the other hand, now I have to think some more.

One partial schematic showed IT with an RC network in parallel to the MOVs.

No, Doug Joseph, he's president of EP and he posted only on that thread a few years back. He's the one who made folks here at avs aware of his product.

You're right, I see a blurb about an RC design for noise filtration. Looking that up, it seems like these kind of circuits can be configured as a low-pass filter so that makes sense. I only saw 2 large white caps in their marketing brochure. Where's did you find that diagram?

I've been through the same retching decision making process as you have. The threads here at avsforum are just awesome. I must of combed through all of Eaton and EP's material and countless other manufacturers. This is a pretty underground world for a technology that's all around us. THE book on this technology, and really the only I could find is here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/048...=ATVPDKIKX0DER

Written in 1989 but still relevant. I personally haven't gone down THAT rabbit hole yet ... .but it sits in my amazon wish list!
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post #190 of 220 Old 03-04-2011, 11:08 PM
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The reason I asked about the Doug is I can't get search to work on the name and is a real long thread. I think it is archived, but when I follow directions it still does not work.

The RC network was a little drawing on one of the data or spec sheets. Across the line source it would be a high pass filter in terms of the noise, for the load a low pass. It shorts higher frequencies to the neutral/ground.

I have had rather a lot of problems finding prices for things with Google. I have noticed some significant filtering by Google to make my experience "better" by trying the same search with Bing. Big difference on some of them.
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post #191 of 220 Old 03-05-2011, 09:18 AM
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The conversation with Doug starts here:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...277384&page=21

There's some good info with all the discussion on his product. What he says isn't wrong its just a bit shrouded in its own terminology.

I don't think you'll find any prices. Like the IT gear, its all done through dealers. I guess that's way industrial/commercial stuff is sold. I believe I've read from here its around $500 for the EP2050 residential. Don't quote me on that! I'd say give them a call and call the IT dealer listed on this thread and compare.

I wish I could use the IT unit I bought off ebay. Its brand new but unfortunately its for a 3-phase Wye and I can't seem to get rid of it. Its funny, the $175 3 phase Leviton off amazon can sell, but this high end 160ka IT protector I can't get rid of for even $100. Oh well. I bought it to actually just look at it really cheap. Its really a heavy, heavy steel NEMA rated box with a shiny black epoxy inside. You can't see any bit of the curcuit.
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post #192 of 220 Old 03-30-2011, 02:26 AM
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I discussed this on another section of this forum, wanted to know your thoughts...I'm looking for a quality whole house surge protector, I contacted Eaton about their IT units and they replied back saying they don't recommend them for home residential use because of possible problems with the insurance and inspectors if something happens, they recommended their Cutler-Hammer units and said they're coming out with some new units soon. Any thoughts on this?
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post #193 of 220 Old 03-30-2011, 06:13 AM
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How about this unit (from GE - plugs right into your circuit breaker box, takes two slots). Me, my family and friends have this installed in all our houses. Can't see how it would affect insurance.

http://www.geindustrial.com/cwc/Disp...=3&id=thqlsurg


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post #194 of 220 Old 03-30-2011, 04:30 PM
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My Cutler Hammer CH Loadcenter has the built in surge protection.
CHSUR42B200L2 (tad over $250.00 on ebay)
specs are:

3500 Joules
180,000 Amps (Maximum Surge Current)
<1 Nanosecond Response Time

This was done when the house got re-wired due to a very dangerous existing Federal Pacific Panel in place when I moved in.

Local regs require a ground to both a nearby rod at the service entrance & the Cold water supply.

Mark Conner
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post #195 of 220 Old 04-01-2011, 07:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damon View Post

My Cutler Hammer CH Loadcenter has the built in surge protection.
CHSUR42B200L2 (tad over $250.00 on ebay)
specs are:

3500 Joules
180,000 Amps (Maximum Surge Current)
<1 Nanosecond Response Time

This was done when the house got re-wired due to a very dangerous existing Federal Pacific Panel in place when I moved in.

Local regs require a ground to both a nearby rod at the service entrance & the Cold water supply.


I am not an EE, but I am pretty sure the NEA code calls for a single ground in residential systems. My experience (actually my brother's house) with second grounds, such as a separate cable ground, was that it pretty much guarantees a large surge will destroy everything between the two grounds.

"The truth is out there!"
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post #196 of 220 Old 04-01-2011, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsmith901 View Post

I am not an EE, but I am pretty sure the NEA code calls for a single ground in residential systems. My experience (actually my brother's house) with second grounds, such as a separate cable ground, was that it pretty much guarantees a large surge will destroy everything between the two grounds.

I think that you mis-read his post.
The NEC requires that all practicable grounds connect together at a single point (that point being at or very near the service entrance).

Kevin
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post #197 of 220 Old 04-04-2011, 07:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

I think that you mis-read his post.
The NEC requires that all practicable grounds connect together at a single point (that point being at or very near the service entrance).

It wasn't clear, but I hoped he meant what you said; just wanted him to be safe. And thanks for correcting NEA to NEC. My mistake.

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post #198 of 220 Old 04-08-2011, 11:48 AM
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What and where is the proper way to install a 'Whole House' Surge Protect at the breaker box so it works best against surges?

I read some where that it should be installed as close to the load it's protecting, shortest distance shortest wires possible?
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post #199 of 220 Old 04-11-2011, 09:19 PM
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Thanks for the clarification on grounding regs. The inspector would not stab the meter until the cold water ground was run.

Oppopioneer, The surge is almost always generated outside your residence so the closest path to get rid of it is to dump it asap into your gnd. Shortest path possible as you state.

BTW, I'm a tad jealous of your name since many years ago I talked 2 Oppo Engineers into making the 8 mile trek to William Phelps house ( does he call it his Holodeck??) to see just what in the hell this bunch of crazies were doing with their budget DVD players. They were quite perplexed apparently until that meeting.

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post #200 of 220 Old 04-12-2011, 05:07 PM
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Quote:
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Thanks for the clarification on grounding regs. The inspector would not stab the meter until the cold water ground was run.

Oppopioneer, The surge is almost always generated outside your residence so the closest path to get rid of it is to dump it asap into your gnd. Shortest path possible as you state.

BTW, I'm a tad jealous of your name since many years ago I talked 2 Oppo Engineers into making the 8 mile trek to William Phelps house ( does he call it his Holodeck??) to see just what in the hell this bunch of crazies were doing with their budget DVD players. They were quite perplexed until that
meeting.

Is a 'Whole House' surge protector best installed outside by the meter box or inside at the breaker box? How would you dump the surge if the surge protector is inside installed at the meter box?

I'm thinking of either going with the Innovative Technology Residentual unit or the more expensive Innovative Technology Protector Series that Steve Bruzonsky has on page 4.
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post #201 of 220 Old 04-12-2011, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oppopioneer View Post

Is a 'Whole House' surge protector best installed outside by the meter box or inside at the breaker box?

I don't think you have a choice. Only the electric company can install one in the meter. Your own device goes in the breaker panel.

Maybe someone knows otherwise.

Quote:


I'm thinking of either going with the Innovative Technology Residentual unit or the more expensive Innovative Technology Protector Series that Steve Bruzonsky has on page 4.

My guys spec these: http://www.surgepack.com/

I have not personally analyzed them to know if they are better or worse than something else but thought I pass it on as another source.

I have a meter connected unit from my power company but am pondering installing an additional one at my panel as we just had a surge and it cooked all the fuses in my transfer switch and standby generator .

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post #202 of 220 Old 04-13-2011, 05:53 AM
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Quote:
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I don't think you have a choice. Only the electric company can install one in the meter. Your own device goes in the breaker panel. Maybe someone knows otherwise.
Well, it depends on the device--the one you referenced clearly attaches to the side of the breaker panel. Others do install INSIDE the breaker panel. To oppopioneer just find-and-read the mfr's installation instructions.

AFAIK meter-mounted protectors are only done by the power company, and they don't mount "inside" the meter, but rather are a ring on the back of it i.e. they remove the meter, install the surge protector, and re-install the meter over the top of it. I had one like that once, and I'd recommend to anyone for whom such a thing is an option (depends on your power company). Then they have to replace it if/when it fails.
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post #203 of 220 Old 04-13-2011, 09:39 AM
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Thanks for the replies...

Also discussed on another section, coaxial surge protectors outside at the ground block are also very important.

Citel and TII make good coaxial surge protectors.

http://citelprotection.com/
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post #204 of 220 Old 04-17-2011, 06:17 AM
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great reading here, I'm currently researching whole house surge protectors and there is great info in this thread.

Question for all you experts in this area, I live in an area where I not only occasionally have power surges but more frequently have 'brown outs'. The lights will go dim, TV turn off, etc for a few seconds at a time, probably a few times a month.

I know the surge protector will help with the power surges, but is there anything to help with the brown outs?

thanks!
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post #205 of 220 Old 04-17-2011, 07:08 AM
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I not only occasionally have power surges but more frequently have 'brown outs'. The lights will go dim, TV turn off, etc for a few seconds at a time, probably a few times a month...is there anything to help with the brown outs?

Boosting voltage can only AFAIK be done with a UPS or emergency generator i.e. the power drops below X and it switches-in the non-utility power.

Lights going dim is no problem; whether TV turn-off becomes an issue depends on the TV design, but perhaps more to-the-point what is the value/cost of it. If it's a very expensive TV you may want to protect it with an AV-type battery-backup unit. I do this for my TVs (two have projection lamps with fans that need to run after a power outage) although they also have TiVos connected which of course are actually computers with spinning hard drives within (and recordings I'd like to protect). So the question you have to answer yourself is: do I want to spend $100-200 per TV/AVsetup for peace-of-mind re: possible brownout issues?

Brownouts can also affect motors but circuit breakers oughta protect those well enough by themselves.
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post #206 of 220 Old 04-17-2011, 05:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Laserfan View Post

Boosting voltage can only AFAIK be done with a UPS or emergency generator i.e. the power drops below X and it switches-in the non-utility power.

Lights going dim is no problem; whether TV turn-off becomes an issue depends on the TV design, but perhaps more to-the-point what is the value/cost of it. If it's a very expensive TV you may want to protect it with an AV-type battery-backup unit. I do this for my TVs (two have projection lamps with fans that need to run after a power outage) although they also have TiVos connected which of course are actually computers with spinning hard drives within (and recordings I'd like to protect). So the question you have to answer yourself is: do I want to spend $100-200 per TV/AVsetup for peace-of-mind re: possible brownout issues?

Brownouts can also affect motors but circuit breakers oughta protect those well enough by themselves.

thanks for the reply. Yeah, that's what I was thinking were UPS on the electronics. Bad thing is I've had friends that had refrigerators go bad, ACs burn out, etc from these brown outs. And filing a claim with the power company is useless. I've had my vid camera plugged into the wall and was watching through the TV one time and there was a brown out and it ruined the camera.

Any such thing as a whole house UPS? I'd like to protect everything from brown outs if possible, but not sure how cost effective it would be.

thanks!
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post #207 of 220 Old 04-17-2011, 11:27 PM
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The best "downstream" plug in surge protectors you can get are from SurgeX, they are pretty amazing, they don't use vulnerable mov's which are designed more for the breaker box, but they use Advanced Series Mode. SurgeX is used in most recording studios, Carnegie Hall, sports stadiums like the new Dallas Cowboys stadium, NASA and Govt buildings and projects. They have a new line of UPS models out now too.

SurgeX:

http://surgex.com/

http://www.listentech.com/blog/Dalla...lights-Listen/
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post #208 of 220 Old 04-18-2011, 06:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asjs View Post

I've had friends that had refrigerators go bad, ACs burn out, etc from these brown outs... Any such thing as a whole house UPS? I'd like to protect everything from brown outs if possible

While a whole-house UPS, like just about anything if you've got the scratch, is POSSIBLE, it'd be cheaper to replace the occasional refrigerator now-and-then.

Depending on your events, a whole-house generator might help, but I sorta doubt it as they take time to spin-up. Unless your friends who've had failures have done this already to no result, I would call the power company and ask them if there's any local solution they might offer (for sale) e.g. monster power conditioning for example.

After my above post I realized you can buy power conditioners too for individual devices; I just never think of such things as they're as expensive as UPSes. They have storage capacitors which help connected equipment ride-thru a brief brownout--dunno how bad yours get...
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post #209 of 220 Old 05-13-2011, 08:38 PM
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As someone who just had a nearby lightning strike can attest, you need to protect signal lines that connect in the house as well as AC. I lost 3 gigabit switches, router, printer, telephone, etc.

Check Panamax's "Modules" for things like Ethernet protectors, etc.
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post #210 of 220 Old 09-07-2011, 07:55 AM
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Hope it is OK to resurrect this thread. Have read it -- very interesting -- and need a whole house surge protector. I have a 400 amp service that comes into the house and splits immediately into two 200 amp panels, with subpanels for the garage and for the AV room. So:

Do I need two separate SPDs at each of the service panels?

Should the subpanels both have SPDs?

In going through the web looking at the types of SPDs, there are some differences in design; most are MOV based but at least a couple are not. Is anyone familiar with the RayCap design?

http://www.raycapinc.com/index2.htm

Otherwise, would one consider all UL 1449 Rev 3 SPD2 devices similar if they meet the spec, with practical differences being indicator lights, let through voltage and max surge current rating? I've read about some of the units listed on this site, and was interested in this Siemens one as well:

http://www.surgeassure.com/product.aspx?prod=TE/1C40

Thanks!

ham
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