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Surge Protector recommendations - Page 2

post #31 of 774
1) How is 6000V @ 3000A not 18,000,000W? Power is an instantaneous value. Time has nothing to do with it. IIRC this is simply the definition of the maximum probable surge event that needs to be protected against. 6000V @ 3000A is applied during the B3 high exposure ring wave test.


2) The A-1-1 "U.S.Government rating" is not a rating at all. It is simply part of a classification system that was part of a now apparently defunct Commercial Identification Description (at least for DOD) used for federal purchasing of 15A plug-in or cord-connected surge suppressors. It just means a device that passed the B3 combination wave test per IEEE C62.41, has a 330V Suppressed Voltage Rating, and provides only normal mode protection. I suppose the only reason that SurgeX devices are the only ones to "achieve" this rating is that virtually all other such devices provide common mode protection as well. So read what he said as "SurgeX plug-in or cord-connected 15A surge suppressors are the only ones that provide only normal mode protection..."
post #32 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

1) How is 6000V @ 3000A not 18,000,000W? Power is an instantaneous value. Time has nothing to do with it. IIRC this is simply the definition of the maximum probable surge event that needs to be protected against. 6000V @ 3000A is applied during the B3 high exposure ring wave test.

Really, A joule per second (the definition of a watt) has nothing to do with time??

6000V @ 3000A can also be applied during a C1 combination wave.
post #33 of 774
Yes, but keep reading...
post #34 of 774
Haven't figured it out yet?

watt = joule/second -> joule = watt second

In other words, one watt maintained for one second is equal to one joule.
post #35 of 774
One more thing to think about...

That worst case test scenario of 6000V @ 3000A works out to less than 100J because of the short duration. That is what a 100W incandescent lamp uses in one second. If you were able to store it and release it over ten seconds, it would only be the equivalent of a 10W lamp, certainly possible to dissipate as heat and be effectively unnoticeable. The big question is what happens when the device is hit by multiple surges in quick sequence.
post #36 of 774
Personally, I have never read a really thorough and impartial explanation about TVSS devices, and it is beyond my expertise to delve into myself, I'm not an EE.

I use a SurgeX in my AV rack, and I use some TrippLite "ISOBARULTRA" strips elsewhere for computers and my projector. I spent maybe $275 for these devices, which may be somewhat exorbitant but again since I'm in a position of ignorance regarding surge supressors I wanted to avoid the real cheap stuff mainly out of peace of mind, which may or may not be wasted money.

But again, I've got probably close to $30K of electronics if you think MSRP, on these, so say $300 to protect them (well, I hope protect them) doesn't seem unreasonable to me, even if spending $20 per surge protector might achieve the same/similar degree of protection.

I've taken apart some furman and panamax units before, and they just seemed cheesy for the prices they're charging, but then again like I said I'm not an EE I don't really understand what I'm looking at.

One thing that I do like about the SurgeX is the ICE circuit. I tested that out in a layman's fashion with my big vaccuum cleaner, which when I turned it on from a stopped-motor position would cause the picture to roll on my older CRT projector when I had that hooked up or if I plug in lights to the outlet they would dim (room lighting is on a different circuit) but the ICE seems to prevent that from happening when something big first clicks on (big caps, big motor etc).

But again, I don't really know if I should or should not have peace of mind with the protection I currently have, or whether I should in the future not spend so much money on it. I've never really found any really good explanations that were specific enough to particular products that made it very helpful to really know what I should be looking at.
post #37 of 774
You people continue to amaze me by how you mis-interpret things I say or take things out of context like news people often do, and twist things around to suit your own purpose to defend your old school of thought. Why do you keep bringing up lightning strikes as if that is the only source of an electrical surge/spike inside one's home? Spikes generally last in the milli-second and micro-second range. Real surges typically last longer and must be handled in a different manner. Even that short of an energy surge/spike can damage sensitive equipment. What about surges/spikes from devices that might fail within your home? What about the noise that is generated on your house wiring by refrigerator or vacuum cleaner or other motors and devices, or etc? What about surges/spikes from electric utilities? What happens when power goes out during a storm, or etc.? Do electric utilities have surge arrestors that are guaranteed to prevent any and all surges/spikes coming into your home when the power is restored? Not in my state they don't!

Are you claiming that the whole electrical surge suppressor business is a scam, and that no one should bother buying a surge suppressor or surge redirector ( MOVs )? Are you on the payroll of an MOV surge redirector manufacturer? Are you saying that US Government agencies using series-mode surge suppressors, including NASA to protect the uplink to the Hubble Space Telescope, are being scammed and ripped off? That's a pretty bold and brazen accusation, especially when the US Government developed the A-1-1 standard for surge suppression in the first place. I personally know someone who had his computer and a few other electronic items plugged into a SurgeX box while other electronic items and a coffee maker were not. When lightning struck about a mile or so from his house, the resulting surge/spike energy destroyed the devices that were not plugged into the SurgeX box. His computer and other connected equipment didn't even flinch. His house grounding resistance is less than 0.1 ohm.

If you people think that series-mode surge suppression is such a SCAM, they why don't you contact the appropriate government agencies to file a formal complaint and have the 4 companies involved shut down? I can guarantee that you will not only fail in your attempt, but you will become a laughing stock among your colleagues and members of this forum.

How old are the documents you are referring to? Are they up-to-date with 21st century technology, theory, and techniques or from the 1950's?

If you don't know what a US Government A-1-1 standard is, then you are probably not keeping up with current literature in your field. That US Government classification has been around since 1996. I refer you to just one article explaining what A-1-1 means. I'm sure there are plenty of others, including some you can probably obtain from UL Laboratories. You conveniently forgot to mention category A in your post. I wonder why. Did you not know that it exists in the US Government standard because you don't bother to read the literature in your field?

http://digitalcontentproducer.com/ma...ppressor_work/

BTW, SurgeX uses a big surge generator at trade shows all the time to generate 18,000,000 Watts of energy to show that MOVs blow up with that much energy while the SurgeX box that the surge generator output is also plugged into just sits there fat, dumb, and happy, demonstration after demonstration, day after day. The surge energy is clamped down by the primary inductor, the rest is stored in large capacitors, and then dissipated as a small amount of heat by being "worked to death" totally inside the box. The surge ( spike ) energy does not leave the box on the ground or the neutral wire. That is why it is called Zero Let-through. It is 21st century technology, not 19th or 20th century technology.

Earthing - where surge energy gets harmlessly absorbed. That isn't a correct statement. Ground contamination by a surge redirectors and other factors can damage other electronic devices as it did my friend's $18,000 AV processor. His home also has excellent grounding as required by law. My own house ground resistance measures around 0.67 ohms.

I was warned by someone that I would be wasting my time trying to educate people and clear up all the mis-information and nonsense that posters are spreading around on this forum about series-mode surge suppression so I'm going to stop wasting my time, and move on. I've got more important things to do with my precious, valuable time. This is my last post anywhere on this forum. I can't believe the amount of crap that is being spread on this site by people who are obviously from an ancient, old school of thinking, and don't want to keep up with current technologies in their field and learn something new. You can't teach an old dog new tricks. No matter what you do to explain new technology to such people, they will continue to believe whatever they want to believe and say you are wrong.*After all, some people, called birthers, still believe that President Obama was born in Africa instead of Hawaii, despite all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Maybe you folks are among them. The people posting on this site should get their head out of the sand and learn what new late 20th and 21st century technology exists out there to solve electrical surge problems instead of relying on 30 year old theory and practices or 100 year old technology.
post #38 of 774
Do I have to state that explicitly the 6000V, 3000A for your coveted A-1-1 rating? That comes with the B3 combination wave test, which I mentioned. FWIW one could claim that a A-1-2 rating is better than your A-1-1 rating because they provide common mode protection as well as normal mode protection.

Frankly, claiming that the surge energy does not leave the box, and saying it is beat to death by triacs, makes one dubious of the accuracy of anything you say. And since you are making allegations that some of us work for manufacturers of MOV based systems, let me offer the conjecture that you are somehow associated with the sale or marketing of SurgeX products. You certainly do not sound like an engineer.

As for your testimonials, do a little searching around here, and you will find the same kind of testimonials of MOV based devices protecting valuable equipment.

I have no doubt that you can blow up MOV based products that aren't designed for it with a 18,000,000W surge. But that are plenty of products that will pass the B3 combination wave test, or as a previous poster has pointed out the C1 test.

I, for one, do not doubt that the SurgeX products do what they claim to do, provide normal mode protection, and in some ways in a superior manner to what MOV based products do. I have read the patents. And I appreciate that they do not contaminate the equipment grounding conductor, which can cause its own problems.

I do take issue with the MOV bashing. MOVs, properly sized and used, are not sacrificial devices. Yes, they have a service life. But it is many years in a properly designed system.

If you want to have a rational discussion of surge protection instead of using poor rhetoric so typical of your previous posts and much of what is on the SurgeX site, please do. There are many here who will listen. But if you want to continue with your rhetoric, then by all means, go with your gut feelings and leave.
post #39 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

But again, I've got probably close to $30K of electronics if you think MSRP, on these, so say $300 to protect them (well, I hope protect them) doesn't seem unreasonable to me, even if spending $20 per surge protector might achieve the same/similar degree of protection.

You read what the NIST said. How many other professionals and researchers did you read before you start ignoring sales propaganda. Every surge protection system has one component that defined the heart of that protection layer - single point earth ground.

You know about ground loops in stereos? One of the many concepts that is also required as part of the protection system. Effective protection systems use the same concept - single point earth ground. A solution that has been well proven for over 100 years. A solution routinely installed in telco switching centers, munitions dumps, cell towers, nuclear hardened radio stations, and anywhere else that damage even from direct lightning strikes cannot happen.

How many times did you ignore a nearly biblical requirement as defined by the NIST?
> A very important point to keep in mind is that your surge protector
> will work by diverting the surges to ground. The best surge
> protection in the world can be useless if grounding is not done
> properly.
There is no ambiguity. That is hard fact and reality. Does the ARRL have a hidden agenda? What do they recommend for surge protection? Earthing.

Lightning strikes church steeples. Why? Lightning selects a most conductive path to earth. Wood is a good electrical conductor. But since wood is not conductive enough, then that 20,000 amps creates a large voltage. 20,000 amps times a high voltage results in massive (destructive) energy. How did Franklin avert surge damage? That 20,000 amps was connected to earth via a lighting rod and conductive wire. 20,000 amps times near zero voltage is near zero energy. No damage.

What is the word always associated with effective protection? Divert. Not stop, block, absorb, arrest, suppress, etc. Effective protectors divert, shunt, connect, conduct, clamp, or bond a surge on a low impedance connection to single point earth ground.

Energy is the concept behind effective surge protection. Where does that energy get dissipated? Not stored (which cannot happen). Not stopped (as myths promote). Where is energy dissipated? Franklin simply diverted energy harmlessly to earth. A massive surge dissipated in earth means no damage.

Where does your surge get dissipated? Do hundreds of joules in an Isobar absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? That is what Tripplite says. Do the numbers for that Surgex as provided by fuelie. His 6000 volts times 3000 amps surge (as defined by ANSI/IEEE C62.41) means a 250 joules rating. How do devices rated only to absorb hundreds of joules (only 250 joules according to fuelie's numbers) make energy from destructive surges just magically disappear?

Once a surge is permitted inside the building, energy will hunt for earth ground destructively via appliances. In every location where surge damage must never happen, a surge current (energy) must not enter the building. How does lightning strike a munitions dump so often without explosions? Your appliances suffer surges much less often. What makes more sense? Spending less money for the solution routinely used in munitions dumps. Or spending massively on the Surgex that (according to fuelie's numbers) can only absorb 250 joules.

Your telco computer - connected to overhead wires all over town - suffers about 100 surges with each thunderstorm. Even documented in the Bell System Technical Journals (which one is an engineer - therefore also provides sources). How often is your town without phone service for four days? View your local switching station. Notice, no wires connect to the building. All wires drop underground before entering. Every cable first enters an underground vault so that every wire can be connected short to earth. And so that the protector will be up to 50 meters separated from electronics. Why? Do telcos all over the world do that because they have a secret agenda?

Earthing always provides the protection. Energy must be dissipated in earth so that it does not enter the building. Even Franklin demonstrated the concept in 1752. How many would forget basic science to believe a sale brochure claim? Most.

That up to 50 meters of wire between protector and electronics increases protection. Even today, earthing is what the best protected buildings always install or upgrade.

Even AC electric struck down the street is a direct lightning strike to your appliances. All appliances contain significant protection making most transients completely irrelevant. So that protection inside every appliance is not overwhelmed, the informed consumer earths a 'whole house' protector. Again, where does that energy get dissipated?

Companies such as Tripplite, APC, Monster Cable, etc will not discuss this. Who provides effective solutions? The more responsible and well respected companies including Siemens, ABB, Intermatic, Leviton, General Electric, Keison, and Square D. An effective Cutler-Hammer 'whole house' protector sells in Lowes for less than $50. Yes, that is superior protection for about $1 per protected appliance.

Why do so many not know any of this? You demonstrate the problem. Your every post assumes protection is inside a box. Wrong. Protection is always about the thing nobody sees. And about how wires connect to that buried electrode. Why do so many preach ineffective plug-in protectors? View profit margins. The same protector circuit found in a $7 grocery store protector is sells under the Monster Cable label for $150. With profit margins so high, a majority will believe what they are told. Only a minority actually have technical knowledge or will first review manufacturer spec numbers.

Spec numbers - none are provided for the Surgex or the Isobar. Show me where the manufacturer claims protection from each type of surge - with numbers. You cannot. Neither claims protection from the typically destructive surge. They are required to provide a joules numbers to have a UL safety rating. Even that joules says ineffective protection. How many joules will it absorb? How does hundreds of joules stop surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules? At what point do you actually view the numbers rather than listen to hearsay?

Energy. It’s all about where that energy gets dissipated. Its all about what path conducts tens of thousands of amps. It all about the concepts even demonstrated by Franklin in 1752.

Do telcos have a secret agenda? Or do they want surge protection? Sun Microsystems have a secret agenda? Or do they want minimally sufficient protection for Sun Server rooms? US Air Force? IEEE Standards? British Standard BS6651? Munitions dumps? NASA? Commercial broadcast stations? In every case, protection means a short connection to single point earth ground. Protection is always about where energy gets absorbed. Protection always means transient currents do not and need not enter a building. In every case, a protector is only as effective as the component that provided protection - single point earth ground.
post #40 of 774
That's why I'm asking the question, because there is so much conflicting information out there, and most of it comes from people working for one company or another, hence my reticence to trust a great deal of it.

However, The 1-A-1 classification for use in AV systems does seem to be legitimate to me. Again, this is why I'm asking, because I'm not an EE, and I neither want to overspend nor do I want to leave stuff totally unprotected. I'm not horribly concerned about lightning which is very rare where I live, and if we get a bad lightning storm maybe once a year or less, I just unplug everything. I'm more concerned about things like windstorms and power lines getting knocked down and it kicking back on and that sort of thing with surges etc.

I'm not sure what you're getting at about the Isobar "absorbing" surges, my understanding was it's just an MOV shunting device, and it dumps to ground.

And I know that there are other reputable companies like Lowell who also make series-mode surge protectors that I would assume are similar to SurgeX's devices.

Again, I'm just trying to get a grasp on what specific products I should be looking at. Articles that discuss specific products are almost always biased, and the ones that aren't that come from power companies or the government and the like are so vague as to be fairly useless and they refrain from recommending specific things except to "understand what it is you're buying" which I don't, hence the confusion! I don't like being in a position where I am blindly spending money on something, and in this case I only justify it out of peace of mind and the fact that it isn't a horribly unreasonable sum relative to the cost of the equipment on the circuits.

I considered a whole-house protector, but you also have to add in the cost of the electrician to install it, which exceeds what I've spent on standalone units so far, and my understanding on surge devices at the panel is that they're probably the best for large surges/lightning which is really a minor/insignificant concern where I am relative to other locations where that would be a big deal (miami or something!), and that supplementary protectors where the devices are are still recommended (am I wrong about that?).
post #41 of 774
Chris,

There are plenty of reputable manufacturers out there with suppression equipment which has been through the third party testing .....and will provide the documentation to prove it. While I can not tell you if the the SurgeX or other similar units are worth the money....I would tend to ignore them since they do not have the third party testing I am looking for. Nor can they be used to protect the main service in a residential, commercial or industrial type situation. They are simply plug-in units with limited capabilities and without third party testing to back them up.

The majority of the installed suppression is clearly 'MOV' style devices. These type of devices have been used for decades. They can provide excellent protection for a long period of time if implemented properly.

As always, you need to install a unit at the incoming panel for overall protection, place additional plug-in units downstream to protect additional sensitive equipment and make sure that your ground system is adequate.
post #42 of 774
My understanding was that SurgeX devices were tested by UL or other third parties? TrippLite is a little more vague, but I presume the same is true?
post #43 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

My understanding was that SurgeX devices were tested by UL or other third parties? TrippLite is a little more vague, but I presume the same is true?

Is there a UL tag on the unit?

UL 1449 is a safety test... to make sure that the unit does not catch fire if internal elements fail or become stressed.
post #44 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Do hundreds of joules in an Isobar absorb surges that are hundreds of thousands of joules?

Do we really have to worry about surges that are thousands of joules? Worst probable case for a surge is 6000V, 3000A per IEEE. Why did they pick these numbers? They picked 6000V because above that you are likely to get arcing between terminals, or terminal and the pan, at the service entrance. They picked 3000A because that was the maximum probable current because of the inductance of the wiring. Given the short duration of the surge, this works out to something on the order of 100 joules. A direct strike on the building can certainly result in more, but then you need to employ different technology to protect against damage.

In any case, I think the real shortcomings of the SurgeX technology are two-fold. First, there isn't a whole-house solution because it would be way too expensive. Second, it only provides protection for the AC.

It is too bad fuelie decided to take his ball and go home. He might have been able to answer some questions which would shed some light on this technology. As it is, his actions just make this entire technology look shady.
post #45 of 774
Just a comment on the cascade approach to protection...

When originally suggested, the idea was that you have a device at the service entrance to handle the majority of the energy of the surge, and devices with lower clamping voltage (and let-through voltage) downstream to handle what was left over. It sounds good, but the problem with this approach is that what happens is the downstream device winds up doing most of the work because it clamps first, hardly what is desired. The cascade approach can still be applied, but one needs to carefully coordinated the clamping voltages of the whole-house device and the down-stream devices. The whole-house device needs to kick in first.
post #46 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Just a comment on the cascade approach to protection...
When originally suggested, the idea was that you have a device at the service entrance to handle the majority of the energy of the surge, and devices with lower clamping voltage (and let-through voltage) downstream to handle what was left over.

It sounds good as long as we ignore what a protector does. A protector is only a connecting device; not protection. Protection is single point earth ground.

A surge goes to earth via a 'whole house' protector. If grounding is insufficient, the surge goes inside the building; approaches plug-in protectors. Will that plug-in protector earth that surge back to an overloaded ground? Of course not. The plug-in protector may earth that surge inside the buidling, destructively, via nearby appliances.

Again, a protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

Every protection layer (cascading) is defined by the only component that defines each protection layer - earth ground. Above 'whole house' protector and earthing is only secondary protection. All homeowners are encouraged to inspect another layer - primary protection system. What defines primary protection?
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html

Surges entering from earth ground, destructively through appliances, then back to earth? Even most electricians do not understand how they might subvert surge protection. A utility defines how to correct a defective installation. Why? Because earthing - not the protector - is protection. What some homeowners must do to have surge protection:
http://www.cinergy.com/surge/ttip08.htm

Chris Wiggles - where is bias from so many professionals? Does not exist when professionals define protection - especially single point earth ground - using science. How many get rich selling single point earth ground? Notice how a utility (Cinergy) is also so biased? Cinergy simply describes how professionals have installed surge protection for over 100 years.
post #47 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

That's why I'm asking the question, because there is so much conflicting information out there, and most of it comes from people working for one company or another, hence my reticence to trust a great deal of it. ...
I'm not sure what you're getting at about the Isobar "absorbing" surges, my understanding was it's just an MOV shunting device, and it dumps to ground.

A majority who recommend surge protectors are missing even minimal electrical knowledge. Bias is routine and obvious first and foremost because those articles and hearsay violate basic electrical concepts. Do not even provide numbers. Most will claim a protector will stop, block, or absorb surges only because that is what they were told - hearsay.

More accurate is what you thought a Tripplite might do. Then add what most routinely forget. Where does energy get diverted to? Too often not via safety ground due to excessive impedance. An engineering concept that ineffective protectors and hearsay ignore. A concept that makes obvioius which sources are based in science - not sales brochures or hearsay. Only a tiny minority who recommend protectors have engineering knowledge AND that design experience. You should be moving on; asking the informed how to improve your protection. From your description, you don't have superior protection. Fortunately destructive surges typically occur maybe once even seven years (another number).

Step back; view the entire circuit. A surge is typically incoming on utility wires to make a connection to earth. Either that current is earthed before entering the building (ie a 'whole house' protector). Or that surge gets connected to earth unfortunately via household appliances.

What does a Tripplite do? Shortest electrical path to earth may be through adjacent appliances. Problem is obvious. No dedicated wire for that short connection to earth. Voltage will increase as necessary to obtain earth.

For example, an IEEE brochure shows a protector connecting a surge 8000 volts destructively through an adjacent TV. 8,000 volts? Yes. Which also exposes that Surgex 6000 volt maximum protection as insufficient. Earthing a surge destructively through adjacent appliances defines one problem with plug-in protectors (see Dr Martzloff's paper).

What does that Surgex do? See that safety ground wire. Just another way a surge can be earthed destructively via adjacent appliances. Those who recommend Surgex on knowledge from a sales brochure still ignore that safety ground wire - and other electrical concepts. At best, it is supplementary protection AFTER effective protection is installed.

Critical to effective protection is low impedance. Not resistance (ie wire diameter). Impedance (adversely increased by wire length, sharp bends, wire inside metallic conduit, etc). What professional discuss and what myths ignore - wire impedance.

A 1994 IEEE paper from Dr Martzloff describes damage created by plug-in (point of use) protectors. Described in the first conclusion:
> Conclusion:
> 1) Quantitative measurements in the Upside-Down house clearly show objectionable
> difference in reference voltages. These occur even when or perhaps because,
> surge protective devices are present at the point of connection of appliances.

Posted previously were numerous professional citations on what protectors must do. Those sources alone should have been obviously unbiased. One company with highly regarded products is Polyphaser. Polyphaser application notes are also highly respected - often cited in sources for science papers. What does Polyphaser discuss? Their products? Of course not. Polyphaser discusses what provides surge protection - earth ground.

Read those app notes as well as this long list of other professionals who cite effective protection and why it is effective:
http://www.polyphaser.com/technical_notes.aspx
http://www.mtlsurgetechnologies.com/...tans/index.htm
http://www.erico.com/public/library/...es/tncr002.pdf
http://www.terracon.com.au/includes/.../ERA-Paper.pdf
http://www.cinergy.com/surge/ttip08.htm
http://*******.com/3y747k
http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/grounding.htm
http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/basics.htm
http://members.cox.net/pc-usa/station/ground3.htm
http://www.telebyteusa.com/primer/ch6.htm
http://www.harvardrepeater.org/news/lightning.html
http://scott-inc.com/html/ufer.htm
http://www.psihq.com/iread/ufergrnd.htm
http://www.eham.net/articles/6848?eh...61e080ac23c416
http://*******.com/2bwlhn
http://lists.contesting.com/_towerta.../msg00327.html
http://www.dslreports.com/faq/10431
http://svconline.com/mag/avinstall_s...tionthe_enemy/
http://www.copper.org/applications/e.../nebraska.html
http://www.atlanticscientific.com/lightning.html

What makes these many citations different? They say 'why' and 'what' makes protection effective. And include numbers. What do so many here not provide? Numbers. Few provided numbers (6000 volts and 3000 amps) have been exposed as trivial protection (ie 250 joules and an 8000 volt surge earthed through an adjacent TV).

At what point did Sun Microsystems, US Air Force, every telco, NIST, IEEE, etc become biases sources? The sources that define earthing necessary for protection AND provide numbers should be the only citations worth your attention. Anything recommended on retail shelves should have the credibility of Saddam's WMDs.

In every case, the only component always required for surge protection: single point earth ground. Isobar does not have it and Tripplite does not discuss it (both define an ineffective protector). Your Isobar would not be used in telco switching centers - where they need protection far superior to what you need. Your telco spends much less for their superior protection. You also could.

Others explain the concept. For example, this application note demonstrates two structures - each with its own single point ground. Every wire that enters either structure must first connect to that single point ground:
http://www.erico.com/public/library/...es/tncr002.pdf
Yes, even underground wires must be earthed before entering. Polyphaser app notes also said that AND said why. Where does Tripplite discuss any of this? Your Isobar does not even provide numbers that define protection from each type of surge. If you dispute this, then post those spec numbers. You cannot. Specs that actually define protection do not exist. At what point does it become that obvious???

Biased? IEEE Standards are biased? Standards are where IEEE makes recommendations. Numerous IEEE Standards are blunt about what provides surge protection. IEEE Green Book (Standard 142) entitled 'Static and Lightning Protection Grounding':
> Lightning cannot be prevented; it can only be intercepted or diverted to a
> path which will, if well designed and constructed, not result in damage.
Surgex does exactly what the IEEE defines as ineffective. To be effective, the Surgex or Isobar must be part of a the 'whole house' protector system; can only provide supplementary protection.

How many others quoted anything but hearsay from sales brochures or manipulated sales demonstrations? How to determine which source is being honest. An overwhelming majority will only recite half truths and subjective myths. Provide no spec numbers.

Above citations describe why this sound byte is relevant. A protector is only as effective as its ground. Not safety ground. Earth ground.
post #48 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

A 1994 IEEE paper from Dr Martzloff describes damage created by plug-in (point of use) protectors.

And Martzloff describes a solution to ground reference problems a "ground reference equalizer" which is essentially a plug-in surge protective device that protects all ports of the connected equipment.
post #49 of 774
westom,

Here is a question I would like your opinion on. If I have all of my HT equipment connected to a single surge protective device which is robust enough, and protects all ports (AC, antenna, etc.), will it protect my HT equipment, albeit at the expense of damage to other things in the house when the surge is diverted to the equipment grounding conductor (safety ground) or grounded conductor (neutral)? If not, please explain why not.
post #50 of 774
Quote:


Your telco spends much less for their superior protection. You also could.

Such as WHAT!? That's what this entire thread is about, and I'm getting inundated with nonhelpful stuff here.

The thread is titled "surge protector recommendations." I haven't seen one yet. AV Doogie recommended a whole house unit, which doesn't really pertain to a plug-in surge surpressor.

You haven't really explained a damn thing. Hence my frustration at years of seeing this question asked and never getting a good answer.
post #51 of 774
ChrisWiggles,

Take a look at the link above to what Martzloff had to say on one occasion. He is one of the few real experts on surge protection. It won't answer all your questions, but it should give you some insight.

To some extent, the whole surge protection thing is overblown. Most consumer level equipment is essentially surge immune to around 600V to 800V. Most of the transients generated internally in a typical residence are less than that and constitute nothing more than noise. The real threats come from outside due to lightning, utility switching transients, and transients that are generated as a result of power failures.

As westom has said many times, effective surge protection depends on preventing the surge from entering the building. This is accomplished by providing an adequate earth ground, using appropriate surge protective devices on each path a surge can take into the building (AC, telephone, cable, etc.), and connecting those devices to the earth ground via a low impedance path (less than 10 feet). Effectively this means that everything enters the house at the electrical service entrance. You can use a single whole-house device that combines the protection for all the paths. Or you can use a whole-house AC device along with separate devices for the other paths. Some of those devices are as simple as a coax grounding block. If you do this, in a typical residence, you probably don't need to do anything more for surge protection. You are pretty much good to go against anything except a direct lightning strike, or one close enough to induce significant voltages directly into your household wiring. Then you need a very different kind of protection.

Can you get adequate protection short of a whole-house solution? It depends on what you consider adequate. The big problem is the high impedance path to earth ground when you are more than a few feet from the service entrance. There is no guarantee that the equipment grounding conductor the surge is diverted to is the lowest impedance path to ground. But the surge will find the easiest way, and it may be through another piece of equipment. So now you are faced with protecting every significant piece of equipment individually with point-of-use devices. Even then, you may not be safe. The problem is that using point-of-use devices may do more harm than good in some cases, particularly if they provide common-mode protection. I will give you an example: all your HT equipment except your powered subwoofer and plasma TV is plugged into one surge protective device, and the subwoofer and TV into two more. A surge hits, the devices divert the surge to the equipment grounding conduct in a way that causes a voltage differential between the subwoofer, TV and the rest of the equipment. They now have very different ground references, but they are connected via the subwoofer cable, HDMI cable, etc., resulting in damage to one or more pieces of equipment. BTW this is one thing that SurgeX has going for it if it works as advertised--it doesn't divert surges to ground.

So, westom's point all along has been that one can only achieve adequate protection with a whole-house solution as described above. He isn't going to recommend a point-of-use device. My recommendation is that if you are going to use a point-of-use device, make sure that all ports of everything that is connected goes through it so they all have the same ground reference. It is still a compromise because of the inductance of the house wiring.

westom has mentioned some of the manufacturers of whole-house devices in the past. They are the same companies that are in the electrical equipment business, like Leviton, Square D and many others.
post #52 of 774
ChrisWiggles,

Take a look at the link above to what Martzloff had to say on one occasion. He is one of the few real experts on surge protection. It won't answer all your questions, but it should give you some insight.

To some extent, the whole surge protection thing is overblown. Most consumer level equipment is essentially surge immune to around 600V to 800V. Most of the transients generated internally in a typical residence are less than that and constitute nothing more than noise. The real threats come from outside due to lightning, utility switching transients, and transients that are generated as a result of power failures.

As westom has said many times, effective surge protection depends on preventing the surge from entering the building. This is accomplished by providing an adequate earth ground, using appropriate surge protective devices on each path a surge can take into the building (AC, telephone, cable, etc.), and connecting those devices to the earth ground via a low impedance path (less than 10 feet). Effectively this means that everything enters the house at the electrical service entrance. You can use a single whole-house device that combines the protection for all the paths. Or you can use a whole-house AC device along with separate devices for the other paths. Some of those devices are as simple as a coax grounding block. If you do this, in a typical residence, you probably don't need to do anything more for surge protection. You are pretty much good to go against anything except a direct lightning strike, or one close enough to induce significant voltages directly into your household wiring. Then you need a very different kind of protection.

Can you get adequate protection short of a whole-house solution? It depends on what you consider adequate. The big problem is the high impedance path to earth ground when you are more than a few feet from the service entrance. There is no guarantee that the equipment grounding conductor the surge is diverted to is the lowest impedance path to ground. But the surge will find the easiest way, and it may be through another piece of equipment. So now you are faced with protecting every significant piece of equipment individually with point-of-use devices. Even then, you may not be safe. The problem is that using point-of-use devices may do more harm than good in some cases. I will give you an example: all your HT equipment except your powered subwoofer and plasma TV is plugged into one surge protective device, and the subwoofer and TV into two more. A surge hits, the devices divert the surge to the equipment grounding conduct in a way that causes a voltage differential between the subwoofer, TV and the rest of the equipment. They now have very different ground references, but they are connected via the subwoofer cable, HDMI cable, etc., resulting in damage to one or more pieces of equipment.
post #53 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

ChrisWiggles,

Can you get adequate protection short of a whole-house solution? It depends on what you consider adequate. The big problem is the high impedance path to earth ground when you are more than a few feet from the service entrance. There is no guarantee that the equipment grounding conductor the surge is diverted to is the lowest impedance path to ground.

You can not get complete protection without a whole house approach. You are essentially leaving the front door open to vagrants who only then have to get through the kitchen door....which has a cheap little latch for safety.

Additionally, make sure that your grounding system is adequate by having it tested and inspected for proper bonding by a knowledgeable local electrician. Most electricians will not know how to test the ground rod and bonding system, but can provide a decent inspection of the grounding system nonetheless.
post #54 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Such as WHAT!? That's what this entire thread is about, and I'm getting inundated with nonhelpful stuff here.

The thread is titled "surge protector recommendations." I haven't seen one yet. AV Doogie recommended a whole house unit, which doesn't really pertain to a plug-in surge surpressor.

You haven't really explained a damn thing. Hence my frustration at years of seeing this question asked and never getting a good answer.

Sorry,

I recommend the IT (Innovative Technology) units simply because I have seen these units tested during presentations numerous times (they consistently have the lowest let through voltage capabilities, excellent ring wave suppression, and excellent heat sink capability for longevity), and the lack of BS is refreshing. They are now owned by Eaton.
post #55 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Here is a question I would like your opinion on. If I have all of my HT equipment connected to a single surge protective device which is robust enough, and protects all ports (AC, antenna, etc.), will it protect my HT equipment, ...

Return to the church steeple example. Even wood is a conductor. Better conductors include concrete, linoleum tile, and even some wall paints. For that 'virtual ground' solution to be effective, everything including any nearby heat ducts, other wires inside walls, and the floor must be integrated into that ground. Otherwise a surge current has alternative destructive paths through appliances to earth. Even some wall paints are conductive. Any protector without that short connection to earth cannot effectively avert (divert) typically destructive surges. We have even traced surge damage because the adjacent protector earthed a surge destructively through a network of powered off computers.

What did an IEEE brochure show? A surge permitted inside a building found earth 8000 volts destructively via an adjacent TV. And yes, we engineers literally located and replaced damaged semiconductors to learn why failures happen. How many others learned this stuff by identifying and replacing each damaged semiconductor? Not board swapping. We work at a level where actually electrical knowledge is required. A majority will recommend ineffective protectors using subjective reasoning because that is the popular urban myth. One here even recommends a protector that (he admits) does not protect from lightning. It does not protect from typically destructive surges? And he still recommends spending 300 times more money for it? His own admission exposed the Surgex as ineffective.

Learn from professionals. This paragraph alone should we 100% convincing to anyone. What do telcos use on six continents? Not a series mode (Surgex) protector. They need effective protection. Every telco uses what is well proven and what also costs tens or 100 times less money. An earthed 'whole house' protector. To make that protection even better, electronics are located up to 50 meters distant from that protector. Wire impedance - not wire resistance - says why. Wire impedance also says why plug-in protectors are not effective - are not earthed - do not even claim protection in their numeric specs. Wire impedance also identifies so many who should be in learning mode - not making any recommendations. Wire impedance says why protectors adjacent to electronics are ineffective - sometimes even destructive.

> There is no guarantee that the equipment grounding conductor the surge is
> diverted to is the lowest impedance path to ground. But the surge will find
> the easiest way, and it may be through another piece of equipment.

Nonsense. Total nonsense from retail promoters to protect obscenely profitable protectors. IEEE Green Book provides numbers for effective earthing:
> Lightning cannot be prevented; it can only be intercepted or diverted to a
> path which will, if well designed and constructed, not result in damage.
> Even this means is not positive, providing only 99.5-99.9% protection. ...
> Still, a 99.5% protection level will reduce the incidence of direct strokes
> from one stroke per 30 years ... to one stroke per 6000 years ...

What is the source of damage? A human who did not learn these well proven and fundamental concepts. Earthing principles are so well proven that surge damage is directly traceable to human failure.

The informed consumer also inspects a utility installed primary' surge protection system. Each protection layer is always defined by an earthing electrode - not by a protector. To repeat what cannot be ignored: "What these protective devices do is ... simply divert it to ground, where it can do no harm." Or an IEEE brochure - a surge earthed 8000 volts destructively through a nearby TV. Why do telcos all over the world locate electronics up to 50 meters separated from protectors? Because they are stupid? And still some will recommend a protector - with no earth ground - adjacent to electronics. So many will read this and still entertain hearsay, urban myths, and the junk science that promotes ineffective protectors. Protectors that cost tens or 100 times more money.

Using IEEE numbers, one may expect 0.2% additional protection from plug-in protectors that costs tens or 100 times more money. But again, how it is done. Facts provided WITH NUMBERS. Where is the plug-in protector spec that defines protection? Never provided. Manufacturer does not publish what he cannot claim. Notice how the Surgex gets promoted by a sales demonstration - not by science and numbers.

No way around something known for over 100 years - and denied by an overwhelming majority educated from retail shelves. Why do no plug-in protectors claim protection even in their numeric specs? A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
post #56 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Such as WHAT!? That's what this entire thread is about, and I'm getting inundated with nonhelpful stuff here. ...
You haven't really explained a damn thing. Hence my frustration at years of seeing this question asked and never getting a good answer.

Frustrated because you cannot find any Martians in Shangri-La? The problem is not a shortage of Martians. The problem is Shangri-La does not exist.

Which do you want? A plug-in protector OR effective surge protection. They are mutually exclusive. No plug-in protector manufacturer even claims protection in its numeric specs. That protection exists somewhere adjacent to Shangri-La. You either earth a 'whole house' protector. Or you do not want protection from typically destructive surges.

Listed long ago in this thread were responsible companies that make effective protectors. Notice companies not lists - APC, Tripplite, Belkin, and Monster Cable. Every solution is an earthed protector. That means 'whole house'.

If you want a plug-in protector, then buy the $7 power strip protector from a grocery store. Same circuit is also sold in $25 and $150 power strip protectors. Better is to pay $7 for the same thing. View the spec numbers. That $7 grocery store protector has same specs because it is the same circuit.

Another problem seen by most every fire department are scary pictures too frequently associated with plug-in protectors:
http://www.hanford.gov/rl/?page=556&parent=554
http://www.ddxg.net/old/surge_protectors.htm
http://www.zerosurge.com/HTML/movs.html
http://*******.com/3x73ol
http://www3.cw56.com/news/articles/local/BO63312/
http://www.nmsu.edu/~safety/news/les...tectorfire.htm
http://www.pennsburgfireco.com/fullstory.php?58339

For example, they removed protector components - and the protector light said it was still good. Even the light is deceptive. A fire marshall describes why that fire threat is so common. You want this on a desktop of papers or on a rug behind some furniture? Are you asking for effective protection or for a plug-in protector? Which do you want?

You don't know frustration until you are in my shoes reading your post? I have posted this same conclusion at least 30 different ways. Because every post is chock full of numbers, you know the conclusions are accurate and from somehow who knows this stuff. And still you want to be scammed? Either you earth a 'whole house' protector or you want a protector that is not effective. Which do you want?

View those scary pictures - making it the 31st reason why no honest poster can recommend a plug-in protector. Do you get it? No informed and honest person can recommend a plug-in protector for appliance protection. Even the manufacturer does not claim that protection in his specs. Why do you 'know' that no plug-in protector will provide protection? None have earth ground. At this point, how could you not know that? A design engineer who may have been designing for longer than you existed says (does the soundbyte haunt you in your sleep yet?), "A protector is only as effective as its earth ground." That means zero plug-in protectors provide what you are asking for.

Chris - if you are asking for a plug-in protector, well, go to a web site entitled "I want to be scammed.com". Can I make it any simpler? A 100% complete reason why: A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
post #57 of 774
westom,

OK, I think it is pretty clear what the problem is when you shunt the surge to ground in a point-of-use device.

One more question. Would you please comment on normal (differential) mode surges, and the effect of a simple point-of-use surge protective device that provides only normal mode protection (line to neutral) as are recommended by some for interconnected equipment. Just what happens when the surge is shunted to the other line?
post #58 of 774
Westom you're not making any sense and you're not suggesting any products.

You bashed series-mode surge protectors earlier, now you provide a link to ZeroSurge which is exactly what they sell, to an article that bashes MOVs.

All you are doing is repeating that a protector is only as good as it's ground, and then blaming the protector??? It either dumps to ground (if it's designed that way) at the panel, or it does it at the end outlet. Or both.

So you're not making any sense. Now you're bashing MOVs for dumping to ground. Before you were bashing series-mode devices for being worthless. What am I supposed to do, install a ground rod at every outlet and do a rain dance and hope I don't get hit with a surge?

I'm just here trying to gather information. There have been many previous surge suppressor threads, and like this one they haven't really been very illuminating at all.
post #59 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

Would you please comment on normal (differential) mode surges, and the effect of a simple point-of-use surge protective device that provides only normal mode protection (line to neutral)

Normal mode transients are typically trivial - do not cause damage. These transients are irrelevant for numerous reasons starting with protection inside all appliances.

Destructive are transients created by events such as utility switching, high voltage wires falling on local distribution, and lightning. These longitudinal mode transients can blow through galvanic isolation; can overwhelm other internal appliance protection. These transients either are ignored by a plug-in protector OR are given more potentially destructive paths by that protector. These are the transients that bypass that Surgex via its safety ground wire. Time after time, when surge damage is identified and traced, the surge path was to earth ground. Longitudinal mode - the typically destructive surge. And why all high reliability facilities spend so much effort to make longitudinal mode transients irrelevant.
post #60 of 774
How are they bypassing anything via the safety ground? Unless the lightning is hitting your electronics, where is it coming in via the safety ground?? It would hit the ground first before it ever got onto the safety ground, and it has no path anywhere via the safety ground unless you have multiple grounding rods in your system which AFAIK is illegal/not up to code.
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