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Surge Protector recommendations - Page 3

post #61 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

Westom you're not making any sense and you're not suggesting any products.

Chris - read only what is posted. Stop reading hidden meanings. Your biases are only confusing you. If you want to learn, start by assuming everything you know was probably wrong. Then read only what was posted - especially every number.

Zerosurge accurately shows what that indicator light reports. Nothing bashes MOVs. Exampled were MOV protectors so grossly undersized to maximize profits - to not provide protection. Nothing in the Zerosurge pictures discuss 'whole house' protectors. Did you get that? Zerosurge was critical of plug-in protectors that do not provide and do not claim to provide protection. Completely different is a 'whole house' protector.

Why assume plug-in and 'whole house' protectors do same? If you read only what I posted, you learned a 'whole house' protector does things that a plug-in protector cannot. A 'whole house' protector even earths direct lightning strikes and remains functional. A 'whole house' protector means nobody even knew a surge existed. And still some so ignore numbers as to believe MOVs are sacrificial devices.

Effective protectors are constructed using MOVs. So let's make it simpler. Point 1: Some of the crappiest protectors use MOVs. And some of the best protectors use MOVs. Zerosurge pictures show that IF you make no assumptions. Where does Zerosurge discuss 'whole house' protectors? It does not - obviously.

Let's make it simpler. Point 2: If you want to be scammed, buy a plug-in protector. If you want protection, earth a 'whole house' protector. A list of 'whole house' protectors were posted yesterday. Posted earlier were the numbers you memorized - because selection mean you grasped every number.

Let's make it simple. Point 3: Wall receptacle provides no earth ground. A receptacle is safety grounded; not earth grounded. Reading only what was posted means you read that earth ground "must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code". Not safety ground. Every ground to wall receptacles obviously is not earth ground. If you disagree, then your post includes many numbers that say why you disagree.

Numbers Chris. Your every reply never has numbers. That suggests your eyes routinely glaze over with each number. You are learning nothing if reading subjectively. What was posted is consistent. But if you did not grasp every number as if your life depended on it, then you did not read what was posted. Ignoring numbers explains why you are confused and frustrated. Explains why your replies are inconsistent with what was posted.

Stop being accusatory. Your accusations say how much you still have to learn. You replies should be reposting every number with questions to better understand those numbers. Instead you are making the classic mistake - thinking subjectively. Not discussing every posted number.

You ignored facts posted previously. Even ignored so many 'whole house' protectors posted yesterday. Previously posted were numbers for any minimally effective protector. You did not even acknowledge that 'learn it or die' fact. AV Doogle also provided a very robust solution.

Posted were benchmarks to identify ineffective protectors. Did you read that? 1) It has no dedicated connection to earth. 2) Manufacturer does not discuss earth ground. If you did, then you know the difference is massive between a plug-in protector and a 'whole house' protector. But your repeated frustration suggests you ignored every number.

Plug-in protectors have no dedicated earth wire (Strike one). The manufacturer does not discuss earthing (Strike two). Its numeric specs make no claims for surge protection (Strike three). See those scary pictures that demonstrate frequent problems only with plug-in protectors (Strike four). The $25 and $150 plug-in protectors have the same protector circuit selling for $7 in a grocery store - because its purpose if profits; not protection (Strike five).

You asked for effective protection. Scary pictures alone show a major difference between plug-in and 'whole house' protectors. But then one is sold for maximum profit. The other is sold by far more responsible companies to provide actual surge protection. Numbers that define protection were also provided. If you grasped the numbers, you would not be so confused. If you posted actual questions with numbers rather than being accusatory, then I might actually believe you are reading before posting.

Somehow you are infatuated with MOVs rather than what makes MOVs so effective. Your replies suggest only superficial reading. Did not read multiple times with enough care to understand the massive difference between plug-in and whole house' protectors.
post #62 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisWiggles View Post

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 ....

Lightning enters on all three wires. Only one connects to earth. Surge current travels to plug-in protectors with a safety ground wire tightly bundled to that wire. Breakdown voltage of insulators. Induced currents. Just two reasons why currents are now approaching that protector on all three wires.

What does protector filtering do? Some connects each wire to safety ground wire. Another path for current to get into the safety ground and destructively into electronics. Power strip protectors can dump the entire surge on a safety ground. Another path directly into electronics - bypassing the appliance internal protection.

What did Dr Martzloff state about plug-in (point of connection) protectors? They can contribute to appliance damage. Significant surge current end up on the safety ground for too many reasons.

What did we discover with an analysis at the semiconductor level? That protector earthed a surge directly into the computer motherboard. It compromised (bypassed) computer protection by diverting the surge directly onto the safety ground wire. Since that wire was too far from the breaker box, the surge took a best path to earth. Destructively through the motherboard. Into the network, out a third computer to earth via the phone line. All three powered off computers damaged only on semiconductors that formed a path from the surge protector to earth ground. A path made easier because the surge entered from protector into the computer via a safety ground wire.

Those are details. Bottom line: once a surge is permitted inside the building, it will hunt for earth destructively via any household appliance. Protection has always been about where energy dissipates. Any protection inside the building is too late. Buildings are chock full of sneaky conductive paths that make damage possible. You want the same solution used by telcos all over the world. A solution that costs tens or 100 times less than plug-in protectors. Actually does protect from lightning. And remains functional even after direct lightning strikes.

Effective protection means nobody knew the surge existed. Unfortunately that also means the naïve never knew a surge existed. Therefore the naïve could not recommend the effective solution. The naïve recommend protectors that fail - so that the naïve know a surge existed. Go figure.
post #63 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Lightning enters on all three wires. Only one connects to earth. Surge current travels to plug-in protectors with a safety ground wire tightly bundled to that wire. Breakdown voltage of insulators. Induced currents. Just two reasons why currents are now approaching that protector on all three wires.

Uh, two of those three wires connect to earth. Where do you get only one??? Neutral and ground are both bonded and grounded at the panel.

Quote:


What does protector filtering do? Some connects each wire to safety ground wire. Another path for current to get into the safety ground and destructively into electronics. Power strip protectors can dump the entire surge on a safety ground. Another path directly into electronics - bypassing the appliance internal protection.

What did Dr Martzloff state about plug-in (point of connection) protectors? They can contribute to appliance damage. Significant surge current end up on the safety ground for too many reasons.

What did we discover with an analysis at the semiconductor level? That protector earthed a surge directly into the computer motherboard. It compromised (bypassed) computer protection by diverting the surge directly onto the safety ground wire. Since that wire was too far from the breaker box, the surge took a best path to earth. Destructively through the motherboard. Into the network, out a third computer to earth via the phone line. All three powered off computers damaged only on semiconductors that formed a path from the surge protector to earth ground. A path made easier because the surge entered from protector into the computer via a safety ground wire.

Those are details. Bottom line: once a surge is permitted inside the building, it will hunt for earth destructively via any household appliance. Protection has always been about where energy dissipates. Any protection inside the building is too late. Buildings are chock full of sneaky conductive paths that make damage possible. You want the same solution used by telcos all over the world. A solution that costs tens or 100 times less than plug-in protectors. Actually does protect from lightning. And remains functional even after direct lightning strikes.

WHICH IS WHAT!?!?!?!?

Quote:


Effective protection means nobody knew the surge existed. Unfortunately that also means the naïve never knew a surge existed. Therefore the naïve could not recommend the effective solution. The naïve recommend protectors that fail – so that the naïve know a surge existed. Go figure.

You're still not making any sense here.
post #64 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Chris - read only what is posted. Stop reading hidden meanings. Your biases are only confusing you. If you want to learn, start by assuming everything you know was probably wrong. Then read only what was posted - especially every number.

What biases? What are you talking about?

I am not assuming anything, but you're not telling me anything coherent.

I have never assumed anything in this thread. My very first post said among other things: ...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.

And:
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.

I don't know how much more clearly to state that I do not know much about the products I purchased, which I did so from a state of ignorance. Hence asking questions in this thread. Unfortunately, it's not helping get any good explanations of anything, I'm just going in circles and you're not making any sense.

Quote:


Zerosurge accurately shows what that indicator light reports. Nothing bashes MOVs. Exampled were MOV protectors so grossly undersized to maximize profits - to not provide protection. Nothing in the Zerosurge pictures discuss 'whole house' protectors. Did you get that? Zerosurge was critical of plug-in protectors that do not provide and do not claim to provide protection. Completely different is a 'whole house' protector.

Their article and other tech articles written by people affiliated with zerosurge do criticize MOVs. That's their main selling point. They appear to me to be very well-written articles, however I take them with a grain of salt because they have a particular product niche that obviously may bias their perspective, hence I don't just blindly accept what they're saying.

Quote:


Why assume plug-in and 'whole house' protectors do same? If you read only what I posted, you learned a 'whole house' protector does things that a plug-in protector cannot. A 'whole house' protector even earths direct lightning strikes and remains functional. A 'whole house' protector means nobody even knew a surge existed. And still some so ignore numbers as to believe MOVs are sacrificial devices.

Well that's what zero surge is saying that MOVs are sacrificial.

Do you understand just how contradicting, convoluted, confusing, and utterly disorganized your posts are? You are not making any sense.

Quote:


Effective protectors are constructed using MOVs. So let's make it simpler. Point 1: Some of the crappiest protectors use MOVs. And some of the best protectors use MOVs. Zerosurge pictures show that IF you make no assumptions. Where does Zerosurge discuss 'whole house' protectors? It does not - obviously.

I am looking for your point here. I don't see one.

Quote:


Let's make it simpler. Point 2: If you want to be scammed, buy a plug-in protector. If you want protection, earth a 'whole house' protector. A list of 'whole house' protectors were posted yesterday. Posted earlier were the numbers you memorized - because selection mean you grasped every number.

Well, I've been a zillion commercial installations with plug-in protectors as well as panel devices. I can't say that I'm convinced given that numerous utilities and others also recommend plug-in protectors of some type, because surges may originate inside a building particularly if it's a large commercial complex.

Quote:


Let's make it simple. Point 3: Wall receptacle provides no earth ground. A receptacle is safety grounded; not earth grounded.

What? What do you mean by this? Neutral and safety ground both are grounded to the earth. That's their nature. What are you talking about?

Quote:


Reading only what was posted means you read that earth ground "must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code". Not safety ground. Every ground to wall receptacles obviously is not earth ground. If you disagree, then your post includes many numbers that say why you disagree.

Disagree with what? What the heck are you saying? Both the ground and the neutral are grounded AND bonded together at the panel. Obviously there is some resistance which may be a concern by the time you get all the way to where your outlet is, but what are you saying, that ground and neutral are NOT grounded!?

Quote:


Numbers Chris. Your every reply never has numbers. That suggests your eyes routinely glaze over with each number. You are learning nothing if reading subjectively. What was posted is consistent. But if you did not grasp every number as if your life depended on it, then you did not read what was posted. Ignoring numbers explains why you are confused and frustrated. Explains why your replies are inconsistent with what was posted.

That's because I'm not an EE, I've been busy with other things, and the numbers I have seen are conflicting and conflict with numbers and claims I've seen elsewhere.

Quote:


Stop being accusatory. Your accusations say how much you still have to learn. You replies should be reposting every number with questions to better understand those numbers. Instead you are making the classic mistake - thinking subjectively. Not discussing every posted number.

I'm not thinking subjectively. I'm asking questions which nobody is addressing in a coherent, intelligible way. English is my native tongue, and I have years of tech experience, but you're not making a damn bit of sense.

[quote] You ignored facts posted previously. Even ignored so many 'whole house' protectors posted yesterday. Previously posted were numbers for any minimally effective protector. You did not even acknowledge that 'learn it or die' fact. AV Doogle also provided a very robust solution.

Posted were benchmarks to identify ineffective protectors. Did you read that? 1) It has no dedicated connection to earth. 2) Manufacturer does not discuss earth ground. If you did, then you know the difference is massive between a plug-in protector and a 'whole house' protector. But your repeated frustration suggests you ignored every number.

Quote:


Plug-in protectors have no dedicated earth wire (Strike one).

Eh? What do you mean? They're grounded. That's where they dump the surge if they're an MOV shunting it to ground. This strike does not make sense to me. Ball one.

Quote:


The manufacturer does not discuss earthing (Strike two).

Which manufacturer? Most simple MOV devices give you a light that at least verifies that ground is present. Doesn't tell you it's much good, but at least that it's there. That's not discussing it? This doesn't make sense to me either. Ball two.

Quote:


Its numeric specs make no claims for surge protection (Strike three).

The only two devices I mentioned were a tripplite unit which does list joules of surge protection, as does the surgex unit. Ball three. I don't know how to interpret these claims because I'm not an EE and it has not been sufficiently explained to me by anyone here or elsewhere so I'm still in the dark.

Quote:


See those scary pictures that demonstrate frequent problems only with plug-in protectors (Strike four).

Yes. But as you said, only if they're undersized MOVs and cheaply designed, so I don't see how that's relevant except to say that you shouldn't buy the cheapest plug-in protector you can find since it's probably cheesy and might catch on fire if hit with too many surges. Ball four.

Quote:


The $25 and $150 plug-in protectors have the same protector circuit selling for $7 in a grocery store - because its purpose if profits; not protection (Strike five).

Again, you wrote above stuff that contradicts this. There are clearly very different capabilities in different MOV plug-in units.

Quote:


You asked for effective protection. Scary pictures alone show a major difference between plug-in and 'whole house' protectors. But then one is sold for maximum profit. The other is sold by far more responsible companies to provide actual surge protection. Numbers that define protection were also provided. If you grasped the numbers, you would not be so confused. If you posted actual questions with numbers rather than being accusatory, then I might actually believe you are reading before posting.

Somehow you are infatuated with MOVs rather than what makes MOVs so effective. Your replies suggest only superficial reading. Did not read multiple times with enough care to understand the massive difference between plug-in and ‘whole house’ protectors.

I feel like I'm trying to listen to Glenn Beck here. You're going in rambling incoherent circles. I shouldn't be infatuated with MOVs yet I should be infatuated with how they're so effective? What?

I'm just trying to ask questions, and you're kind of treating me like a fool for trying to figure this stuff out. I don't appreciate it. If you want to provide something helpful, GREAT! Please do. Otherwise, what the hell? Sense: please start making some!
post #65 of 774
Quote:


Uh, two of those three wires connect to earth. Where do you get only one??? Neutral and ground are both bonded and grounded at the panel.

Uh, two of those wires are hot, connected to the secondary of a transformer. One is neutral, connected to the center tap and ground.

Note: Edited by Mod
post #66 of 774
He's referring to a 120V circuit, one side of the 240V single phase 3 wire service. The grounded conductor (neutral, white wire) and the equipment grounding conductor (safety ground, green or bare wire) are indeed required to be bonded at the service entrance in the USA.
post #67 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Colm View Post

He's referring to a 120V circuit, one side of the 240V single phase 3 wire service. The grounded conductor (neutral, white wire) and the equipment grounding conductor (safety ground, green or bare wire) are indeed required to be bonded at the service entrance in the USA.

Right. I see now what he meant with regards to surges coming in from the service side via the two phases + neutral. I was reading too fast & it was late.

Note: Edited by Mod
post #68 of 774
westom,

Would it be accurate to say that common mode surges are only going to enter a residence via some path besides the AC because the the grounded conductor (neutral) and the equipment grounding conductor (safety ground) are bonded at the service entrance? If not, please explain.
post #69 of 774
Insulting posts edited and deleted. Stay on topic.
post #70 of 774
Phone company practice has been mentioned in this thread. If anyone is interested, this shows the extent that phone companies go to to achieve adequate grounding and bonding.
post #71 of 774
Hi,
Wondering if anybody could give me a recommendation on the size of the whole house surge protector to get, I was looking at either the IT Eaton XT-40 or XT 100, or step up to the PTX160. I see that you get the better warranty with the PTX series, is there any other benefits? I have a 200 amp feed.

Thanks!
post #72 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

I see that you get the better warranty with the PTX series, is there any other benefits? I have a 200 amp feed.

Better warranties are usually attached to the most inferior products. For example, the better warranty proves GM products are overwhelmingly superior to Honda and Toyota. Obviously not.

You concern is the number of amps a protector will connect (divert, bond, shunt) to earth. A minimally acceptable 'whole house' protector starts at about 50,000 amps.

Remember, no protector provides protection. Protectors do not protect by absorbing surges. Protectors are only conducting devices that divert energy elsewhere. That energy must be dissipated in earth. Therefore any protector is made even better when the earth ground is upgraded - to both meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code.

Some facilities massively enlarge their earthing just for that little bit extra protection.

Ignore that warranty. How many amps can that protector divert to earth? The average lightning strike is 20,000 amps. A minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Combined with the primary surge protection system and current going to neighbors homes, that 50,000 amp protector should be sufficient even for the rarely seen 100,000 amp surge.

Protector's life expectancy increases exponentially when its current rating increases. Another factor to consider if your neighborhood is suffering direct lightning strikes annually. Destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years. Survey your neighbors for history over the past decade.
post #73 of 774
Westom,
Thanks for getting back to me. My neighbor's house had a surge year or two ago, and he lost some equipment. That is all that I know of, and do not know what the cause was. My office which is about 10 miles away lost a few computers do to a surge (I live in Massachusetts, we get a few storms, but many power outages do to falling tree's, etc..) This is what I was looking at:

The XT 50/100
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/idcplg?IdcS...ILE&dID=161628

The XT 40
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/idcplg?IdcS...ILE&dID=305481

Or The PTX 120/160
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/idcplg?IdcS...ILE&dID=305487

Which one would you choose, or do you recommend a better option?

Thanks For Your Help
post #74 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

My neighbor's house had a surge year or two ago, and he lost some equipment. That is all that I know of, and do not know what the cause was. My office which is about 10 miles away lost a few computers do to a surge

Everyone in MA should have, at minimum, the Cutler-Hammer (Eaton) protector that sells in Lowes for less than $50. Those other protectors are even better. Nice is one that can actually report number of transients. Useful information.

In your location, other requirements may apply such as NEMA environment due to where it is mounted. Your electrician better defines those requirements.

Minimal current is 50,000 amps. The Cutler-Hammer unit does that. Your other units are for high currents - longer life expectancy especially on heavier (industrial) power supplies. Again, your electrician can better define that.

This much you know. A 'whole house' protector must be 50,000 amps because the average direct lightning strike is 20,000 amps. Rarest events why have lightning at 100,000 amps. I have probably never seen a 100,000 amp lightning strike. But a protector rated for that higher current can earth a surge that large without damage. And will be even more conductive for all lesser surges.

If buying the larger protector, then earthing should be upgraded. Again, even the 50,000 amp protector can be massively improved by better earthing. Earth ground is the bottleneck once any of those protectors are installed.

In short, you have long term life expectancy considerations AND a different consideration for each surge. Current determines the life expectancy of the protector. And to a less extent, a higher current makes the protector more conductive. But current is more about life expectancy - how much larger the protector is for all surges.

How effective is the entire system during each surge? That is the function of earth ground. Shorter connection to earth. An expanded earthing network. The best earthing should be installed when the footing are poured - Ufer ground. Or a buried bare copper loop around the building. Of course every incoming wire must connect to the same single point ground. And then that grounding system (especially if buying a larger Eaton device) should be expanded.

Nice is to buy a large current protector to last longer and to be more conductive. That is simple science. But your attention should be focused number one on what provides protection - the earthing system. That is the art of surge protection.
post #75 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

My neighbor's house had a surge year or two ago, and he lost some equipment. That is all that I know of, and do not know what the cause was. My office which is about 10 miles away lost a few computers do to a surge (I live in Massachusetts, we get a few storms, but many power outages do to falling tree's, etc..) This is what I was looking at:

The XT 50/100
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/idcplg?IdcS...ILE&dID=161628

The XT 40
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/idcplg?IdcS...ILE&dID=305481

Or The PTX 120/160
http://www.eaton.com/ecm/idcplg?IdcS...ILE&dID=305487

Which one would you choose, or do you recommend a better option?

Thanks For Your Help

The XT40 unit is an excellent unit for residential use. You will pay a great deal more for the PTX units. Just remember to have any of these types of units installed with the shortest possible leads to the panel.
post #76 of 774
Thanks for the help. I should look into the earthing to see what I have, and too see if it can be improved. Does anybody know of a site or a book that goes into earthing details and testing, and what can be done to upgrade it?
It looks like any one of those units should be good then, I will get pricing on them and see how much more money the larger ones are, and if they are worth it.

Thanks!
post #77 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

Thanks for the help. I should look into the earthing to see what I have, and too see if it can be improved. Does anybody know of a site or a book that goes into earthing details and testing, and what can be done to upgrade it?

Thanks!

Earthing (Grounding) should be simple and straight-forward....but many times it is not.

I use the Soares Book of grounding for NEC reference information.

To summarize, your electrical system grounding should consist of a driven ground rod and water pipe cabled to the ground bus within your main distribution panel. The NEC recommends a ground impedance of 25 Ohms or less....I recommend a ground impedance of 10 Ohms or less (residential). The ground impedance can be measured by use of a fall-of-potential meter (three point test) or by using a ground clamp. I typically use the ground clamp as a confirmation of the three point reading since it can provide erroneous readings if a second path to ground is poor or consists of inadvertent ground connections or large ground conductor currents exist.

The ground connections should be clean and tight.

Within your main panel, you should also see a bond connection from the ground bus to the neutral bus (return leg).

In many instances, the water connection will provide a better/lower ground impedance since it consists of buried copper/iron pipe.
post #78 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

I should look into the earthing to see what I have, and too see if it can be improved. Does anybody know of a site or a book that goes into earthing details and testing, and what can be done to upgrade it?

To meet code for human safety, your earth ground must be conductive. That means resistance - ie less than 25 ohms. But for transistor safety, the ground must provide both conductivity and equipotential. These terms are why earthing must exceed what code requires.

Some previous examples of exceeding code included no sharp wire bends, ground wire not inside a metallic conduit, wire separated from all other non-ground wires, and all ground wires run separately until all meet at the single point electrode.

The electrodes also (if using those better protectors) must exceed code requirements. To obtain equipotenial, better earthing means a building looped by a buried ground wire or Ufer grounding. Integrating wire mesh in a concrete basement floor into the single point ground. A radio station engineer demonstrated another example of exceeding what code requires:
http://scott-inc.com/html/ufer.htm

Figure 2 in the application note also shows earthing that exceeds code requirements:
http://www.erico.com/public/library/...es/tncr002.pdf

Better is to learn from facilities that are more at risk. For example, a Nebraska radio station:
http://www.copper.org/applications/e.../nebraska.html

What is required for earthing is defined but will not be obvious in a first reading. Again, how did equipotential and conductivity result in better earthing? Once you can answer that, only then did you grasp the point of that case study. Single point earthing is one factor in achieveing that objective.

For example, in one app note, lightning strikes a distant manhole. That path destroyed telephone equipment inside a nearby building because the earthing was not properly installed.

Ham radio has always been a source of 'how it is done'. For example, QST Magazine in 2002 featured two articles on earthing - especially Part 2 in July 2002. Article entitled "Lightning Protection for the Amateur Radio Station". Again, the solution probably will not be apparent in a first read. But the purpose is equipotential and conductivity.

A utility demonstrates how to kludge a solution when earthing was installed defectively - met code but made surge damage more likely. See their examples of good, bad, and ugly earthing in "Preventing Damage Due to Ground Potential Difference" at:
http://www.duke-energy.com/indiana-b...ech-tip-08.asp
or http://*******.com/yefm8n9 where ****** is t i n y u r l .

Considered legendary are Polyphaser's application notes. Polyphaser's solutions are highly respected. Notes do not discuss their products. Polyphaser discusses the most important component in any protection system: earth ground. To appreciate this art means reading many app notes to grasp an underlying concept. Earthing is an art:
http://www.polyphaser.com/technical_notes.aspx
post #79 of 774
Thanks, that is a lot of info. I will have to check to see what my house has now for grounding (the only thing I remember is bare stranded wire that comes in where the main supply comes in, and is connected to the panel) That wire must come from the attic, and maybe connected to the plumbing which is about 40 feet away (house was built in 68). I will check when I get home.
post #80 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guinness77 View Post

That wire must come from the attic, and maybe connected to the plumbing which is about 40 feet away (house was built in 68).

Grounding AC electric to pipes is no longer sufficient. Ground wire to pipes is to remove stray electricity (faults) from pipes. Even an underground water pipe is insufficient for earth ground.

Whereas pipes must be connected as part of the safety ground system, grounding to pipes as the only earth ground is no longer legal.

National Electrical code 250.53(D)(2):
> Supplemental Electrode Required. A metal underground water pipe shall be supplemented
> by an additional electrode of the a type specified in 250.52(A)(2) through 250.52(A)(7).

If your earth ground is the water pipe, code says you must install any other earthing electrode that include ground rods, buried, plates, Ufer ground, etc. The earth ground must be dedicated for earthing electricity. Among the many human safety threats eliminated by a dedicated electrode - the plumber does not get electrocuted by currents he did not know exist. Electricity that a plumber must never need know about.

Earthing must be short for surge protection. But this is about human safety. Earthing electrode must be something installed for electricity.
post #81 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Grounding AC electric to pipes is no longer sufficient. Ground wire to pipes is to remove stray electricity (faults) from pipes. Even an underground water pipe is insufficient for earth ground.

Whereas pipes must be connected as part of the safety ground system, grounding to pipes as the only earth ground is no longer legal.

The main reason for the supplemental grounding in addition to the water connection is due to the possibility that the continuous metallic water delivery system may be interrupted by a dielectric connection (non-metallic), thereby causing a complete loss of grounding at the water system. This situation is possible during initial construction or later, with repair to the existing water delivery system.

The water system (Copper/Iron piping) is still an excellent grounding system due to its extensive contact with earth and generally low impedance. I would not forsake the connection to the water system for a single driven ground rod... of which the impedance is typically magnitudes higher.

While it is true that 'new' construction requires multiple grounding connections (water, driven ground, building steel if available), pre-existing systems are considered to be 'grand-fathered' since they were built according to previous standards.

A large percentage of commercial and industrial locations from the 1940-1970's remain with only a connection to water for grounding.
post #82 of 774
I use to work for a large telco and confirm about the grounding stuff. They also design and build in good surge protection into their product because grounding rod effectiveness depend abit on the weather(environment) and the surge travel so fast(nS speed) that they know that their product will be hit just a small amount surge. So a good grounding rod with total house surge protection and appliance with build in surge production is the way to go. Only 1/4 consumer product in North America and where as 50% of product enter European country are tested properly though third party lab.
post #83 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

The main reason for the supplemental grounding in addition to the water connection is due to the possibility that the continuous metallic water delivery system may be interrupted by a dielectric connection (non-metallic), thereby causing a complete loss of grounding at the water system. This situation is possible during initial construction or later, with repair to the existing water delivery system.

Many reasons explain why water system ground is no longer a good earth ground. If a water pipe was so good, then it could be the only earth ground. Bottom line - a water pipe is bonded (grounded, connected) for human safety reasons. Something else must be the earth ground for human and transistor safety. No matter how good a water pipe ground is, something else must be installed to provide sufficient earth ground. The only listed ground electrode insufficient for earthing is the water pipe. Any other earthing electrode is sufficient.

For surge protection: a water pipe wired 40 feet away from a breaker box is not an effective earth ground. It will perform human safety functions such as removing fault currents from pipes. But is too long to perform as the always necessary earth ground for surge protection.

All grounding must be installed also to protect a plumber. A plumber must disconnect any pipe anywhere and not fear electric shock. Even the water meter and water heater must have ground wires so that when a meter or heater is removed, the plumber does not even know current is flowing through any pipe. But again, this is about human safety; not about transistor safety.
post #84 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Many reasons explain why water system ground is no longer a good earth ground. If a water pipe was so good, then it could be the only earth ground. Bottom line - a water pipe is bonded (grounded, connected) for human safety reasons. Something else must be the earth ground for human and transistor safety. No matter how good a water pipe ground is, something else must be installed to provide sufficient earth ground. The only listed ground electrode insufficient for earthing is the water pipe. Any other earthing electrode is sufficient.

We have learned through experience that using only one grounding path is insufficient due to the possibility of losing one path or due to impedance changes of any one path during seasons. The water pipe is not bonded for personal safety! The safety jumper across the meter ( or any dielectric junction in the water system including a water heater) is there for personal safety.

According to NEC 250.53(D)(2) Where a water pipe exists as the only grounding electrode....it must be supplemented by another grounding electrode such as a driven rod or ufer system. The main reason given for this requirement is the possibility of changes to the water system. No other reason for this requirement are provided.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

For surge protection: a water pipe wired 40 feet away from a breaker box is not an effective earth ground. It will perform human safety functions such as removing fault currents from pipes. But is too long to perform as the always necessary earth ground for surge protection.

Why?
In most instances (commercial and industrial and some residential) the water connection is much further away than 40 feet! This has little bearing on the capability of the ground system. The grounding conductors are generally large enough gauge as to provide a very low impedance path to ground. The impedance of the mechanical connections used and the actual ground rod impedance will swamp any impedance from the cabling.

Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

All grounding must be installed also to protect a plumber. A plumber must disconnect any pipe anywhere and not fear electric shock. Even the water meter and water heater must have ground wires so that when a meter or heater is removed, the plumber does not even know current is flowing through any pipe. But again, this is about human safety; not about transistor safety.

'The primary purpose of the ground system is to maintain the electrical equipment at earth potential where the grounding electrodes are located.' According to NEC and Soares book of grounding.
post #85 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

Why?
In most instances (commercial and industrial and some residential) the water connection is much further away than 40 feet! This has little bearing on the capability of the ground system.

Your post only discusses human safety. NEC only defines ground for human safety. Code says nothing about transistor safety or other earthing functions.

Code says an earth ground must be less than 20 feet. That is also for human safety. For surge protection, a ground wire must be even shorter. Other characteristics not defined by code include separated from non-grounding wires, not inside metallic conduit, and no sharp bends. Requirements that are defined by the NEC. Characteristics essential to surge protection.

Supplemental because the only earth ground that, by itself, is insufficient: water pipe ground. All other electrodes by themselves provide sufficient earthing. A water pipe ground is insufficient for a long list of reasons. Some posted previously.

Bottom line. For surge protection, earthing must be even better. Everything must be connected directly to the earth ground that is 'less than 10 feet' from every incoming utility wire.

Why 'less than 10 feet'? One reason is wire impedance. Electricians only trained in the code don't understand impedance. For example, an electrician would understand wire thickness; would not understand why wire length is so critical. Those who also deal in surge protection (ie ham radio operators, munitions dumps, rocket launch facilities, etc) understand why the code and that 40+ foot distant water pipe are insufficient earthing.

The only legal earth electrode that must always be supplemented because it is insufficient even for human safety: water pipe. For surge protection, every incoming utility wire must connect short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to the same (single point) earth ground. All ground wire separate until they meet at that electrode. These requirements not defined by the NEC are important for surge protection.

Wire impedance (not resistance) is a first reason why that 40 foot distant ground is insufficient. Appreciate little that an electrician would know compared to many other functions that earthing must perform.
post #86 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by westom View Post

Code says an earth ground must be less than 20 feet. That is also for human safety. For surge protection, a ground wire must be even shorter.

Please Tell me where to find this? And most of the other code language you are indicating above.
post #87 of 774
Come-on guys, one is talking NEC Code minimums and the other is talking best engineering design practices.
post #88 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

Come-on guys, one is talking NEC Code minimums and the other is talking best engineering design practices.

The topic is earthing to meet and exceed NEC code requirements. To earth so that surge damage is averted. Posted was how it was done even 100 years ago so that surges do not cause damage. And how any layman can accomplish same today.

To obtain effective protection, the practical solution has always been a protector connected as short as practical to the earthing electrode. That means meeting and exceeding post 1990 NEC requirements. That means every protector connects directly to an earth electrode that creates single point earth ground. That is something most any homeowner can implement.

Either energy is connected 'low impedance' to earth. Or energy hunts for earth destructively inside the building. A solution that is standard in any location that must never suffer surge damage such as cell phone towers, satellite data facilities, telephone switching centers, or central FL homes - single point earthing. Even a satellite dish cable makes a short connection to earth before entering the building.

A protector was only as effective as its connection to earth. Water pipe is insufficient for numerous reasons. Worse, many homes do not have earthing even to meet code. In that case, upgrading to obtain transistor safety would also provide human safety. Upgrade to both meet code as well as exceed those requirements. Only a homeowner is responsible for accomplishing this. Most of that work is performed using parts sold in Lowes or Home Depot - because that little skill is required. Or one hires an agent (ie electrician) to install what has been standard practice even 100 years ago.

Key to all this is the quality of and connection to the only thing necessary for surge protection - single point earth ground.
post #89 of 774
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedskater View Post

Come-on guys, one is talking NEC Code minimums and the other is talking best engineering design practices.

I test ground systems along with suppression and overcurrent systems. I wish to know where Westom is getting the 'code' language from that he keeps repeating. I applaud anyone or any organization trying to improve upon the minimum requirements for protection, but when someone is spouting 'code' which I am not familiar with, I just have to find the answer.

BTW, when testing electrical protective systems, the system must meet minimum requirements of code unless noted, that is why I am interested in the minimum.
post #90 of 774
Well,
I confirmed that I have just the one ground connected to the incoming water pipe. I would probably like to add another ground close to the panel (two 8ft foot rods driven into the ground 6 ft apart). Unless there would be a better option.
Oh, and I have another question. Is it recommended to put a protector on the incoming cable line? And if so what product would you recommend? When Verizon Fios becomes available is that a better option since they use fiber to the house instead of RG6?

Thanks Again
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