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Whole House Surge Protector - Page 2

post #31 of 220
Brucemck2, I'm not sure but my gut feeling is no although with respect to the TA305 phone protector, you might be able to stick it inside the service box. You could check the installation manuals and/or call the respective companies and ask to speak to an applications specialist. Considering it's probably a toll free call, that seems the prudent thing to do. All of my services enter at close to one point and those in turn are very close to the grounding rod. Each of my runs is well under 10 feet.

I believe you need two gas tubes but they're damned inexpensive so if you go that route, pick up a couple of spare replacement tubes.
post #32 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anthony A. View Post

agreed. but what good does it do if you have a whole house surge unit and you get a direct hit while your at work?

again, the surge protector will do nothing for you!

If you get a direct hit, having your equipment unplugged is the least of your problems. You better have a good homeowners in place because you'll be a homeless SOB after that. Look, embracing the approach businesses take with respect to surges is a sensible approach. If you forgo a large cup of Starbucks twice a month you'll have it paid off in a year.
post #33 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

If you get a direct hit, having your equipment unplugged is the least of your problems. You better have a good homeowners in place because you'll be a homeless SOB after that. Look, embracing the approach businesses take with respect to surges is a sensible approach. If you forgo a large cup of Starbucks twice a month you'll have it paid off in a year.

I use the "Starbucks" currency in our household to justify all of my purchases. Took many Grande cups to pay for my amplifier.
post #34 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

If you get a direct hit, having your equipment unplugged is the least of your problems. You better have a good homeowners in place because you'll be a homeless SOB after that.

hehehe, again agreed. however with all your high end equipment "saved" you may be able to sell them on a-gon and buy a new house.
post #35 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post


P.S. Whats with the neutral broken by a tree? Do you have bad dreams of such things

Actually I've been witness to the damage about 3 X so far, and as I said, a line voltage that fluctuates between say 50 and 220 volts causes major damage in many things.

One was a new home construction in a monster late model (6 years?) in Calgary where the owner didn't clue in that he was going through light bulbs like crazy as he wasn't home that often. His MOnster () power conditioner for his expensive HT went dead, so he bypassed it. That's when the fun begain. His alarm panel got taken out 3 X, so he finally got suspicious, and even after multiple trips out from the power company, nothing amiss was found. ONce he talked to his neighbor that happened to work for the power company, and once they put a chart recorder on the AC line, they found that he (and the neighborhood) had spikes up to 150-160 volts at random. They are still in litigation with the power company last I heard. But here again, the power conditioner that was supposed to protect this stuff died. To me, these devices should be the LAST thing to fail in a system.

Two others were trees falling and snapping the neutral line. One was in a nightclub and the surge smoked many things, ditto for the home it happened to.

To switch to protecting cablevision and telephone lines, consider that there are all sorts of line amps and switches on the poles in various neighborhoods. Do you really think that some $200 home device will provide better protection than what's already on the poles, protecting industrial grade cablevision boosters that cost far more than any distribution that you'll do within your home?

One last example: I am working on a CRT projector that had multiple arcs of the 34,000 volts right to the CPU data lines. The customer apparently let the set run, as there was a dark arc mark on the HV wire. It takes a LOT of arcs to actually discolor a pinhole break in an HV line.

While the continuous arcing took out a bunch of chips on several boards, the set actually arced once when I put the replacement boards in, as I had to fire the set up once to see where the arc was coming from.

Considering the data lines are running at 5 volts, you'd figure a direct 34,000 volt hit onto the data lines would nuke everything again, right? Nope, the replacement boards kept on working (although I unplugged the set as soon as I saw the first arc).

Also, I've lived in my house now for 5 1/2 years. I'm 45 minutes outside of Vancouver, and I have 4 computers running 24/7, same with a bunch of power amps, shop equipment and test equipment. The only thing protected is my main work computer with a 1000Va UPS, rescued and re-batteried about 3 years ago.

WE have regular light dimming brownouts here, and the power fails maybe 6 times a year. Sometimes for 10 minutes, once for 3/4 of a day. With all sorts of stuff turned on all the time, nothing has ever blown here. So I see no need to add any protection.

AS for Steve's original post re this $200 protector, I really can't see it being more than a few MOVs in a box, considering the size of the box and the cost of it. So I can't see it giving more than basic protection, which I believe to be in the vast majority of electronic equipment already.

As I said on another post, I recently repaired a Monster HTS 5100 II conditioner with fancy wording and claims. It contained little more than that Panamax unit that I posted pictures about a few months ago for surge protection.

If you're going to argue that a power conditioner/surge protector is actually going to do something for you and your equipment, I'd then only consider something beefy with lots of large inductors to absorb power surges like this one:

http://www.inouye.bc.ca/specs.htm

I believe retail is about $800.00, so it's not something that I'd personally buy, but again, if you believe the hype, then I'd take a unit like the Inouye one over the Monster stuff with maybe 1/10 of the conditioning components in it.

As DIzz said earlier, I can only comment on Vancouver power, as I've never lived anywhere else in the 44 years I've been on earth harassing people. I do know that when I worked at a TV repair shop in the 80s, lightning gave us good business once or twice a year, and a hit close enough to jump the switch gap in a television that was turned off would probably not be protected by any of this surge protection stuff.

Whether you spend $100-150 to repair the power supply of a TV, or spend $200 to replace a one-use surge protector, isn't the end result about the same?
post #36 of 220
[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

But here again, the power conditioner that was supposed to protect this stuff died. To me, these devices should be the LAST thing to fail in a system.

I would not use a power conditioner to protect equipment from surges, the majority of these devices are not designed with surge suppression in mind....it is truly an afterthought. I work in the business of electrical system commissioning, testing and troubleshooting....we work to protect the electrical systems in many ways, including suppression mitigation techniques.

Quote:
Two others were trees falling and snapping the neutral line. One was in a nightclub and the surge smoked many things, ditto for the home it happened to.

Interesting... I can only guess at what happened at this site above, but generally a power system which has a solid bond from neutral to ground would not be damaged by the broken neutral in this fashion.

Quote:
To switch to protecting cablevision and telephone lines, consider that there are all sorts of line amps and switches on the poles in various neighborhoods. Do you really think that some $200 home device will provide better protection than what's already on the poles, protecting industrial grade cablevision boosters that cost far more than any distribution that you'll do within your home?

You need to remember that the equipment on the utility system is there to protect the utility equipment. Most folks assume that the surge suppression and such is for their benefit...it is most certainly not. Surge suppression systems on the utility system will provide protection for much of the utility equipment, but anything which gets past this equipment will then be passed on to your equipment. Surge suppression is installed as simply a way to reduce the incoming voltages to manageable levels and may be compromised (damaged) in the process. Surge suppression is meant to be sacrificial by nature, especially if the magnitudes are large.

Quote:
One last example: I am working on a CRT projector that had multiple arcs of the 34,000 volts right to the CPU data lines. The customer apparently let the set run, as there was a dark arc mark on the HV wire. It takes a LOT of arcs to actually discolor a pinhole break in an HV line.

While the continuous arcing took out a bunch of chips on several boards, the set actually arced once when I put the replacement boards in, as I had to fire the set up once to see where the arc was coming from.

Considering the data lines are running at 5 volts, you'd figure a direct 34,000 volt hit onto the data lines would nuke everything again, right? Nope, the replacement boards kept on working (although I unplugged the set as soon as I saw the first arc).

Depends upon the path which was taken by the energy. Same situation as with a lightning strike.


Quote:
Also, I've lived in my house now for 5 1/2 years. I'm 45 minutes outside of Vancouver, and I have 4 computers running 24/7, same with a bunch of power amps, shop equipment and test equipment. The only thing protected is my main work computer with a 1000Va UPS, rescued and re-batteried about 3 years ago.

WE have regular light dimming brownouts here, and the power fails maybe 6 times a year. Sometimes for 10 minutes, once for 3/4 of a day. With all sorts of stuff turned on all the time, nothing has ever blown here. So I see no need to add any protection.

Power outages or voltag sags are different from surges or overvoltage conditions. Brownouts or voltage dips affect different types of electronics in different ways.


Quote:
AS for Steve's original post re this $200 protector, I really can't see it being more than a few MOVs in a box, considering the size of the box and the cost of it. So I can't see it giving more than basic protection, which I believe to be in the vast majority of electronic equipment already.

As I said on another post, I recently repaired a Monster HTS 5100 II conditioner with fancy wording and claims. It contained little more than that Panamax unit that I posted pictures about a few months ago for surge protection.

We all have some examples of poorly designed or engineered equipment. This does not mean that surge suppression as a whole is B.S.


Quote:
If you're going to argue that a power conditioner/surge protector is actually going to do something for you and your equipment, I'd then only consider something beefy with lots of large inductors to absorb power surges like this one:

http://www.inouye.bc.ca/specs.htm

I believe retail is about $800.00, so it's not something that I'd personally buy, but again, if you believe the hype, then I'd take a unit like the Inouye one over the Monster stuff with maybe 1/10 of the conditioning components in it.

There are two items you are referring to here, Power conditioning and surge suppression. These two items are not the same thing. Power conditioning is dedicated to reduction of waveform anomalies and general cleaning/isolation of the sinusoid for use on sensitive electronics. Surge suppression is the protection of downstream equipment from overvoltage conditions which may cause failure of your downstream equipment. For what it is worth, power conditioning equipment is typically the standard for B.S. You will find that most systems work fine without power conditioning because the power supply is robust enough to deal with the small sinusoidalo problems encountered everyday. OTOH, your electronics will not survive many overvoltage events due to the limited surge suppression parts typically installed in these devices.

Quote:
I do know that when I worked at a TV repair shop in the 80s, lightning gave us good business once or twice a year, and a hit close enough to jump the switch gap in a television that was turned off would probably not be protected by any of this surge protection stuff.

Now you will never know Seriously, the purpose of the surge suppressor is to reduce the let through voltage to a level manageable by equipment downstream. I would be willing to bet that a surge suppressor would have prevented the tv from being damaged or at least reduced the amount of damage.

Quote:
Whether you spend $100-150 to repair the power supply of a TV, or spend $200 to replace a one-use surge protector, isn't the end result about the same?

A high quality TVSS device may last many years and provide you benefits for that entire period of time before failure. The end result is not the same....you may have saved many $200 devices downstream with the one surge suppression unit, and it may not have failed during the rescue.
post #37 of 220
I ahve found this is to be a great product and they are pretty low cost relatively speaking

http://www.ep2000.com/Templates/ep2050.html
post #38 of 220
AVDoogie, I won't argue with you, you have more knowledge than I do on the matter.

I guess these surge protectors are one of those things where you can make an educated purchase based on info here, then cross your fingers hoping that it will protect your equipment. If not, then 'oops', you didn't make the right purchase..

Rydenfan, at first glance you link above is virtually identical to what Steve posted.
I'm curious as to why you say it's 'great'. Do you have any proof that it saved some of your equipment?
post #39 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

I guess these surge protectors are one of those things where you can make an educated purchase based on info here, then cross your fingers hoping that it will protect your equipment. If not, then 'oops', you didn't make the right purchase..

No argument here Curt, I think that you have just been too far down the cynical path
Like anything electronic in nature...if you do your homework/research and look for products which provide the benefits you are looking for, you can usually find the right fit. I will admit that there is a lot of B.S. out there regarding the benefits/Marketing hype of Power conditioners, surge suppression and UPS units.

I have been lucky enough to see some of the commercial/industrial TVSS products put through standard testing at our presentations.
post #40 of 220
You got it, I'm very cynical.. I'm tried of getting sales pitches rammed down my (former) installer's/sales guys throats, then when it doesn't work, I have to go clean up the mess and placate the angry customer. 20+ years of that will do it to you..

I wonder if Rydenfan will tell us why he thinks the product he recommended is great?
post #41 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

No argument here Curt, I think that you have just been too far down the cynical path
Like anything electronic in nature...if you do your homework/research and look for products which provide the benefits you are looking for, you can usually find the right fit. I will admit that there is a lot of B.S. out there regarding the benefits/Marketing hype of Power conditioners, surge suppression and UPS units.

I have been lucky enough to see some of the commercial/industrial TVSS products put through standard testing at our presentations.

I like the idea of a whole house surge suppressor but I find my web search with info gleaned sort of confusing.

Apparently there's lots of hype and BS re whole house surge suppressors, too.
Not being an electrical engineer, don't really understand what are the important things to look for in such a product. I really haven't seen any information in this thread telling me what UL listing and qualities are necessary for a worthwhile whole house surge suppressor. Anyone?
And since I have 400 amp service, which splits into two 200 amp services,
do I get one larger capacity whole house surge suppressor on the 400 amp line, or two smaller capacityones on both of the 200 amp lines?

Here's specs on some I found on the web.

http://www.sycomsurge.com/pdf/SYC-120-240TC.pdf

http://www.smarthome.com/4860.html

http://www.deltasurgeprotectors.com/...id=1&phaseid=1

http://www.powersystemsdirect.com/Pa...gpp8005_55.php


http://www.smarthomeusa.com/Shop/Lig...Item/IG1240RC/

http://www.internet-security-inc.com...ucts_id=538787
post #42 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I like the idea of a whole house surge suppressor but I find my web search with info gleaned sort of confusing.

Apparently there's lots of hype and BS re whole house surge suppressors, too.
Not being an electrical engineer, don't really understand what are the important things to look for in such a product. I really haven't seen any information in this thread telling me what UL listing and qualities are necessary for a worthwhile whole house surge suppressor. Anyone?
And since I have 400 amp service, which splits into two 200 amp services,
do I get one larger capacity whole house surge suppressor on the 400 amp line, or two smaller capacityones on both of the 200 amp lines?

Here's specs on some I found on the web.

http://www.sycomsurge.com/pdf/SYC-120-240TC.pdf

http://www.smarthome.com/4860.html

http://www.deltasurgeprotectors.com/...id=1&phaseid=1

IMO, get a large one, so the surge is potentially stopped before the split, and get smaller ones to place before each electrical panel in your house in case the surge is too strong to stop fully at the first surge protector...
post #43 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

IMO, get a large one, so the surge is potentially stopped before the split, and get smaller ones to place before each electrical panel in your house in case the surge is too strong to stop fully at the first surge protector...

Thanks. Interesting idea, but may be overkill without any true objective benefit. The best choice may be one for the 400 amps or one each on the 200 amps. And my impression is that the models I've noted above may work for 200 amps but be insufficent for 400 amps. I am interested in what our electrical engineers have to say about this.
post #44 of 220
I'm not sure why these things are rated in amps anyways. Seems to me that we're dealing in voltage spikes that are typically very short. MOVs work on voltage, not current. The examples of the add-ons to the breaker boxes given in this thread use 12 or 14 gauge wire, rated at 20 and 15 amps respectively.

More BS spewed by manufacturers and people that quote specs not knowing what they are quoting. Or by me. Your choice.
post #45 of 220
Steve, rather than asking any of us, why not call the toll free numbers of some of the companies whose products you're interested in and speak to an applications specialist?
post #46 of 220
Thread Starter 
[quote=Chu Gai;12842423]Steve, rather than asking any of us, why not call the toll free numbers of some of the companies whose products you're interested in and speak to an applications specialist?[/QUOTE

I thought that some of you would have good specific technical knowledge on some of this stuff????? Chu, as long as I can recall, you have touted the importance of whole house surge suppression. I guess I figured you had really checked it out and would have real good objective information to help me make a decsion.
post #47 of 220
Steve, I've always said that one should also avail themselves of the knowledge that an applications specialist who's quite often an engineer can provide. Especially when it comes to a particular product or brand that they manufacture. I can only give you guidance Steve. Illustrate why these devices, which are placed at the point of service ingress and hence close to earth ground, are approaches you should embrace. Urge you to both implement whole house along with improving your grounding.

I'm not a product specialist, Steve. A good one will ask you questions. Will take your questions. Will point out which product(s) meet your needs. Point out those that have bells and whistle that you might find useful. Give you a reasonable riske asessment. Tell you where you can buy them.

I ask you to trust me with the general recommendation. I ask you to do nothing more than trust me that more specific questions are best answered by those better suited. That's not me. You can always run the answers past the folks here for further input.
post #48 of 220
[quote]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

I like the idea of a whole house surge suppressor but I find my web search with info gleaned sort of confusing.

Apparently there's lots of hype and BS re whole house surge suppressors, too.
Not being an electrical engineer, don't really understand what are the important things to look for in such a product. I really haven't seen any information in this thread telling me what UL listing and qualities are necessary for a worthwhile whole house surge suppressor. Anyone?
And since I have 400 amp service, which splits into two 200 amp services,
do I get one larger capacity whole house surge suppressor on the 400 amp line, or two smaller capacityones on both of the 200 amp lines?

Steve, if you are interested, I can give you a phone number for a consultant who would be happy to talk surge suppression with you (No BS either). His company works with my company to provide electrical power system troubleshooting, PQ mitigation and services to commercial, industrial and Utility type customers (sometimes residential too). Just send me a PM if interested.
post #49 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chu Gai View Post

Steve, I've always said that one should also avail themselves of the knowledge that an applications specialist who's quite often an engineer can provide. Especially when it comes to a particular product or brand that they manufacture. I can only give you guidance Steve. Illustrate why these devices, which are placed at the point of service ingress and hence close to earth ground, are approaches you should embrace. Urge you to both implement whole house along with improving your grounding.

I'm not a product specialist, Steve. A good one will ask you questions. Will take your questions. Will point out which product(s) meet your needs. Point out those that have bells and whistle that you might find useful. Give you a reasonable riske asessment. Tell you where you can buy them.

I ask you to trust me with the general recommendation. I ask you to do nothing more than trust me that more specific questions are best answered by those better suited. That's not me. You can always run the answers past the folks here for further input.


OKDKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE
post #50 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

I wonder if Rydenfan will tell us why he thinks the product he recommended is great?


I will certainly try. My work leads me into a lot of almost completely automtaed facilities. The factories are far more sensitive to any spikes or anomolies in electrical current then our gear is. And those places are littered with products like this to help regulate power and protect against damaging power. If you ever have the chance to visit a manufacturer like GM or Toyota I can guarentee you will see products like this.
Since I installed this particular product I have an overall better sense of protection and I have also noticed a quieter noise floor and a hum removal. There are many people with a muh greater understanding of electricity than I have who could propably explain this further. But in the end it seems like people are only going to believe their beliefs anyway...

Steve, you should give Doug a call at Environmental Potentials. He deals with these types of facilities that I mentioned and could explain things far better.
http://www.ep2000.com/EPNA.html
http://www.ep2000.com/Templates/ep2050.html
post #51 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Since I installed this particular product I have an overall better sense of protection and I have also noticed a quieter noise floor and a hum removal.

I believed you right up to the above point. Now I am screaming: PLACEBO!

But you're right. If you believe that it's better, who is anyone to argue.




I really need to get into the tweaking business and sales of said product. I need to start playing poker though, so I can keep a straight face while taking the customer's money..
post #52 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

I believed you right up to the above point. Now I am screaming: PLACEBO!

But you're right. If you believe that it's better, who is anyone to argue.




I really need to get into the tweaking business and sales of said product. I need to start playing poker though, so I can keep a straight face while taking the customer's money..

What is your logic here? Because an industrial product had a positive benefit on my stereo then everything is null and void? I am sure it had a positive benefit on my washing machine and refridgerator as well; I am simply not able to judge how power flucuations effect those as easily as I am my stereo.
post #53 of 220
In essence from what I'm reading on the site, (with what limited technical detail they give), the unit is out of circuit unless a voltage spike comes along. Therefore, with 'normal' power, it does nothing.

If you're serious about your fridge/washing machine comment, then you're also a troll.
post #54 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

I will certainly try. My work leads me into a lot of almost completely automtaed facilities. The factories are far more sensitive to any spikes or anomolies in electrical current then our gear is. And those places are littered with products like this to help regulate power and protect against damaging power. If you ever have the chance to visit a manufacturer like GM or Toyota I can guarentee you will see products like this.
Since I installed this particular product I have an overall better sense of protection and I have also noticed a quieter noise floor and a hum removal. There are many people with a muh greater understanding of electricity than I have who could propably explain this further. But in the end it seems like people are only going to believe their beliefs anyway...

Steve, you should give Doug a call at Environmental Potentials. He deals with these types of facilities that I mentioned and could explain things far better.
http://www.ep2000.com/EPNA.html
http://www.ep2000.com/Templates/ep2050.html

Thanks. However, I am a bit concerned because his company sells the product, and I find no specs on their website re their product.
This is a real problem in the industry as whole house surge suppressors often have lack of specs or misleading specs, not that I fully understand this.

The fact that companies like GM use these surge suppressors point of source (not whole house) is impressive, though. Thats a good basis for your recommendation.

I am giving a call to the person AV Doogie suggested, as apparently that person has expertise with no sales axe to grind.
post #55 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bruzonsky View Post

Thanks. Interesting idea, but may be overkill without any true objective benefit. The best choice may be one for the 400 amps or one each on the 200 amps. And my impression is that the models I've noted above may work for 200 amps but be insufficent for 400 amps. I am interested in what our electrical engineers have to say about this.

It was recommended to me as the best way to protect all the expensive equipment in my house by more than one electrician. These devices can fail, that was their reasoning...
post #56 of 220
Since my views and opinions differ from Curt's I am therefore a troll and you should not listen to anything I say. Gotta love it
post #57 of 220
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by QueueCumber View Post

It was recommended to me as the best way to protect all the expensive equipment in my house by more than one electrician. These devices can fail, that was their reasoning...

Interesting point. Makes some sense.
post #58 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by rydenfan View Post

Since my views and opinions differ from Curt's I am therefore a troll and you should not listen to anything I say. Gotta love it

If your work for a company that sells the product, then yes, you are indeed trolling. I won't argue with you, it's a waste of time. To gain credibility with me, show me some FACTS rather than coming on here and spouting off about how something improves your life (or electronics) and I might believe you.

That aside, I can put a 50 cent capacitor in parallel with an AC cord/outlet, and claim the following, that I'm sure Dizz and Speco will back up:

-removes high frequency noise
-removes voltage spikes
-forms a resonant circuit with the AC lines in your whole house for blanket protection
-Corrects the incoming AC waveform to become a more pure sine wave.

That's what I can think of off the top of my head. Get a creative writer in to clean up what I posted above, and I'll mark that 50 cent capacitor up to $99, and I"m sure I'll sell a few hundred of them.

For those here, I'll sell the raw capacitor at a special forum price of $1.50. Problem is, that's probably too cheap for people here, and I'll get laughed at.
post #59 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Curt Palme View Post

That's what I can think of off the top of my head. Get a creative writer in to clean up what I posted above, and I'll mark that 50 cent capacitor up to $99, and I"m sure I'll send a few hundred of them.

For those here, I'll sell the raw capacitor at a special forum price of $1.50. Problem is, that's probably too cheap for people here, and I'll get laughed at.

I'll buy that for a dollar That was from robocop.... wasn't it?
post #60 of 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by AV Doogie View Post

I'll buy that for a dollar That was from robocop.... wasn't it?

Hey, no haggling on the high end forum! Apparently you can't afford my product. Away with you, heathen! Don't blame me if your equipment blows up, you hear hums and buzzes and clicks, and your feng shui is all messed up, all over a difference of 50 cents.
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