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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Is this setup a false sense of security or is it good tactics?


First of all, I have in place a whole house surge protector. I also have a seperate surge protector for my A/V gear at the rack (looking to upgrade to series mode). Also, going to the whole house surge protector are the telco and coax lines. These lines are only protected at the whole house surge protector and NOT at any drop locations. Is this effective in stopping surges over those lines? Do I have to worry about surges over those lines generating inside my home that would render the incoming line protector useless? What about series mode power protectors that are panel mountable? Are they sufficient or should I look to get one that is located at the equipment rack?


Thanks in advance for any input:)
 

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There are alot of bullets to load in this gun, but we can never eliminate all risk.


First, a Service Entrance surge protector works so well on incoming surges because it is placed almost on top of the house earth ground. Any damaging surge doesnt have to travel down the house circuit(s) to the wall surge protector and then all the way back to the exterior ground.


So far so good; whole-house covers the major appliances and promotes good WAF if microwaves and garage door openers dont get knocked out!


But whole-house unit makers also recommend point-of-use surge suppressors, at the components, to accommodate any internal spikes from malfunctioning motors. Also nearly all such surge protectors come with standard AC line noise filters for RF/EMI, the so-called "clean power" filters. Additionally, these units can provide F-terminal pass-thrus for voltage transients on cable coax and satellite coax.


Having this coax as well as telco passing thru the service entrance protector probably is sufficent. Taking such a connection and passing it thru the inside SP may be all right given a small "insertion loss" and observing that the monitor still gets all the channels.


If one lives where there is year-round electrical/lightning storms, the extra-prudent may consider a Series Mode box. Doesnt have to cost more than $300.

Some like Adcom ACE 315/615 and a new Surge-X that come in configurations that include the line filters and coax terminals.


The wall panel boxes are designed to splice into one 120V circuit that serves the home theater system in toto. ZeroSurge sells a box for $220, last I looked. But such boxes dont carry any line filters or coax terminals; these CAN be found separately as modules (see Panamax). The nice aspect to a panel mount (outa sight in the garage say) is you can use several sets of duplex wall outlets as direct plug-ins, including power amps. (Tho many people today have to have 10 or 12 plug outlets, thus the power strip SPs!)


The final sense of security will come from re-acquainting oneself with the home owners insurance policy, to balance deductibles with riders for actual replacement values in cases of catastrophic lightning damage.


bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, to make matters worse for myself I realized that the whole house surge protector that I have only has a clamping level of 500V, not the preferred 400V. How much of a difference does this make to electronics without a seperate surge strip? I have the Leviton 51120-PTC .
 

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I dont sell these products or anything but I like to know how they work...Your Leviton seems to be exactly what it claims -- a suppressor up to the current UL 1449 Rev. 2 standards and to clamp before everything burns up.


Note that this unit -- like Panamax and the rest of 'em desigated as service entrance suppressors -- only claim to protect "white appliance" or major appliances in the household. As such, addl point-of-use surge protectors are needed inside the house for the HT.


By using s service panel box, my thinking is that it then becomes unnecessary to buy a big MonsterPower 5100 or similar Panamax, in the $400-$500 range. Rather, a Panamax MAX 8 model, or the Panamax 4300 for a rack mount, will augment the outside box just fine.


Heck, even the new Radio Shack SP unit for $49.95 carries plenty of good features. In this vein, there's a $20 Surge Protector package at Sam's Club that also is remarkably adequate.


bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks bill.


I'm just trying to get a better handle on what the voltage would be for a damaging surge. My A/V rack will still have good local surge protection that will clamp at 330V (also looking to upgrade to series mode), but I don't wish to go around putting surge protectors with 330V clamp ratings on every cordless phone and other devices. Judging by the "normal" clamping rating of 330V for strips and 400V for whole house, I think my whole house unit with a clamping level of 500V may be just too high.


Anyone care to comment?
 

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I would not think you would need to surge protect anything with a wall wart ( transformer) as the transformer should behave as a surge protector. It may fail but it should protect you from anything but the largest of surges that might be able to jump the air gap on the transformer. So you replace a wall wart. What might that cost? $5, $10, $15 dollars?


I would be more concerned with anything directly connected to your mains. Also remember once a surge enters your system in can travel to any component via any wire connected to it. This includes interconnects, AC cords, telephone, data and coaxial cables. About the only thing immune I would think would be your IR emitters. The sooner you upgrade to a series mode surge protector the more secure your system will be.


Alan
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Being that I have a whole house surge protector in place designed to clamp @500V, does this have any correlation with the amount of amps that could slip through at a lower voltage? To clear up: say a surge comes through the mains at 380V, which is lower than the unit will clamp. Is there a maximum amount of amps that can come with that surge? What I'm getting at is...would I still need to look at a surge strip that can stop say 50,000A or would a strip that can stop 20,000A suffice, since it's in place with the whole house unit? Is there a formula for max Volts vs. max Amps?


I hope that was clear:)
 

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You'll never be able to tame an electrical jolt that's an unknown in intensity in the first place.


Just use a downstream surge unit with at least 50,000-amp rating if you're going to stick with MOV types. As I note above, they can be cheap today and still offer RF/EMI, coax terminal and isoalted outlet features.
 
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