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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I'm new here and see there's a ton of threads on surge protection.  My knowledge was limited to the $5 power strip before I did some good reading on here.  But still have questions.

 

First my setup:

 

- I just bought a new 55" LG GA7900 LCD TV and only have "the $5 strip surge protector".  

- We've never seemed to have any surge issues in our home and not necessarily a place for alot of direct lightning strikes.

- My new TV, Fios TV box, a Blue Ray with surround sound system, and xbox are all plugged into the same outlet/box

- The same circuit also powers a small fridge (kegerator in my basement).

- I just setup the new TV and immediately began experiencing issues caused by the fridge 

 

Questions

 

1) could 2 days of these surges permanently damaged my new TV and other components? Some surges caused me to lose the picture to green coloring or full static. I had to power everything down a few times.  Have I done permanent damage?

 

2) After reading here I'm seeing alot about whole house systems being the best protection. How do I know if I need that (professionally installed) or something I can install myself?

 

Thanks!
 

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If you have your HTS on the same circuit as the "small refrigerator" you may experience ocassional issues as the compressor kicks on and off on the refrigerator/kegerator resulting in current swings. I would try to find another circuit for the kegerator unless you put your HTS on some sort of UPS that will maintain a constant current (and protect your system from an outage should that happen). I don't think you've done any permanent damage but I wouldn't let it go on too much longer, just in case. If your home is fairly stable as far as power outages go and lightening strikes, you probably don't need whole house protection (which can be costly) but I would make sure that everything is properly grounded. We're about as stable as a house can be but I still have my HTS on an APC Back-up UPS 550 for the rare outage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·

thanks. It was definitely the compressor cycling on and off.  ok, i'm still figuring this out, so excuse the dumb question...  but i thought a UPS was just to power things during an outage? but does it also provide surge protection?  if I'm not concerned about powering during an outage, is there just a surge protector option w/out a UPS?
 

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You can get a UPS with surge protection as well as battery backup so you have time to safely power down devices if you're around during an outage. Mine has 8 outlets. 4 with surge protection/battery backup and 4 with surge protection only.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

ok. so not only protecting from surges is key but also improper shutting down of equipment.  Hmmm.  I'll have to figure out which one I'll get.

 

Above you mentioned a "APC Back-up UPS 550"? 
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmheron  /t/1497962/surge-questions/0_20#post_23910660


ok. so not only protecting from surges is key but also improper shutting down of equipment.  Hmmm.  I'll have to figure out which one I'll get.


Above you mentioned a "APC Back-up UPS 550"? 

That's the one that I use. There are others that are bigger, offer more protected outlets, and cost more. Depending on what you have connected to them, and the size of the battery, you can get anywhere from 15 minutes to 45 minutes or longeer of battery backup. Plenty enough time to safely power down your devices as long as you are at home.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

oh ok. it should be fine for outlets.  And 15 mins is plenty of time for me.  i just want to make its enough to prevent big surges (I read thats measured in joules?).  Also I plugged in an older surge but "better" (ie- more expensive than $5 but less than $50) protector I had and it, too, doesnt prevent the surges from the fridge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

Update: the current surge protector, purchased years ago for an old dell desktop computer, had a "330" on the back for the ratings (I forget what the different ones mean).  So I guess its not enough to stop the fridge surges.

 

So I simply connected the fridge via an 14gauge ext cord to another outlet temporarily while I get a new surge.
 

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I used the following guidelines some time ago when I was picking out surge suppressors before I went with the APC:


1. UL-1449 rated (TVSS, transient voltage surge suppressor)

2. Clamping voltage of 330V (120 VAC line is 330V)

3. Joules rating ≥600

4. Response time
5. Indicator light for proper MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) functioning

6. Insurance warranty

7. 3 stage protection is best (the number of components used to suppress or redirect the surge)

8. 3 incoming line protection is best (hot to neutral, hot to ground, and neutral to ground)

9. Classified as Grade A, Class 1:


Grade A = 6,000 volts and 3,000 amps

Grade B = 4,000 volts and 2,000 amps

Grade C = 2,000 volts and 1,000 amps


Class 1 = 330 volts

Class 2 = 400 volts

Class 3 = 500 volts
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok now this is really confusing and frustrating. I purchased a new APC Back-up UPS 550, just installed it and.....still seeing surges from my fridge! Wow. Previously I had run my fridge temporarily to another circuit using an ext cord. No surges issues. Now I install then UPS and plug fridge back into the circuit. Tv experiences "blips" when the fridge compressor turns on and off. What am I doing wrong???
 

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I suggest you either extend the circuit (the one you used with the extension cord), or add a dedicated circuit for your fridge. Your service panel likely has a couple spots free, or if not get a circuit breaker with two breakers in the same space as a single. Use 12 gauge UMB wire. It's not rocket science, as the saying goes, but if you don't want to tackle it, have an electrician do it.


BTW, a 14 gauge extension cord isn't good enough for even a small refrigerator. Get a 12 gauge cord if you must use an extension cord.


Good luck.
 

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The power surges from the refrig are probably not creating enough current to put the APC in protect mode, however it's apparently enough to affect the tv. Depending on how old your "kegerator" is ,it might have a compressor that uses more energy to cycle causing interference down the line. As fritzi93 suggested, it's best to isolate your kegerator from other appliances that may be affected on the same circuit. Using the APC is still definitely a good idea to protect your equipment.
 

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By "surge", are you really meaning "sag"? A surge is an increase in voltage, a sag is a drop in voltage (like a brown-out).

 

If the refrigerator is causing a surge, something is definitely wrong. If it is causing a brief sag, a UPS (uninterruptable power supply, a.k.a., battery backup) would at least afford some protection. And if you experience brief blackouts of a second or so, a UPS would definitely be recommended.

 

I have my computer on a UPS, and the cable company's DVR in another room on another UPS.

 

I have been thinking of possibly getting a UPS for my big TV because several times a year we have subsecond outages.
 

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The kegerator fridge probably has a split-phase induction motor, capacitor start. When turned on, it will momentarily draw more amps (maybe a lot more) than rated power draw. It doesn't last long enough (usually) to kick a breaker. It's in the milliseconds.


I have a 2 hp capacitor start split-phase induction motor in my table saw. If I have anything else plugged into the circuit when I start it, it will sometimes trip the breaker. And this is on a 20 amp (12 gauge wire) circuit, 20 amp outlet. I ended up running an extra dedicated circuit for it.


I'm not surprised that a fridge could produce the symptoms described. Especially if plugged into a standard household 15 amp circuit that already has other appliances on it. I'm guessing it's older and relatively inefficient. Anyway, get that fridge off the same circuit with your delicate electronics.


Nevertheless, the suggestions given about surge protection are good. You should take heed. A power surge fried the mobo on the first HTPC I built. An expensive lesson.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·

Thanks for your feedback!

 

 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Otto Pylot  /t/1497962/surge-questions#post_23933528


The power surges from the refrig are probably not creating enough current to put the APC in protect mode, however it's apparently enough to affect the tv. Depending on how old your "kegerator" is ,it might have a compressor that uses more energy to cycle causing interference down the line. As fritzi93 suggested, it's best to isolate your kegerator from other appliances that may be affected on the same circuit. Using the APC is still definitely a good idea to protect your equipment.
 

 

- Hmmm, didnt know that. I thought mayby b/c its an old fridge (11 yrs at least) the surges were too much for the APC to protect. thats strange that there's a mid-point where its too small for the APC but large enough to cause a problem with the TV.  Yep, I am going to run a new line to the fridge and get it off the same circuit.  And thanks, great point in that I still need one anyway so at least I made a good purchase.

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark12547  /t/1497962/surge-questions#post_23934329

 

By "surge", are you really meaning "sag"? A surge is an increase in voltage, a sag is a drop in voltage (like a brown-out).

 

If the refrigerator is causing a surge, something is definitely wrong. If it is causing a brief sag, a UPS (uninterruptable power supply, a.k.a., battery backup) would at least afford some protection. And if you experience brief blackouts of a second or so, a UPS would definitely be recommended.

 

I have my computer on a UPS, and the cable company's DVR in another room on another UPS.

 

I have been thinking of possibly getting a UPS for my big TV because several times a year we have subsecond outages.
 

 

- I have no idea. All I know when the fridge kicks on (and i think off) I see the problem. 

 
 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by fritzi93  /t/1497962/surge-questions#post_23935569


The kegerator fridge probably has a split-phase induction motor, capacitor start. When turned on, it will momentarily draw more amps (maybe a lot more) than rated power draw. It doesn't last long enough (usually) to kick a breaker. It's in the milliseconds.


I have a 2 hp capacitor start split-phase induction motor in my table saw. If I have anything else plugged into the circuit when I start it, it will sometimes trip the breaker. And this is on a 20 amp (12 gauge wire) circuit, 20 amp outlet. I ended up running an extra dedicated circuit for it.


I'm not surprised that a fridge could produce the symptoms described. Especially if plugged into a standard household 15 amp circuit that already has other appliances on it. I'm guessing it's older and relatively inefficient. Anyway, get that fridge off the same circuit with your delicate electronics.


Nevertheless, the suggestions given about surge protection are good. You should take heed. A power surge fried the mobo on the first HTPC I built. An expensive lesson.
 

 

 - The fridge is on a 15 amp circuit, I'm pretty sure. And its almost 12 yrs old.

 

I'm wondering if I did create permanent damage b/c at least once since I got this off the line I experienced a "pink screen" where the whole image was distorted and I had to reboot everything.  essentially the same behavior when I had it on the line with no APC protection.  so wondering if I did real damage.
 

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I certainly hope you didn't do any damage. I'd take that kegerator off-line permanently and find another circuit for it, reset/reboot your tv and make sure all is well.


We just remodeled our kitchen etc and the electrician changed all of the circuits to 20A at the sub and replaced all of the outlets with 20A child-proof (which are a pain to use initially) outlets because it's now code where we live. Don't know if that is applicable to your situation but if your kegerator is that old, it's not efficient at all and that's going to cause problems.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Ok thanks. I have a 15 day return window and may return this unit for another one in case there is damage or the flickering I've seen is something else.


I took the fridge offline temporarily and fritz already called out that I need a 12 g ext cord.


Yea, wondering if this fridge will cause other probs.


Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·

Here's something interesting -- if anyone's still watching this thread :)   I was just on LG's product page for my TV and there's a question and answer section where LG responds to customers' questions.  I found this one:

 

Q: THE SCREEN OCCASIONALLY BLANKS WHEN A LIGHT SWITCH IS TURNED ON OR SOME KIND OF ELECTRICAL DISTURBANCE HAPPENS IN THE HOUSE (LIGHT SWITCH ON/OFF, ETC.

 

A: We regret the inconvenience you have experienced with this television. If there is a drop of the signal when an electrical disturbance occurs, then it would be recommended to magnetically shield the signal cable and/or the power cord with a Ferrite Core.

 

Sounds a little similar to my situation.  Have to see what a "Ferrite Core" is?
 

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The ferrite core is that little barrel-shaped attachment that you occasionally find on the end of USB cables, HDMI cables, etc. It's supposed to "smooth out" the fluctuations in current to prevent interference. You can buy them individually and attach them (just one) to the cable. They just snap in place. I don't think that would help your situation because the interference on your line is just too great.
 
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