(206) 949-5683, Top Rated Plumber, Seattle
Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 16 to 30 of 35

Thread: Whole House Surge Suppression

  1. #16
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,522

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    Touch the ends of a lighted fluorescent tube. Thousands of volts were necessary to start it. And near zero volts when current through that bulb creates light. Myths will claim protectors must stop 250,000 volts for the same reasons a fluorescent tube has thousands of volts. Voltage is only defined by the current.
    Thanks for this explanation as it helps me to better understand your comments.

    First most fluorescent ballast only produce around 600 volts to the tube not the thousands of volts you claim.

    Second the surge protector is rated in amperage not voltage.

    Third voltage is a difference in potential. The amount of current that flows is dependent on the amount of opposition to the push of the voltage and does not in any way define the difference in potential.

  2. #17
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,375

    Default

    Humm, I didn't mean to start a fight! While I totally agree that it would be nice for all devices to have surge suppression built into themselves, and it isn't all that expensive to do it, in today's market, those extra steps just aren't often taken. There are lots of things that can put higher than design voltages on the power lines within a home, some internally generated, some from external. Solid state junctions will get 'chipped' away at by those spikes, and may not die immediately, but each surge can be one more chop with the proverbial axe. Many of the better strip type surge suppressors also have noise filtering on them, and that can make a difference too. While the device I installed doesn't have noise suppression, I didn't feel that was a requirement for what I was trying to accomplish - keep my 85-year old mother from having to replace the circuit board for her frig, or buy a new microwave again as a result of a storm. I'm hoping the effort is fruitful. I thought others might find it useful, as they have been around for ages, but don't seem to be installed all that often, to the homeowner's detriment, in my opinon. I'll still use a good noise filtering suppression strip at high dollar thing like a plasma tv and computer, but the extra level of having the incoming power clamped to acceptable levels seems like a good first step.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  3. #18
    DIY scratch-pad engineer leejosepho's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    200 miles south of Little Rock
    Posts
    2,474

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    Protection already inside a computer is typically superior to anything inside a power strip. A tiny surge, too small to overwhelm protection inside every computer, can destroy a grossly undersized power strip. The naive will then credit that grossly undersized power strip. Recommend that profit center.

    Take a $4 power strip. Add some ten cent parts. Sell it for $40 or $100. Profit margin is obscene. Because they are selling myths to the naive. Read its spec numbers. Where does it claim protection from any typically destructive surge? It doesn't. And does not have to. Urban myths (such as your speculation) protects those sales and profit margins.

    How many appliances were destroyed when a power strip protected that computer? Other less robust appliances (ie smoke detectors, dimmer switches) must have damaged if a surge really existed.
    I had always suspected the power-strip surge protecter did not really do a lot, so maybe it was my Zalmar power supply that kept my computer from no more trouble than GParted dropping a window. I just know some kind of "Whump" had happened -- I heard it hit the furnace/AC fan -- and nothing got fried!
    "Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events and small minds discuss people." --Eleanor Roosevelt

  4. #19
    DIY Junior Member westom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    nja
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    While I totally agree that it would be nice for all devices to have surge suppression built into themselves, and it isn't all that expensive to do it, in today's market, those extra steps just aren't often taken.\ There are lots of things that can put higher than design voltages on the power lines within a home, some internally generated, some from external. Solid state junctions will get 'chipped' away at by those spikes, and may not die immediately, but each surge can be one more chop with the proverbial axe.
    If internally generated surges were destructive, then we are replacing dimmer switches, GFCIs, and digital clocks daily. Due to superior protection already existing in all appliances, those internally generated surges are routinely irrelevant. That protection was defined even by international design standards over 40 years ago. Today's standards require internal protection to be even more robust.

    Protection is so robust that a greatest source of harmful spikes - a UPS in battery backup mode - does not harm electronics. Lesser internally generated transients are even less harmful. Or are you replacing GFCIs daily?

    Noise filtering inside 'better' power strips is inferior to what exists and is required to exist in electronics. For example, what happens to the best filtered AC power? It is converted to high voltages (exceeding 300 volts). Then converted to radio frequency spikes. Any 'cleaning' by an expensive power strip is first completely undone. Then that even 'dirtier' power is filtered by better circuits inside electronics to make rock solid and stable DC voltages.

    Does not matter how much filtering is performed by some attached magic box. Filtering is first undone. And then superior filtering of that 'dirtiest' power occurs. Superior filtering is routine as part of what also makes electronics less expensive. Again, the process of making clean power is to first make it 'dirtiest'. The numbers. AC mains power is converted to higher voltage radio frequency spikes - the dirtiest power. Same circuit also provides superior spike protection and noise filtering.

    A UPS only has one function. To provide temporary and 'dirtiest' power during a blackout or momentary power outage. It does not do and does not even claim to do serious filtering or surge protection. If it did, then spec numbers are posted. Nobody posted those numbers for one simple reason. Near zero filtering and surge protection is promoted 'subjectively' as 100% filtering and surge protection.

    What does a filter do in power strips? A circuit that makes protector parts (MOVs) less likely to fail in flames. To give its thermal fuse more time to disconnect MOV protectors from a surge. An old trick in MOV circuit design. That also does near zero filtering of audio or other noise.

    Semiconductors do not get 'chipped'. Semiconductors may be overstressed. Overstress is a concern with major surges that almost or should have caused complete failure. Once overstressed, a semiconductor may fail days or a week later. Generally overstress in one appliance occurs when other appliances were immediately destroyed by that transient.

    Destructive surges occur maybe once every seven years. Earth a 'whole house' protector to make rare and typically destructive surges irrelevant. And to reduce even lesser or internally generated surges. That 'whole house' protector (if properly earthed) means electronics even in stoves, dishwashers, and refrigerators are not overwhelmed.

    Superior surge protection is already found even in cheapest appliances including GFCIs, smoke detectors, and electronic timer switches. Protection that may be overwhelmed only by rare and destructive transients. A 'whole house' protector is essential to make the rare and destructive surge also irrelevant. As well as make internally generated transients even less relevant. Only a properly earthed 'whole house' protector addresses all types of surges. What makes that protection better? Better earthing is essential.
    Last edited by westom; 07-02-2012 at 03:32 AM.

  5. #20
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,522

    Default

    Now this is strange as in all my education I have never heard anything about what you have posted. Of all the different text books that the college furnish me to use I can’t find one word to support you post.

    Quite the contrary my APC UPS by Schneider says it is a surge protector but then again they might not have the in-depth knowledge you have.

  6. #21
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,637

    Default

    Can I get into the pissing match ? A electric fence hurts and will shut you off in a second.

    The best Whole House Surge Suppression is to get off of the grid.


    Have a good 4th of July. Drink and don't drive.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  7. #22
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    Can I get into the pissing match ? A electric fence hurts and will shut you off in a second.

    The best Whole House Surge Suppression is to get off of the grid.


    Have a good 4th of July. Drink and don't drive.
    And to that, I say Salud!
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  8. #23
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,637

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    Lightning is a current source; not a voltage source. That means voltage will increase as necessary to maintain that current flow. Anything that attempts to block that current will only suffer increased voltage. Protection is about making the current flow on the lowest impedance path so that current is not inside the building; so that voltage is smallest.
    So You can have Current without any voltage from the source ?

    Seems like that would be Zero power and should not hurt anything.

    What am I missing ?

    Lightning and surge protection are two different things.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  9. #24
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,637

    Default

    I don't think that many brands are any better than others when the manufacture may be the same in many cases.

    I do not use a single point grounding system here because it can cause more problems than it solves.
    I like my lightning to be redirected and not go to my incoming power source. NEC is not always correct when it comes to reality.

    Whole house may be nice but I use a surge suppressor on all of my devices individually.

    The most I am out is a $20 dollar power strip or plug in surge protector, even if I take a direct lightning hit.

    A direct hit may take out my gas discharge tubes in my lightning protectors but may save me and the house.

    Gods power has more power over anything that you can install to protect from her.
    Last edited by DonL; 07-04-2012 at 01:43 PM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  10. #25
    DIY Junior Member westom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    nja
    Posts
    11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonL View Post
    The most I am out is a $20 dollar power strip or plug in surge protector, even if I take a direct lightning hit.
    A failed $20 protector means it did no protection. An appliance protected itself while the protector disconnected as fast as possible from the surge. Left the surge connected to the appliance. If disconnecting too slow, then a grossly undersized protector may create a house fire. Have your attention?

    Called a protector means it does something useful? Not without numbers. Defined repeatedly was what does protection:
    " low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point ground. "

    Where does energy dissipate? Only the informed can answer that question.

    Knowledge from the NEC only defines simple concepts for "human safety". Electrical concepts for "transistor safety" are different. NEC addresses concepts such as wire thickness and resistance. Surge protection involves wire length and impedance. A low resistance wire can also have excessive impedance.

    Of course, that was posted previously and repeatedly.

    Return to what everyone was taught in elementary school science. How a lightning rod works. Lightning (the typical surge) seeks earth ground. Finds a conductive and destructive path to earth via a church steeple. Yes, wood is electrically conductive. Now, numbers not taught then. Wood is not very conductive. So 20,000 amps creates a high voltage. From high school science: 20,000 amps times a high voltage is high energy. Church steeple destroyed.

    Back to elementary school science: Franklin earthed lightning rods. Do lightning rods do protection? Of course not. A lightning rod is useless without its 'short as possible' connection to a best earth ground. To what harmlessly absorbs energy. Now 20,000 amps creates a near zero voltage. 20,000 amps times a near zero voltage is near zero energy. No church steeple damage.

    A lightning rod works when a surge connects harmlessly to earth. A ''whole house' protector does same. DonL's protectors are like the wooden church steeple. A poor connection to earth (creates a high voltage). Informed homeowners install a 'whole house' protector with a conductive (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth. Then have near zero voltage. No damage even to the protector (or to gas discharge tubes). A low impedance (conductive) connection to earth means even protectors do not fail.

    Grossly undersized protectors fail on surges too tiny to overwhelm superior protection inside appliances. This gets the na´ve to recommend them. Sometimes a protector does not disconnect fast enough. Then a house fire can result. Another problem when a surge is permitted inside the building.

    Those, who learned science, were hired to undo a mess created by naive radio station personal. The naive foolishly thought grounds were causing problems. Probably due to NEC knowledge rather than how electricity works. A case study explains a solution by fixing the compromised earthing system. At no time did they waste money on protectors adjacent to electronics:
    http://www.copper.org/applications/e.../nebraska.html

    Bottom line - a protector is a connection to earth or it is "useless". A point made constantly because so many will have difficulty unlearning myths and propaganda promoted by advertising and hearsay.

    Step one: did the advertising provide any numbers? If not, it was probably a lie. Step two: did advertising discuss where energy dissipates? If not, again a sales myth. No low impedance connection to earth means no effective protection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

  11. #26
    DIY Senior Member BobL43's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    1,768

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    A failed $20 protector means it did no protection. An appliance protected itself while the protector disconnected as fast as possible from the surge. Left the surge connected to the appliance. If disconnecting too slow, then a grossly undersized protector may create a house fire. Have your attention?

    Called a protector means it does something useful? Not without numbers. Defined repeatedly was what does protection:
    " low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point ground. "

    Where does energy dissipate? Only the informed can answer that question.

    Knowledge from the NEC only defines simple concepts for "human safety". Electrical concepts for "transistor safety" are different. NEC addresses concepts such as wire thickness and resistance. Surge protection involves wire length and impedance. A low resistance wire can also have excessive impedance.

    Of course, that was posted previously and repeatedly.

    Return to what everyone was taught in elementary school science. How a lightning rod works. Lightning (the typical surge) seeks earth ground. Finds a conductive and destructive path to earth via a church steeple. Yes, wood is electrically conductive. Now, numbers not taught then. Wood is not very conductive. So 20,000 amps creates a high voltage. From high school science: 20,000 amps times a high voltage is high energy. Church steeple destroyed.

    Back to elementary school science: Franklin earthed lightning rods. Do lightning rods do protection? Of course not. A lightning rod is useless without its 'short as possible' connection to a best earth ground. To what harmlessly absorbs energy. Now 20,000 amps creates a near zero voltage. 20,000 amps times a near zero voltage is near zero energy. No church steeple damage.

    A lightning rod works when a surge connects harmlessly to earth. A ''whole house' protector does same. DonL's protectors are like the wooden church steeple. A poor connection to earth (creates a high voltage). Informed homeowners install a 'whole house' protector with a conductive (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to earth. Then have near zero voltage. No damage even to the protector (or to gas discharge tubes). A low impedance (conductive) connection to earth means even protectors do not fail.

    Grossly undersized protectors fail on surges too tiny to overwhelm superior protection inside appliances. This gets the na´ve to recommend them. Sometimes a protector does not disconnect fast enough. Then a house fire can result. Another problem when a surge is permitted inside the building.

    Those, who learned science, were hired to undo a mess created by naive radio station personal. The naive foolishly thought grounds were causing problems. Probably due to NEC knowledge rather than how electricity works. A case study explains a solution by fixing the compromised earthing system. At no time did they waste money on protectors adjacent to electronics:
    http://www.copper.org/applications/e.../nebraska.html

    Bottom line - a protector is a connection to earth or it is "useless". A point made constantly because so many will have difficulty unlearning myths and propaganda promoted by advertising and hearsay.

    Step one: did the advertising provide any numbers? If not, it was probably a lie. Step two: did advertising discuss where energy dissipates? If not, again a sales myth. No low impedance connection to earth means no effective protection. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground.
    wwhere are you westom? your location shows nja; is that India?
    I am definitely not a pro plumber, but I am a pro crastinator

  12. #27
    Electrical Contractor/Instructor jwelectric's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    2,522

    Default

    He is misquoting some of the publications of Martin Conroy of Computer Power and Consulting Corporation, Omaha, Nebraska.

    Everything he is talking about has to do with the prevention of lightning damage to transmitting towers such as for radio and TV. Some of what he is saying is true for these installations but his theory of current flow has many flaws. He is also mistaken about built-in surge protection in our appliances.

    In his last post he made an attempt at destroying anything published in the NEC yet addresses surge protection that would be under the rules of the NEC. I suppose he hasn’t done any research on the authors of the NEC or he would know that most of them can decorate their wall just as well as Mr. Conroy and some even better.

    Based solely on the content of his post in this thread it is obvious that he is self-taught over the internet and is totally confused on the subject matter.

  13. #28
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,375

    Default

    FWIW, most devices I've looked at have rudimentary, if any, surge suppression built into them. Some things have a noise filter, but that's not the same thing. Most apply the power directly to either a transformer or a rectifier. Yes, there will be some filtering required on most things electronic, as the ripple from a ps otherwise would be too large to allow it to either function or if it did, function very well. Very few devices I've looked at (and I admit I'm not a specialist in this area) have any incoming voltage clamping (usually MOV's) or other devices (spark gaps) to contain any out of tolerance inputs. Their output of internal ps may be quite robust, but that assumes the input power is within range.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

  14. #29
    Jack of all trades DonL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Houston, TX
    Posts
    3,637

    Default A metal-oxide varistor is Great

    Quote Originally Posted by jadnashua View Post
    FWIW, most devices I've looked at have rudimentary, if any, surge suppression built into them. Some things have a noise filter, but that's not the same thing. Most apply the power directly to either a transformer or a rectifier. Yes, there will be some filtering required on most things electronic, as the ripple from a ps otherwise would be too large to allow it to either function or if it did, function very well. Very few devices I've looked at (and I admit I'm not a specialist in this area) have any incoming voltage clamping (usually MOV's) or other devices (spark gaps) to contain any out of tolerance inputs. Their output of internal ps may be quite robust, but that assumes the input power is within range.
    I use the MOV type that just shorts out when they reach a certain voltage, then the fuse or breaker opens.

    Never seen one smoke, but the MOV will stay shorted if it gets a big surge, and most good protectors have a led if the MOV has any leakage, or the device is not working.

    The MOVs work good, but you have to have a fuse to open the circuit just in case they short.

    I like to use the lower voltage MOVs because it don't do much good to Clamp at 220V if you are protecting a 120V device, Many clamp at near 200-220 V. They must be made for people that connect a 120V appliance to 240. Even tho the plug don't fit it can happen by incorrect wiring.

    140 Volt MOVs seem to be the best for protection at 120 Volt normal use.

    The good protectors come with a warranty for what you have plugged in , but I have never had the need to see if the warranty really pays out.

    A lot of the filtering is to keep computers and switching supplies from sending RF or Harmonics back into the AC power, and eliminates RF from coming in. X10 devices will not work very well when plugged into a good filtered strip.
    Last edited by DonL; 07-05-2012 at 10:28 AM.
    Theory only works perfect in a vacuum.

    Cyber Security Protection for Windows C:\ > WWW.WinForce.Net

  15. #30
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer jadnashua's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    New England
    Posts
    21,375

    Default

    120vac RMS has peak voltages considerably higher than 120vac.
    Jim DeBruycker
    Important note - I'm not a pro
    Retired Defense Industry Engineer; Schluter 2.5-day Workshop Completed 2013, 2014

Similar Threads

  1. Help installing whole house surge suppressor
    By Jtejedor in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 09-05-2010, 10:15 AM
  2. Whole House Surge Protect Sub Panel
    By accesspro in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-19-2010, 03:59 PM
  3. Whole house surge protectors
    By Ian Gills in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 15
    Last Post: 09-18-2009, 06:15 AM
  4. whole house surge supression recommendations
    By beekerc in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 10-20-2008, 01:16 PM
  5. Whole house surge . . .
    By sjh in forum Electrical Forum discussion & Blog
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 12-30-2007, 10:49 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •