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Old 07-03-2009, 11:53 PM   #1
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


Hi,

I recently had to replace both of my carrier AC's control boards. They were damaged during a thunderstorm/lightning. I was wondering if anyone has suggestion about how to protect AC control board from thunderstorm/lightning.

Thanks

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Old 07-04-2009, 06:07 AM   #2
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


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Hi,

I recently had to replace both of my carrier AC's control boards. They were damaged during a thunderstorm/lightning. I was wondering if anyone has suggestion about how to protect AC control board from thunderstorm/lightning.
I have similar concerns, having had a new system installed last year, loaded with electronics.

From what I've read, a direct or near strike will likely take out electronic equipment.

Surge protection may afford some help in arresting spikes originating inside or outside of the house.

Along with you, I will be watching this thread.

V

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Old 07-04-2009, 07:11 AM   #3
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


A whole house surge protector.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:27 AM   #4
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


And if you live in Florida or the Ozarks you've got real problems with lightning.

Single board protectors are probably cheaper than whole house protection and are better tailored to the application; you might want to ask the HVAC manuf. Sometimes a single MOV in the right place is enough.

Some manuf. will send you the part for free, just for asking.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:38 AM   #5
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


agree with Beenthere,
a whole house protector is the way to go. About $200.00 for a Leviton.
price of one service call.

http://www.smarthome.com/4860/Levito...51120-1/p.aspx
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Old 07-04-2009, 01:29 PM   #6
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


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And if you live in Florida or the Ozarks you've got real problems with lightning.
I sell a lot of UV lights, and Florida is one of my most difficult areas to deal with. It also, by the nature of its humidity is where I send the most units.

I always try to first encourage HO to chose models that have 120 volt power supplies. These are sturdier and are able to help protect the bulb against spikes. Next, if the light has to be 24 volt, I encourage them to choose an extended range light (one that can withstand up to 32 volts of surge) and if possible, to add an additional 24 volt transformer to power the lamps power supply.

I do know that in most areas of Florida, the power companies offer a monthly fee for adding a surge protector before the power enters the home. This may be available in other areas of the country as well, i just have never asked.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:10 PM   #7
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


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I do know that in most areas of Florida, the power companies offer a monthly fee for adding a surge protector before the power enters the home. This may be available in other areas of the country as well, i just have never asked.
You have a link for a Florida PoCo? I'm curious as to how many joules and what kind of rise-time spec's, etc., FL recommends for whole house protection.

I've seen power strips rated in "e-joules" at the computer store but I don't know what an e-joule is.

I called our localpoco for something, and even the receptionist knew to say "we make no guarantees about power quality." Thank you too much!

Last edited by Yoyizit; 07-04-2009 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:42 PM   #8
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


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You have a link for a Florida PoCo? I'm curious as to how many joules and what kind of rise-time spec's, etc., FL recommends for whole house protection.

I've seen power strips rated in "e-joules" at the computer store but I don't know what an e-joule is.

I called our localpoco for something, and even the receptionist knew to say "we make no guarantees about power quality." Thank you too much!
Dude, you officially know about as much as I do. Really it was a fluke that I discovered this, and it has been my customers who have enlightened me about the availability of surge protection as a service of the power companies in FL.

The manufacturer of the UV lights that I sell is located in FL and they actually have developed as a standard, 24 volt power packs that can handle up to 32 volts, this in reaction to an onslaught of failed lamps in the FL market.

I did find this site of FPL (Florida Power and Light) that offers the "at meter" surge protection. If I hear additional, i will pass it along.
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Old 07-04-2009, 02:55 PM   #9
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


On my furnace/ac system, rather than being hard wired to 120 volts somebody wired it to a heavy duty cord and plug! Its then plugged into a single circuit receptacle.
If I had a problem of this nature (which I don't) I would buy a typical surge protector, plug it into the receptacle and plug the furn/ac into this!
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Old 07-04-2009, 03:54 PM   #10
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


An outdoor A/C condensor uses 220 volts and a surge protector would have to be rated for 30-40 amps continuos duty which eliminates the standard plug in type. The whole house type sounds good as refrigerators etc could use protection also.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:05 PM   #11
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


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An outdoor A/C condensor uses 220 volts and a surge protector would have to be rated for 30-40 amps continuos duty which eliminates the standard plug in type. The whole house type sounds good as refrigerators etc could use protection also.
I have no electronics in the condensor. Just a contactor that is operated from 24 volts in the furnace.
All the electronics are operated from 120 volts.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:19 PM   #12
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


Compressors get damaged A LOT from power surges so both voltages need protection. Most new units use a single pole contactor so there is a hot supply thru to the capacitor and compressor even when the contactor is open. A good surge can potentially blow thru the windings to the metal case of the compressor and blow it. Not sure how much protection the whole house unit can provide from a large direct strike but it may help.

Last edited by yuri; 07-04-2009 at 04:23 PM.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:51 PM   #13
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


Yep. Lots of compressors and condenser fan motors have be burned out due to surges and lightening strikes.
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:30 PM   #14
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


Thanks for all the info and discussion. Not sure which path I will follow though.

Does any home owner have experience with any of these device ... price/performance ??

>> a whole house protector is the way to go. About $200.00 for a Leviton.
This one seems to be too involved. I might need to work with electricity company to get permit etc..
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Old 07-05-2009, 05:49 PM   #15
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How to protect AC control board from blowing during thunderstorm/lightning ?


Too involved?

Depends how much you want to protect your home and electrical equiment.

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