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Old 06-19-2012, 10:10 AM   #1
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panel mounted surge protection


I have a CH panel with a surge protector (it takes a double pole breaker slot and has a 4 inch which pigtail to the neutral bar).

I was wondering, does it really matter where on the hot bus it is placed? For example, if the slots nearest the main lugs [say 1 and 3 and 2 and 4] were not available, could it go to say position 12 and 14 and still provide the same level of protection.

It is my udnerstanding that the single most important factor is having the wire to the neutral be as short as possible?

Thanks

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Old 06-19-2012, 11:02 AM   #2
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panel mounted surge protection


Most of them should be mounted as close to the feed as possible.

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Old 06-21-2012, 12:15 AM   #3
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panel mounted surge protection


The surge protector does not pull a constant current like a resistive or inductive load, so the general rule to place heavy loads closest to the feed to reduce voltage drop -- for the purpose of providing a constant voltage to the heavy load -- really doesn't hold. The amplitude of any energy dump by the surge protector to ground or neutral will first depend on which line (L1, L2, N) the surge is on, but in any case will be short lived.

I just installed a CH surge protector (CHSP2ULTRA) to my CH42B200R loadcenter. Because CH wants the surge protector wires to be less than 12-in long or less, for my install situation I had to run the wires from the surge protector to its 2-pole breaker on the last two slots in the loadcenter (loadcenter bottom; furthest away from the feed point at the top). The neutral and ground wires were also kept less than 12-inches. CH documentation does NOT say you have to place loads heaviest-to-light from top-to-bottom; that is an install preference. So, placing a surge protector *anywhere* along the loadcenter is OK. Again, when the surge protector works it will dump energy to ground or neutral in a *very* short time, much quicker than the breaker itself can response to.

What you want to do is keep the wires between the surge protector and the termination points to be short as possible to reduce the impedance (resistance) of these wires which in turn reduces the voltage drop across them during the surge event.
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Old 06-21-2012, 03:11 AM   #4
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panel mounted surge protection


Short and no sharp bends.Straight as possible for high energy surge waves.
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Old 06-21-2012, 09:31 AM   #5
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panel mounted surge protection


Quick follow up question, and Ill admit this is getting really picky.

If one side of the load center has the connections to the utility neutral and plumbing ground, does it need to be connected to that neutral or is it just as good to connect to the neutral on the other side of the panel (which means any surge will travel through the surge breaker, across the pigtail,. to the neutral, across the panel via the bonding strap to the other neutral, and then to the plumbing ground or utility neutral connection.

I am thinking it doesnt matter but I thought I should ask
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:13 AM   #6
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panel mounted surge protection


I have a Intermatic, and just connected it to two breakers at the bottom o the panel. Nuetral & ground connect to the common buss bar.

Just make sure that you have a proper earth ground, and as for cold water pipe bonding is good.
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Old 06-21-2012, 10:30 AM   #7
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panel mounted surge protection


Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinp22
Quick follow up question, and Ill admit this is getting really picky.

If one side of the load center has the connections to the utility neutral and plumbing ground, does it need to be connected to that neutral or is it just as good to connect to the neutral on the other side of the panel (which means any surge will travel through the surge breaker, across the pigtail,. to the neutral, across the panel via the bonding strap to the other neutral, and then to the plumbing ground or utility neutral connection.

I am thinking it doesnt matter but I thought I should ask
The neutral bars on either side of the panel is connected together with a jumper in the form of a conductor or a bus bar type device. It doesn't matter which side it is connected to. The shiny flat piece of metal running between the neutral bars is the bonding jumper.
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Old 06-22-2012, 12:52 AM   #8
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panel mounted surge protection


Kevin,

So you have several good replies above. Remember, the purpose of the surge protector is to dump excess energy into the ground structure instead of your house, and since electrons generally do not like resistance, will always seek the path of least resistance. So, give it that path.

If it is possible, terminate the ground and neutral wires from the surge protector to the common bus bar in your loadcenter that is used to terminate your Ufer and/or water pipe ground. You want to direct that extra surge energy directly to ground.

As you described, if you have to terminate at the opposite side of the loadcenter in order to keep your surge protector wires as short as possible then that's OK, because the hardware between that point and the more ideal main common bus bar will be very low impedance and will always be better than using a longer wire to achieve the same connection. Big chunks of metal are always better conductors than skinny little wires.

Hope this helps.
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Old 06-22-2012, 03:37 AM   #9
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panel mounted surge protection


well

Thanks for your post.

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