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Old 01-28-2012, 10:56 PM   #1
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Hello All,
I want to install a whole house surge supressor and would appreciate some input. I'm looking at something such as the Delta package which comes with a lightning arrestor, surge protector and data line protector units.


1) Are the Delta's any good as they do not appear to have led status lights? Otherwise, any good (affordable) recommendations?


2) Now for my challenges:

The previous owner/contractor, who built the home 12 years ago, used a lug type outside main load center (12 slot). There is no main breaker, therefore no feed through lugs. The meter (w/earth ground) is right next to it and connected via metal conduit. All the slots are full in the load center panel with the heavy double pole stuff (30amp, 30amp, 30amp, 40amp, 80amp(to ac subpanel) and a 100amp(to indoor panel).

a) There are no open slots in the outside panel box, so I will have to connect a subpanel to the bottom of it. I will then have to remove two of the 30 amp breakers and put those inside the new subpanel. That will give me four open slots in the main panel box. Two spots will be used for a double pole breaker for the subpanel, whereas the other two slots will be for single pole 20amp breakers for the new surge protectors.

b) Can I get a 60amp subpanel or should I just opt for a 100 amp subpanel and have some extra slots in it? The later might be a plus anyhow, as I'd like to have an outdoor receptacle in that location anyhow.

c) I realize the subpanel neutral and ground must be isolated from each other, but where do I run the ground wire for the subpanel as the main panel box doesn't have a grounding bar? The meter is earth grounded. Do I just pull two wires off the main panels neutral and run one to the subpanel neutral and the other to the subpanel ground bar?


Is there a better way of doing this minus paying the Power Company a monthly fee? Otherwise, any different and affordable recommendations?


Thanks, Ralph


Last edited by Ralph III; 01-28-2012 at 11:08 PM.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:04 PM   #2
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Whole house surge protection, help....


I would suggest having a larger panel with a main breaker get installed with the room to add your surge protection.

I am also concerned why your grounding is in your meter socket. Does your meter socket have a disconnect?

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Old 01-28-2012, 11:07 PM   #3
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Whole house surge protection, help....


If your meter socket does not have a disconnect then this in not wired properly and would need to be corrected.
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:20 PM   #4
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Thanks rrolleston for the quick reply. The meter box has no disconnect or breaker (unless within) that I'm aware of. It has the typical wire lock on it.

The earth ground goes to the meter and is connected internally. The meter box is connected to the main outside load center via metal conduit as noted. It has the two hot wires and neutral coming from the meter into the main load center (via conduit) but no bare grounding wire.

I assume the load center is grounded due to metal connection between the two, but there is no way of turning power off to the load center minus having them flip the meter. The indoor power can be shut off via the 100amp breaker.

It was inspected and passed inspection, as the "turn on power" sticker is still there.

Ralph
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:37 PM   #5
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Whole house surge protection, help....


your neutral ground bus bar is supposed to be in the main panel and it's supposed to have a main disconnect. I don't think that is a legal setup. But wait and maybe some others will reply?
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Old 01-28-2012, 11:58 PM   #6
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Just did some research and it seems that you panel could fallow under the six or less throw rule where there are six or less main breakers can be feeding other panels.

I am not sure if this was a rule when your panel was installed or if it is still allowed.

But I know for sure the grounding should never enter a meter socket
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:15 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rrolleston View Post
Just did some research and it seems that you panel could fallow under the six or less throw rule where there are six or less main breakers can be feeding other panels.

I am not sure if this was a rule when your panel was installed or if it is still allowed.

But I know for sure the grounding should never enter a meter socket
That's interesting. I came across this Siemens article which states/suggests this type setup is common on apartment types. It shows a similar setup, as you referenced, on pg. 53 but with "lug" panel indoors versus outdoors. All breakers are clearly labeled with ours, so it would seem to have been compliant with that setup?

I'm reading what it states in regards to grounding(pg. 55). However, in the example on pg. 53, where the "Main Lug Only" is indoors, wouldn't the meter have to be the earth ground in that setup and thus make it suitable?

Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 01-29-2012 at 12:19 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:26 AM   #8
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Whole house surge protection, help....


How is your 100a panel grounded?
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:30 AM   #9
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Well, the article I referenced doesn't specifically show the meter being earth grounded but I came across several articles which say just that.

One shows and explains how to ground the electric meter box, whereas the other just describes it.

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How To......


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Old 01-29-2012, 12:34 AM   #10
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph III
Well, the article I referenced doesn't specifically show the meter being earth grounded but I came across several articles which say just that.

One shows and explains how to ground the electric meter box, whereas the other just describes it.

About.com

How To......

Ralph
It is permitted under circumstance. What I would like to know is what is the wire system in your house emt? Romex? And you said there's no ground bar in you 100a sub panel, if so how is everything grounded? If you can upload pictures of everything that would also help.

Ps. In case its not clear your indoor 100a is considered a sub panel not a main panel.
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Last edited by Julius793; 01-29-2012 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:42 AM   #11
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Julius793 View Post
How is your 100a panel grounded?
There is one large ground wire connected to the neutral lugs on the outside panel box. It goes indoors as do several other large (but smaller) ground wires. I assume the largest one goes to the inside panel whereas the others go to various appliances and maybe the attic (ac) subpanel.

The two websites which I referenced in post #9 (grounding a meter box) states the earth grounding wire will be connected to the neutral wire in the meter. That neutral wire along with the two hot wires would then feed the outside main panel. Wouldn't the ground wires running to the indoor panel and appliances be grounded via the neutral wire within the box, with the neutral wire be earth grounded from meter?

Ralph

Last edited by Ralph III; 01-29-2012 at 12:48 AM.
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:45 AM   #12
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph III

There is one large ground wire connected to the neutral lugs on the outside panel box. It goes indoors as do several other large (but smaller) ground wires. I assume the largest one goes to the inside panel whereas the others go to various appliances and maybe the attic (ac) subpanel.

Ralph
Where does it terminate in the 100a sub if there's no ground bar?
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Old 01-29-2012, 12:59 AM   #13
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Quote:
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Where does it terminate in the 100a sub if there's no ground bar?
There is a ground bar in the 100amp "indoor" panel which has all the 15 and 20 amp breakers. The indoor subpanel apparantely is grounded from the outdoor main panel via the neutral wire, which is apparently earth grounded at the meter.

This seems to be described in the two webpages referenced in post #9? One site specifically says, when grounding a meter, "the neutral and ground are a common connection called a neutral/ground connection" Here


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Old 01-29-2012, 01:00 AM   #14
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ralph III



The two websites which I referenced in post #9 (grounding a meter box) states the earth grounding wire will be connected to the neutral wire in the meter. That neutral wire along with the two hot wires would then feed the outside main panel. Wouldn't the ground wires running to the indoor panel and appliances be grounded via the neutral wire within the box, with the neutral wire be earth grounded from meter?

Ralph
No, once leaving the main panel (for your the outdoor panel) they must have one neutral and one ground that always remain separate.
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Old 01-29-2012, 06:25 AM   #15
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Whole house surge protection, help....


Can you post a picture of main panel and your grounding entering the meter socket

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