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Old 10-16-2011, 10:18 AM   #1
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Whole house surge protector


I just installed a cable line surge protector and wanted to install one in my panel also. Question is, how exactly do they work? They have 2 hot wires, a neutral, and a ground. They mount next to the panel and attach through a knock-out. Ground to ground bar, neutral to neutral bus, and 2 hots to 2 separate breakers.

The instructions say they can be hooked up to any 2 breakers, but should be as close as possible to surge protector. They recommend not connecting to any breakers that pull a big load. How does the protection actually work? It seems that any surge in the main line will already be distributed throughout the house via the various circuits before it ever gets to this thing. And then what does it do?

Also, I have plenty of empty spaces on my panel, is it better to install a dual throw breaker specifically for this thing?

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Old 10-16-2011, 06:00 PM   #2
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Whole house surge protector


Here it may take a long time to explain. Please check out this article
http://electronics.howstuffworks.com...-protector.htm

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Old 10-16-2011, 07:50 PM   #3
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Whole house surge protector


Easiest explanation is, that they shunt any over current to ground, by being what is called "the shortest path to ground" The better ones are those that hook to the meter between the meter and the pan. As for that cable surge protector, most out there are not worth their weight in the money spent. The best is a Gas Discharge protector placed inline at the ground block, where the catv is at the house, with the ground going to the ground rod, not attached to the meter pan. Same with the teleco line.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:02 PM   #4
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Whole house surge protector


Overvoltage,not over current.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:23 PM   #5
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Whole house surge protector


bob, most people do not know the difference.
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Old 10-16-2011, 08:29 PM   #6
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Whole house surge protector


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
bob, most people do not know the difference.
and it is current that flows through the surge protector not voltage.
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Old 10-16-2011, 09:46 PM   #7
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Whole house surge protector


I do understand how surge protectors work, but I don't get how one that attaches to breakers work. It seems that any surge would already be wrecking stuff on other circuits by the time this thing recognized the excess current and threw it to the ground.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:07 PM   #8
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Whole house surge protector


You put in two 15 or 20 amp breakers, and connect the black wires from the whole panel surge protector, with one wire each to each breaker. That means two hot wires, two breakers. From there, you connect the Neutral & ground to the appropriate bus screw. The directions are very clear in how to do it.

And as for the surge, it seeks shorts path to ground, which would be the surge protector. If you are worried, get as I stated before, a whole house that sits between the POCO meter & the meter can. You need to check with your utility to see if they offer the meter can protectors. Otherwise, get a panel protector. I have the Intermatic, and has done its job very good.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:17 PM   #9
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Whole house surge protector


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Originally Posted by a7ecorsair View Post
and it is current that flows through the surge protector not voltage.
Buzzzzzz! You should read up on the purpose of a surge protector,before shooting off your mouth.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobelectric View Post
Buzzzzzz! You should read up on the purpose of a surge protector,before shooting off your mouth.
Here Bob, maybe this will help you to better understand:

"
Voltage, otherwise known as electrical potential difference or electric tension (denoted ∆V and measured in volts, or joules per coulomb) is the difference in electric potential between two points or the difference in electric potential energy per unit charge between two points.[1] Voltage is equal to the work which would have to be done, per unit charge, against a static electric field to move the charge between two points. A voltage may represent either a source of energy (electromotive force), or it may represent lost or stored energy (potential drop). A voltmeter can be used to measure the voltage (or potential difference) between two points in a system; usually a common reference potential such as the ground of the system is used as one of the points. Voltage can be caused by static electric fields, by electric current through a magnetic field, by time-varying magnetic fields, or a combination of all three.[2][3]"


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voltage


So, Bob, what is over voltage? Does that mean that the surge protector has to work harder to do its job, or is it the fact that it protects from too much current. Hmmn.
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Old 10-16-2011, 10:29 PM   #11
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Whole house surge protector


I have installed quite few whole house surge supressor unit and they are not too bad to install however check the Joles rating that mean how much voltage / current surge it can handle.

The units I installed useally are Intermatic they are pretty good and there are other brands as well and all the exteral surge surpessor they specfically two pole breaker for this useage and DO NOT use on the motour load or any other high load useage that can cause the surge surpessor fail early.

The other thing please follow the manufacter instruction on hook up and this one very important part DO NOT ever cut the conductors shorter { the instuction will mention this very clear }.

Merci,
Marc
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:32 PM   #12
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Whole house surge protector


Quote:
Originally Posted by matt151617 View Post
I just installed a cable line surge protector and wanted to install one in my panel also. Question is, how exactly do they work? They have 2 hot wires, a neutral, and a ground. They mount next to the panel and attach through a knock-out. Ground to ground bar, neutral to neutral bus, and 2 hots to 2 separate breakers.

The instructions say they can be hooked up to any 2 breakers, but should be as close as possible to surge protector. They recommend not connecting to any breakers that pull a big load. How does the protection actually work? It seems that any surge in the main line will already be distributed throughout the house via the various circuits before it ever gets to this thing. And then what does it do?

Also, I have plenty of empty spaces on my panel, is it better to install a dual throw breaker specifically for this thing?

Most surge protectors are just a varistor that sits across
the incoming mains.
Under normal conditions IE 120v the varistor is open circuit,
but if the incoming mains exceeds a preset limit say 150v,
then it changes state and becomes short circuit.
If there is a fuse associatted with it, then it will blow
removing the mains from voltage sensitive equipment.

its like a big zener diode.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:35 PM   #13
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Whole house surge protector


So if a surge occurs it deliberately causes a short which trips the main breaker and pushes the extra power through the ground?
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:56 PM   #14
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Whole house surge protector


Quote:
Originally Posted by matt151617 View Post
I do understand how surge protectors work, but I don't get how one that attaches to breakers work. It seems that any surge would already be wrecking stuff on other circuits by the time this thing recognized the excess current and threw it to the ground.
Quote:
Originally Posted by matt151617 View Post
So if a surge occurs it deliberately causes a short which trips the main breaker and pushes the extra power through the ground?
You basically have it.....

The surge protector creates a short to ground when the voltage goes above a certain point. That short to ground creates a high current condition which then trips the breakers.

If properly designed, the surge protector is not damaged and prevented too high of a voltage from going down the line.

I don't care for MOV based surge protectors. In most cases, a good surge that fires the MOV, also destroys it. It does it's job....but if another surge comes along....it's dead.......and you don't know it.

That is the advantage of having an integral CB and surge protector. If the surge event happens, you know it because the breaker is tripped....and the surge protector is usually good for another hit.
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Old 10-16-2011, 11:56 PM   #15
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Whole house surge protector


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Originally Posted by matt151617 View Post
So if a surge occurs it deliberately causes a short which trips the main breaker and pushes the extra power through the ground?
Oui., Pretty much sum up to it but not always trip the main breaker but the surge supressor no longer funciton { common with surge supressor strip plug but whole house verison it will varies some will handle it at reduced rating }

Merci.
Marc

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