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Old 07-08-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


Hi Folks,

I am looking for a whole house surge protector that does NOT require the use of extra breakers. Most of these devices want you to wire them in to two separate breakers, but alas, I have none. Is there anything on the market that will fit my needs?

Thanks!
JRS

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Old 07-08-2012, 09:02 AM   #2
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


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Originally Posted by quantumspores View Post
Hi Folks,

I am looking for a whole house surge protector that does NOT require the use of extra breakers. Most of these devices want you to wire them in to two separate breakers, but alas, I have none. Is there anything on the market that will fit my needs?

Thanks!
JRS
You need to free up two breaker locations.

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Old 07-08-2012, 11:59 AM   #3
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


As stated, I am looking for a product that DOES NOT require the use of two breaker slots. I am fully aware of the standard products like Eaton or Leviton that require the availability of two breakers.
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:05 PM   #4
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


How did you plan on terminating the conductors if you didn't use a breaker? Best advice I can give you is to install a sub panel, free up some breaker space, and install your surge protector...
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:14 PM   #5
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


I considered the subpanel. The best option I found so far is a Siemens SPD that includes two built-in breakers.

http://www.sea.siemens.com/us/Produc...ve-Device.aspx
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Old 07-08-2012, 12:38 PM   #6
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


If you do not want a whole house panel surge, you can talk to your utility company and spend a few thousand for one that fits in between the meter and the meter pan. Otherwise, you have to use breakers with a whole house surge, that fits on a panel, and it is also not suggested to place it in a sub-panel, due to that defeats the purpose.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:03 PM   #7
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


Thanks. The consideration of the subpanel is only to move "non-essential" items into the subpanel to free up the necessary two spaces. So far the Siemens option seems to be the best.
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Old 07-08-2012, 01:34 PM   #8
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


I guess that tandem breakers wont fit in your panel?
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Old 07-08-2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


Install a sub-panel, but while you're at it you will need to beef-up your ground system. It's no good installing a surge protector to shunt lightning strikes to ground, if your ground system is measured around 50 ohms, or more...(which most residential service grounding systems are), and note, installing a second ground rod only marginally lowers the ground system's resistance. To get your ground resistance down around 5 ohms, you will need to bore a three inch hole in the ground around 30ft. deep, install 3X10ft. 3/4 inch ground rods (the type that screw together), and back fill the hole with a good conductive cement slurry...then install the surge protector.
Remember, high-tech. "fixes" are worthless, without the grunt work behind them.
Good luck.
(PS. Check with utilities before drilling holes deeper than 10ft. The may be gas lines or high tension cables down there...or just...oil).
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Old 07-08-2012, 03:08 PM   #10
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


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Install a sub-panel, but while you're at it you will need to beef-up your ground system. It's no good installing a surge protector to shunt lightning strikes to ground, if your ground system is measured around 50 ohms, or more...(which most residential service grounding systems are), and note, installing a second ground rod only marginally lowers the ground system's resistance. To get your ground resistance down around 5 ohms, you will need to bore a three inch hole in the ground around 30ft. deep, install 3X10ft. 3/4 inch ground rods (the type that screw together), and back fill the hole with a good conductive cement slurry...then install the surge protector.
Remember, high-tech. "fixes" are worthless, without the grunt work behind them.
Good luck.
(PS. Check with utilities before drilling holes deeper than 10ft. The may be gas lines or high tension cables down there...or just...oil).

I hope this was a joke.
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:03 PM   #11
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


You haven't done the math... It looks like a joke to most amateurs, but you need at least algebra 2 and trig under your belt before you "get it...!"
Suggested study guide:
(1). voltage divider formula.
(2). Effective "ground well".
(3). Cosmopolitan mag. (In case (1) & (2) is too tough fir ya... At least you will be able to do your nails at the end...
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Old 07-08-2012, 04:15 PM   #12
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by kontoose View Post
You haven't done the math... It looks like a joke to most amateurs, but you need at least algebra 2 and trig under your belt before you "get it...!"
Suggested study guide:
(1). voltage divider formula.
(2). Effective "ground well".
(3). Cosmopolitan mag. (In case (1) & (2) is too tough fir ya... At least you will be able to do your nails at the end...


Im just saying, do you seriously think this will change the operation of the surge protector?
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Old 07-08-2012, 10:02 PM   #13
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


No. The, "operation of the surge protector" is independent. The surge protector is nothing more than a fast acting switch, in series with an over-current protection device; (a breaker).
MOVs (metal oxide varistors), which constitute the solid state voltage triggered switch, (that operates in the pico second range, simply shunts high voltage, short duration spikes to ground -- such as lightening strikes, but...if there is a bad ground, (or even worse, no ground at all), then the surge protector is rendered redundant.
Note: If the current path through the residence's wiring and equipment, and back to the transformer via the neutral conductor is measured (in ohms) at a certain value, and the path back to the transformer, via the ground system is an equal value...then, 50% of the spike will be experienced by the residence's wiring and equipment. It's basic Ohm's law...again...
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Old 07-08-2012, 11:27 PM   #14
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


Do you have a 50A 240Vac breaker? Say, like at feed to your garge or the oven? If so, get an external surge protector. It mounts below your box...connects to the load side of the breaker. If you get an 'event' that is significant enough....it will trip the breaker....but in most cases, the surge is arrested and the breaker will not trip.

You can also get surger protectors that also have a load side so you can use it to feed something.....like your garage.
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Old 07-09-2012, 02:31 PM   #15
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Whole house surge protector - no extra breakers


Quote:
Originally Posted by quantumspores View Post
Hi Folks,

I am looking for a whole house surge protector that does NOT require the use of extra breakers. Most of these devices want you to wire them in to two separate breakers, but alas, I have none. Is there anything on the market that will fit my needs?

Thanks!
JRS
Take a look at Leviton 51120-1
http://www.leviton.com/OA_HTML/Produ...minisite=10251


I quote from their installation sheet (DI-000-51120-00E), under Wiring Instructions, paragraph 5:
"Twenty-Amp (20A) circuit breakers are recommended, and may share SPD device and branch circuit leads."

Caveat: make sure your circuit breaker ALLOWS for such connection.
(I.e. Square D QO)

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