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Old 12-11-2010, 02:24 PM   #1
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whole-house surge protectors?

So I was wandering around Home Depot today (had to get a new mailbox post) and was browsing the electrical section. I noted a whole-house surge suppressor for sale that installs as a breaker in a service panel. I didn't really pay attention to any technical specs, except that it was $45, which seemed surprising low to me.

Are these devices really worth anything? I can see the value in a whole-house surge suppressor if it actually works, and it piqued my interest.

Here's a couple of questions:
  • Are these devices really worth the effort? If so, what sort of ratings should I pay attention to, and what is a reasonable price to pay for a quality device?
  • Also, can these be installed in a subpanel, or must they be installed in the SEP? I have 200A service to my SEP, and 100A subpanel for expansion purposes (the SEP is full). Naturally, the sub grounds back through the SEP to the main ground. If the suppressor must be installed in the SEP, it would be possible to relocate a couple of breakers to the subpanel.

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Old 12-11-2010, 03:26 PM   #2
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Those are secondary surge units, and carry no guarantee of equipment failure without further primary protection.

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Old 12-11-2010, 03:52 PM   #3
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I have one on my main panel, but still use surge protector strips as a secondary measure. The protector allows for shortest path to ground if a surge comes through the drop to the house. The better ones fit under your Meter can outside.

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