I saw a QO SurgeBreaker in someone's panel and wondered if there was one for my HomeLine, and found out, yes. I was wondering, I know about the warrenty associated with the item, but are they THAT GOOD?
They are pricey, and wondered about their effectiveness.
I put in a panel surge arrestor in every home I live in. My last house had Homeline so that is what I put in. Warranty.... your kidding right? I make sure that my service is grounded to 5 ohms or less by testing it. Some times I have to drive a supplemental ground rod to achieve the level that I want. Since I live in a arid part of the country, I can plant flowers and water frequently, that works as well.
There is no practical way of doing the forensics after the damage is done. I guess if you had a access to a lab that had really high priced equipment you might be able to find out why something failed. I worked for an electrical OEM, one that offers the $X thousand protection policy. In 5 years I do not remember anyone getting the money. A few got new units.
Another poster so kindly pointed out that electronics fail over time, multiple hits. MOV's are UL tested once. If you read the fine print you will see that they claim that the unit will reduce the amount of energy to a let through of XXX. The CEBMA curve or the modified Curve gives a graphical explanation of the issue.
IEEE says that you need 2 zones of protection. I use my service and then another protective device at the point of use. I change the point of use stuff every couple of years. Due to the monsoon season we have with lots of lightning.
My electronics are worth well over the $60.00 (Homeline price at Lowes or was a few weeks ago, over a $100 at the deeepot if you can find someone who can read and order one. I shopped both before I bought.)
Cheap switching power supplies are easily damaged by repeated pulsing of the supply voltage. Better quality power supplies are designed to cope with the problems caused by the high turn on current. Companies that build PCs are some of the cheapest bastards in the world. They use the cheapest power supplies they can find and don't care if they blow up, as long as they last through the warranty.
Another thing that degrades power supplies is leaving the PC on all the time. The heat causes the ESR in the electrolytics to rise and this can cause all kinds of problems. I have seen a couple PC power supplies recently that had one of the small electrolytics overheat and explode. One shot out through the fan, hit the motherboard and shorted out the +5 volt bus. When the short cleared it destroyed the motherboard, CPU, memory and the hard drive. It was in a cheap Gateway PC built without a floppy drive and it was an 85 watt supply. Its the worst design I've seen in a long time.
I have no idea if the surge protector mentioned had anything to do with the following incident:
My father has a summer cottage in New York. It has a 200A QO breaker box with some sort of panel surge protector (probably QO). One winter, when nobody was around, the top of the pole the power transformer was on broke off, and the primary wiring (4800 or 7200 volts, I believe) contacted the secondary wiring. Two cottages connected to that transformer burned to the ground. My father's place wasn't one of them. However, he typically throws the main switch when closing for the winter, and most likely _that_ is really what saved the place.
Do not locate a surge protector or power strip in any area
More pictures of protectors that should not be located in the wrong spot:
UL1449 is suppose to disconnect the potential 'burning component' when that component is too hot. But the disconnecting device is not rated to disconnect at voltages that high - thousands of volts. Therefore the connection is not disconnected. Plug-in protector can start a fire in locations where a flame will burn down the house. A protector surrounded by incombustible material (ie. a 'whole house' protector that is also sufficiently sized) would not burn down the house.
Minimally sized 'whole house' protector for residential service starts at about 1000 joules. Some early Square D and GE 'whole house' protectors were not sufficiently sized. Supplementing these with a properly sized 'whole house' protector would only increase the life expectancy of all earthed protectors in that breaker box.
Joules be> I have no idea if the surge protector mentioned had anything to do
I installed one on my last home. Lowes is cheaper.... I paid about $55 at a electrical wholesale house. They had to order it. You still need point of use equipment to get the levels down to what your electronics can handle. Do not forget about the cable and telephone if they are connected to your computer.
Duh. Abuse (by preventing air-flow) of almost any utilization equipment is a bad idea and can result in equipment failure, smoke, fire etc. (More on this below.)
The first, from Zerosurge, is against MOV style protectors because they sell non-MOV style protectors. They don't mention location.
The second doesn't mention location, either. They state:
Their recommendation is that power strips should be inspected and replaced with models that comply with UL 1449 if the inspection reveals signs of overheating. Quoting from the url:
No product recall has been received but users are encouraged to inspect their power strips. Any that show signs of overheating, such as discoloration and/or distortion, should be replaced with a newer model that complies with the latest edition of UL 1449.
That presumes that "voltages that high - thousands of volts" will exist over a relatively long period. That's just a fantasy. Except in the hypothetical case where a high tension line somehow shorts to the service lateral - a situation that a surge protector is NOT intended to alleviate - that does not happen. Even a direct lightning strike on the service lateral is relatively brief.
In a normal residence, if the high tension line (>4000 V) shorts to the service lateral, you can kiss (some or all) of your electrical devices goodbye, regardless of any whole house surge protection, point of use surge protection, grounding, etc. Your equipment, including whole house and point of use surge protectors, simply isn't capable of surviving sustained voltage that high.
What UL1449 recognizes is that normal branch circuit voltage will cause heating in an MOV that has shorted. The thermal disconnect *IS* designed to interrupt normal branch circuit voltages.
Therefore the connection is
As can most electrical devices we use. The biggest offender is extension cords, which are misused and abused all the time. Perhaps I should say, the biggest offender is people. We plug in too many devices, abrade and flex cords beyond reason, run them under rugs, daisy chain power strips and extensions and on and on. People drape clothing and curtains and even shoes! over lamps. They stuff metal knives into toasters. We buy flimsy wired xmas lights and cheap ($2.99 specials, made in some foreign country) extension cords, power strips and surge protectors. Is it any wonder the stuff fails? But, lest it be missed, *any* cord and plug or hard-wired electrical device can fail and burn and possibly cause a house fire, with or without abuse.
Right. A properly installed whole house protector is a good idea. I'm not sure what you mean by supplementing. If two (or more) whole house surge protectors are installed, the joule ratings add together - perhaps that's what you have in mind. The higher the total joule rating, the better.
Bottom line in all of this: the subject of Surge protection is a swamp, created by marketing and churned up by continual misinformation propagated by neophytes and the holy grail of "the PC".
People, who don't give a rat's ass for a safe for humans electrical system will plunk down good money for "surge protection" for their damn PC's. They buy into the marketing hype that "you gotta have surge protection for your PC" and run out to spend $2.99 to get it. *Bzzzt* Wrong.
Most people can't tell you what breaker controls which receptacle, but will spend money, time and effort to "protect" their PC's against surges. How many will spend $100 to have a professional, licensed electrician inspect their electrical system for safety? How many know they have a good grounding electrode system? How many would pay for it to be upgraded to allow for better surge protection? They will throw a cheap (or expensive) point of use surge protector and/or a ups at the "problem". Such measures may be effective for some conditions, but they do not belong as the whole fix for the "problem".
The right approach, if you want surge protection is really three fold. First, the electrical system must be safe for humans. There is no point in "upgrading" a system for surge protection if it has human safety problems, such as corroded or loose connections, missing/innefective grounding electrode system, improper bonding, cable TV, telephone, satellite dish etc cables improperly installed, etc. The above cannot be dismissed. (What is below can, in many cases, with no ill effects. Some locales just don't get many surges. Surge protection is NOT mandatory, marketing hype nonwithstanding.)
After that, surge protection can be installed. The experts recommend two layers of protection: whole house (which requires a good earth ground) and point of use. The let-through voltage with good whole house protection can be spikes as high as 5 or 6 thousand volts, so the point of use protector is used for the second line of defense.
You were discussing the Home line product. My new home has a GE panel and yes I purchased a panel arrestor the first week I was in the home. Slightly different specs for the GE product. I have a lot of money invested in the big screen, computers and the washing machine. Read the installation instruction on most garage door openers now. They suggest a surge arrestor on the outlet that the door opener is plugged into. I live in a area with a couple of months of lightning storms. If I lived in the Los Angeles county for example I might not install one for lightning.
For me it is a small price to pay for some peace of mind.
Best check your grounding I try to maintain 5 ohms or less on my service. Pretty hard to do in the desert.
If the protector was protection, then a 'point of use' protector would have value. First, anything accomplished by that 'point of use' protector is already inside the appliance. Second, the 'point of use' protector is only as good as the protection it connects to. Protection is not a protector - no matter how it was spun. Protection is earth ground. Since a 'whole house' protector already connects to that single point earth ground, then what good does the 'point of use' protector do? It has no effective earth ground. So what does a plug-in protector really accomplish?
The protector is not protection. A protector or wire to earth ground are equivalent. Earthing is the protection. Some utilities can be wired directly to protection (ie CATV). Others require a protector to connect to earth ground (AC electric and phone). Distance to earth ground is significant. The important 'less than 10 foot' connection that plug-in protectors would rather we not discuss determines protection effectiveness. Those 'point of use' protectors have all but no earth ground for many reason - including earth ground too far away. No earth ground means no effective protection.
Where to spend money. Into overpriced and grossly undersized plug-in (point of use) protectors? Or put same money into something that would increase protection - the quality of that earth ground.
A protector is only as effective as that earth ground. How to increase the protection provided by a 'whole house' protector? Enhance the earth ground. Does a point of use protector enhance 'whole house' protection? Of course not - if for no other reason because the plug-in protector does not even discuss earthing let alone make an effective connection to earthing. Anything accomplished by a plug-in protector is already inside that adjacent appliance.
Numerous other reasons why plug-in protectors are not worth their inflated costs, such as induced transients (on other circuits) created by those plug-in protector. A plug-in protector can even provide a destructive transient with more paths through that appliance. Yes an adjacent plug-in protector has even been demonstrated to cause damage to a powered off computer. The adjacent protector connected the transient to earth ground - via the appliance.
Remember what provides the protection. Not a protector. Protection is provided by a single point earth ground. The protector - or a dedicated wire - is only a connection to protection. A protector or a dedicated earthing wire is not the protection. The protector and that wire both do the same thing. Connect an incoming and destructive transient to earth ground. They both connect to protection. The protector is only as effective as the quality of and short distance to earth ground. To recommend a 'point of use' protector, one must forget what the protector does.
Plug-in protectors are typically undersized and can create a fire hazard. Create a fire hazard before any visual indication is apparent. Whether an adjacent appliance is either protected or damaged is completely irrelevant. Previously posted examples demonstrate a potential fire problem.
Where should that protector not be located? On a desk full of papers or on the carpet? IOW the plug-in protector is a fire hazard because it is located on or adjacent to combustible materials - as well as being typically undersized. Pictures of plug-in protectors demonstrate the fire threat.
Zerosurge does recommend a series mode protectors. But their pictures of plug-in protectors is accurate. MOV protectors are safe and effective if properly located. For example, the 'whole house' protector is located not adjacent to combustible materials.
Meanwhile, an internal thermal fuse to disconnect the grossly undersized and vaporizing MOV is only rated to disconnect hundreds of volts. One condition that causes MOVs to be fire hazards is thousands of volts. That thermal fuse is not rated to disconnect thousands of volts. Should thousand of volts enter a building, then damage to household appliances may occur. But much worse, it can cause that plug-in protector to spit flames. Another reason why a plug-in protector would be a fire hazard.
A homeowner worries first about a plug-in protector that can burn down the house before worrying about appliance damage. Danger created by plug-in protectors accurately demonstrated by pictures such as:
Demonstrated are plug-in protectors that can cause house fires even with a UL1449 rating (which is also why original UL1449 was long ago deemed insufficient).
The last place one wants a power strip protector is in dust balls behind a desk or sitting on the combustible carpet. Since plug-in protectors don't even claim to provide protection from the typically destructive transient, well, why then are they even purchased? For tens of times less money per protected appliance, the 'whole house' protector does provide real world protection - and is located away from combustible materials.
Experts recommend two layers of protection. Each layer is defined by an earth ground. A primary protector is installed by the utility typically at the transformer. This is primary protection:
Secondary protection 'system' is a 'whole house' protector and building earth ground. Each layer is defined by an earth ground - not by protectors.
Unfortunately some have been deceived by plug-in protector manufacturers into believing a 'point of use' protector is another layer of protection. After all, it is called a surge protector. Therefore it must be the surge protection. It cannot be.
Protection is defined by the earth ground. Plug-in protectors, if they had an effective earth ground, would only share same earth ground used by a 'whole house' protector. The earth ground - not a protector - defines each protection layer. Experts that once recommended those point of use protectors are now quietly no longer recommending them. Any 'point of use' protection effective at the appliance is already inside the appliance. Worse, those power strip protectors can even become a fire hazard.
Effective sec> Duh. Abuse (by preventing air-flow) of almost any utilization
The protection is addative. The point of use protector will respond to any surge it "sees" that is within its specs, regardless of protection inside the appliance, resulting in added protection.
Second, the 'point of use' protector is only as
Protection is not a
Protection is earth
You ignore let through voltage. You assume the whole house protector completely eliminates the surge. See:
A tiered approach is best - whole house protection at the panel and point of use at the device.
It has no effective earth ground. So
It turns on, switching from a very high resistance to a very low resistance, when a surge occurs. That clamps the voltage difference between n-h, h-g, and n-g at the receptacle, to the clamp voltage rating of the device. That clamping voltage spec will not be exceeded (assuming the device is working) whther or not there is a ground.
A protector or wire to
False. A wire from hot to earth ground would trip the breaker under normal conditions. Obviously, you cannot install such a wire. An MOV protector will not trip the breaker under normal conditions. But when the MOV "sees" a surge, it conducts. The power in the surge is dissipated in the circuit to and from the MOV and in the MOV itself (as long as the MOV is working), all in accordance with Ohm's law.
Earthing is the protection.
False. With no protection, the receptacle the device plugged into can be exposed to whatever the peak voltage of the surge is. That means the device "sees" that peak voltage. With a point of use protector and nothing else, the maximum voltage the device can "see" at the recptacle it is plugged into (which is the surge protector's receptacle) is the clamping voltage of the MOV. The device that is being protected will survive a ~300 volt surge, 8 uS long. It will not survive a ~6000 volt surge, 8 uS long. When a surge protector prevents damage to the plugged in device, that's effective, by any definition of the word.
Repeating the same false statment over and over doesn't make it true.
Another repeat of incorrect information. It still doesn't make it true.
Maybe *you* need to consider what a protector does. Current passing through a path dissipates power. Consider this path: Source---wire1---aMOVb---wire2---return Power will be dissipated in all elemements above: the internal resistance of the source, the resistance of wire1, the resistance of the MOV, the resistance of wire2 and the resistance of the return. In addition, the MOV will hold the voltage across points a and b, to whatever the clamping voltage rating of the MOV is. The device being protected by the point of use protector is connected to points a and b, so it "sees" no more than the clamping voltage, as long as the MOV is working.
You get this wrong every time. Learn what an MOV does.
You repeat the same incorrect information. Is your theory that if you say something often enough it begins to be accepted as the truth? In any event, you do people a disservice. Why not just promote the idea of a good, properly installed ground system? Your incessant (and incorrect) knocking of point of use protectors does nothing to enhance your recommendation for a good ground system.
See my answer to the other post you made. It addresses some of the points you raise here, so I won't repeat.
Here's material quoted from the Polyphaser site:
"Polyphaser Applications Guide Product Applications ac power Protectors: Use at ac mains, subpanels and extension outlets throughout the building. The PSP model can be mounted inside the device to be protected." That refers to whole house (ac mains) point of use (extension outlets) and inside the device (PSP model). They offer a point of use protector:
contains either a single or a duplex receptacle: " IS-PLDO models are duplex outlets IS-PLSO models are single outlets "
Now, if you want to argue against point of use surge protection, I suggest you argue with them. Unlike the non UL 1449 standard compliant cheap crap in the photos (reminds me of the cheap crap xmas tree lights you can buy for a few bucks), polyphaser's point of use protector looks to be of high quality and is in a non combustible and non meltable aluminium case.
The remainder of your post either doesn't address mine correctly or was addressed in my earlier response today to your other post, so needs no reply here.
One little sentence taken out of context is engineering fact to ehsjr. Use of extension cord protectors in special conditions proves that Polyphaser recommends protectors at all wall receptacles? Polyphaser never recommends protectors for wall receptacles. But Polyphaser does discuss the need for single point earthing - extensively. ehsjr denies this essential earthing requirement. ehsjr simply takes one sentence out of context, and that is proof that Polyphaser recommends plug-in protectors. He quickly ignores everything else that Polyphaser posts. How convenient.
A road band may require protection not provided by the building. Should they waste money on the grossly undersized protector recommended by ehsjr - the pathetic solution? Instead Polyphaser offers a second best solution. Since the building does not have 'whole house' protection, then all power is obtained through properly sized power cord protector. However ehsjr has twisted this into "Polyphaser recommends plug-in protectors".
Now wonder he will not reply any further. ehsjr cannot dispute that plug-in protectors may be a fire hazard. That the worst place for a plug-in protector is among combustible carpet and desktop papers. Now that he cannot dispute those pictures, ehsjr is taking his baseball bat and going home in a huff. He never did provide any numbers or technical citations for his claims - because he cannot. He simply denies the essential need for single point earth ground. But he knows better only because he says so. Those pictures must be wrong only because he says so. No wonder he cannot be bothered to even post numbers for his claims.
ehsjr denies a need for earthing. Earthing (and not the protector) is protection. His total proof is one word replies such as "False". Meanwhile, and in direct contradiction to what ehsjr posts, Polyphaser demands single point earthing of protectors. For example, reasons for damage in a telephone room are described in TD1026:
That is what plug-in protectors hope the naive (such as ehsjr) will recommend: the AC safety ground somehow makes a plug-in protector effective. Reality: no earth ground means no effective protection which is why "only an ac "safety ground"" creates problems.
Polyphaser also demands single point earth grounds to make protectors effective. ehsjr cannot dispute this, so he takes a sentence out of context as well as post other myths. He also has another problem demonstrated by his description of how a protector works:
This is correct if all transients are normal mode. ehsjr apparently does not have sufficient education to know of other and more destructive transients. A mistake not possible if he had first year EE training. He repeatedly ignored transients that typically do damage; that seek earth ground. But then if one's entire electrical knowledge is based on a citation from Panamax, etal, then of course one would not understand why single point earthing of protectors is essential.
MOVs are connected in parallel - shunt mode devices. Previously ehsjr insisted that MOVs absorb surges. Somehow a shunt mode MOV would suck up the transient like a vacuum cleaner so that adjacent electronics would not see the voltage. He admitted MOVs connected in parallel. But somehow it sucked up surges as if wired in series. At least ehsjr now admits that MOVs operate more like a wire. A shunt that only exists during the transient. But what does the MOV shunt to? Where does it connect the energy of a transient? The MOV is only effective when it shunts a transient a short distance to earth ground. Earth ground is the protection. A protector is nothing more than a temporary wire connection to earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protection.
ehsjr also does not provide numbers for his speculations. He claims from a Panamax citation that UL1449 *proves* a surge protector is effective. He should have known that UL only defines numbers for human safety. A protector can even self destruct during a first transient - provide no effective protection - and still receive UL1449 approval. Why? UL1449 only says the protector did not threaten human life even when adjacent transistors are destroyed. UL is about human safety; not transistor safety. More little facts and numbers that ehsjr provided to recommends a protector that is undersized, overpriced, and not earthed. According the ehsjr, the protector need not earth a typically destructive transient - that destroys transistors on a path to earth ground.
ehsjr has demonstrated how some recommend plug-in protectors; to even quote sentence out of context. Even cite a misleading panamax citation to imply a safety standard, UL1449, proves a protector is effective. Even once claimed an MOV works by absorbing (not shunting) transients.
Plug-in protector as recommended by ehsjr does not even claim to protect from the typically destructive transient. Well at least ehsjr now admits that MOVs "turns on, switching from a very high resistance to a very low resistance". At least he no longer claims MOVs absorb or suck up surges. ehsjr even tries to claim that Polyphaser recommends plug-in protectors. Polyphaser does not. Polyphaser is very specific. The protector must be located distant from the protection and as close to single point earth ground as is possible. Plug-in protectors have all but no earth ground. Therefore ehsjr denies the need for earthing.