surge protector question

If I plug my surge filter (Brick Wall Series by Price Wheeler) in a
power strip in stead of directly into the wall outlet, does it (the
Brick Wall) lose its effectiveness asgainst surges from lightening,
etceterta?
Reply to
nickravo
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Basically, yes.
By doing so you have increased the resistance of the grounding path that the surge arrestor uses to shunt the surge to ground.
Bill Kaszeta Photovoltaic Resources Int'l Tempe Arizona USA snipped-for-privacy@pvri-removethis.biz
Reply to
Bill Kaszeta / Photovoltaic Resources
Ummm ... check out their site:
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The thing does not shunt the surge to ground.
Whatever the effectiveness of that supressor is, it won't lose any effectiveness by being plugged into a power strip.
Ed
Reply to
ehsjr
Ok. Lovely. I have two authorative sounding answers here. Which one do I choose?
Reply to
nickravo
Both of them. They are both correct.
For *some* surges, the thing will do the job by altering the shape of the transient by blocking the highest frequency components. Some transient energy, not much, will be absorbed by the snubber. If the surge is of short enough duration, so that all the energy is in these high frequency components, this is all that is needed.
For longer surges, significant energy will pass through the reactor. This energy is not absorbed by the thing but dumped into the neutral line. Now if the equipment being "protected" has another earth connection, eg a modem lead, then some of the surge energy will flow from the neutral line through the equipment and into that earth connection - much the same as it would if the thing wasn't there at all.
The further the thing is installed back towards the point that the earth is bonded to neutral, the less the voltage rise on the neutral line and the less the energy that will go through the "protected" equipment to earth.
So plugging the thing into a power strip is better than nothing and will give protection from some surges. Plugging the thing into a wall socket will give protection for a wider range of surges. Having a surge protector right where the lines come into the house, where the electrical path to earth is shortest, will give the most protection of all.
This is for surges arriving on the power lines. For surges arriving on telephone lines, the same rules apply. The shorter the electrical path from surge protector to ground, the better.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
Ok, which is better; Plugging my receiver and computer into a Brick Wall surge device that is plugged into a power strip. Or just plugging it into a power strip and getting rid of the Brick Wall device?
Pal> > Ok. Lovely. I have two authorative sounding answers here. Which one do > > I choose?
Reply to
nickravo
The neutral voltage will be lifted away from ground but there should be no ground current and the ground for the power and telephone shouldn't separate. That assumes the surge is only on the power line and there are no MOVs or other devices that clamp the neutral and hot voltages to ground. The power supply on a computer and maybe other equipment is likely to have clamps, which will produce a ground current and voltage drop, which will lift the power ground away from 'absolute' ground/earth, which will separate the voltage from equipment ground to telephone line (or other electrical connections), which may excede the equipment ratings and damage it as described.
It is not obvious to me the effect of adding some series resistance to a low pass filter.
For clamp devices, which are the common method of surge suppression, the devices should clamp to the same reference point. In the US the power neutral is connected to ground/bond at the service, so the telephone protector, cable protector ... should be located very near this point and connected at low resistance close to this point. That way all voltages are kept close to the same reference level. (Not sure how power grounding works in the UK.) That, IMHO, is a lot more important than the connection from that reference point to earth. Any surge-conducted-to-earth will lift that reference point from 'absolute' ground.
A surge protector with clamp devices that is installed at a computer, or other equipment, is better than no protection, and if it has in-out connections for telephone or other external wires it should provide good protection. (The wires will be clamped to a common reference point.) (Do computers have good clamp devices from power/phone/... to the power ground connection?)
I agree with Ed (ehsjr), who cheated and found a device schematic, that the power strip should be no problem. Using the device should be better than not using the device.
Surge suppressors generaly work: by clamping the voltage H-N, H-G, N-G (usually with MOVs) and by using a low pass filter to remove fast rising voltages . Almost all devices include clamps. Your device only uses a low pass filter - but presumably a very good one. As Ed said "whatever the effectiveness of the supressor..."
bud--
Reply to
Bud--
Neither. An authoritative sounding post will do nothing to protect your equipment - and may give you a false sense of security. You may have made an assumption that the surge protector will offer a tremendous amount of protection. It might, under some circumstances, but it is not the best way to go.
With regard to the use of the power strip: In some, but not all, circumstances, the extra length of the power strip cord - say 6' - will cause a very small change in the effectiveness - small enough to be ignored. Shortening the distance to ground by 6' by plugging the thing into the wall receptacle vs the power strip is irrelevant in practical terms. The receptacle itself is already installed a good distance from ground - far greater than 6', and any voltage rise on the neutral in the scenario Sue mentioned will be primarily due to that length, not the 6' feet in the power strip. If you want to strain at gnats, conceivably, one could imagine a scenario where that extra 6' made a difference. But it is extremely improbable.
That said, why not ask about how to establish good surge protection? It does not start with a point of use surge supressor. As Sue correctly pointed out, better protection is achieved closer to ground - at the service entry panel: "Having a surge protector right where the lines come into the house, where the electrical path to earth is shortest, will give the most protection of all. " Point of use protectors are supplemental to that. There is a let through voltage rating for "whole house" protectors, and the point of use protector may protect your equipment from whatever the whole house protector lets through.
If you want *really* good surge protection, you have to work at it. It starts with an excellent grounding electrode system and a short, straight grounding electrode conductor from the service panel to the ground system. The ground for all cables entering the house is bonded to that system. A whole house protector is installed. Point of use protectors can be added at the equipment.
Ed
Reply to
ehsjr
Ok, which is better; Plugging my receiver and computer into a Brick Wall surge device that is plugged into a power strip. Or just plugging it into a power strip and getting rid of the Brick Wall device?
Diving out the clouds, SQLit says,,,,
If you think that plugging in a device anywhere in your house and you get protection from surges your misguided.
IEEE 519 states that for effective protection you MUST provide protection in two of the 3 zones availble. Zone one is on the utility side,, that is out. Zone two is your service, Zone three is point of use. ( ok I paraphased it and made it a lot simpler )
I buy the plug in surge protectors for my panel and it has a let through of say 900 joules. The plug strips I use do shunt to the ground and their peak is about 900 joules and with any luck they will drop it down to an acceptable level that the electronics can handle. Since all of the stuff I use works on MOV's I change the house protector out even years and the plug strips on the odd years. U.L. tests this stuff for one hit, not two hits or three.
This concept will not protect you from lightning. NOTHING will. I have used this method for 10 years and have not lost anything yet. Now that I said that I will.
Want to protect your equipment? Get a service panel protector and keep what you have for point of use.
Pal> > Ok. Lovely. I have two authorative sounding answers here. Which one do > > I choose?
Reply to
SQLit
Ok, which is better; Plugging my receiver and computer into a Brick Wall surge device that is plugged into a power strip. Or just plugging it into a power strip and getting rid of the Brick Wall device?
a surge suppressor is like a first aid kit: it might save your life but you might die anyway :)
Reply to
TimPerry
IEEE 519 is not relevant:
Harmonics being totally irrelevant to this discussion.
Meanwhile IEEE does not define three zones that must include protectors. IEEE defines parameters typical of three zones; that an appliance or protector could expect. Numbers for each zone provide benchmarks so that, for example, a protector manufacture will construct his product to not endanger human life. Both IEEE 587 and BS6551 provide same numbers and don't demand protectors in each location:. Category C - supply side of mains panel could experience up to 20K volts and 10K amps. Category B - mains box could experience up to 6K volts and 3K amps Category A - inside building and at least 10 meters from the mains box - 6K volts and 500 amps. ANSI/IEEE C62.41 then defines waveforms for these locations. Waveforms used by UL for 1449 testing. Not testing that a protector works. UL does not care. Testing that a protector - even if 100% failed - still does not endanger humans. That's right. A protector can completely fail - provide no effective protection - and still be UL1449 approved.
What does IEEE 587 do? From Wiley's Encyclopedia of 1999:
Again, no IEEE requirement for protectors in all three zones. Just numbers so that engineers can better design appliances and a protection system.
Those three zones define what one (in the US or UK) might expect from a transient such as lightning. IEEE does not demand that protectors be in all three zones. IEEE only defines three zones. A 'whole house' protector is category B - 'secondary protection'. Category C is location of 'primary protection' as provided by the utility. A homeowner should also inspect those Category C earthings since earthing determines system effectiveness.
Meanwhile a power panel protector does not have a "let through of 900 joules". Let through is a voltage. 900 joules - something different - determines protector's life expectancy. Two different (and confused) parameters that define a protector.
If one must swap out a protector every two years, then that protector is obviously undersized. As joules increase, a protector's life expectancy increases exponentially. A 'whole house' protector should be sufficiently sized to remain functional more than 10 years - especially since transients sufficient to trigger a protector would occur typically once every eight years. A period that obviously varies even within every town and with geology. A number that further demonstrates why protectors need not be swapped out every other year.
Why do we install protectors? Lightning. Other transients obviously made irrelevant by electronic appliance standards and from IEEE 142 (also called the Green Book):
So yes, nothing is 100%. Then we apply numbers. No protection means near 0% protection. Properly earth protector means well over 90% protection. How 'well over"? How good is your earthing? We install a protection 'system' for the typically most destructive -lightning - and also for other transients.
If appliances were so frequently at risk (require protector replacement every other year), then homes without protectors would require new dimmer switches every day or month. Why do dimmer switches not fail constantly? Because those daily and weekly transients are made irrelevant by appliance internal design. We install protection systems for transients that would otherwise overwhelm internal appliance protection; transients such as lightning.
A protector is not protection - no matter how some want to spin it. A protector is only as effective as its *protection*. Protection is earth ground as even noted by the green book. Superior earthing creates better protection. A shunt mode protector is nothing more than a connection to protection as even IEEE 142 noted. Protector acts like a switch - nothing more. Eliminate the hype about protectors by instead worrying about THE most critical component in a protection 'system' - earthing. Protector makes a temporary connection to protection. No earth ground means no effective protection - which explains why plug-in protector really don't claim to provide such protection - as demonstrated by no numbers for such protection.
IEEE 519 - harmonics - is irrelevant to all of this. Those three zones in IEEE 587 do not recommend protectors. The most critical component in any protection 'system' is that single point earth ground.
SQLit wrote:
Reply to
w_tom
Is there some way to get a simple one or two sentence clear answer?
Reply to
nickravo
"Does it lose effectiveness?" Yes - it does lose /some/ effectiveness.
"Is it better than not having it at all?" - Yes.
Reply to
Palindr☻me
Responsible manufacturers with names such as Square D, GE, Siemens, Intermatic, Leviton, and Cutler Hammer sell 'whole house' protectors. They are effective because they make the short connection to THE most important component of a protection 'system': earth ground. Such effective protectors are sold in Home Depot (Intermatic), in Lowes (GE and Cutler Hammer), and in most electrical supply houses.
But the bottom line is earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protection. Ineffecetive protectors are easily identified. No dedjcated connecton to earth AND manufacturer avoids all discussion about earthing. Notice what that IEEE green book discusses: diverting the transient to earth. Earthing is your simple answer. If a protector does not make the short earthing connection, then it is ineffective.
This is your sound byte: A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protecction.
nickravo wrote:
Reply to
w_tom
I got in here late on this topic, but wanted to add the following: When I worked for a local government entity there was a concerted effort at one point to equip some buildings with surge protection. We had all the big name reps in person at one time or another, and they virtually all agreed with the following: 1. 80-90% (depending on the guy talking.)of all transients, spikes, surges originate in your own system, after the service. 2. A sharp bend in the input wires to a supressor can lower the effective ratings of these devices dramatically. It always stood out to me how a simple mistake like a curl in your wire could lower the effectiveness of your device, and that the trouble we normally view as "out there" is really "right here". Just my 2 cents..
Reply to
Long Ranger
Thats your sound bite. I've read a lot of the many links you have put up in other threads and none of them has agreed with you on this point. The last thread several of your links liked plug in surge suppressors which we both agree have poor ground paths.
bud--
Reply to
Bud--
Everything ever posted by Bud is wrong. Like Bud, I might make that claim if not one single example or reason if provided. Bud, if those links disagree with what was posted, and if you are to have credibility, then you post specifics. Myths are promoted by unsubstantiated claims such as:
I suspect you don't post specifics only because you want to criticize and not be caught lying. So prove me wrong. Show us where those links don't agree with what was posted. Your current post is a classic example of Rush Limbaugh propaganda - big claims and no supporting facts. Show us. Show us were citations do not agree. Cite specifics and numbers. I expect you to cite examples if you disagree. I have provided numerous citations, underlying science, numbers, and even specific products from more responsible manufacturers and retailers - whereas you have only accused. I hope the topmost sentence is not going to be proven accurate. Show us.
Bud-- wrote:
Reply to
w_tom
3-06 thread - you put the link to
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response: "This link just has links to about 30 papers. The problem with polyphaser is it is concerned with transmitters. Transmitters, even amateur, have antennas that stick up above everything else and make good lightning rods. This is a useful source for amateurs, but not in general for others. It does heavily stress single point service grounding. Kindly do not use this link; use links to specific papers that are relevant." I said the same thing in a previous thread. Is there a single Polyphaser paper that supports your view: "A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protecction."
3-06 thread - you provided links
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advocate plug-in point of use surge suppressors which by your argument are useless because they have high resistance to earth, which I pointed out. They do not support "A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protecction."
Are these examples from a previous thread, which you theoretically read, specific enough? I actually thought you might remember.
You have said several times in another newsgroup: "Water pipe is no longer acceptable as an earth ground" [because another ground electrode is required]. From the National Electrical Code Handbook - 1996 published by the NFPA under 250.81(a) "The requirement to supplement the metal water pipe is based on the practice of using plastic pipe for replacement when the original metal water pipe fails. This leaves the system without a grounding electrode un0nless a supplementary electrode is provided." The NFPA also publishes the NEC - maybe they would know if water pipe is an acceptable grounding electrode. Is that specific enough?
3-06 thread - Charles Perry said you mischaracterized the views of his colleage Dr. Mansoor. Is that specific enough?
What are your one or two links that clearly support "A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protection." I have searched in vain through many of your previous links.
bud--
Reply to
Bud--
Bud claimed:
As was noted back then, household electronic appliances are also connections to antenna like devices - called AC electric and telephone utility wires. To lightning, utiliity wires are no different than a radio station antenna. Those Polyphaser app notes on radio transmitters and other facilities (yes, Polyphaser discusses more than radio transmitters) such as telephone communication equipment all describe same protection techniques required for household PC, portable phone base station, television, etc. Protection so well proven for radio stations is installed in homes to make direct lightning strikes mostly irrelevant.
No science paper will provide a sound byte if seeking a direct quote. Science papers stick to specific science points - concepts. Sound byte is obvious from those concepts, Some consumers (such as nickravo) asked for science dumbed down to a sound byte. What is the most critical component in every protection system? Single point earth ground. "Protection system is only as effective as its earth ground". What is effective ground? Defined in terms of equipotential, conductivity, and how connections are made to that earthing 'system'. A sound byte summary are concepts dumbed down to ony a few words. Understand the concepts and that sound byte is obvious.
What does experience demonstrate? Among other things, that an 'equipotential only' solution is not sufficient:
Yes common point clamping - equipotential - is effective as a building wide solution if used in conjunction with good connection (low impedance) to earth. Alone, (without conductivity to earth) equipotential is not effective. And equipotential (bonding) cannot be achieved inside a typical room. Equipotential would require a specially constructed room - a faraday cage.
In the cited 6 March discussion, early Martzloff, et al started by promoting MOVs (surge protectors devices) for protection. Over decades, protectors were less often recommended.
So what were Martzloff and Mansoor moving towards? They moved on to study a building wide protection 'system' using the Upside-Down house. Francois Martzloff and Thomas Key in 1994 wrote in "Surging the Upside-Down House: Looking into Upsetting Reference Voltages"
In 1995, Martzloff, Arshad Mansoor, and Grady wrote "Surging the Upside-Down House: Measurements and Modeling Results" where connections to earthing in relation to two port appliances were studied. Trying to quantify these 'objectionable differences in reference voltages' that cause appliance problems.
Did Mansoor, et al study 'point of use' protectors in 1995? No. The problem with such protectors was described in the above 1994 paper. They studied various ways that appliances are connected to utilities AND utilities are earthed at the service entrance. They studied objectionable voltages and how the 'building' connection to earthing creates or subverts protection. One example studied is an NIST figure I cited back on 6 Mar from:
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url maybe confused with the
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brochure erroneously attributed to me. Mansoor, Martzloff, and Grady expanded on objectionable voltages
I never provided that
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citation. However what does that link also state?
Funny. That is what I was saying repeatedlywith supporting citations That is what the sound byte says.
So which protectors have that necessary ground connection? Well that
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brochure does not even discuss the most critical part of a protecton 'system' - earth ground. Which protector can "divert it to ground where it can do no harm"? Never mentioned. Reader must somehow discover which protector has no low impedance earthing connection. Somehow a plug-in protector will divert to an earth ground that all but does not exist? They also don't mention that an AC power protector of only a few hundred joules is grossly undersized. Joules determines protector life expectancy. I would never cite this url. It is too vague. It declares as bad if utilities enter at multiple locations; does not even say why. No single point earth ground is the unprovided answer. No equipotential. No solution provided to correct that equipotential problem. I would never cite this url that was attributed to me.
Meanwhile in that 6 Mar discussion were what - maybe 30 other citations that also demonstrate effective protection, earthing, and personal testimony as to why earthing is so effective. Bud says none of my citations do so. Even the Polyphaser citation - highly regarded by industry professionals - demonstrates the concept. A concept that applies to radio stations as well as household - two port - appliances.
Again this Martzloff and Key criticism of plug-in protectors:
Previous posts also demonstrated how plug-in protectors even contributed to damage of adjacent and powered off computers.
Bud-- wrote:
Reply to
w_tom
If I have only A, the code says that is not sufficient. If I have A and B, then that is sufficient. If I have A and C, then that is sufficient. If I have A, B, & C or if I have only B & C, then that is sufficient.
IOW B or C is required. A alone does not meet code - is not sufficient.
A is earthing via a cold water pipe. B & C are other 'supplemental' earthing electrodes. B or C are sufficient to meet code. A - a water pipe earth ground is not sufficient as an only earthing electrode. This in direct contradiction to what Bud has posted:
First, Article 250.81(a) has been removed from code. NEC Article 250.52(A) lists seven earthing electrodes that are legal. Only one is insufficient. Only one that can be added to a earthing system but is not sufficient is the cold water pipe. To put that quoted sentence in proper context - "Water pipe is no longer acceptable as an only earthing electrode." I posted accurately and quoted code: Article 250.53(D)(2).
Post 2000 code does not (anywhere I can find) even discuss plastic pipe. Many reasons besides plastic pipe for why cold water pipe is not sufficient as an earthing ground. Post 1990 code requires that some other earthing electrode be installed - as was accurately stated. That cold water pipe is no longer sufficient for earthing (and some exceptions exist). So why do you claim otherwise when even your own obsoleted code says that cold water pipe is not sufficient?
I asked you to cite specific examples of where I was wrong. You cited code that has long been obsoleted AND you cited obsolete code that only agrees with my statement. Cold water pipe cannot be the building's only earth ground as even (apparently) stated in obsolete Article 250.81(a). Any other earthing electrode (called a supplemental electrode) is sufficient, alone, to earth a building. But cold water pipe is no longer sufficient for earthing.
Article 250.81(a) somehow proves "many links you have put up in other threads and none of them has agreed with you"? It somehow defines surge protection?
Accurately posted: A protector is only as effective as its earth ground. No earth ground means no effective protection. After all, how does a protector "divert" to earth when not connected to earth? My many citations repeatedly discuss THE most critical component in any protection 'system': earthing.
And NEC is quite specific: cold water pipe is no longer sufficient for a building's earthing electrode.
Bud-- wrote:
Reply to
w_tom

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