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Whole house surge protection?

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  • Whole house surge protection?

    I'm interested in adding a whole house surge protector to my panel. Can anyone recommend a unit?


  • #2
    I have used Panamax and APC before, Have also heard that Leviton makes some. best I receall, I paid about $300.00 for the units.

    However, be warned that most if not all will still allow some leakage. You should still use point of use models for PC's and Home Theatre equipment.



    • #3
      isolation transformer


      • #4

        This is where you really should call a good licensed electrician. Besides the surge supressor, you'll need to install SUPER GROUNDING for it. You would do well to contact electrical supply houses in your area as well. Again, this is really not a DIY project. If good equimpent is properly installed you'll have protection, but if anything is weak or not properly done you won't have the protection you expect or should be getting. As part of this project, your electrical grounding at your main load center (breaker panel - fuse box) should also be upgraded to meet latest codes.

        As stated below you will want to also use plug-in protection for electronic devices of value.

        Good luck and please let us know how this turns out for you.


        • #5
          In Illinois, my folks had one that was offered and installed by the power company right at the power meter. I think it cost them an extra $1.50 on their electric bill, but that was 10 years ago. Might want to see if its available in your area.
          They did not have cable for TV or I-Net, though, and it did not protect the phone line, so additional protection would be needed for those lightening-induced surges over the coax or phone line.
          Last edited by Gofor; 12-26-2006, 06:36 PM.
          Practicing at practical wood working


          • #6
            ge makes one that is super easy to install and its available at lowes it costs around 90 bucks and it protects the whole panel its pretty easy to install if you have two extra breakers in your panel it has two wires that go under a two pole 15 it has a light on it and shows when its working and its guarnteed for 5 years and $50,000 super easy to install


            • #7
              Re: Whole house surge protection?

              I am an electronics tech with background from the Military and college as well. I have also sold my share of parts for most of your major appliances for "sears" as well. I have found out through personal experience that if in fact you get a direct hit from lightning than most likely, you will have fried equipment. However, on the better whole house surge protectors you have an insurance warranty which will cover the replacement cost of your appliances and equipment in that event.
              I have seen alot of appliances these days that have the main control board fried due to power surges both on the power grid, and also due to internal power surges which occur when the house appliances cycle on and off. For instance your compressor motor, heating & cooling motors , garbage disposer, all create minor surges within your house hold as well.
              That is why you need to have the external whole house surge protector hooked up to the where the power comes into the panel. You also need to have an internal surge protector with the appliances for the above mentioned reasons.
              Elsewise, I have spoken to many thousands of people nationwide, who have suddenly experienced the lights going on and off and then they try to go and cook something on the new oven/range they just bought and find out that the control board for the range displays an "F1" or "F2" which on most of your ranges out there the code for a failed oven control board.
              It is a far better thing to be prepared, unless you like to pay the repair visit from "Sears", which is easily a good 85.00 not to mention another 150.00-400.00 for replacement on the board.
              You can check out this site for further info...


              • #8
                Re: Whole house surge protection?

                I agree with Keanu. You can add a lightning arrestor at your mast head if you have an overhead service or have one installed meter box if there's room or on the inside panel if you have underground. Without an insured product you probably haven't added much because the manufacturer won't insure his product. Individual surge protectors with insurance can be bought for tv's and computers. Be aware also that lightning can run in on your tv cable wire and your telephone wire. Buy an individual surge protector which has outlets for tv cable and telephone on it.

                Ultimately, lighning can do anything. I've seen where it hit the roof of a house and blew a hole in it as big as a piano. It ran through the wiring in the house, through the inside panel and out through the triplex back to the transformer. It then burn't the transformer up.