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  • Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

    As many of you know my well head was hit by lightning. You can cross reference the plumbing aspect from this link:

    https://www.ridgidforum.com/forum/t43515/

    We lost the pump and my nice 50" plasma TV. Yesterday I noticed the GFCI receptacle in the main bathroom was off. It was fried as was the LED night light there.

    I think I rent the house built by the Russian contractor Gudenoff (Good-enough). I don't know how it ever passed anything. It's all substandard, too small or just plain stupid. There is NO labeled breaker for my main bathroom! After many man trips up and down the stairs to the cellar I've discovered it's tied into the circuit for "mud room". Though, there is only 1 tap on that breaker. The main bath lighting is tied into the "hall plug" some place. Just plain idiocy.

    It's been (re)labeled as needed and I installed an Eaton GFCI with the variable brightness LED night light.

    I've been looking at the panel mount surge suppressors. MOV type. How do they work? I assume that more amperage clamping capability is always better? The one sold at Lowe's was an Eaton CHSPT2MICRO. It didn't impress me much.

    The TV was already on a suppressor. That unit still says all is well so I think maybe voltage was induced on a line or came through the HDMI cable from the satellite box. I know HDMI cannot be suppressed without corrupting the signal. I'm not sure that the 2 HD leads with the signal filters can be run through a suppressor without having the same problem. Guess I'll have to call DirectTV on that one (unless you all know?).
    ~~

    ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

  • #2
    Re: Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

    with surge suppressors what you want to look for is the higher joule rating
    whole house suppressors are good and can handle quite a bit.
    they will protect against surges caused by a reconnect or substantial load reduction such as a downstream line break.
    they wont protect against lightning though.
    a typical lightning strike is so rapid and powerful a suppressor wouldn't be able to handle it.
    the best method ive ever seen to protect electronics is to unhook them and isolate the cables
    (tv cable or phone unhooked and placed in a glass jar and power cords unplugged)
    shooting the s*** is a lot more fun when you use hollow points (much more splatter)

    coffee hell gimme booze!!!

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

      As gnuuser said, You cant protect completely from a nearby lightning strike. I always recommend putting your protection right next to the TV or sensitive electronics. IMO, whole house surge suppressors are over rated. Devices with movs go bad after being subjected to a transient spike, in spite of the fact they look brand new and the indicator lights might say "circuit protected"
      Better protection can be had for more money.
      A bigger question you should be asking; Is the wiring in my house ok? An electrician should megger out your wiring to check insulation integrity. You may think everything is working just fine, while having uninsulated melted conductors inside your walls.

      Make an insurance claim and itemize everything.

      PS; Odd are, Your TV was taken out by your cable line rather than the power circuit. The protection can be placed before the cable box and the hdmi (or other outputs) downstream should be protected.
      Last edited by johncameron; 04-13-2013, 12:48 AM.

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      • #4
        Re: Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

        Originally posted by johncameron View Post
        As gnuuser said, You cant protect completely from a nearby lightning strike. I always recommend putting your protection right next to the TV or sensitive electronics. IMO, whole house surge suppressors are over rated. Devices with movs go bad after being subjected to a transient spike, in spite of the fact they look brand new and the indicator lights might say "circuit protected"
        Better protection can be had for more money.
        A bigger question you should be asking; Is the wiring in my house ok? An electrician should megger out your wiring to check insulation integrity. You may think everything is working just fine, while having uninsulated melted conductors inside your walls.

        Make an insurance claim and itemize everything.

        PS; Odd are, Your TV was taken out by your cable line rather than the power circuit. The protection can be placed before the cable box and the hdmi (or other outputs) downstream should be protected.
        Great info Gnuser and Johncameron. Some dummy also mentioned the Megger test and Insurance claim
        I can build anything You want , if you draw a picture of it , on the back of a big enough check .

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

          Originally posted by toolaholic View Post
          Great info Gnuser and Johncameron. Some dummy also mentioned the Megger test and Insurance claim
          That dummy must have mentioned it on another forum. Silly me, I didn't know I had to look in the plumbing forum to look up some dummy's electrical advice. I guess this Electrician should not be in the "Electricians" forum giving advice.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

            Originally posted by Plumber Punky View Post
            I've been looking at the panel mount surge suppressors. MOV type. How do they work? I assume that more amperage clamping capability is always better? The one sold at Lowe's was an Eaton CHSPT2MICRO. It didn't impress me much.

            The TV was already on a suppressor. That unit still says all is well so I think maybe voltage was induced on a line or came through the HDMI cable from the satellite box.
            An informed answer is long. A protector adjacent to the TV simply gave that surge even more paths to find earth, destructively via that TV. Its light reports when protector parts almost caused a house fire. Meanwhile, break it open. Nothing sits between an incoming surge and your TV (except a switch and maybe a fuse). Nothing but conductors. A protector adjacent to the TV must either block or absorb that surge. How did a little 2 cm part stop what three miles of sky could not? How does its hundreds of joules (near zero) absorb a surge that is hundreds of thousands of joules? An adjacent protector did exactly what its manufacturer said it would do.

            This will only introduce the underlying concepts.

            Learn what any effective protector does. Lightning seeks earth ground. A best connection to earth was via a wooden church steeple. Wood is an electrical conductor. But not a very good one. So 20,000 amps creates a high voltage. 20,000 amps times a high voltage is high energy. Church steeple damaged.

            Franklin averted damage with a lightning rod. Lightning seeks earth ground. A better connection to earth is via a wire from that lightning rod to earth. Wire is a superior conductor. So 20,000 amps creates near zero voltage. 20,000 amps times a near zero voltage is near zero energy. Nothing damaged.

            Do same for the TV and pump. Lightning seeks earth ground. Once inside, a surge will hunt for earth destructively via appliances. Nothing will avert that hunt. 20,000 amps inside creates high voltages going into and out of some appliances. High energy destructively inside that appliance. Appliance damaged. Once permitted inside, then nothing will avert a destructive hunt.

            Lightning seeks earth ground. A better connection to earth is via an earth ground wire where all utility wires enter the building (service entrance). An Eaton 'whole house' protector is a superior connection to earth (if a properly installed or upgraded a single point earth ground exists). A resulting near zero voltage means near zero energy. Now a surge need not be inside hunting for earth destructively via appliances or pump.

            Neither lightning rod nor protector does protection. In every case, earth ground is where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate harmlessly. That statement is major. Earth ground is the protection. Lightning rod or protector is nothing more than a connecting device. Neither lightning rod nor protector do protection.

            Best protection for cable is no protector. Just a wire from the cable to 'single point earth ground'. And yes, all four words are significant. Otherwise protection is compromised.

            In your case, maybe a surge incoming on AC mains found earth destructively via the TV, HDMI port, and then out to earth via the cable. Notice – damage means both an incoming and outgoing path exists. And damage is often on the outgoing path (HDMI); not on the incoming path.

            Your telco has a $multi-million computer connected to wires all over town. Suffers about 100 surges with each thunderstorm. How often is your town without phone service for four days while they replace that computer? Never? Because protection from direct lightning strikes is that routine, that simple, and understood even 100 years ago. But only where knowledge does not come from advertising or retail shelves. Most have never learned about routine protection even from direct lightning due to what provided their education.

            Your TV protector violates well proven protection principles. Because it is a profit center; not protection. Even may say it does not protect from typically destructive surges including lightning. Your telco spent maybe tens of times less money for devices that do protect from direct lightning strikes. Or how often does your entire town not have phone service? Telcos would never spend so much more; what you spent for that adjacent protector.

            In every case, protection is only defined by earth ground. Protector for a structure is lightning rods. Protector for appliances is one 'whole house' protector. More responsible companies provide the effective protector including Eaton (Cutler Hammer), ABB, Ditek, General Electric, Leviton, Polyphaser, Siemens, Intermatic, or Square D to name but a few. Probably not listed for good reason is a name on that TV adjacent protector. Since it only claims to protect from one type of surge ... that typically does no damage. And it has no single point earth ground. Will not even discuss earthing since that would only harm profits.

            A minimally sized 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Lightning may be 20,000 amps. An effective protector connects direct lightning strikes to earth. And does not fail. IOW nobody even knows a surge existed. Only possible when the protector makes a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to single point ground. A ground wire also must have no sharp bends, be separated from other non-grounding wires, not be inside metallic conduit, etc. Low impedance (not resistance).

            Find an earth ground wire (bare copper quarter inch wire) from the breaker box to earth. Does it go up over the foundation and down to earth? Then it is an insufficient earth ground. Wire must go through the foundation and to earthing electrodes. No sharp bends over the foundation. Separated from other wires. Every foot shorter increases protection.

            Those same rules say why a TV adjacent protector has no earth ground and will not even discuss it. Why would they harm the most important feature of that protector - its profit margin?

            Every incoming wire overhead or underground (to lightning) is simply an antenna wire connected to every household appliance. Every incoming wire must make a low impedance (ie as short as possible) connection to the single point earth ground. Either directly without a protector (cable TV, satellite dish). Or via a 'whole house' protector (telephone, AC electric).

            Your telco has already installed a 'whole house' protector for free. Because a best protector costs many times less money. But you do not have a 'whole house' protector on the most common source of destructive surges. AC electric wires located highest and most exposed on poles (or underground). So another best connection to earth is a lightning strike far down the street, incoming on AC to your appliances, then outgoing to earth via the phone wire. Damage would be on the phone wire (outgoing) side of that appliance.

            This only says what effective protectors do. Not yet discussed are important facts such as single point earth ground. Protectors are simple, dumb science. Art of protection is single point earth ground. An art that says why telcos suffers maybe 100 surges per storm without damage. The art that says why direct lightning strikes to high reliability facilities cause no damage. The art says why a Ben Franklin's lightning rod works. This only introduced the concept. And says why that Eaton device was part of the best solution you could ask for.

            Worry mostly about the only device that is protection. Earth ground is where hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate. A path to that protection - the art - requires all your attention.
            Last edited by westom; 04-14-2013, 12:34 PM.

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            • #7
              Re: Panel Mount Surge Suppressors, Etc.

              We have no TelCo service, fortunately, but I see the similarities. I was looking at the Eaton versions of the whole house protectors (not big box feel-good ones that run with the breaker), the bigger commercial style protectors. I don't think that $650-800 is over priced, do you?

              Now that this has happened I've started looking at this hack-house. We have the incoming line to the panel, the ground wire is connected to the panel box and the neutrals. There is a sub panel breaker that feeds a disconnect knife switch. The ground wire is tied to that box, the out-building panel, and then to another ground rod (that is, all the grounds are continuous and end with driven rods 150 feet apart). Grounding terminology confuses me a bit. Should the ground wire be separated at the knife disconnect box? (Something about parallel grounds, loops, and single point grounding).

              Does the satellite dish need to be bonded to a water pipe or can each dish have its own driven rod? There is no water line within 10 feet.
              ~~

              ... it was plumbed by Ray Charles and his helper Stevie Wonder

              Comment

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