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CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC

1 edit

Surge Protection Residential Whole House

Looking for simple low cost recommendations.

I have seen the threads from last year and the year prior on this topic. But the recommended units are >$200. I have an external panel which is much closer to the service entrance than my main house panel, but external capable SPDs are out of this price range.

I'm hoping for suggestions of a suitable unit $75-$100 range which can be installed in a Square D panel.

Siemens QSA2020SPD Whole House Surge Protection with Two 15 Amp Circuit Breakers $120 - but unsure if will work with Square D panel. This is nice since it simply replaced 2 side-by-side breakers. Rated 20kA




Eaton Complete Home Surge Protection Model # CHSPT2MICRO
Rated 30kA. This appears to be externally mounted (wart) and required 2 panel slots dedicated to this unit. 2 30amp breakers must also be purchased for installation.



Leviton Model # R00-51110-SRG Panel Mount 26kA



ITICharlie1
Premium
join:2003-01-22
Saint Louis, MO

When I had my panel replaced, I had them install an Eaton unit. What is nice is you can install other modules to it. I have them for cable TV and phone.

»New Panel and generator setup
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nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
Reviews:
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reply to CajunWon

The Siemens unit is not for use in a Square D panel. It would probably physically "fit" in a Square D "Homeline" panel, but is not listed for such use.
There are a lot of Jack Wagon electricians out here who think that if it fits, it's fine. That's not true.

Square D does make some internal SPDs that appear to be quality units.
For QO panels QO2175SB
For Homeline HOM2175SB
Do yourself a favor an order the correct unit for your existing panel(s).
I don't carry or advocate Square D products (I have a low opinion, generally, of their residential stuff), so I can't tell you what the price should be.

Otherwise, keep looking at external units. This topic has been brought up many times, and not a lot has changed of late.
You pretty much get what you pay for when it comes to SPDs. Spend a little more, better protection. Read the manufacturers cut sheets for full details.

»Whole House Surge Question
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...because I care.



CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC
reply to CajunWon

Had read those threads, none have provided product references within the above description.

re the above Eaton product: Must the product be attached through 2 breakers, or can it be hard-wired?

Is there a benefit to installing these devices closer to the service entrance?

eg The mentioned outside panel is 15ft closer to the service entrance.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
·Callcentric
·callwithus

Yeah, everything (including that Eaton SP) *SHOULD* be connected to the system via breakers. Would if work if hard wired -- yes, but then you'd have to dump whatever upstream disconnect you have (main breaker or pull the meter) any time you had to work on it (plus, of course, it wouldn't be up to code).

As for distance from the service entrance, sure, assuming the surge is coming from the outside then it's better to keep the impedance from the outside to this device as low as possible. But distance to your house's ground point should be considered, too. Where's your ground rod, you'll want to bond to that.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12
reply to CajunWon

They should be installed at the main panel.
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mattmag
Premium,ExMod 2000-03
join:2000-04-09
NW Illinois
kudos:3
reply to CajunWon

I am using the QO2175SB unit in my panel, and Have had one in two previous homes that I replaced the panels in. Good solid device, has LED status indicator on it to show if it has experienced an event that requires it to be replaced.

About $60 bucks.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to CajunWon

Here is what I got, after shopping these devices around:
»www.panamax.com/Products/Other/SEP-200.php



It connects to an appropriate 30A 2 pole breaker that is suitable for your load center, so there is no concern of being cross-brand panel compatible.

It's a few more dollars than you are budgeting, but I feel you get what you pay for, with some items.
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Bob4
Account deleted

join:2012-07-22
New Jersey

How do these work? How can they protect 100+ Amp service with such small wires?



leibold
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1 recommendation

said by Bob4:

How do these work? How can they protect 100+ Amp service with such small wires?

The load isn't going through those wires. The surge protector is wired parallel to the load as a shunt to absorb the surge energy. The surge itself is expected to only be a short pulse and not long enough to heat the wires.
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IowaCowboy
Iowa native
Premium
join:2010-10-16
Springfield, MA
Reviews:
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reply to CajunWon

I was thinking of having the poco put in a meter based surge protector and that would be a $65 install charge and $4.95 per month but they only install them at certain times of the year. I was thinking the poco solution as I rent and don't want to mess with the wiring too much other than replacing outlets and switches however I did upgrade the lighting in the basement by hardwiring some 4 ft T12 Flourescent light fixtures.


PrntRhd
Premium
join:2004-11-03
Fairfield, CA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to Bob4

said by Bob4:

How do these work? How can they protect 100+ Amp service with such small wires?

These are not for high amperage lightning protection but simply over voltage spike protection.

iknow
Premium
join:2012-03-25

1 edit
reply to leibold

said by leibold:

said by Bob4:

How do these work? How can they protect 100+ Amp service with such small wires?

The load isn't going through those wires. The surge protector is wired parallel to the load as a shunt to absorb the surge energy. The surge itself is expected to only be a short pulse and not long enough to heat the wires.

Lightning would fry that real fast, so i hope no one thinks it's good for direct lightning strikes, it isn't. just surge protection.


CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC

2 edits
reply to garys_2k

The outside panel is closer to the service entrance, and the copper ground rod is right there as well. I also have a lightning rod wired (Wire-nut & soldered to prevent corrosion) to that same ground rod.

Perhaps I can build a water tight enclosure for the Eaton Product?
The reason I would consider hard-wiring, without breaker: imo: if the surge comes through as a result of a lightning induced surge from near-by (but not a direct hit to the house) it normally comes in a a series of pulses. If the first pulse is shunted a millisecond prior to the breaker tripping, then subsequent pulses will hit the panel unprotected by this WH/SPD.

The Square D product warranty all say something about being installed by a licensed electrician -which is not going to happen. After reading the Eaton pdf referenced through one of the above links: the 30kA protection will be more than adequate.

Have heard that these devices are sacrificial -after they protect once then they require replacement. Something about a capacitor internally will burn up to absorb (shunt) the spike. True?

btw: what started this was losing a TV just following an intense lightning storm. It was plugged into a Panamax Max6 surge protector and turned off. Even though we had no noticeable electrical anomalies & the UPS devices (connected to the PCs) never activated I feel the situation was circumstantial enough to suspect some sort of temporary over voltage.


Zach1
Premium
join:2006-11-26
NW Minnesota

2 edits

From the sounds of it, I'd bet the surge that took out your TV came in through the Antenna/CATV or Sat connection.

Not discounting the value of whole-house surge protection but many transients enter through the "back door" which many fail to protect. Then there are the jokers who fail to bond these to the building's electrical grounding system. This lack of proper, code-required bonding can cause all sorts of interesting things to happen when lightning strikes nearby.
--
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CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC

2 edits

CATV, after the CATV STB. The old(ish) antenna is my lightning rod & only connected to ground.

The Coax is grounded to the rod, as is the copper water lines & electrical ground wires.


garys_2k
Premium
join:2004-05-07
Farmington, MI
Reviews:
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reply to CajunWon

Enclosing the Eaton device is easy, pick an outdoor rated plastic NEMA box from this page »www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_···nclosure that will fit the device. One of the smaller ones will likely be less expensive than anything you could make and be rated for that use.

As for connecting it, how will you wire it while the lines are hot? Is there SOME disconnecting means to allow you to safely wire it in?

Regarding the connections, make the wire runs to/from the device as straight (and as reasonably short) as possible. You want the wiring going there to be as low impedance as possible to the high frequency surges, making it shunt as much of the energy as possible from the surge.

Oh, and while you're on Amazon you may want to toss one of these in the basket: »www.amazon.com/TII-Broadband-Cab···3&sr=8-2 to help keep future surges out of that route. I hope you're bonding all of this to the ground rod with tight physical clamps. Solder alone (used to connect a wire to the rod) isn't that good a conductor for high current surges.



nunya
Premium,MVM
join:2000-12-23
O Fallon, MO
kudos:12

These all tie into the panel ground bus.
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EricNepean

join:2009-11-30
Nepean, ON
reply to CajunWon

In a lightning surge, most of the voltage drop is due to the wire inductance, not resistance, and the current pulse doesn't last very long.

A standard model for a lightning surge is a a current surge that rises from 0 to 10kA in 8us, then drops to 5kA 20 us after start (Ref 2 below); the whole event is over in under 50us. (According to Ref 3 below, this probably under represents a lightning surge somewhat, but at least it provides a reference for some kind of estimate)

A rough calculation shows the the current rise is 1.25kA/us, and for 1/8"dia wire the inductance is about 530nH/ft. The resulting voltage drop is 660V/ft. The inductance doesn't get much smaller unless you use really BIG conductors like water pipes.

So one key thing is to make the leads to your surge arrestors as SHORT as possible (don't worry about size), and in the case of multiple surge arrestors (CATV,AC, phone) to connect them to a common location.

My power entry & panel is at one end of the house, water pipes enter at the other corner; there is a 75 foot "ground" cable between the two, in accordance with Canadian electrical code. bah, humbug. I'd be much better off with ground rods installed near the power panel.

I considered grounding my NAS directly to the water pipes at house entry, and then I realized that in event of a lightning strike, the lightning surge would run from the power entry at the panel via the ground wire to the water pipe entrance. The house AC power lines could rise to 75 ft * 660V/ft = 50kV relative to that water pipe at that point. ZZZZAP Instead I grounded the NAS in the regular way, to the AC wiring ground, this way a similar current surge may travel down the hot, neutral and ground.

references:
1) Inductance calculator (1/8" wire, 400 inches) »www.consultrsr.com/resources/eis/induct5.htm
2) IEC 61000-4-5 section 6.1.1 »www.sanki-e.com/uploadimg/conten···6817.pdf
3) "How to Protect Your House and Its Contents from Lightning"
IEEE Guide for Surge Protection of Equipment Connected to AC Power and Communication Circuits, section 2.3.2



Jan Janowski
Premium
join:2000-06-18
Skokie, IL
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to CajunWon

If you have a Square D panel... Document which one and call them. They have customer service people to steer you in the right direction.

I have a GE panel... And when I called GE, and got through to a customer service person... He told me which one to get, and that Menards could special order it...

I went to Menards, and they had NO IDEA about what this part was, or that they could special order it... Manager called his District manager, who confirmed the part #, and that I could special order it.... I think I paid ~$40 or so...

I don't have a picture of it... but it fit at the top of fusebox across the two power legs, and neutral... and had one chassis ground wire that was bolted to scratched off paint area of panel with star washers, for a solid ground.

I did this I'm guessing about 1998....

There is one or two green LED's on it, that indicates it's still functional...
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robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to CajunWon

said by CajunWon:

Perhaps I can build a water tight enclosure for the Eaton Product? The reason I would consider hard-wiring, without breaker: imo: if the surge comes through as a result of a lightning induced surge from near-by (but not a direct hit to the house) it normally comes in a a series of pulses. If the first pulse is shunted a millisecond prior to the breaker tripping, then subsequent pulses will hit the panel unprotected by this WH/SPD.

The Eaton product is has a NEMA 4 rating which is suitable for outdoor mounting. I have a similar (older) model and I like the fact that it is exposed so every time I go by the panel I can verify by the LEDs that the device is still working. As far as the breaker tripping, I don't think that would ever happen. The reason for the breaker is for ease of installation. There is very little, if any, protection being offered by the breaker. I think the ease of replacing a device connected to a breaker is probably worth the small sacrifice in protection. I have similar problems in my neighborhood, in that a lightning strike will travel a fairly long ways over the power lines taking out multiple TVs, computer networks and sometimes even AC control boards at houses fairly distant from the actual strike.

As far as the EATON units, if they take a surge then the LEDs on the device change from green to red and the unit must be replaced.


CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC

1 edit
reply to garys_2k

Agree: seems a bit risky and without benefit to connect HOT, Breakers required:check!

Coaxial protection seemed unnecessary since the shield of a coaxial cable is grounded. The TII products state protecting the center conductor: »www.digicomm.com/tii210.pdf
But this »www.amazon.com/TII-Broadband-Sat···3&sr=1-2 is for use with RG6 and therefore appears the better choice. Perhaps this is just the newer version of the same product. Just ordered!


ssnsltd

join:2002-07-09
Fayetteville, NC

2 edits
reply to CajunWon

I’ve been installing these in family/friends’ houses for years. My brother’s place in Florida going on 14 years of storms and lightning- not one item lost. Ive installed several diff brands, they all work. Important to remember these do not take the place of local/spot/outlet surge protection for sensitive electronics.
Need one for panel, and potentially cable and land-line phones. kinda depends on where one is, and whats attached. Cable and phone suppressors can potentially impact cable and/or internet service. Do your homework; do “before” and “after” service checks.
Whole house “kit” example: »www.amazon.com/Whole-House-Hardw···ppressor The Suppressor alone can be found for ~$55-$60 on Ebay.
This model suppressor (~$50) installs at/in the meter (will need to call utility company): »www.wholehousesurgeprotectorrevi···240-faa/
Multiple types available at Orange and Blue "Box" stores, Orange box has more options:
»www.homedepot.com/Electrical-Bre···C_MODE|0

david


Raphion

join:2000-10-14
Samsara
Reviews:
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reply to CajunWon

said by CajunWon:

The outside panel is closer to the service entrance, and the copper ground rod is right there as well. I also have a lightning rod wired (Wire-nut & soldered to prevent corrosion) to that same ground rod.

Perhaps I can build a water tight enclosure for the Eaton Product?
The reason I would consider hard-wiring, without breaker: imo: if the surge comes through as a result of a lightning induced surge from near-by (but not a direct hit to the house) it normally comes in a a series of pulses. If the first pulse is shunted a millisecond prior to the breaker tripping, then subsequent pulses will hit the panel unprotected by this WH/SPD.

The Square D product warranty all say something about being installed by a licensed electrician -which is not going to happen. After reading the Eaton pdf referenced through one of the above links: the 30kA protection will be more than adequate.

Have heard that these devices are sacrificial -after they protect once then they require replacement. Something about a capacitor internally will burn up to absorb (shunt) the spike. True?

btw: what started this was losing a TV just following an intense lightning storm. It was plugged into a Panamax Max6 surge protector and turned off. Even though we had no noticeable electrical anomalies & the UPS devices (connected to the PCs) never activated I feel the situation was circumstantial enough to suspect some sort of temporary over voltage.

If you don't have surge protection (MOVs) between the cable TV and your electrical system, I'd bet that the lightning raised your electrical system up as a whole, so nothing connected to it alone was damaged, but that the surge ran through the TV to the CATV line, cooking the TV.

Everything entering the house, EVERYTHING, should have heavy MOVs between all conductors and a single ground point.


CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC
reply to CajunWon

Ordered the Leviton 51110 (3rd item in OP).
»www.amazon.com/Leviton-51110-1-P···02VJKAZS
$53 net from the Orange store. 3-phase (replace after 3rd incident). 26kA; 1449 revision 2.5 & 3 NEMA4x to optionally install externally/outdoors to check lights occasionally. I don't yet get the purpose of the 4th wire.
Made in China



leibold
Premium,MVM
join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
kudos:10
Reviews:
·SONIC.NET

said by CajunWon:

I don't yet get the purpose of the 4th wire.

2 * Hot, 1 Neutral, 1 Ground

4 wires sound correct.

Where did you see 3 phase ? This surge protector is single phase 120/240V.
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Jan Janowski
Premium
join:2000-06-18
Skokie, IL
Reviews:
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There are 4 wires involved in 120/240..
The two hot wires, each with 120VAC to the neutral (wire 3), and a local ground (wire 4)...

said by leibold:

said by CajunWon:

I don't yet get the purpose of the 4th wire.

2 * Hot, 1 Neutral, 1 Ground

4 wires sound correct.

Where did you see 3 phase ? This surge protector is single phase 120/240V.


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CajunWon

join:2005-12-30
Cary, NC
reply to leibold

Re: SPD

Where did you see 3 phase ? This surge protector is single phase 120/240V.
Phase was wrong term: Separate surge suppression indicator lights stay on for Phase 1 and Phase 2 until protection is lost

Within the user review of the referenced AZ product listing: connect both the white and green wires to whats called the "common bus"

laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to CajunWon

Re: Surge Protection Residential Whole House

said by CajunWon:

Ordered the Leviton 51110 (3rd item in OP).
»www.amazon.com/Leviton-51110-1-P···02VJKAZS
$53 net from the Orange store.

I like it! Good luck. I have fully five (5) Panamax whole house protectors (with two LEDs) that cost $100 each and don't have enclosures, so I needed in one case to buy a box for it. No need w/the Leviton.


leibold
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join:2002-07-09
Sunnyvale, CA
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·SONIC.NET
reply to CajunWon

Re: SPD

said by CajunWon:

Within the user review of the referenced AZ product listing: connect both the white and green wires to whats called the "common bus"

This is correct when the surge protector is installed in a main panel since in a main panel Ground (Green wire) and Neutral (White wire) are bonded together. Even with the bond there may be separate Neutral and Ground bars.

If the surge protector is installed anywhere else (perhaps protecting a subpanel in a detached structure) you would need to keep White/Neutral and Green/Ground separate.
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