Whole House Surge Protector Install

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Whole House Surge Protector Install

Postby johnnyapollo » Mon Jan 04, 2010 5:39 pm

Thought there might be some interest in a Whole House Surge Protector (Suppressor) - here's my write-up.

http://modusmodern.blogspot.com/2010/01 ... surge.html

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Postby turboblown » Wed Jan 06, 2010 7:17 pm

Always use the largest unit within your budget too. Some of the whole house units only have 12-10AWG cable and aren't that protective of much.
Our rule when we install them in remote mountaintop communications sites is the cables on the clamp (surge protector in the electronics industry) must not be any smaller than two sizes below what comes into the building. If you have #2 entering, we would use one rated for at least the service entrance amperage and minimum of #6 feeders. This may be overkill for home use, but it will do its job. The sites that we do some generator and power distribution work in has over a million dollars of comms equipment at some sites and needs maximum protection. A large overkill unit does not really cost all that much. The average unit we use goes for about $600 and is the size of a smaller car battery. $600 might be a lot to some, but to protect your $2000 plasma TV and much more is worth it.
The big-box places carry smaller units that in our opinion aren't worth much to use except for minor protection. We have used these smaller units on individual branch circuits for specific equipment protection. When doing this, we mount them right to the outlet box or junction box that feeds that specific piece of equipment.
We also use a seperate clamp at the generator's transfer switch.

Better units have a counter on them to track how many times it clamped a surge. The way I see it is anything is better than none. You CAN add two or more in parallel to the same circuit for more protection. Just whatever you do, don't wire a surge protector to a breaker! When a surge hits that's large, it will just snap the breaker open and render it useless. Go straight to the main buss. When I install my new breaker panels in the spring, I'm using a clamp at each panel and also another hardwired one in my office for my computer equipment.

Don't waste your money on the plug-in style or the ones built into a power strip. Use a real hard-wired unit like Johnnyapollo's blog shows. Everone should read his blog and install one! While you're at it, don't forget to protect your CATV and phone lines too with a commercial grade supressor properly connected to common ground with the rest of the structure. Many surges can come in at these points and can get into critical equipment even with a good power surge protector. You can get these from www.tessco.com

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Postby Perks » Wed Jan 06, 2010 8:07 pm

I've been tossing that idea about lately as part of a larger re-wiring project I hope to get on. Great write-up, John, and thanks Turboblown for the added thoughts. Will definitely be helpful when I finally get around to it!
Andy Perkins, Broker/Owner

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