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Surge protectors?

Discussion in 'Electronic Repair' started by Jay1028, Jul 13, 2007.

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  1. Jay1028

    Jay1028 Guest

    I have moved to a location (Florida) where surges are a concern. I
    have been looking at two candidates for surge protection at the point
    of use (outlet).
    The two candiidates are:

    Power Sentry 100344 -- which says it will disconnect the load if
    surge is sensed to be more than 2ms

    Panamax M4T-EX which is MOV based from a highly rated company.

    I have a whole house MOV based protector by LEA at the load center and
    want to do more. Maybe more is better? I don't know.

    Anyone used a system that they know works? There is so much info out
    there that you don't which is an good.

    I'm not sure if this is the correct group for this question either.

  2. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    What kind of 'surge' ?

  3. sparky

    sparky Guest

    Panamax and Leviton devices are good surge protectors. Do not believe
    everything you read about some device shutting off the surge in 2ms.
    If you are talking about a lightning strike close by then NO surge
    suppressor will completely elimate the problem 100% of the time.
  4. Jay1028

    Jay1028 Guest

    I am specifically talking about surges generated out on the power
    lines on the poles propogating into my home. I realize that nothing
    can stop a direct lighning hit. I have three ground rods spaced at
    10ft apart joined at the center one with 6ga bare copper. I have read
    not to create a ground loop by having different ground locations, so
    besides what the builder had done with a piece of rebar embedded in
    the concrete and one ground rod, I added three more. The 6ga run to
    the meter and the load center behind it is about a 6 foot run.

    I next have to find a surge supressor for the cable coming into the
    house. I opened the box mounted on the outside wall near the power
    entry and there is just a grouning block in there. Nothing good to
    say about the cable installation.


  5. Were those ground rods tested for ground resistance? How deep are
    they, and what part of the state are you in? There are a lot of
    different soil conditions in different parts of Florida. We had to have
    85 feet of ground rod driven before we passed the test in northern Lake
    County about 20 years ago. It was about three feet short of length of
    the well pipe.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  6. Jay1028

    Jay1028 Guest

    Rods are 8ft, 5/8" galvanized with bronze clamps.. I Live in
    northeast Florida near Marineland.
  7. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    'Generated out on the power lines' ????

  8. Eeyore

    Eeyore Guest

    Fortunately in the UK, the power company supplies the ground connection. That
    saves a lot of such bother.

  9. Just buy a small generator and run it with an electric motor. That will
    smooth out surges.
  10. HapticZ

    HapticZ Guest

    copper cage your home, generate ur own power, no surges!

    go all solar, go all wind, get some treadmills and put the kids/you to work

    if you must protect from power company "events" as they call them, then get
    uself an "event" monitoring system/meter/recorder.

    then when your appliances/other get toasted, deliver the power company a
    hefty bill for their replacement/repair along with a recording of the
    "event" on paper

    get a neighborhood group together to get a regional event monitor, then
    everyone can submit bills on a regular basis.

    if you need pure reliable energy, ask the electric utility company to
    provide u with special xmission lines right to your own house as special

    or even better, dont use power (be 'green') :-D
  11. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    First, even effective surge protectors do not stop typically
    destructive surges. One that implies protection forgets to mention it
    protects from surges that typically don't damage - surges that don't
    overwhelm protection already in all appliances.

    Second, an effective protector acts like a switch; connects surges
    to earth. Surges that may be inside or outside the building. The surge
    that typically does damage is called lightning. We install effective
    protectors to earth lightning; divert to earth before that surge can
    enter a building.

    What determines the effectiveness of that 'whole house' protector?
    Quality of earthing and connection to earthing.

    What is the Panamax going to do? Do you believe it will divert a
    surge to the same earth ground? If a surge did not obtain earth
    ground via a 'whole house' protector, then why would it obtain the
    same earth ground path via a low quality path (from Panamax)? Just
    another reason why the Panamax does not discuss earthing and does not
    claim to protect from the type of surge that typically causes damage.
    Read its numeric specs. Notice the Panamax does not even list which
    type of surges it protects from. Otherwise you might learn it does
    not protect from surges that typically destroy electronics.

    Third, somehow is this assumption that a surge protector is
    protection. A surge protector is simply a connecting device to
    protection. Protection is that earth ground. How do you increase
    protection? Enhance that earthing.

    50 million protectors will not improve what that one (properly
    sized) 'whole house' protector will accomplish. Enhancing may
    significantly increase protection. But then even geology has not been
    defined. More important than half truths from Panamax is information
    such as geology.

    Meanwhile, where does that Panamax even discuss earthing? It does
    not because it does not even claim to protect from surges that
    typically damage household appliances. No earth ground means no
    effective protection.

    Finally, don't waste money on solutions that don't even claim to
    protect from typically destructive surges. Put that money into what
    defines the quality of your protection. Detailed description of how
    earth ground works for surge protection is in
    comp.sys.mac.comm on 4 Jul 2007 entitled "DSL speed" at
  12. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    Again you are assuming a protector will somehow stop surges. If the
    cable has the best surge protection, then it has only a ground block
    ($2 in Lowes), a short wire connection to earth ground (see other post
    for the many factors absolutely required for that connection), and a
    single point earth ground as Michael Terrell discusses.

    Remember, no protector is protection. A protector is nothing more
    than a connecting device to protection. Protection is earthing. What
    defines quality of protection? Single point earthing. What is the
    only component that each protection 'system' requires? Single point
    earth ground. See details cited in that other post; a significant
    amount of reading.

    Those who have little concept of surge protection, instead, believe
    magic protector boxes will somehow stop what three miles of sky could
    not. Cable needs no protector. Protectors may even degrade TV and
    internet signals. Your protection is only as good as your single
    point earth ground. Repeated many times because so many have problems
    admitting a retail store salesman or half truths on boxes were lies.
  13. Jay1028

    Jay1028 Guest

    I like Hapticz post. Don't use the power company at all. I have read
    all the IEEE and NIST info and it looks like I am doing what I can to
    make the earthing as good as I can, I may be supporting all the hocus
    pocus that the surge protector companies put out by buying some of
    their products, but al least I am doing a lot a reading and making a
    somewhat educated decision on what to buy.

    The whole house device is my best bet and I'll just have to be
    dependent on the clamping feature provided by the point of use
    devices. I'll spend a couple of hundred doillars on devices that may
    or may not save my equipment, but I figure it is better than doing
  14. davidlaska

    davidlaska Guest

    I agree with 100%. I live near the coast in southern California. We
    get an overhead thunderstorm one a year. I had a UPS (15 years ago)
    while working on my computer near a window. A lightning struck a pole
    a few hundred yards away and the computer when down.
    I restarted and my hard drive was not readable. I had to use norton
    utilities (Mac) to recover all my from the drive and reformat it. The
    drive failed a while later.

    Now for the things I only heard about:
    I have heard that your basic plug in "surge protectors" are not worth
    the extra money. I think having a grounded system is the first matter
    to be dealt with if the build has none (three pronged plugs).
  15. davidlaska

    davidlaska Guest

    I new the average was 4' to 6' so I thought adding a few more would
    cover it all. I never thought one would have to go 85', now I will
    get a professional to install a rod for serious matters.

  16. davidlaska

    davidlaska Guest

    That's funny but it works. I guess the reason it does is because the
    continuous duty motor does not react surges. I never hear my table
    saw wind up suddenly, but my vacuum does if something else is
    I thought my laptop would be protected if I had a 7amp battery run my
    laptop while the same battery was being charged with a regular "plug
    in the wall charger". I was told that it would not work as a surge
  17. What type of equipment are you protecting?

    My experience is that the Panamax units are very good and very effective.
    We use them on nearly every system we install, here in north central
    Florida, which sees more lightning than most areas in the US. We rarely see
    any system damage on properly installed units. This means that all incoming
    signal lines in addition to power are connected through the surge
    suppressor, all incoming lines are grounded according to code, and the
    elsectrical service ground is intact and effective. We DO see system damage
    when cable installers disconnect the cable line from the surge suppressor,
    however, which leads me to believe that the signal lines are critical to
    protection. The whole house suppression probably does not address this.

  18. GregS

    GregS Guest

    I never even heard of a test. I guess in some areas they don't worry about it.
    You would think Florida would be pretty good conductivity compared to
    most other areas. Most or all homes around me have a ground on the water pipe comming
    into the house. Its a good ground, but the outside rods must be at the box. It
    could span the distance of the house.
    If you have standard telephone, don't forget to protect the incomming line.
    Whatever you get, make use of the insurance. If its such a problem, I would have
    the electric company install the device. I can "rent" a device by them at some extra expense.


  19. The test was the ability to blow one of the old screw in 15 amp
    household fuses. Sure, the well casing is grounded, but they are rarely
    anywhere near the electrical service. Our well was over 100 feet from
    the pole pig, and meter. Would you bet your life on a single #12 AWG
    safety ground? I wouldn't. The ground rod was at the meter, and had to
    be driven 85 feet, before it would blow the fuse.

    Some areas of Florida are sugar sand, with VERY poor conductivity.
    Lake county is one of those areas. 50 years ago, the sandy land was
    used to grow oranges, and had very few residents.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that Central Florida is the
    lightning capital of the United States. Its quite common for a storm to
    have over 3000 recorded strikes, per hour. Systems that are adequate in
    safer areas just aren't good enough in a place like this. I have had
    battery powered equipment explode from the EMP when a bolt hit the
    marsh, 25 feet behind my shop. I had the CRT video dries blown on a VGA
    monitor that was not only disconnected, but the video cable was wrapped
    around the base of the monitor. I was resetting my computer desk, and
    had just disconnected it when the storm hit. Hours later, after the
    electricity came back on I had no monitor, or mouse.

    Service to my country? Been there, Done that, and I've got my DD214 to
    prove it.
    Member of DAV #85.

    Michael A. Terrell
    Central Florida
  20. w_tom

    w_tom Guest

    Any protector that does not make a short connection to earth ground
    does what? Earthing that surge destructively elsewhere such as
    through the adjacent appliance. Any protection that works at the
    appliance is already inside the appliance. New standards mean that
    signal lines must withstand even 15,000 volts without damage. Yes
    that few volt signal line must also not be damaged by 2,000 and 15,000

    So we earth that surge before it even enters the building - does not
    get near to signal lines.

    Did damage exist? That says little about the protector and says
    nothing about a plug-in protector. That damage says a surge was
    permitted inside the building to maybe overwhelm protection inside
    signal lines.

    How does the telephone company with signal lines everywhere inside
    their building not suffer computer damage? Every wire is properly
    earthed either by a direct earthing connection or via a 'whole house'
    type protector. Why is telephone service not down for four days every
    year while they replace that computer? Why can that computer suffer
    one hundred surges during every thunderstorm and not suffer damage?
    They don't use grossly overpriced Panamax or Monster Cable products.
    Instead they spend less money on more effective 'whole house' type
    protectors and they enhance that single point earthing. How is the
    protection made even better? They install even better earth grounds.

    Did a surge enter on cable TV wire? Then how was that cable
    earthed. Installing a Panamax on that cable TV wire is even not
    recommended by the cable company for the same reasons that early 20th
    Century Ham radio operators finally stopped surges. Will the Panamax
    absorb surges?

    The Panamax does not even claim to protect from type of surges that
    typically cause electronics damage. Those who recommend that Panamax
    routinely ignore that reality. Good reason why Panamax does not make
    that claim. No dedicated earthing wire. No earth ground means no
    effective protection.

    Meanwhile, smoke detectors also were not routinely damaged during
    surges. Is that because smoke detectors are connected to invisible
    protectors? No. If something is undamaged with a Panamax proves
    nothing since other appliances also are not damaged - and have no
    Panamax. Damning is that the Panamax does not even claim to protect
    from that type of surge.
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