White Paper: Surge Suppression

Discussion in 'hardware' started by JRViejo, Aug 20, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. JRViejo

    JRViejo Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2008
    Posts:
    20,917
    Location:
    U.S.A.
     
  2. Boost

    Boost Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2007
    Posts:
    1,293
    I've always used one and it's paid for itself more times then I can count :thumb:

    A must have IMO,if you own a computer and other expensive electronics.
     
  3. westom

    westom Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Posts:
    41
    If so, then you can list the so many household appliances that have been destroyed - such as the furnace, dishwasher, bathroom GFCIs, clock radios, smoke detectors, dimmer switches, etc. If you did not have that long list of other damaged items, then did you have a surge?

    Of course, you know that all appliances already contain surge protection. So some will more often be damaged than others. Still, to know the surge protector did anything, then you have quite a long list of other appliances that were damaged. Which ones?
     
  4. TechOutsider

    TechOutsider Registered Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2008
    Posts:
    549
    Doesn't it have to be on to provide protection? I always turn off my surge protectors during a storm.
     
  5. westom

    westom Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Posts:
    41
    At what point do millimeters inside a switch stop what three miles of sky could not stop? Nothing stops surges even through protectors are prmoted to do just that.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2009
  6. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    1,693
    Location:
    Texas
    It's better to run,the PC from a UPS, line power is only used to charge the battery, your system is then not dependent on the surge protector

    Rico
     
  7. westom

    westom Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Posts:
    41
    Which is a popular urban myth. A UPS connects a computer directly to AC mains when not in battery backup mode. Obvious when its waveform is observed on an oscilloscope. You did confirm what you were told either using test equipment or manufacturer numeric specs?

    When not in battery backup mode, a relay connects the computer direct to the 'cleanest' electricity - AC mains. A UPS outputs the 'dirtiest' electricity when in battery backup mode. So 'dirty' (and potentially destructive) that the manufacturer quietly warns to not power strip protectors or small motorized appliances from that UPS.

    View the numbers. For example, this 120 volt UPS in battery backup mode outputs two 200 volt square waves with a spike of up to 270 volts between those square waves. That is a modified sine wave. Clearly this output can be harmful to some appliances. It is a computer grade UPS. That means it is not harmful to any computer. Computers being some of the most robust appliances in the house.

    When is a UPS output 'cleanest'? When that relay connects the computer directly to AC mains. Only those educated in hearsay believe "line power is only used to charge the battery". But then so many recommend UPSes only on what others have told them to believe.
     
  8. Rico

    Rico Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2004
    Posts:
    1,693
    Location:
    Texas
    Uncle! So Westom, what do you use & what do you recommend?

    Rico
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2003
    Posts:
    17,040
    I agree with Westom. Surge protectors in UPS's are in general weak.

    I use a Zerosurge protector, and I plug my UPS into that.

    Zerosurge's are expensive, but they do the job.

    Pete
     
  10. StevieO

    StevieO Registered Member

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2006
    Posts:
    1,067
    Surge Suppression is surprisingly inexpensive actually. Here's just a few examples of the many available choices, from a UK supplier.


    GAS DISCHARGE TUBES

    http://uk.farnell.com/jsp/search/br...5&Ntk=gensearch_001&Ntt=Surge protectors&Ntx=

    VARISTOR HIGHSURGE

    http://uk.farnell.com/wuerth-elektronik/820423211/varistor-highsurge-20mm-320vrms/dp/1636426


    I've been using the MOV's for years, and only once did they need to operate. All that happend was the instantaneous clamping blew the fuse to the appliance. But that's very cheap and quick to replace, and much better than a damaged appliance any day.

    Connect like this At the input to the appliance -

    1 across Live and Neutral

    1 across Live and Earth

    1 across Neutral and Earth


    Of course you can also fit a filter inbetween these and the appliance too. Some filters have already got MOV's fitted, but not always in the 3 positions. So you could add in what's missing to be much better protected.
     
  11. westom

    westom Registered Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2009
    Posts:
    41
    How to identify an ineffective protector: 1) no dedicated earthing wire. 2) Manufacturer avoids all discussion about earthing.

    Only more responsible manufacturers provide effective protectors. Names well respected: General Electric, Square D, Intermatic, Siemens, Polyphaser, and Leviton are but a few. The Cutler-Hammer solution is sold in Lowes for less than $50.

    But again, a protector is never protection. A protector is a connecting device from surge energy to protection - earth ground. How good is your protection? How good is your earthing. But the size of that single point earth ground AND how connections are made to it. Anyone can buy an install a protector. Anyone can drive ground rods into earth. But how it is done is the art.

    Earthing must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code. Not safety grounds inside a building. Those safety ground need not even exist (ie 1950s homes). But every utility must connect short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to the same earth ground - single point earthing. Wires must have no sharp bends. No splices. Separated from other non-grounding wires. Not inside metallic conduit. Just more factors that can impeded or diminish earthing.

    Everyone's phone line already has a 'whole house' protector. Installed for free by the telco because it is so effective and costs so little (especially compared to the extreme prices for plug-in protectors). View where their wire connects to yours. A block or box containing the protector must also have an earth ground wire (no sharp bends, short, etc).

    Cable TV needs no protector. The cable can connect directly to protection - earth ground. Therefore it does not need a protector to make that connection. If your cable was properly installed, then it drops down to earth, connects short to single point ground, then rises back up to enter the building. IOW it dumps any surge into earth before entering the building.

    The most common source of destructive surges is AC mains because that utility typically has zero protection. Provided are the responsible sources for a 'whole house' protector. Protector that costs about $1 per protected appliance (compared to maybe $30 per for an ineffective plug-in protector).

    Well, responsible builders install protection when the footings are poured - ie Ufer grounds. For you, that is probably too late. But that is the point. Better earthing means better protection. That is the technology well proven for over 100 years - even in patents. A protector will only be as effective as its earth ground.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.