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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    27
    Had new Infinity System installed a couple months ago. With all the storms during the summer and all the "electronics" in these new HVAC systems...I was wondering if i should have some sort of surge protection on the 110v feed going to furnace? Seems like some of the hardwired surge protectors are expensive...was wondering if a surge protector is needed and if an off the shelf surge strip would work if i change the wiring from hardwired to plug/receptacle configuration or what someone may have used and recommends.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    check with someone building industrial control panels for a surge protector of the panel mount type.
    Or, one could rewire the existing panel to take the control voltage via a plug- in cord -- ***BUT**** such would probably void your warranty.

    ***perhaps someone from mfgr would verify this ?? I would think that having this upgrade done by a qualified tech of an authorized dealer would not void the warranty.

    GRAYBAR.com lists some 211 surge protector devices -- viewing the first 50 showed some control panel units, abet 120v= so, get two, if necessary.

    the main power to your units is 230volts.

    be sure that your grounding is top notch -- have 2 rods | electrodes at least 3 ft apart, interconnected with #6awg solid copper -- use the tear- drop style connector at the rod -- rods to be out from the house, to get rain water --

    have a couple of outlets by your panel, one on each phase, have a plug- in surge in each -- say Belkin @$30 from BestBuy -- good chance that this will catch many surges, unless such is CLOSE by --

    I have several for my TV, cmptr, refrig, fax -- my stuf was not bothered when lightning struck tree in neighbor's front yard -- they lost TV, phone ans machine, heat pump -- probably $3k. I am powered by same transformer on pole 80ft away.

    [Edited by cem-bsee on 08-25-2005 at 10:22 AM]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    27
    230 volts is going to compressor...There is only 110v going into electric toggle switch which controls the "furnace"..my condensate pump is plugged into same circuit....my power company offers a whole house sugre which installs between meter and house..maybe i will look into that...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    is this a surge unit or lightning unit? the difference is the "clamping" voltage --
    either way, it would probably be connected just before the meter at the weatherhead.
    most surge protectors are installed at the service panel by electricians, although they do install some lightning protectors at the weatherhead, to be connected by the power co

    it would be easy to put a Belkin unit at the furnace in your case, and should not have any effect upon the unit's warranty, IMHO.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    27
    Do you have any info such as part number of the Belkin you are referring to?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    Belkin= ~$30, has ~2000 joule capacity, 120v, ~75k insurance for protected equip --

    lost my notes --
    this one chosen due to capacity, at least double that of most -- & ins
    IMHO no mfg will offer such ins, & make poor device! could not afford it! that was mainly why I sold Panamax, which seems to be available in GA & FL for those in AL.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    27
    Ah...you're talking about a high end pc type surge strip

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    12,189
    and they do pay for furnaces that get hit behind one of their strips. One of my salesman had a lightning strike that penetrated several of their strips. he got a really nice settlement...stereo, tv, computer, furnace...they were all covered. He took a direct hit next to his house. Lucky the house didn't burn.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    29

    Don't expect them to pay

    Belkin must be a better company than Tripplite. Had a computer toasted by a surge that also toasted the Tripplite combo power and telephone surge strip. Was standing there yelling at my teenage daughter to get off the computer due to some close lightning when one hit that took out several appliances and a 50 amp breaker. Smoke poured from the computer. The computer tech said that the number of burn traces inside the computer was a new record for the shop. Tripplite makes you ship the damaged surge unit in so their engineers can determine whether their unit was faulty before they pay anything (supposedly up to $50,000 ins.). Of course once they have the unit they have the evidence. They wouldn't pay the $750 computer repair bill. Homeowners insurance picked up most of the damage (after deductable).


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    29
    Techboy Ditek makes a hardwired wholehouse protector with status indicator light that you or someone can mount either inside the service entrance or outside. Wires into existing breaker. I had one on my last house for 4 years with no surge problems. It's called the dtk 120/240 CM Plus. I just bought 4 at $19 each off the net at Spytown.com about three weeks ago for a new house, well pump, barn, and old cabin. No insurance but the units are for real. You pay for the insurance and fancy packaging with some of the other units and take a risk on them actually paying for any damage. They're all based on the same technology. You still need individual surge protector for sensitive equipment. Be sure you have a really good ground. Pound another ground rod 10 feet from the existing ground and connect with 4 gauge bare copper.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Huntsville,AL
    Posts
    4,125
    Panamax units work -- it may be soot, but did not let surge pass thru the one I had.

    re copper grounding bond wire: no right angle bends, else the 1 000 000+ volts will not turn but will go straight!!

    better ground rods are 0.75"od & 10ft long, copper coated.

    at DITEKCORP.com, the whole house surge protector was listed at $222 ea, rated 1000joules. protects both phases.

    They listed meter base mounted ones, but one needs a meter base with knockouts already installed & permission from pwr co to install there.

    the $20 Ditek were only for 120v, <1000 joules.

    [Edited by cem-bsee on 08-26-2005 at 06:21 PM]

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    29
    Joules are advertising jargon. They cannot be used to compare the QUALITY of different surge protectors. Do a search on joules and its a measure of work or heat. The surge protector is designed to shunt over voltages to ground. What you want is a clamping voltage that's not too high. The most voltage a residential surge protector will see is around 3000 volts. The reason is, over 3000 volts, arcing will occur within the service entrance to the grounded box. Very rarely does the full brunt of a lightning bolt enter a house thru the service.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    171
    Here we go again with more pathetically ignorant advice. OK, let's review some basics:
    The poster asked for surge protection, not lightning. For lightning protection, use a lightning rod.
    Surge protectors are energy-absorbing devices and as such they are indeed rated in joules, which is the unit for electric energy. The "clamping" voltage rating is always about the same, slightly above the line voltage they are intended for (110, 220, etc.). When voltage increases a set amount above the rated voltage (i.e. you have a surge), the protective device becomes a short circuit across that line and absorbs as much energy as necessary by dissipation to keep the line voltage from climbing. If the surge is high enough in energy to exceed the protector's ability to dissipate (i.e. joule rating), the protector will fail after absorbing its maximum. If the surge continues, the line voltage will climb and damage to equipment may occur.
    The simplest and most economical method to protect everything in a residence is to install a permanent surge protector at the panel. They are rather inexpensive and attach either inside or to the side of the panel, with wires going through the knockout holes.
    Your local electrical distributor carries these in various energy ratings. They are 3-device packages, i.e. there is one 220 device between the 2 phases and one 110 from each phase to neutral/ground.


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