Surge protector install

golfer1512May 18, 2010

I would like to know the approx. cost of having one installed ?

Is there a certain rating ? brand ? etc

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wayne440

You haven't supplied enough information to permit a useful answer.

Your post equates to saying something like " I want to buy a truck, how much does one cost? Are there different sizes and brands?"

So here goes- the cost may be a few or many thousand dollars. There are many different ratings and brands.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:35PM
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groundrod

The invoice on the one I installed today was $2000 and that was to a vendor that was marking it up to the end user.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2010 at 9:52PM
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azlighting

Your typical home does not need one installed, even the higher end homes really don't need one installed.

Why are you looking to get one installed?

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 2:22AM
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golfer1512

The reason I was asking I live in FL lighting strikes very common June to Nov. and my neighbors house was hit last yr. It jump over to my house and I lost a TV. He lost 2 tv's and a garage door opener.

I had a surge protector installed at meter by FPL and pay $8. per month. Is that good protection for the money or is a panel protector any better protection considering the higher cost. I wanted to know if a one time cost might make more sense. I plan to live here several yrs.

I did put individual protectors on 50 inch TV,computer, etc.

I just want to spend my $$$ wisely and be properly protected. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 6:48AM
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Ron Natalie

$9 a month forever is a terrible deal. That surge protector goes retail for under $300 (I bet FPL's price is even less). Even if I have to throw in a breaker, you're not looking at more than a couple of years payback.

Generally, if you're having the panel worked on for some other reason, throwing a surge protector in there is relatively cheap for something that might help. I have one. I also have power conditioners/surge protectors at the various equipments (computer, tv). I've also got a surge protector on the power side of my sprinkler controller and put a bunch of mov's (these are the heart of a cheap surge protector) on some of the internal terminals.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2010 at 9:19AM
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DavidR

The more levels of TVSS (transient voltage surge suppression) you have, the better the protection.

Your meter device is the top level, though I think they're gouging you for it.

Secondary TVSS devices at the main panel and at subpanels will provide a second level of protection, at about $150-200 each plus installationation (an experienced DIY can handle this).

Then a good quality plug-in surge strip gives you another backup.

For folks who've spent tens of thousands of dollars on home theater or ultra high end computer gear, I don't think all three levels would be overkill.

For most other folks, surge strips are probably enough. Replace them every few years or after they've eaten a few surges. Don't buy $10 cheapies.

Where we live, we get lots of nearby lightning strikes, for some reason, so I use panel mount TVSSes and surge strips. So far so good.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 1:33AM
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golfer1512

David thanks,

Okay, I go with TVSS device and I don't want to pay to much like I'm doing with fpl which I thought. How do I know what size ? Brand etc. for the $150-200. I'll pay to get the best protection but I don't want to overpay again. Do I need to know joules, amps,etc.? This is a foreign language to me. Thanks

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 6:13AM
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westom

> ... had a surge protector installed at meter by FPL and pay $8. per month.
> Is that good protection for the money or is a panel protector any
> better protection considering the higher cost

First, you have set yourself up to be scammed. Like a majority of homeowners, you have assumed protection is a magic box. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. If anyone does not discuss that, then you have another reason to suspect a scam.

A 'whole house' protector and that FPL protector are same. No protector does protection. Yes, that is what I said. No protector does protection. Either a protector connects a destructive surge to protection. Or it does nothing (ie protectors adjacent to appliances).

Either you connect energy harmlessly to earth. Or that surge is inside the building. Hunting for earth ground destructively via appliances - with one protector inside the building or one thousand plug-in protectors. Makes no difference. This is you bottom line - a protector is only as effective as its earth ground.

The FPL protector should be effective if your earthing is sufficient. Only you - nobody else - is responsible for providing that earthing. Either a protector is connected very short (ie 'less than 10 feet') to earth ground. Or the protector gives a surge even more potentially destructive paths. Did you inspect (and if necessary upgrade) your earth ground?

Your earth ground must meet and exceed post 1990 National Electrical code. And only you are responsible for it. Not knowing that was never an excuse. If your earth ground does not connect short to the FPL protector (or one 'whole house' protector) then where does energy go? Protection is always about where energy dissipates - posted again because so many others lied if they did not discuss that.

Every protection layer is only defined by one thing - the earth ground. Your CATV wire must connect directly to that ground - with no protector. Or that wire does not have surge protection. Telco wires already have a 'whole house' protector installed for free. But it too is only as effective as the earth ground you have provided. These and the FPL (or panel mounted 'whole house' protector) are secondary protection. That protection layer defined by your earth ground.

Also inspect your primary surge protection. Again, if the protector is not connected short to earth, then it provides no protection layer. A picture of what you must inspect to confirm your primary protection layer exists:
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html

At top was a #1 fact. Protection is always about where energy dissipates. Any recommendation that ignores that reality is often promoting a scam. A reality that says why plug-in protectors are high profit and ineffective protection. A protector (ie the FPL protector) is only as effective as its earth ground. A well proven (for over 100 years) solution costs about $1 per protected appliance.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 8:53PM
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westom

> Brand etc. for the $150-200. I'll pay to get the best protection but
> I don't want to overpay again. Do I need to know joules, amps,etc.? This
> is a foreign language to me.

The more responsible companies have long provided the effective solution. Manufacturers include General Electric, Leviton, Intermatic, Siemens, and Square D. A Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. In most cases, the reader who does not touch it will not understand anything posted. Step one - go to Lowes. Ask for their Cutler Hammer unit.

And again, nobody discussed the only thing that matters. Earth ground. Minimal earthing involves 10' ground rods. Those determine if a protector does anything effective. No earth ground means the protector does nothing.

While in Lowes, ask him to show copper clad ground rods.

Now for numbers. Lightning is typically 20,000 amps. We install protectors only for lightning - so that all surges are made irrelevant. That means a minimally sized protectors starts at 50,000 amps.

You must see two things. First, it must be rated for 50,000 amps. A higher number means the protector will absorb even less energy - which is what more effective protectors do - absorb less energy. Second, it must always have a dedicated (ie green) wire for the always required short connection to earth. Only 'whole house' type protectors have that dedicated earthing wire.

One effective 'whole house' protector means $1 per protected appliance. These are available in virtually every electrical supply house and more responsible hardware stores (ie Sears does not carry any effective protectors).

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 9:06PM
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groundrod

You can purchase your own meter mounted device like the utility uses from Leviton for about $200.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2010 at 10:56PM
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