Return to the Appliances Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck appliances?

Posted by pasture19 (My Page) on
Wed, Dec 7, 11 at 16:10

During the recent October snowstorm, we lost power for nine days. For four days after that we had constant power surges to the house and none of our appliances worked. The surges were fixed, but the electric range and microwave still don't work at all. Repairman says they are not repairable and need to be replaced. What do power surges do to cause this?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Basically what happens in a surge is you get A LOT more power going through the line very quickly.
instead of 120V could be 400 or in some cases FAR more than that.
The circuits and capacitors etc in various electrical panels simply can not handle that sudden high voltage.

Most everything in our house is run through a surge protector.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

They mess up the electronics of appliances run by electronic controls. Same as surges would mess up a computer, except the appliances' electronics probably aren't as smart...

If this seems likely to be a recurring thing there, you might consider a whole-house surge protector.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Thanks for that helpful information. We have surge protectors all over, but not on large appliances. It has never happened before, but this storm was unique. It even wrecked the picture on our tv, which was surge protected. The protectors smelled like fire, as did the wires behind the range and micro. The dryer smells like there was a fire, but it works ok... Thanks again.


 o
RE:Surge Protection warranty

Many surge protectors have a guarantee on them that if your appliance gets fried they will pay for it to some degree.
Might be like pulling teeth to get the money out of them though.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

"....storm power surges..."

You've got your occasional power spikes in a normal line. "Surge protectors" can handle that. However, "storm power surges" can be anything from a little increase from a dissipated far away lighting strike to full-power lightning voltage from a hit to nearby lines. Close-by lightning strikes can blow through SP's like they weren't there. Not reasonable to expect common "surge protectors" to prevent such things although they can often mitigate them depending on the immediate characteristics. How much damage can be done depends on many characteristics of the surge. From your description, you had a pretty good one.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

We just had our electrician install a whole house surge protector at our vacation place which gets frequent power outages. It was very reasonable - $300.00. The little surge protectors that you place on an individual appliance are only capable of handling minor changes and may need to be replaced at regular intervals - usually around 5 years unless they've been subjected to frequent surges in which case they should be replaced more often.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

> Many surge protectors have a guarantee on them that if
> your appliance gets fried they will pay for it to some
> degree.

Having a warranty honored is like pulling teeth because that protector does not even claim to do protection. A warranty chock full of exemptions. That warranty exists to promote sales. Not to provide protection or reimbursement.

A 33,000 volt wire fell upon local distribution. At least 100 electric meters exploded from their pans. Most observed in pieces 30 feet away. So many had failed protectors connected to destroyed appliances. At least one even had failed circuit breakers.

My friend knows someone who knows this stuff. He had no power strip protectors. He had no damage (except a destroyed electric meter). He had properly earthed one 'whole house' protector. Even that protector remained functional. Because that is how protection was done even 100 years ago. Well proven science and advertising make contradictory claims. Which one is your information source?

Two types of protectors exist. Those adjacent to appliances must somehow block and absorb surges. View its spec numbers. Somehow its hundreds of joules will absorb hundreds of thousands of joules? Only one well proven 'whole house' protector, instead, dissipates that energy harmlessly in earth. When transients are absorbed harmlessly outside, then transients are not inside hunting for appliances to destroy.

Only you make that choice. Either spend tens or 100 times more money for inferior profit centers (that can sometimes create house fires). Or install what is only used in any facility that cannot have transient damage. Latter include munitions dumps.

So many damaged appliances are what happens when a homeowner all but invites surges to go hunting inside his building. No protector does protection - not even a 'whole house' protector. Either a protector connects hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly to earth. Or it is only a profit center marketed to anyone educated by advertising. Protection is done by earth ground. Profit center protectors do not have and will not discuss earthing.

Direct lightning strikes are typically 20,000 amps. So a minimally sized 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. Even direct lightning strikes leave minimall acceptable protectors functional. Therefore an effective protector is connected low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. See that number? Critical. �Why� is also provided. "Low impedance". "connects hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly to earth". Numbers associated with well proven solutions. Numbers that are not found in products from �profit center� protectors.

More responsible companies sell effective protectors. Names that any 'guy' would know for their integrity. Intermatic, General Electric, ABB, Square D, Leviton, and Siemens are but a few. A Cutler-Hammer solution sells in Lowes and Home Depot for less than $50. If you don't have one 'whole house' protector, then worry about house fire created by a power strip protector. Even power strips must be protected by a 'whole house' protector.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

I can tell you definitively that blackouts/brownouts/surges have no effect on my 1953 Roper gas stove. Oh wait....electronics were not invented yet....never mind.

And my food still tastes good...imagine that! (sorry for the sarcastic tone...just that I LOVE my old stove and snicker at all the high-tech stuff in the new stoves...and no I'm not like 80 or something I'm in my 40's, just love the simplicity of older, well-made equipment...to each their own)


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

No protection, really, with lightning strikes. A few years back we had lightning hit one of our trees, travel down the tree, 40 feet across the yard (leaving a 4-inch deep furrow) hit the sunporch exterior, come into the house, scorch the heat vent, travel through that room and into 2 other rooms where it fried all the phones, fax, the new TV and other things.

We now have a whole house surge protector and, while I don't believe it actually will protect anything in an extreme case, we withstood a full outage from Hurricane Irene and a brief one following the Halloween snowstorm with 0 damage.

We also had the main electrical line break underground a few years ago. That took out circuit boards in the fridge and microwave (Viking) as well as phones and one light. Circuit boards were expensive to replace but the appliances were OK. However, my Miele DW wasn't affected at all nor were the Asko washer/dryer.

But if appliances are fried and cannot be repaired then replacement is the only option.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

The best information on surges and surge protection I have seen is at:
http://www.lightningsafety.com/nlsi_lhm/IEEE_Guide.pdf
- "How to protect your house and its contents from lightning: IEEE guide for surge protection of equipment connected to AC power and communication circuits" published by the IEEE in 2005 .
And also:
http://www.nist.gov/public_affairs/practiceguides/surgesfnl.pdf
- "NIST recommended practice guide: Surges Happen!: how to protect the appliances in your home" published by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology in 2001

The IEEE guide is aimed at those with some technical background. The NIST guide is aimed at the general public.

posted by Nunyabiz1:
>> Many surge protectors have a guarantee on them that if
>> your appliance gets fried they will pay for it to some
>> degree.

posted by westom:
> Having a warranty honored is like pulling teeth because that protector does not
> even claim to do protection. A warranty chock full of exemptions. That warranty
> exists to promote sales. Not to provide protection or reimbursement.

My TV dies. Must have been a surge.

There is a reason why manufacturers need to know more than just that my TV died.

"Does not even claim to do protection" - nonsense.

posted by westom:
> A 33,000 volt wire fell upon local distribution. At least 100 electric
> meters exploded from their pans. Most observed in pieces 30 feet away.
> So many had failed protectors connected to destroyed appliances.
> At least one even had failed circuit breakers.

> My friend knows someone who knows this stuff. He had no power strip
> protectors. He had no damage (except a destroyed electric meter). He
> had properly earthed one 'whole house' protector. Even that protector
> remained functional.

The protection elements (MOVs) in both service panel and plug-in protectors can handle thousands of surge amps for the duration of a surge. A lightning surge lasts maybe 0.0001 seconds.

Crossed power wires last far too long and will rapidly burn out both service panel and plug-in protectors. Can you find a protector that says it will protect from crossed power wires?

posted by westom:
>Two types of protectors exist. Those adjacent to appliances must somehow
> block and absorb surges.

Nonsense. Protectors don't works by "blocking" or "absorbing".

If anyone is interested in how plug-in protectors work it is explained in the IEEE surge guide starting page 30.

posted by westom:
> View its spec numbers. Somehow its hundreds of joules will absorb hundreds
> of thousands of joules?

More nonsense. Protectors do not work by absorbing energy. (They do absorb some energy in the process of protecting.)

The author of the NIST surge guide looked at the amount of energy that might actually be absorbed in a plug-in protector. The maximum was 35 joules. That was with surges that went up to the equivalent of a 100,000A lightning strike to a utility pole adjacent to the house. A plug-in protector with high ratings and wired correctly is likely to protect from even a very close, very strong lightning strike.

***When using a plug-in protector all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same plug-in protector. External connections, like phone and cable, also need to go through the protector. Connecting all wiring through the protector prevents damaging voltages between power and signal wires.

Plug-in protectors are most appropriate on high value equipment with power and phone/cable/dish/... connections.

posted by westom:
> Only one well proven 'whole house' protector, instead, dissipates that energy
> harmlessly in earth. When transients are absorbed harmlessly outside, then
> transients are not inside hunting for appliances to destroy.

Service panel suppressors are a good idea.
But from the NIST guide:
"Q - Will a surge protector installed at the service entrance be sufficient for the whole house?
A - There are two answers to than question: Yes for one-link appliances [electronic equipment], No for two-link appliances [equipment connected to power AND phone or cable or....]. Since most homes today have some kind of two-link appliances, the prudent answer to the question would be NO - but that does not mean that a surge protector installed at the service entrance is useless."

The NIST surge guide suggests that most equipment damage is from high voltage between power and phone/cable/... wires. A service panel protector does not protect from high voltage between power and phone/cable/dish/... wires. A service panel protector is likely to protect anything connected only to power wires (and can protect from a very near, very strong lightning strike).

(For a direct strike to a building you need lightning rods.)

posted by westom:
> More responsible companies sell effective protectors. Names that any 'guy' would
> know for their integrity. Intermatic, General Electric, ABB, Square D, Leviton,
> and Siemens are but a few.

Good manufacturers for service panel protectors.

And all these "responsible companies" except SquareD makes plug-in protectors and says they are effective. SquareD says for their "best" service panel protector "electronic equipment may need additional protection by installing plug-in [protectors] at the point of use."

posted by westom:
> If you don't have one 'whole house' protector, then worry about house fire
> created by a power strip protector.

UL has, since 1998, required thermal disconnects for overheating protectors.

Where is the record of fires from UL listed protectors made since 1998?

posted by westom:
>Even power strips must be protected by a 'whole house' protector.

Nonsense.

In westom's opinion plug-in protectors don't work.

For reliable information read the IEEE and NIST surge guides. Both say plug-in protectors are effective (and have a lot of other good information).


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Sorry to nit pick but there needs to be a distinction made between a surge and over (or under) voltage. A surge is typically a very fast spike in voltage and can be more than 600v. Surges are typically very transient and last for less than 0.1s. That is why high end surge suppressors have a response time rating. Surges are typically caused by fast changes in impedance on the line such as when your refrigerator compressor starts up.

During storms, you typically get under or over voltage for longer periods of time. Believe it or not, long periods of moderate over voltage is much more destructive than a large spike or surge. Even under voltage can cause damage so when the voltage swings from 90v to as high as 180v or more, that can destroy electronics. Unfortunately, the only way to protect against that is to use an AVR which probably wouldn't be practical for appliances. My suggestion would be to shut off the circuits to all electronic devices (or just unplug them if that's easier) during severe storms. You probably wouldn't want to be using your microwave while there are fluctuations in power in any case.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

> Surges are typically very transient and last for less than 0.1s.

0.1s transients are, essentially, forever. If a refrigerator, vacuum, furnace, etc create surges, then everyone is replacing dimmer switches and digital clocks daily. Appliances only create noise. Voltages so trivial that even lesser protection inside dimmers switches make that irrelevant.

Surges are typically 0.00002 second transients. Microseconds. Anything that might stop or block a surge can suffer damage from thousands of volts. Explains why a protector adjacent to appliances does not claim to protect from destructive surges. Someone paid to promote these ineffective devices will post myths and avoid all relevant numbers.

Surges that do damage find earth ground. Either harmlessly outside the building. Or destructively via appliances. A protector adjacent to appliance will even give that surge more potentially destructive path through that appliance. And do not claim, in spec numbers, to protect from any destructive surge. Some protectors are sold by more responsible companies. Others even hire a sales promoter (who posted denials here) to promote half truths, lies, and myths. And no spec numbers.

Low voltages are not surges. Are not destructive to electronics. Low voltages can be harmful to motorized appliances including refrigerator, furnace, and dishwasher. Anyone worried about low voltages puts the AVR on motorized appliances such as the air conditioner.

International design standards even 40 years ago required electronics to withstand 600 volts without damage. Today, many appliances withstand thousands of volts without damage. Best protection adjacent to an appliance is already inside that appliance.

Your concern is a rare transient that can overwhelm that protection. That typically occurs once every seven years. A transient that no plug-in protector claims to protect from (read its spec numbers). A transient that must be earthed before entering a building. To protect everything means one 'whole house' protector connected low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. So that destructive surges cannot overwhelm protection already inside all appliances.

Low impedance is why plug-in protectors have no earthing. Will not discuss earthing. And do not claim to protect from typically destructive surges. Any AVR that would do protection is simply trying to do what is already done better inside every electronic power supply. Show me any AVR spec numbers that claim to stop and absorb thousands of volts? Good luck. Honest recommendations will always include that number. Numbers from an AVR, plug-in protector or other mythical protection will not be provided. Hearsay is promoted � which means no numbers.

0.1 second noise is not a surge. Not even destructive to dimmer switches. Destructive surges are high currents (ie 20,000 amps) that seek earth ground. Maybe 30 microseconds. And create many thousands of volts if anything foolishly tried to stop it. Effective solutions always connect low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground before entering a building.

Nothing new. This protection is found in every building that does not suffer surge damage. Even routine in munitions dumps. That well proven. And how it was done over 100 years ago. Responsible recommendations always say where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate. Always include numbers. A 'whole house' protector (rated at least 50,000 amps) connects even direct lightning strikes harmless outside to earth. The best solution costs a homeowner about $1 per protected appliance.

Effective4 solutions always have a dedicated wire for that short (ie 'less than 10 foot') connection to single point earth ground. Anything without required earthing will only claim to protect from transients made irrelevant by protection already inside every appliance. Listed were the more responsible companies that sell superior solutions for tens or 100 times less money. Provided are numbers that say why. Profit centers will avoid this to protect profits. Any valid recommendation always says where hundreds of thousands of joules dissipate.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Posted by amcook:
>> Surges are typically very transient and last for less than 0.1s.

Posted by westom:
> 0.1s transients are, essentially, forever.

"Surge" is typically defined as sub-cycle, which is under 0.015 second. They are typically far shorter, as westom says.

The voltage limiting elements (MOVs) in almost all plug-in and service panel protectors will handle fast surges. A response time rating is irrelevant for them.

I also agree with westom that surges originating inside a house are not likely to be a problem.

Crossed power wires are "overvoltage" - far longer duration than surges.

Posted by westom:
> Anything that might stop or block a surge can suffer damage
> from thousands of volts.

How fortunate that protection does not work by "stopping" or "blocking".

Posted by westom:
> A protector adjacent to appliance will even give that surge more
> potentially destructive path through that appliance.

Not if connected as any competent manufacturer (and the NIST and IEEE surge guides) recommend.

Repeating:
When using a plug-in protector all interconnected equipment needs to be connected to the same plug-in protector. External connections, like phone and cable, also need to go through the protector. Connecting all wiring through the protector prevents damaging voltages between power and signal wires.

Westom can't figure out how plug-in protectors work or how to connect them.

Posted by westom:
> And do not claim, in spec numbers, to protect from any destructive surge.

Nonsense.

Posted by westom:
> Some protectors are sold by more responsible companies.

All westom's "responsible companies" say plug-in protectors are effective.

Posted by westom:
> International design standards even 40 years ago required electronics
> to withstand 600 volts without damage. Today, many appliances
> withstand thousands of volts without damage.

What standards?

Some equipment has some surge protection. Some does not.

Posted by westom:
> Best protection adjacent to an appliance is already inside that appliance.

Nonsense.

Plug-in protectors are available with ratings you would never find for appliances.

Note that westom says plug-in protectors do not work because they are not adequately earthed, but appliances have protection and they are not well earthed either.

Posted by westom:
> To protect everything means one 'whole house' protector
> connected low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground.

Repeating:
Service panel suppressors are a good idea.
But from the NIST guide:
"Q - Will a surge protector installed at the service entrance be sufficient for the whole house?
A - There are two answers to than question: Yes for one-link appliances [electronic equipment], No for two-link appliances [equipment connected to power AND phone or cable or....]. Since most homes today have some kind of two-link appliances, the prudent answer to the question would be NO - but that does not mean that a surge protector installed at the service entrance is useless."

Posted by westom:
> Low impedance is why plug-in protectors have no earthing. Will not discuss earthing.

Because plug-in protectors do not work primarily by earthing.

Westom believes that surge protection must directly conduct a surge to earth. Since plug-in protectors are not well earthed, westom believes that they can not possibly work.

Unfortunately for westom, the IEEE surge guide explains (starting pave 30) that plug-in protectors do not work primarily by earthing a surge. They work by limiting the voltage on all wires (power and signal) to the ground at the protector. The voltage between the wires going to the protected equipment is safe for the protected equipment.

Westom is on a crusade to eliminate the scourge of plug-in protectors. Unfortunately about everything he says about plug-in protectors is wrong. What I have written largely comes from the IEEE surge guide.

Read the sources that agree with westom that plug-in protectors do not work. There are none.

For real science read the NIST and IEEE surge guides. Both say plug-in protectors are effective (and have extensive information on surge protection).


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

He would post manufacturer specification numbers that claim protection ... IF such numbers existed. When a $4 power strip with ten cent protector parts sells for $25 or $150, well, better is to post cheapshot accusations and subjective half-truths rather than technical numbers and well proven science. He cannot post manufacturer spec numbers that do not exist.

Responsible companies that sell the well proven science include Clipsal and ABB. Companies known for integrity. Ineffective protectors with no earthing wire and obscene profit margins are defined bluntly by the NIST on Adobe page 19:
> The best surge protection in the world can
> be useless if grounding is not done properly.

Hundreds of thousand of joules dissipate harmlessly in earth when a protector connects low impedance (ie 'less than 3 meters') to earth. Solutions provided by Clipsal and ABB to name but a few.

An engineer who did this stuff and provides numbers even lists companies that sell well proven solutions. And reminds you that he every contrary claim is only subjective or an insult. If he says where energy dissipates, sales would be harmed. A minimal 'whole house' protector starts at 50,000 amps. So that direct lightning strikes and other lesser transients are absorbed harmlessly outside. Superior protectors from companies with integrity cost about $1 per protected appliance.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

I don't know the science of it all, but I do know from experience that if you get a whole house surge-protector, you will be happy you did. We have a house in the desert, and over the years, every time we came back to it, we had lost one appliance or another. We lost an air conditioner compressor, 2 TV's, a refrigerator and a wine-cooler. We finally did some research and had a whole-house surge protector installed for $200. It has been 3 years and we have not had one problem since.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

I believe in and follow a multi-layered approach to reduce the probability of damage, but reduced probability is the most one should expect. One should not think that direct and induced lightening currents are dissipated harmlessly in the earth, or that good grounding practice will eliminate significant voltage potentials between otherwise grounded parts of a household. This could be true if one's house were built as a Faraday cage and the earth were highly conductive or if a large underground array of conductors were constructed to distribute the current into the poorly conductive earth. These are not characteristics of most houses. The two articles referenced above by "bud" should be read to obtain a good perspective of the issues.

kas


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Posted by westom:
> He would post manufacturer specification numbers that claim
> protection ... IF such numbers existed.

Many people, including me, have posted specs for plug-in protectors. Westom always ignores them. Apparently westom knows that plug-in protectors can not possibly work so specs can not possibly exist.

Posted by westom:
> better is to post cheapshot accusations and subjective half-truths rather
> than technical numbers and well proven science.

My "cheapshots" and "subjective half-truths" come from the IEEE and NIST.

Westom's "truths" come from his opinions. Look at westom's sources that agree with him that plug-in protectors do NOT work. There are none.

Posted by westom:
> He cannot post manufacturer spec numbers that do not exist.

A ten year old could google for specs.

Posted by westom:
> Responsible companies that sell the well proven science
> include Clipsal and ABB. Companies known for integrity.

Westom's "responsible companies" say plug-in protectors are effective.

Posted by westom:
>Ineffective protectors with no earthing wire and obscene profit
> margins are defined bluntly by the NIST on Adobe page 19:

What does the NIST surge guide really say about plug-in protectors?
They are "the easiest solution".
And "one effective solution is to have the consumer install" a multiport plug-in suppressor.

Lacking sources that agree with him westom has to twist the NIST to say the opposite of what it really says.

Posted by westom:
> And reminds you that he every contrary claim is only subjective or an insult.

The IEEE and NIST are subjective and insulting.

Posted by westom:
> If he says where energy dissipates, sales would be harmed.

I have often said where energy goes. Just like everything else that does not fit his beliefs, westom ignores it. If anyone else is interested I can elaborate.

What I say is over concentrated on plug-in protectors because of the drivel that comes from westom about them.

The major elements of protection in the IEEE surge guide are:
- earthing
- single point ground with short interconnect wires (this is not adequately appreciated)
- service panel surge protector
- plug-in surge protectors.

The author of the NIST surge guide has written:
"Whole house protection consists of a protective device at the service entrance complemented by [plug-in surge protectors] for sensitive [electronic equipment] within the house."

He has also written:
"In fact, the major cause of [surge protector] failures is a temporary overvoltage, rather than an unusually large surge."

What I have read from these sources plus papers from the NIST guide author is that:
- service panel protectors will very probably protect anything connected to only power wires from very near, very strong lightning strikes to the power wires.
- even without a service panel protector a plug-in protector with high ratings and *connected properly* will very probably protect from very near, very strong lightning strikes.

For real science read the IEEE and NIST surge guides. Both say plug-in protectors are effective (along with extensive information on surge protection).


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Personally, I do not subscribe to IEEE or NIST publications because I find them needlessly mired in technical trivialities containing far too many "hard parts" to sustain interest.

I prefer the "faith-based" approach to surge protection, much as outlined by George Bush's several "initiatives" wherein taxpayer monies were funneled to florid types operating in realms above ordinary "reason".

Whenever there's a lightning storm I have a special chant that has always worked to keep my precious electronics safe. I know this chant works because every time I have chanted it, I have never gotten struck by lightning. It has worked 100% of the time so I know it is effective!


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Read those IEEE and NIST articles to understand why both say power strip protectors protect only from a type of surge that is not typically destructive. A power strip without an earthed 'whole house' protector can even make appliance damage easier. Can sometimes create house fires. Or put 8000 volts destructively through any nearby appliance. Page 42 figure 8.

No protector defines a protection layer. Not one. Some protection layers have no protector. But every protection layer must always have one item - earth ground.

Why does a power strip promoter not discuss earthing? He is paid to promote obscenely profitable protectors that have no earthing. Profit centers will not even claim protection in manufacturer spec sheets or discuss what does all protection - earth ground.

Previous posts discussed secondary protection - an earthed 'whole house' protector. Homeowners should also inspect their primary protection layer. Only the engineer would recommend what to inspect. No profit is reaped by discussing a primary surge protection layer. A picture of what to inspect:
http://www.tvtower.com/fpl.html

Each protection layer is only defined by earth ground. Any protector without an earth ground (ie plug-in type) does not do nor claim protection. A power strip must somehow magically stop and block a surge. And not discuss what absorb hundreds of thousands of joules - earth.

One industry guru in his 1994 IEEE paper repeats what the NIST and IEEE say. Martzloff says damage can happen because a 'point of connection' protector makes damage easier. His very first conclusion says:
> Conclusion:
> 1) Quantitative measurements in the Upside-Down house clearly
> show objectionable difference in reference voltages. These occur
> even when or perhaps because, surge protective devices are
> present at the point of connection of appliances.

When selling a $4 power strip with ten cent protector parts for $40 and $120, then contradicting professionals and confusing layman is necessary. Professionals say a protector without earthing is "useless". Engineered protection systems locate every protector as close as possible (ie 'less than 10 feet') to single point earth ground. And waste no money on power strips.

NIST says what all protectors must do to have protection:
> What these protective devices do is neither suppress nor arrest
> a surge, but simply divert it to ground, where it can do no harm.

Since plug-in protectors do not have the always required earth ground, then the NIST also says what a plug-in protector really does:
> The best surge protection in the world can be useless
> if grounding is not done properly.

"Useless". Obviously. No dedicated wire for an always required earth ground means no layer of protection. Why would anyone recommend a protector that has no earthing?

Every telco switching station will suffer about 100 surges with each thunderstorm. How often is your town without phone service for four days while they replace that $multi-million computer? Never. Because telcos waste no money on power strips. Telcos always - as in no exceptions - earth surges using the proven 'whole house' solution. Then no surge is inside causing damage.

One protector from Polyphaser (an industry benchmark) has no earth connection. A distance to earth is so critical that a Polyphaser protector mounts ON earth ground. Zero feet to earth. Another solution discussed by someone who did this stuff.

Any current that is not earthed outside will be so tiny (ie noise) that protection inside every appliance (even GFCIs, digital clocks, and dimmer switches) is not overwhelmed. Routine is to have direct lightning strikes (or 100 surges to the $multi-million computer) without damage. Protection by earthing one 'whole house' protector is so routine that one should not even know a surge existed. An effective protector remains functional even after a direct lightning strike.

House fires are another problem with plug-in protectors. Another reason why power strip protectors must be protected from surges - by earthing one 'whole house' protector. A protector is only as effective as the item that defines each protection layer - earth ground.

Protector without a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') earth connection provides no protection layer. Can sometimes make appliance damage easier � 8000 volts destructively on page 42 figure 8. In some cases has causes house fires. One protector or 1000 protectors connected to the same earth ground is still only one protection layer. One protector or 1000 - the protection is exactly same - only as good as the earth ground.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

pasture19 can you explain more about the range not working? Like a toaster or a dryer, it is all resistive.


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

With my kitchen remodel, I had to have the electric panel upgraded so like some previous posters I had the electrician add this whole house suppressor at the same time. The system was also properly grounded to current code. Total cost for the suppressor and it's installation was about $400 or so. With the electronics that are now in all appliances, it seemed like pretty cheap insurance.

Here is a link that might be useful: Leviton suppressor


 o
RE: Can anybody tell me how storm power surges can wreck applianc

Posted by westom
> Read those IEEE and NIST articles to understand why both
> say power strip protectors protect only from a type of surge
> that is not typically destructive.

Yes, I agree, read.
It is another one of westom's hallucinations.

Posted by westom
> Or put 8000 volts destructively through any nearby appliance. Page 42 figure 8.

If poor westom could only read and think he could discover what the IEEE guide says in this example of how plug-in protectors work:
- A plug-in suppressor protects the TV connected to it.
- "To protect TV2, a second multiport protector located at TV2 is required."
- In the example a surge comes in on a cable service with the ground wire from cable entry ground block to the ground at the power service that is far too long. In that case the IEEE guide says "the only effective way of protecting the equipment is to use a multiport [plug-in] protector."
- westom's favored power service suppressor would provide absolutely NO protection.

It is simply a lie that the plug-in suppressor in the IEEE example damages the second TV.

But with no sources that agree with him westom has to misrepresent what other sources say.

Posted by westom
> Why does a power strip promoter not discuss earthing? He is paid to
> promote obscenely profitable protectors that have no earthing.

If westom had valid technical arguments he wouldn't have to lie about other people. I have never had anything to do with the surge protection industry.

Why not discuss earthing? I did. So does the IEEE surge guide. It says plug-in protectors do not work primarily by earthing. They work by limiting the voltage on all wires (power and signal) to the ground at the protector. Why doesn't westom discuss that?

Posted by westom
> A power strip must somehow magically stop and block a surge.

Protectors do not work by "stopping" or "blocking".
Plug-in protectors are only magic to westom.

Posted by westom
> One industry guru in his 1994 IEEE paper repeats what the NIST
> and IEEE say. Martzloff says damage can happen because a 'point of
> connection' protector makes damage easier. His very first conclusion says:

Westom forgets to mention that Martzloff said in the same document:
"Mitigation of the threat can take many forms. One solution. illustrated in this paper, is the insertion of a properly designed [multiport plug-in surge protector]." At the time of the paper multiport surge protectors were just a concept or very new. Martzlof's point is that they are effective.

In 2001 Martzloff wrote the NIST surge guide which also says plug-in suppressors are effective.

On an electrical engineering forum westom similarly misrepresented the views of Arshad Mansoor, another Upside-Down House author, and provoked a response from an electrical engineer:
"I found it particularly funny that he mentioned a paper by Dr. Mansoor. I can assure you that he supports the use of [multiport] plug-in protectors. Heck, he just sits down the hall from me. LOL."

With no sources that agree with him westom has to misrepresent what other sources say.

Posted by westom
> NIST says what all protectors must do to have protection:

What does the NIST surge guide really say about plug-in protectors?
They are "the easiest solution".
And "one effective solution is to have the consumer install" a multiport plug-in suppressor.

With no sources that agree with him westom has to misrepresent what other sources say.

Both the IEEE and NIST say plug-in protectors are effective.

Posted by westom
> Because telcos waste no money on power strips.

Gee - telcos don't use plug-in suppressors for high amp hard wired switches with thousands of phone lines that would have to go through the plug-in suppressor. What a surprise.

Posted by westom
> House fires are another problem with plug-in protectors.

Since 1998 UL has required surge protectors to have thermal disconnects for overheating MOVs (voltage limiters).

Posted by westom
> Protector without a low impedance (ie 'less than 10 foot') earth
> connection provides no protection layer.

It is westom's religious (immune from challenge) belief in earthing.

Since westom is evangelical in his belief in earthing, he uses google to search for "surge" to spread his beliefs. He has been doing it for years.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Appliances Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here