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Options for whole-home surge protection

Posted by dgeist (My Page) on
Tue, Apr 9, 13 at 9:41

I'm looking into various types and makers of "whole home surge protection" devices and I think I'm going to stay with the maker of my panel. That particular maker has a couple options. One is a standard two-slot breaker form factor with the protection circuitry onboard an a simple LED for operational status (only requiring a pigtail to the neutral bus). The other is an external assembly which requires the same breaker connection to each leg of the service (typical for the device category), but which also has Coax and Cat5 protection onboard, but at several times the price.

My question is: for my AC legs, how can I determine which type would give me better protection. The first one has the advantage of a very clean install and taking up no room outside the panel, but obviously the second has more features which I might have to implement with another device if I don't go that route. I'd like to compare apples to apples (for the AC side, at least) to make the decision easier. Also, any personal experiences with one over the other would be helpful.


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Options for whole-home surge protection

Unless you were extremely lucky to have your phone and Cable TV enter at the same point as your electrical service, I'd not bother. Frankly, would want the suppression/arresting device EXTERNAL to the house on these lines.

RE: Options for whole-home surge protection

Thanks, Ron. With respect to the coax/UTP(phone) units, they typically have a pigtail for connection to earth ground. If they're installed outside the structure and reasonably close (<10 ft) from the main buried grounding conductors, should the surge protection devices be mechanically tied to them or should they have their own "mini grounding conductors" as I've seen telcos drop from a NID or other DC entrance device straight down into the dirt? ...or should they have both and be tied together?

RE: Options for whole-home surge protection

As short and straight as possible is best for grounding electrode conductors.

If you have multiple electrodes they should all be bonded together.

RE: Options for whole-home surge protection

I have the Leviton 51110-001 model. External to the panel. Connects via 2 20A breakers. No phone/cable filtering. For AC filtering, all seemed about the same to my "day of research". I was shuffing around some circuits anyway with an upgrade to my HVAC system so I made sure the two breakers were at the top of the panel.

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