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Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: anonymouse1
Date: April 15, 2019 12:30PM
Because we're installing a new hot water heater, and the one the plumber likes has delicate electronics inside, the plumber suggests that we install a whole-house surge protector.

I recall reading a couple of things:

1) There's a difference about a surge protector that covers one "leg" versus two. Any ideas about that?

2) What are the criteria/metrics I should look at when I go to buy one?

3) Any specific brand recommendations?

Thanks!
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Re: Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: wowzer
Date: April 15, 2019 12:47PM
I thought the primary issue was that electricity can come into the house from lightning via other passages, not just your electrical system. For that reason, I never installed a whole house protector.



All I ever really needed to know, I learned from watching Star Trek.
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Re: Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: space-time
Date: April 15, 2019 02:46PM
Since the cold water heater runs on gas, it does not use a lot of power. I would assume (but I am not sure) that it runs on single phase 120V and used little power. If it has a standard 120V cord plugged into a regular outlet, just use an off the shelf UPS/surge protector. Bonus is that you can have hot water when power is out.
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Re: Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: April 15, 2019 02:55PM
....this is like wearing an entire body.......condom.....



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Re: Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: Carm
Date: April 15, 2019 06:25PM
Quote
space-time
Since the cold water heater runs on gas, it does not use a lot of power. I would assume (but I am not sure) that it runs on single phase 120V and used little power. If it has a standard 120V cord plugged into a regular outlet, just use an off the shelf UPS/surge protector. Bonus is that you can have hot water when power is out.
smiley-laughing001
But seriously though, just get an outlet surge protector (as suggested), I know Monoprice and Amazon have them. I wouldn’t be surprised if our sponsor sold one also. I have one for my Orbi satellite.
[www.amazon.com] , Linked a Belkin I have. There is a cyberpower one for $6.40



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/15/2019 06:28PM by Carm.
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Re: Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: testcase
Date: April 15, 2019 10:08PM
The natural gas water heater I had required NO 110VAC to operate, just a pilot light that sipped gas until actual heating was required. Even a water heater with DSI (Direct Spark Ignition; ie NO pilot light) can be powered by 12VDC batteries thus requiring NO ac power.
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Re: Whole House Surge Protector?
Posted by: Winston
Date: April 16, 2019 10:36PM
Quote
space-time
Since the cold water heater runs on gas . . .
anonymouse1 doesn't mention it being a gas heater.

Quote
anonymouse1
Because we're installing a new hot water heater, and the one the plumber likes has delicate electronics inside, the plumber suggests that we install a whole-house surge protector.

I recall reading a couple of things:

1) There's a difference about a surge protector that covers one "leg" versus two. Any ideas about that?

First, is a plumber the right person to give you advice on a surge protector? I'd sure not ask my plumber, but do trust my electrician about such things. That said, modern appliances with circuit boards seem to be ridiculously sensitive. My extended family has stories about a flat glass cooktop and a dryer, both of which had to be replaced because their electronic control boards went bad. So the plumber likely has a good point, if not necessarily the best solution.

Surge protectors "wear out" over time as they absorb surges. If you depend on a whole-house unit, and it hits its limit, would that put a bunch of things at risk? I'd assume that a whole house surge suppressor would be a lot more robust than what's put in a consumer level surge protector or UPS, but the question is, how much so? How would you monitor it? (Asking questions - not meant as "no, don't consider this".)

The "two legs" I assume is two 115v circuits which can be combined to give you 220-240v service for things like an electric dryer or an electric stove.

We have a lightning rod in a tree near our house to protect from lightning strikes, but that will not help with a surge that comes in via the electric wiring.


Good luck.

- Winston



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