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Thread: Surge protector

  1. #1
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    Default Surge protector

    Hi, I have a question about wiring a whole house surge protector in a distribution panel. The installation instructions are at following link: http://sycomsurge.com/~sycomsur/imag...%201-Phase.pdf
    In this case it would be the B) instructions.
    As you can see in the picture it is installed with a double tap at 240 breaker. Double taps are not allowed, so would you pig tail a third set of conductors to the surge protector and the dryer conductors and attach those to the breaker? Or is the double tap allowed in this installation?

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    Default Re: Surge protector

    I've seen them double tapped in too. I've been told that not all "double tapped" installations are incorrect, but that one appears wrong. I don't think it should be connected to those breakers. If I'm correct, that panel is not getting any surge protection benefit from that installation.

    If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice.

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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Hi, I have a question about wiring a whole house surge protector in a distribution panel. The installation instructions are at following link: http://sycomsurge.com/~sycomsur/imag...%201-Phase.pdf
    In this case it would be the B) instructions.
    As you can see in the picture it is installed with a double tap at 240 breaker. Double taps are not allowed, so would you pig tail a third set of conductors to the surge protector and the dryer conductors and attach those to the breaker? Or is the double tap allowed in this installation?
    There should be a dedicated breaker or a breaker that is also a "surge protector." That one is made to mount outside the panel on the nipple (not possible if the panel is flush mounted)
    Given correct wire sizing and appropriate connections then pig tails would be an option IF the surge protector manufacturer approves that type of installation. I'm pretty sure that they want it installed directly to the breaker as close to the buss bar as possible.

    Last edited by Jim Luttrall; 04-21-2015 at 07:41 PM. Reason: Correction
    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Lon Henderson View Post
    I've seen them double tapped in too. I've been told that not all "double tapped" installations are incorrect, but that one appears wrong. I don't think it should be connected to those breakers. If I'm correct, that panel is not getting any surge protection benefit from that installation.
    All multiple tapped installation are incorrect.

    ... multiple tapped ... when you have three or four conductors tapped together do you still call them "double tapped"? ... "more than one" makes it "multiple", therefore two, three, four or even more are still "multiple tapped" ... off the soap box now ... anyone else care to use the soap box at this time?

    Breakers such as Square D have two termination points under one securing device (screw), thus those breakers are not "multiple tapped", there is but one conductor in each terminal.

    Okay, now it is time to get ...



    No, the installation instructions of a add-on device does not alter the original listing and labeling of the device - thus the surge protection installation instructions stating to multiple tap the device to a breaker does not take precedence over the breaker which only allows one conductor per termination point.

    As shown in the photo, that device is multiple tapped to that breaker ... which is not permitted.

    Next question: the photo does not show enough to answer this question - is that two single pole breaker installed side-by-side or is that a quad breaker?

    If that is two single pole breakers installed side-by-side, and if that is a 240 volt circuit as it appears, is a proper breaker handle tie installed?

    Added with edit: And Jim L. addressed another point - installing that outside the panel.

    Last edited by Jerry Peck; 04-21-2015 at 08:14 AM.
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    Default Re: Surge protector

    My 2 cents on this - is that it looks like a quad breaker but it doesn't look properly connected ( needs to be mounted on opposite poles or sides of the wave phase) but that is detail we can not see. Also these must be mounted on an independent breaker so as not to be on a tripped breaker or one that all ready has a load on it (we don't want it to trip in mid surge) Also you really don't want these seeing independent circuit fluctuations


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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    There should be a dedicated breaker or a breaker that is also a GFCI.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    Also these must be mounted on an independent breaker so as not to be on a tripped breaker or one that all ready has a load on it (we don't want it to trip in mid surge) Also you really don't want these seeing independent circuit fluctuations
    Depends on the purpose of it, looks like the installation instructions may be implying that it is also intended for use to protect a given circuit, not necessarily the entire panel.

    Jim,

    "that is also a GFCI."

    Where is that from?

    Thanks.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Depends on the purpose of it, looks like the installation instructions may be implying that it is also intended for use to protect a given circuit, not necessarily the entire panel.

    Jim,

    "that is also a GFCI."

    Where is that from?

    Thanks.

    This was introduced as a "whole house surge protector in a distribution panel"

    So why would you limit it to a single circuit ? Although looking at the device , I am not sure it really does what it says to any sort of degree. Doesn't appear to have much of a heat sink or dissipation unit (oil filled for coolant) and why would you leave this in the bottom of the panel - I am going to guess this was a DIYJ (Do it yourself job) with device purchased for $ 100.00 with 2 wires going to a varistor - was this thing even grounded ? Maybe the wires went into the magic potted box and did nothing - I sometimes wonder about these things - I never should have looked at the picture of the thing , the more I look more I think it works on Magic




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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Dwight Doane View Post
    This was introduced as a "whole house surge protector in a distribution panel"

    So why would you limit it to a single circuit ?
    He also said "In this case it would be the B) instructions."

    You didn't read the installation instructions?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Hi, I have a question about wiring a whole house surge protector in a distribution panel. The installation instructions are at following link: http://sycomsurge.com/~sycomsur/imag...%201-Phase.pdf
    In this case it would be the B) instructions.
    B) Breaker Panel Installation Notes
    Shut off the power to the panel at which you are installing the device by turning off the main breaker.
    Turn off the breaker to which you are going to install the SPD.
    Install the 120/240-T2 on the load side of a two-pole 240V circuit breaker (20A-40A recommended).
    Install the 120-T2 on the load side of a single pole 120V circuit breaker (20A-40A recommended).
    Turn on the main breaker.
    Turn on the breaker onto which you have installed the SPD.
    (bold and underlining are mine)
    Note that B) states:
    Shut off the power to the panel at which you are installing the device and finishes with by turning off the main breaker.
    Turn off the breaker to which you are going to install the SPD.
    Install the 120/240-T2 on the load side of a two-pole 240V circuit breaker (20A-40A recommended).
    Install the 120-T2 on the load side of a single pole 120V circuit breaker (20A-40A recommended).
    Turn on the main breaker.
    Turn on the breaker onto which you have installed the SPD.

    Notice that the above is not stating to install that on the main service disconnect, and that it does not even have to be in the service equipment panel, and that the recommended breaker size to attach it to is a 20 amp to 40 amp breaker (which is obviously not the main service disconnect).

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Jerry, That is a quad breaker and both 240 circuit breakers had handle ties. Sorry for the clarity of that picture. I always wondered why they made them like that with the two outer breakers one 240 circuit breaker and the two inner another 240 circuit breaker. Why not put them side by side

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Rees View Post
    Jerry, That is a quad breaker and both 240 circuit breakers had handle ties. Sorry for the clarity of that picture. I always wondered why they made them like that with the two outer breakers one 240 circuit breaker and the two inner another 240 circuit breaker. Why not put them side by side
    The quad breakers give 240 volts between each side of the two handles, i.e., 240 volts between the center two handles and 240 volts between the two outer two handles.

    With twin breakers (handles side-by-side, think of a twin as one-half of a quad) both are tapped off the same phase side of the bus bar. Put another twin breaker next to it and both of its sides are also on the same phase side of the bus bar, but (for most locations on most bus bars) those two twin breakers would be on different phase sides of the bus bar ... for 240 volts between them. Which is the idea of the quad breaker - two 240 volt breakers fitting into the same space one 240 volt breaker would take up.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Great explanation Jerry. Thank You

    Tom Rees / A Closer Look Home Inspection / Salt Lake City, Utah

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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    There should be a dedicated breaker or a breaker that is also a surge protector. That one is made to mount outside the panel on the nipple (not possible if the panel is flush mounted)
    Given correct wire sizing and appropriate connections then pig tails would be an option IF the surge protector manufacturer approves that type of installation. I'm pretty sure that they want it installed directly to the breaker as close to the buss bar as possible.
    Correction - Surge protector, not GFCI

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Depends on the purpose of it, looks like the installation instructions may be implying that it is also intended for use to protect a given circuit, not necessarily the entire panel.

    Jim,

    "that is also a GFCI."

    Where is that from?

    Thanks.
    Brain fart - meant surge protector. I'd like to blame auto correct but that would be a bit of a stretch!

    Jim Luttrall
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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Depends on the purpose of it, looks like the installation instructions may be implying that it is also intended for use to protect a given circuit, not necessarily the entire panel.
    A surge protector anywhere in the system will offer some protection to all circuits in the system.

    Last edited by Rick Cantrell; 04-22-2015 at 03:44 AM.
    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Cantrell View Post
    A surge protector anywhere in the system will offer some protection to all circuits in the system.
    Acknowledged ... with the key word being "some" ... the further downstream the surge protector is from the service disconnect, the less protection offered for anything upstream of the surge protector (the surge can take something out before the surge reaches the surge protector).mi

    Like a rough tsunami wave across water going from Point A to Point B ... except the electrical surge travels much faster!

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    Default Re: Surge protector

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Acknowledged ... with the key word being "some" ... the further downstream the surge protector is from the service disconnect, the less protection offered for anything upstream of the surge protector (the surge can take something out before the surge reaches the surge protector).mi

    Like a rough tsunami wave across water going from Point A to Point B ... except the electrical surge travels much faster!
    Sorry for the delay in posting, my Dad is in the hospital, and I've been with him a lot.


    There are several different types of surge protectors. Each, uses a different technology and therefore function differently. I'm not familiar with every type. I'm familiar with 3 types, 1 of which is old school and not likely to be used as a house protector.
    As for not protecting outlets before the surge protector, it depends on which type.
    At least one type of surge protector can be compared to something most HI's understand, a Pressure relief valve on the water line.
    When water pressure exceeds the set point, the pressure relief valve opens, thus reducing the water pressure in the water line. Even when the pressure relief valve is placed at the end of the water line the entire water line is protected.
    Same as some surge protectors. When the voltage exceeds a set point (Clamping Voltage) the surge protector closes to ground, thus lowering the voltage. It makes little if any difference where it is placed, all points in the system are at the same voltage.
    Note however, some (many) surge protectors will "Trip" when current exceeds the set bleed off current rating (Current, not voltage). If the surge protector does trip, there will be NO protection anywhere upstream of the protector if there are additional surges, until the protector is reset.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

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