[Novalug] whole-house surge protectors
zemo at safe-mail.net
Wed Mar 7 17:10:46 EST 2012
Nino: At one time, I would have given the same advice. However, a lot
of modern appliances, particularly those with electric motors, contain
controllers that are no less sensitive than a PC. After a nearby
lightning strike took out my father's AC blower motor, he was
presented with a $800 repair estimate for a new motor. Luckily, the
motor's built-in controller contained a $10 SCR that took it on the
chin, but the repair guy wasn't going to tell even if he did suspect.
Jon: We investigated a whole house protector but decided against it --
opting to simply contend with breakage as it occurred. The problem
was, just like the plug in devices, you don't know worn they are
unless you have $50,000 to spend on a proper tester. Typically, you
just schedule a replacement, but that appeared more expensive than the
wait-and-see approach. If you, like some I know, get a direct bolt
every few years, you may opt for a whole house device. Understand,
though, that you may need an accelerated replacement schedule, and the
electrons will still conspire against your toys.
On Wed, Mar 7, 2012 at 4:27 PM, Nino R. Pereira <ninorpereira at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have absolutely no experience with whole-house surge protectors,
> but for very basic electrical engineering principles I doubt that
> using them makes a lot of sense.
> The reason is this: much electrical equipment doesn't need to be
> protected, and those that take the most power are the best able
> to withstand fluctuations, power outages, and the like. What happens
> to your oven (if it's on) when a voltage spike hits? it goes from
> the equivalent of heating to (say) 400 F to (say) 500 F. Or, when you
> are vacuuming and a spike hits: the motor may run a little faster
> than it otherwise would. And, you water heater would be a milli-second
> earlier in replenishing the hot water after a shower.
> With lamps it's a little different. I can imagine that incandescent
> bulbs will go out a little quicker when it's been hit with voltage spikes,
> but then again, turning them on is already a large hit (because their
> resistance when cold is about 1/10 of their resistance hot). For
> I don't know, and LEDs should be quite impervious.
> So, I'd choose to protect computers by putting them on a UPS, and wouldn't
> worry about much else.
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