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Question DetailsAsked on 5/2/2011

have you installed a whole-house surge protector?

We've had a few close calls with surges (living in a neighborhood full of 40 foot trees will do that). What kind did you get? (Better, what kinds are there?) How much did it run you?

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    1 Answer



    Just a few comments. I used to do electronic design work..and before that radio tower work. Most all electronics today, are protected to some degree from the high voltage surges induced into the power lines from a nearby strike, and fare pretty well. Good grounding, and tight connections actually help. The transformers are designed around 60 Hz (cycles per second).. which is VERY slow as compared to the pulse from lightening. The transformers tend to block that. Phone lines have fuses, but often less overvoltage protection.

    Surge protectors are typically a device which basically forms a temporary short circuit for voltages beyond the designed voltage level. And they are also restricted by how much energy they can successfully, or repeatedly dissapate.. before they.. ah.. explode. A common protective device is the MOV (metal oxide varistor) which sparks over internally. That is, a power strip surge protector may have been good yesterday, and yet, may have the protector device fried, from a recent excursion. If opened.. it's usually obvious!! But can only be tested with proper test equipment.

    Just MHO.. but whole house protection seems rather extreme. The low impedence of the power distribution, minimizes the problem also.

    As for protection from a direct hit (or a overhead Nuclear explosion)... I could be funny.. but lets just say protection may not be cost effective. I've seen the results of direct lightening strikes! If it WAS a potential conductor before.. even huge pieces of tower legs or antennas.. it's probably vaporized, or at least melted after the hit. Towers don't get hit as often as trees, because they are grounded, and tend to gather and dissapate the charged air particles.. which allow the air to ionize and to conduct initially.


    Answered 9 years ago by handyguyJ

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