TMC is an independent, primarily volunteer organization that relies on ad revenue to cover its operating costs. Please consider whitelisting TMC on your ad blocker and becoming a Supporting Member. For more info: Support TMC
Start a Discussionhttps://teslamotorsclub.com/tmc/tags/

Surge protector for 14-50

Discussion in 'Model S: Battery & Charging' started by Larry, Jan 1, 2017.

  1. Larry

    Larry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    East Bay of SF
    Is a surge protector a good idea? Do they even exist for 220/240? I'm doing plans for a new house and thought about this

    Thanks
     
  2. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    FLorida
    They make whole house surge protectors. Check with your utility company as they usually provide, or can at least advise you. If you are using the UMC cable that came with the car, it already has one as part of it..... That is probably all you need.
     
  3. jplasmd

    jplasmd Member

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    Messages:
    22
    Location:
    Las Cruces, New Mexico
    Amazon.com: Eaton 109420 Ultra Surge Protection 3Rd Edition: Home Audio & Theater

    This is the whole house unit I installed to protect my house. You want to locate it next to your main beaker panel so as to keep the wires as short as possible. You will also need a 50 amp, 240v breaker that fits your particular breaker box to connect the surge protector to your box. It's also important to have an excellent grounded breaker panel (typically a 4 gauge solid copper wire leading to two 8' copper clad grounding rods spaced out 8-10' located in, ideally, moist soil. I prefer to thermo-weld the copper wire to the grounding rods rather than using the usual clamps, but then I live in the Southwest desert where a good ground can be elusive.)
     
  4. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    NW of the 6ix Canada
    I have an Intermatic IG1240RC3 protecting my panel. Whole house protector, 6 modes (L-L, L-N, L-N, L-G, L-G, N-G). Similar installation to above.
    IG1240RC3 - Intermatic
     
  5. Larry

    Larry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    East Bay of SF
    Thank you
     
  6. westom

    westom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    'Whole house' protector (for all 240/120 service) is recommended because it makes a low impedance connection to what does protection. Ineffective protectors must somehow 'block' or 'absorb' a surge. 'Whole house' protector is effective because it connects a surge to what does the protection - earth ground.

    If building a new home, then best protection is installed when footings are poured. Since concrete encased earthing electrodes (Ufer ground) make a best ground. That defines best protection. No effective protector does protection. Effective protection is defined by better earthnig - where hundreds of thousands of joules harmlessly dissipate.

    Also critical is a low impedance connection. A hardwire must be as short as possible (ie less than 10 feet). Must have no sharp bends. No splices. Must be routed separate from other non-grounding wires. Must not be inside metallic conduit.

    Protector is simple science. Since lightning is typically 20,000 amps, then a minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. Others posted examples. If properly sized and earthed, then a protector remains good for decades. Then tiny plug-in protectors are protected. That means concentrating most on the essential item in every surge protection system - single point earth ground.
     
  7. habanero69

    habanero69 I Dont Need Cialis. I Drive an EV.

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2016
    Messages:
    387
    Location:
    FLorida
    While the above recommendations are accurate, I still think you ought to see if your power provide/utility provides their own protection. For me in FLorida, it is FPL Energy Services | Surge Protection It is true WHOLE house protection at the METER. It comes with specific guarantees and you do nothing but pay a monthly fee for the leased equipment. In my case you can cancel at anytime with no penalty. This type of equipment is true whole house protection for a direct strike, unlike some of these others that specially state they are NOT. YMMV. :cool:
     
  8. westom

    westom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    No protector does protection from destructive surges such as lightning. That FPL protector is part a solution for direct lightning - only if connected low impedance (ie less than 10 feet) to single point earth ground. FPL does not provide that earthing. Only a homeowner is responsible for providing and maintaining another item that does protection - even from direct lightning strikes.

    So yes, they are correct. FPL 'whole house' protector - that works just like other exampled protectors - is rated to earth direct lightning strikes - and remain functional. But only if part of a protection 'system'.

    It is the common mistake made by so many. Many foolishly assume a protector is protection only because both words are so similar. A protector is only as effective as its earth ground - including a 'behind the meter' protector installed by FPL.
     
  9. Larry

    Larry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    East Bay of SF
    I appreciate all the details and we will install whole house protection as described by Westom. What can I do to help prevent surges from within the house? For example my new expensive dryer. How do I protect it from surges within the house? Or my new refrigerator/freezer? Are the basic surge protectors good enough? Is there one for the electric dryer?
    Thanks again
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2012
    Messages:
    13,286
    Location:
    Texas
    The whole house protector can help--typically up to about 20,000 Volts. What I have is a 6 KVA UPS for all the electronic equipment. There is a panel to distribute the power to various plugs around the house and the unit is hard wired. I suspect it will protect most or all of the electronic equipment (nothing with motors though) from the "car hits the transformer pole". To be protected from lightning, you'll need something like a Liebert PDU and one or more large UPS that can handle motor startup load. If lighting strikes (and I have some experience with this), the PDU will be blown as well as some of the UPS. Note that this kind of set up will make your Tesla and appliance purchases look like small change.
     
  11. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    NW of the 6ix Canada
    Multi-level protection is recommended. Surge protection at the meter, panel, sub-panel and device level are all available.
    Electronics can be protected by a GOOD surge protector power bar. Do not cheap-out, and insure that the bar has indication that shows that it is functional. For larger devices, there are some choices. I like the Mersen DIN rail products (Those with solar arrays may be very familiar with these). It will require additional wiring, and perhaps a separate cabinet.
    : Mersen Product Catalog
     
    • Like x 1
  12. westom

    westom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    How often daily must we replace dishwashers, clocks, refrigerator, furnace, GFCIs, doorbell, LED bulbs, recharging electronics, and smoke detectors? Never? Invisible protectors exist? Of course not. If anything inside creates destructive surges, then those suffer damage daily. No damage because best protection at each appliance is already inside each appliance.

    Fear only promoted by hearsay recommends spending massively on plug-in protectors - that claim less protection than what is already inside appliances.

    How many joules does that protector absorb? A thousand? Electronics routinely convert transients that tiny into rock stable, low DC voltages to safely power semiconductors. A surge too tiny to overwhelm existing protection may also destroy a near zero joule protector. Best protection at each appliance already exists.

    Protection provided by a UPS is even tinier (ie hundreds of joules). Just enough above zero so it can claim 100% protection.

    Multi-layer protection: each protection layer is defined by an item that harmlessly absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules.

    Above only discussed a 'secondary' protection layer. Also inspect the 'primary' protection layer. Pictures (not text) about half way down and after the expression "more safety hazards" demonstrate the other protection layer:
    FPL Fraud
    Each protection layer is only defined by an item that absorbs energy - ie earth ground.

    Plug-in protectors are effective if that 'whole house' protection exists. Plug-in protectors with so few joules must be protected by a 'whole house' solution. Otherwise that protector may even make appliance damage easier.

    IEEE defined properly earthed protection as 99.5% to 99.9%. Then add plug-in protectors (that have no earth ground) to add maybe 0.2% additional protection.

    More numbers. Potentially destructive surge, that might overwhelm protection already inside every appliance, occurs maybe once every seven years. Daily surges created inside a house are only noise - maybe as much as ten volts. Fear dissipates once we add facts (ie daily destroyed appliances) and numbers.

    Surges are not 20,000 volts. Surges are a current source - not a voltage source. If anything foolishly tries to block that surge (ie a plug-in protector), then voltage increases as necessary to destructive levels so that 20,000 amps will continue to flow. Best protection means 20,000 amps flow to earth creating near zero volts. Then best protection inside every appliance is not overwhelmed.

    Where is one power strip protector that has an always required low impedance (ie less than 10 foot) connection to earth ground? How does it 'block' or 'absorb' tens or hundreds of thousands of joules? It doesn't. It claims to protect from surges already made irrelevant by better protection already inside appliances.
     
  13. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    NW of the 6ix Canada
    Wow....lots of information here. I agree with your post.......But I would like to expand on some of your points:
    Most RESIDENTIAL surges come from outside the house. Utility switching, not lightning may be more of an enemy to your home. You have stated, correctly, that most of the household power sources may produce some low energy transients, that are easily handled by the inputs of the switch mode power supplies feeding most electronic devices. Internal surges MAY be produced when large loads come on or off line - like a compressor - but this has been mitigated in recent years by the inclusion of variable frequency drives powering these loads. It is possible but not likely to produce surges inside your home.

    Multi layer protection is the best answer - fully agree. My issue is that the cheap surge units sold at retail have undersized (or no) MOV, high voltage protection ratings, and no indication if they are actually working. See diagram below illustrating multi-layer...

    Surge types.jpg

    Plug in protectors (type 3, above) are most effective if type 2 and/or 1 are installed

    Properly installed type 2, and/or type 1 devices (IEEE defined - as in your statement) will protect you best. I'm not sure of your percentages.

    Most of the internal transients are of very low value, and may be more of a nuisance as "noise", affecting data and low voltage signalling.
     
  14. Larry

    Larry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    East Bay of SF

    Since I'm not an EE my take on this is
    1. Whole home protection as described by Westom previously is best
    2. My electrical appliances have internal surge protectors and inside the home surges are handled by the appliances on their own.

    Correct?
     
  15. DMC-Orangeville

    DMC-Orangeville 85D and John Deere 5100E

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    366
    Location:
    NW of the 6ix Canada
    A properly installed "whole home protection" device is the first line of defense, and the best choice.


    Not really. I'll try to keep this away from technical-speak. Electronic devices convert AC to DC using various types of power supplies. Many of these supplies, like the switch mode type mentioned in my post, are very robust, and can handle large swings in input voltage (You will often see devices rated 120-277 volt input). Small anomalies in the power line are "ignored" by the power supply, as @westom says "Electronics routinely convert transients that tiny into rock stable, low DC voltages to safely power semiconductors".
    Some appliances may have filters/chokes on their boards, but generally do not contain MOV, SAD, vacuum tubes, or other electronic components that are used to protect against surges.

    However, it is still possible to have surges in the house, produced internally or let through from upstream, and that is why it is recommended to use a layered approach. Some of the less expensive plug in suppressors will use undersized MOV (Metal Oxide Varistors - the most commonly used protection device), and may not protect all modes (L-L, L-N, N-G in 1 phase 120 volt). If you are going to do this, buy a good one.

    Note: I do not have any plug in surge protectors on my electronics. I do have an Intermatic whole home protector on my panel and sub-panels (barns).
    Disclosure: I am an electrical rep, and one of my product lines is Intermatic.....
     
  16. mrElbe

    mrElbe Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,197
    Location:
    Stouffville, ON Canada
    Plug in surge protector power bars have a MOV ( Metal Oxide Varistor ) across the line inside that will protect you from a surge once by burning up. After that one surge, it is just another power bar.
     
  17. Larry

    Larry Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2013
    Messages:
    467
    Location:
    East Bay of SF
    #17 Larry, Jan 4, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
    Thanks again. Which Intermatic unit should I look at? 400 amp panel, solar, usual appliances.
     
  18. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Florida, United States
    This is a good model that can go alongside your main panel:

    Leviton 120/240-Volt Residential Whole House Surge Protector-R02-51110-SRG - The Home Depot

    When installed, it protects all lines in your house (120 V / 240 V). I would find a well-rated electrician to do the work.

    Also, you should still use the smaller plug-in surge protectors for sensitive devices such as computers.
     
  19. westom

    westom Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Messages:
    41
    Since lightning is typically 20,000 amps, then a minimal 'whole house' protector is 50,000 amps. If neighborhood history over more than ten years suggests rare and more frequent surges, then consider a 100,000 amp protector.

    If I remember, an Intermatic is rated as 48,000 amps - good enough.

    Manufacturers of effective protectors include Intermatic, Square D, Ditek, Siemens, Polyphaser (an industry benchmark), Syscom, Leviton, ABB, Delta, Erico, General Electric, and Cutler-Hammer (Eaton).

    Specification numbers (not model numbers) are relevant.
     
  20. Electric700

    Electric700 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2013
    Messages:
    1,166
    Location:
    Florida, United States
    The Leviton model I linked to got very good reviews. Here's one of them:

    "...This morning the house took at power surge from the power company and whole house surge protector did its job. I know protector took the brunt of it because the face blew off the front of it and it landed 4 feet away. See the picture attached. Off to Depot to get another one today!..."
     

Share This Page