Surge protectors......

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by OhioHead, Sep 18, 2021.

  1. OhioHead

    OhioHead Forum Resident Thread Starter

    A few weeks ago because of the help of the SHF’s I snagged a used Classe CA-200 amp for my Thiel’s 2.2; last night after power surge the power protection on the Amp kicked on, I am going to call a local shop to see if they can replace the fuse/reset the amp (slow blinking green/yellow light).

    My question is about surge protectors (not conditioners), what is suggested protection level in joules for all you gear (the amp was plugged into a surge protector, just not rated very high)?

    Thx u!
    Rich-n-Roll likes this.
  2. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    You need whole house protection
    I use this

    Riktator, bajaed, Shawn and 2 others like this.
  3. Duke Fame

    Duke Fame Sold out the Enormodome

    Tampa, FL
    Is that wired in at your electrical panel? How much did it cost to install?
    bajaed likes this.
  4. Danmar

    Danmar Forum Resident

    Whole Home Generator EMP Shielding & Lightning Protection (SP-120-240-G)
    Just ordered this for my home. Comes with $25,000 insurance. NO affiliation!
  5. OhioHead

    OhioHead Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Interesting, had not thought of a “whole house” protector, just a big ole stand alone one.

    I guess the install was a couple hundred by a licensed electrician? I buy previously owned gear, the replacement cost of my amp & speakers is in $2k to $4k range (if not more since they are not made any longer), the $25k lightning guarantee is not a lot.

    SHF friends what is a “reasonable” power conditioner to add to my system?
  6. gestalt

    gestalt Well-Known Member

    Nashville, TN
  7. Danmar

    Danmar Forum Resident

    Better then no Insurance. $400.00 w/breakers, is a no brainer for me.
  8. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    I installed it myself
    Should take an electrician 1 hour plus travel
    It cost <$200
    Based on Ohio you need FS100

    I know a little about the subject and you'd be hard pressed to get better than Siemens.
    It also has equipment cost coverage.

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
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  9. jea48

    jea48 Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    Was there a thunderstorm? Near by lightning storm?

    An SPD (Surge Protection Device) will not protect from an AC mains voltage swell.

    SRP: Power quality terms and definitions

    I installed this one. EATON CHSPT2ULTRA

    What ever you buy make sure it is listed UL1449-3rd Edition.

    Here is a good video for you to watch.

    Read the warranty closely. Especially the fine print...
    No SPD will survive/protect from a direct lightning strike. A direct lightning strike is not covered by the warranty. Also the SPD manufacturer only pay for damage after the home owners insurance coverage.


    Notice no fine print. Just the facts... Read the warranty before you buy...


    Also as a rule the warranty coverage is only good if the SPD is purchased from an authorized dealer and installed by an electrician.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
    Swann36 likes this.
  10. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

  11. Danmar

    Danmar Forum Resident

    There are 3 different version. Copy the link, it will bring you to the home page. Well worth it in my eyes. Especially if I'm not home to unplug my gear, in the event of a storm.
  12. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    Oh yeah, not questioning that- have whole house (Eaton) and a surge protection panel in my 10kVA iso transformer. The Eaton uses MOVs so at some point, will be replaced.
    I do use a few point of use surge protectors for other gear in my house, but the main system relies on the protection in the iso transformer- a huge thing that sits outside- as well as the whole house strapped in at the main service panel.
    Was just curious about the EMP thing. If things go that far, I doubt I'll be listening to music....
  13. Swann36

    Swann36 A widower finding solace in music

    Lincoln, UK
    Interesting thread ... not sure how much of an issue this is in the UK ? .... it's not something that comes up often ..but perhaps it should or do we in the UK have a 'better / more stable' electrical supply to houses and in houses ? or are we just not with it here ?

    thoughts appreciated from those who know far more than i about this kind of stuff
    MGW likes this.
  14. Danmar

    Danmar Forum Resident

    From their home page:

    EMP Protection
    All Phases an EMP (E1, E2, & E3)
    Solar Flares
    Up to 228,000 Amps
    Lightning Protection
    100% Lightning Guarantee Backed By a $25,000 Insurance Policy
    Bill Hart likes this.
  15. Danmar

    Danmar Forum Resident

    I live 10 miles south of NYC (Manhattan). The storms are getting vicious here. I'm not taking any chances, for $400.00 USD, I can ease my mind if **** happens.
  16. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    The Siemens will protect against over-voltage.

    MCOV is 150
    Above that it clamps/shunts

    But switching transients are considerably higher. Typically >2 times the operating peak
    Or > 300 VAC

    The utility operating limits will never exceed 125 - 130 VAC,
    Under fault transients much higher

    but under a fault V sags, not increases, I surges
    Hence the rating in current

    If you have a SC V> 0 and I^

    The grounding system is important.
    The lower the ground vs load the higher ratio shunted the ground.
    An xtra rod never hurts

    if you have a direct strike on your service conductors (rare) it will split between your ground and utility ground (which is typically lower than yours, many butt coils plus a conductor.

    They have LA's (SPD) on the primary.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2021
  17. hesson11

    hesson11 Forum Resident

    I'd encourage you to consider the following information from Zero Surge, a highly respected manufacturer, regarding the advantages (and disadvantages) of "whole-building" surge protection. I believe these folks know exactly what they're talking about.

    Tiered Protection / Whole Building - Zero Surge
    Riktator likes this.
  18. Bill Hart

    Bill Hart Forum Resident

    I don't disagree (and have whole house, point of sub-system consisting of 10kVa iso transformer and for other systems point of use, including ZeroSurge product), but the robustness of the power supply of the gear is also a factor. As mentioned, a direct strike or something that sends a crazy amount of voltage through your wires- to me, the only protection is to be "unplugged"; at a certain point, a lot of the commonly considered "good" surge protection a/k/a power conditioners from reputable companies are not something I'd want to plug my gear into because I could hear and have heard the sonic degradation caused by them. I have not sampled current offerings from the usual suspects.
    My premise is-- start from the beginning where the power comes into the residence. (most of us dealing with home stereo are in residences rather than buildings, but apartments, flats, condos, etc. pose an additional challenge because you are sharing power with others over whom you have no control).
    Sort out the problems if any in the service to main panel. Sure, throw a whole house surge protection system on there- not a big expenditure, but then what?
    All these black boxes. To what extent are they filtering out music along with "noise"?
    I do have a circuit board on the iso transformer that is for surge protection, along with a light which will tell me if the circuit board needs to be replaced, but on that system, don't employ any point of use. (I have them, no shortage of ancillaries here).
    If someone is sorting out their power, they should be paying attention to the "infrastructure" of their house, flat, whatever first, before adding black boxes.
    I'm not saying there isn't room for line conditioners and the like, but in many cases, there is the potential that you could be sonically downgrading your system by relying on many of them.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    jea48 likes this.
  19. Funky54

    Funky54 Coat Hangers do not sound good

    I’ll just mention that surge protection equals surge suppression. Lightning will hit whatever the heck it feels like. There’s no such thing as true lightning protection. Just lightning suppression.

    From time to time as a third party, I have to go to large systems and evaluate the lightning damage, usually it’s $100,000 to $300,000 worth of automation gear in the house.
    I often insist on replacing everything if I find damage in multiple subsystems. Even minor damage. Some insurance companies fight this and only want to make minor repairs on the surge damaged proven items. More often than not they wind up with 20-30 service calls and problems costing way more than replacing the system. Often over the course of a few months problems start surfacing. Inputs get glitchy and go out, led panel lights go out, processor menus disappear, audio channels go out, power supplies melt or go out… damage from lighting is far reaching and often hard to compartmentalize. No matter how sophisticated or how much money they spend on lightning protection. It still gets through. I actually quit selling expensive high end surge because while it may sorta save some parts.. you never know what hidden damage there is. I actually recommend a quality surge unit at a reasonable price and if lighting hits… I’d rather it take out a bunch of gear than half way protect some of the gear. In other words the 3k and up surge systems for racks seem to mask damage more than prevent.

    A few years ago there was a worst case senerio. Lightning hit… probably the ground near by but close enough to to some underground cat wire in conduit between a house and Cabana. You could follow the black connections to both the house and Cabana. It literally took out 17 TV network jacks at each TV, of course the switch too. I recommended replacing all the video gear including the matrix switch. Insurance fought for months and sent some guy to one by one, replace each TV’s network input board… these were all 720 and early 1080i displays and were out dated with 1080p being the new norm. They spent months trouble shooting and repairing all those TVs, one by one AVR’s, Processors, even penalized lighting attached to network starting doing weird stuff. Still the insurance fought and fought. The house ended up catching fire. There were law suits against the insurance company, manufacturers and even the idiot competitor who tried to fix each out dated TV. No clue what that ended up costing. All I know is about two years later a contractor was finally gutting a third of the house and one of my reputable competitors was replacing the entire system.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
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  20. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    As others have mentioned, this is not about elimination but mitigation, reducing risk and damage. A seat belt is no guarantee in a car accident, but it does lower risk.

    I took a grad class in transients and lightening was a big part as were switching transients. You'll hear it won't do this or that, but a whole house SPD is a good start. It doesn't matter which brand as long as a primary equipment mfg.: Siemens, Eaton, etc. Must be UL listed and meet IEEE standards.

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    Dave and Danmar like this.
  21. jea48

    jea48 Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA
    Apples to oranges comparing a type 2 SPD to a type 3 SPD.

    First line of defense is at the electrical service. Second is at the equipment branch circuit outlet.

    From your link:

    The 80% of surge, spikes, are caused by items such as microwaves, air conditioning, furnace, garage door openers, power tools, ect. Any motor load(s) turning on or off. An SPD installed at the electrical panel will help clamp the high voltage transient spikes/surges and absorb, and or divert it to ground.

    "Most of those manufacturers, therefore, recommend supplemental point of use surge protection for sensitive electronics like computers and home theater equipment."

    Why do well respected manufacturers recommend tiered protection? Could it be because ANSI/IEEE and UL recommend it?

    You will note the Type 3 Zero Surge surge protector is not UL 1449-3rd Edition Listed. Or ETL listed meeting UL1449-3rd Edition standards.

    The type 3 Zero Surge protector may provide good surge protection but I fail to understand why, at least to me, the company trashes type 1 and type 2 SPD surge protection.

    FWIW. 2020 NEC (Nation Electrical Code).

    New ... Quote:

    230.67 Surge Protection.

    (A) Surge Protection Device. All services supplying dwelling units shall be provided with a surge-protective device (SPD).

    (B) Location. The SPD shall be an integral part of the service equipment or shall be located immediately adjacent thereto.

    Exception: The SPD shall not be required to be located in the service equipment as required in (B) if located at each next level distribution equipment downstream toward the load.

    (C) Type. The SPD shall be a Type 1 or Type 2 SPD.

    (D) Replacement. Where service equipment is replaced, all of the requirements of this section shall apply.

    End of quoted material.

    One of the reasons for the new section in Article 230 Services is to protect the electronics in AFCI and GFCI and Dual Function AFCI/GFCI circuit breakers.

    U.S. State NEC Adoptions | Code Changes | Online Electrical CE Courses

    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
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  22. MGW

    MGW Less travelling, more listening

    Scotland, UK
    That's pretty much what I was thinking and wondering.

    I do think that our supply is a bit more stable and remember ours is a national, and nationally regulated, system, whereas, as I understand it, the US system is a series of local systems with state- based regulation.

    Certainly, we experience a much lower frequency and severity of storms that might affect equipment, though that is increasing with climate change.

    This is something that I may have to have a chat about with my electrician next time we speak.
    Swann36 likes this.
  23. Ingenieur

    Ingenieur Going with the flow...

    If the device is on the main bus (really anywhere, but closer to the source is better) it will mitigate internal and external transients.

    You will get surges from refrigerators, AC, etc. but they are usually small if installed correctly.
    A V droop when starting due to inrush I.
    And possible a V surge when shutdown under load. Most compressors have unloaders.
    Start under no load
    Relieve load before shutting off

    It is better to series protection
    Some transient will get thru
    Whole house
    Power strip

    again, no guarantee, if the let thru is less than the power strips MCOV it has no impact.

    This is a matter of risk reduction, not elimination
  24. Riktator

    Riktator Surfer of the Audio Waves

    Perfect timing. This subject crosses my mind often and up till now I have not looked into whole house protection. Around 10p on Friday night the first real "fall" storm rolled into Western Washington with some serious wind and rain. By 103op the power was out and we went to generator power first thing Saturday morning until noon. Before the power dropped, every time the lights flickered I though about my various surge protectors and battery backups. Definitely looking into the Siemens for asap and moving the audio electronics to a Zero Surge. The system has been on a couple of different surge protectors and backup battery systems over the years and I can't say that I have been able to hear any difference in the sounds coming out.
  25. jea48

    jea48 Forum Resident

    Midwest, USA

    post #21

    Should be:
    FWIW. 2020 NEC (National Electrical Code)

    So much for proof reading before posting.
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2021
    Danmar likes this.

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