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Thread: Surge Protector

  1. #1

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    Default Surge Protector

    I need some help to try to protect my home theater system. I have a Pioneer Elite VSX56TXi, a tv, xbox, a Niles 275 amp, and a computer that needs power in my room. I was most likely going to have just the Pioneer 56 and the Niles to one protector and the TV, xbox to another any maybe my computer to its own. So what kind of surge protector would I need or anything else to protect thats not too expensive. I would say around $50 each for protector but any advice welcome.

    There might be a problem though. My house is fairly old so all of the outlets are 2 prong outlets. So from my understanding, theres no ground. So right now I have a 2 prong adapter so I can plug in the surge protector I have now (Belkin Surge master ii). As far as the adapter goes, Im not sure if having the surge protector does anything since the outlet itself doesnt have a ground.

    Sooner or later I will get house rewired but wondering if there is any solution for the meantime.

    Thank you.

  2. #2

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    Niles 275
    Power Requirement: Standard Version 110V, 60Hz; Export Version 220V, 50Hz
    Rated Current Draw: 9 A

    Pioneer VSX56
    Power Requirements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .AC 120 V, 60 Hz
    Power Consumption . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 600 W
    Power Consumption in standby. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 0.8W
    AC outlet (switched) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 100 W (0.8 A) MAX

    Belkin Surge Master ii (current surge protector)
    couldnt find much on this except
    1214 Joules
    84,500 maximum spike amperage

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    I think you're gonna have to have a ground circuit. If your home is on a basement foundation, this shouldn't be too hard. Where your existing 2 prong outlet is, install 1 preferably 2, three prong outlets. Wire them per the instruction that come with and for the ground, run a wire to the nearest cold water pipe (assuming you have metal supply pipes with no plastic or di-electric union splice in).

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    Quote Originally Posted by colin808 View Post
    There might be a problem though. My house is fairly old so all of the outlets are 2 prong outlets. So from my understanding, theres no ground. ... As far as the adapter goes, Im not sure if having the surge protector does anything since the outlet itself doesnt have a ground.
    That receptacle does not have a 'safety' ground. Therefore the Belkin becomes a human safety problem. Replace the receptacle with a GFCI. And put the required label on that receptacle.

    Meanwhile, safety ground does nothing for transistor safety. Protection is always about earth ground. First understand the problem. A surge is an electric current hunting for earth ground. If permitted inside, it will go hunting for earth destructively via appliances. Nothing inside can or will avert that hunt. As in nothing.

    If a surge connects to earth ground before entering, then it need not go hunting destructively via appliances. Critical for protection of all two wire and three wire homes is a properly earthed 'whole house' protector. Only one required so that even direct lightning strikes need not cause damage.

    Don't worry about safety grounds. Worry only about the relevant ground - earth ground.

    Cable TV connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to that earth ground with a wire. No protector required. The best solution is provided by a hardwire connected low impedance to what does protection - earth ground.

    Every wire that enters a building must connect to that same ground - single point earth ground. Telephone cannot connect directly. So the telco already installed 'for free' a 'whole house' protector where your phone lines meet theirs. But again, what makes that protector effective? Find the low impedance wire (usually green or gray) that connects that NID protector to protection - earth ground.

    Most common source of destructive surges is AC electric. A lightning strike far down the street is a direct strike incoming to every appliance. Which ones are damaged? Appliances that also have some other conductor connected to earth. That other conductor can even be furniture or a concete floor. And that is the point. Once that surge is permitted inside, then nothing will absorb or block it.

    A surge earthed to the same earth ground used by cable TV, satellite dish, and telephone need not enter on AC wires. One 'whole house' protector is provided by other and more responsible companies including Siemens, ABB, Intermatic, Leviton, General Electric, Polyphaser (Protectiongroup), Ditek, or Square D. To name but a few. More important, that means a connection to earth that is low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet', no sharp wire bends, not inside metallic conduit, etc). What is more important than the protector? How is connects to earth. Not safety ground. Earth ground.

    Protectors are simple science. The art of protection is what absorbs those hundreds of thousands of joules. Single point earth ground. Why do so few even know about earthing? Less responsible companies such as Belkin sell protectors without that dedicated and always required earth ground wire. They hope you never learn how protection has been done for over 100 years - to protect obscene profits. And hope you ignore Belkin numeric specifications that do not even claim protection.

    A protector is only as effective as its *earth* ground. Learn that and Belkin has a serious profit problem. Learn that and you have the best possible protection for less money - about $1 per protected appliance.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GlennDog View Post
    run a wire to the nearest cold water pipe
    Safety ground to water pipes is a code violation. A human safety problem. And does not provide the necessary 'earth' ground. Code says only two solutions are possible. A dedicated ground wire to the bus bar inside the breaker box (safety ground). Or a GFCI. Those are the only two options that provide human safety.

    Meanwhile, transistor safety involves a different ground - earth ground.

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    Quote Originally Posted by westom View Post
    That receptacle does not have a 'safety' ground. Therefore the Belkin becomes a human safety problem. Replace the receptacle with a GFCI. And put the required label on that receptacle.

    Meanwhile, safety ground does nothing for transistor safety. Protection is always about earth ground. First understand the problem. A surge is an electric current hunting for earth ground. If permitted inside, it will go hunting for earth destructively via appliances. Nothing inside can or will avert that hunt. As in nothing.

    If a surge connects to earth ground before entering, then it need not go hunting destructively via appliances. Critical for protection of all two wire and three wire homes is a properly earthed 'whole house' protector. Only one required so that even direct lightning strikes need not cause damage.

    Don't worry about safety grounds. Worry only about the relevant ground - earth ground.

    Cable TV connects low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet') to that earth ground with a wire. No protector required. The best solution is provided by a hardwire connected low impedance to what does protection - earth ground.

    Every wire that enters a building must connect to that same ground - single point earth ground. Telephone cannot connect directly. So the telco already installed 'for free' a 'whole house' protector where your phone lines meet theirs. But again, what makes that protector effective? Find the low impedance wire (usually green or gray) that connects that NID protector to protection - earth ground.

    Most common source of destructive surges is AC electric. A lightning strike far down the street is a direct strike incoming to every appliance. Which ones are damaged? Appliances that also have some other conductor connected to earth. That other conductor can even be furniture or a concete floor. And that is the point. Once that surge is permitted inside, then nothing will absorb or block it.

    A surge earthed to the same earth ground used by cable TV, satellite dish, and telephone need not enter on AC wires. One 'whole house' protector is provided by other and more responsible companies including Siemens, ABB, Intermatic, Leviton, General Electric, Polyphaser (Protectiongroup), Ditek, or Square D. To name but a few. More important, that means a connection to earth that is low impedance (ie 'less than 10 feet', no sharp wire bends, not inside metallic conduit, etc). What is more important than the protector? How is connects to earth. Not safety ground. Earth ground.

    Protectors are simple science. The art of protection is what absorbs those hundreds of thousands of joules. Single point earth ground. Why do so few even know about earthing? Less responsible companies such as Belkin sell protectors without that dedicated and always required earth ground wire. They hope you never learn how protection has been done for over 100 years - to protect obscene profits. And hope you ignore Belkin numeric specifications that do not even claim protection.

    A protector is only as effective as its *earth* ground. Learn that and Belkin has a serious profit problem. Learn that and you have the best possible protection for less money - about $1 per protected appliance.
    i actually read somewhere else that basically said the same thing. That surge protectors dont really do anything. That its all about the "earth ground." if I can recall, the other article said its as simple as placing a 10 cent wire somewhere to earth ground it but from my reading here its not quite like that? A surge protector on top an "earth ground" wont hurt though.

    What makes a difference between GFCI and placing a 2 prong to 3 prong adapter? I know that the GFCI is supposed to protect from getting electrocuted. From my understanding, since my house is old, there should be only two wires into the outlet(making it 2 prong). Some say that with some 2 prong outlets they still have 3 wires so they can actually use the 3 prong swap. anyways, going back to the GFCI, i saw a short tutorial how to install and granted I never actually looked at the wiring in my house, i dont know how I could hook it up. Thinking there only is 2 wires, the GFCI needed 5 wires?

    After changin to GFCI, could I use the surge protector since its 3 prong and the GFCI is 3 prong? But the protector wont really work since its not "earth grounded" Do you know how much this would cost to be earth grounded? or how much to rewire house? Im still not exactly sure what needs to be done. If im supposed to just "earth ground" or to rewire all outlets to 3 prong and "earth ground" Hard to understand everything.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colin808 View Post
    Do you know how much this would cost to be earth grounded? or how much to rewire house?
    Makes no difference if wires in a house are one wire, two wires, or eight wires. Don't earth an appliance. Earth the surge. An earthed surge is not inside the building. A surge inside the building means only protection is that already inside each appliance. Either the surge is too tiny. Or that existing protection is overwhelmed. Either way, protection is always about dissipating that energy harmlessly outside.

    Go the breaker box. Find every quarter inch bare copper wire coming out of the box. Follow each wire. Which one connects to earth ground? How long is it? How does it route (ie sharp bends, bundled with other wires, etc)? What is the earth electrode it connects to? Ground electrodes are in what type of geology? How does every wire in every cable enter the building? At that service entrance? Or somewhere else?

    Earth ground (not any ground inside the house) protects all appliances. All appliances including the dishwasher, furnance, bathroom GFCIs, refrigerator, and smoke detectors.

    Routing a ground wire to a receptacle is still a safety ground. Mostly for human safety. Your question was about something completely different - transistor safety. Either a surge is harmlessly absorbed outside. Or the surge will go hunting for earth destructively via transistors. You make that choice. What most determines transistor protection? How good is your single point ground? This only said how to find what you have. The art of protection is simple to implement. Many rules are best made easy by first defining what you have.

    Protection is not about anything adjacent to the appliance. Protection is about a surge current not even entering the building. Protection is defined by what absorbs hundreds of thousands of joules.

    GFCI is for human safety. If your wires had a ground, then a receptacle would already be three prong. (But a three prong receptacle unfortunately does not say safety ground exists.) It is not three prong when no safety ground existed. No safety ground exists even when using a GFCI. The GFCI protects human life because that safety ground does not exist.

    No receptacle in any house - two wire or three - is earth grounded. In fact, if someone was to earth ground that receptacle, then a code violation exists.

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    Last edited by mantis; 07-23-2012 at 05:57 AM.
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    Colin, listen to these people.Since your house is so old it is more susecptible to a power surge or a lightening strike.I was formally an alrm installer and have seen first hand what lightening can do to a house and it's contents.First the skylight in the kitchen was blown out ,then every and I mean every electrical device was destroyed from garage door openers,alarm system,computers,vac system, kitchen appliances and so on.Ground that house of yours otherwise the wires you have act like antenna pathways for the surge to wreak havoc.

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    The video claims disconnecting will protect from destructive surges. Yes, as long as we ignore numbers. Fuses take milliseconds to disconnect. Surges are done in microseconds. How does that fuse stop what is done and does damage in microseconds? It doesn't. Three hundred consecutive surges could pass through before that fuse blew. Nothing stops a destructive surge. Especially not a fuse. Protection means that surge must not even be inside the building.

    How does the millimeter gap in that fuse stop what three miles of sky could not? Why did they avoid these damning questions? And not provide numbers? That fuse may be protecting from anomalies that are already made irrelevant by protection inside appliances. How often are your replacing the dishwasher and furnace due to such anomalies.

    Panamax does make one useful point. Notice how most protectors only fuse (disconnect) the MOV. And leave a surge connected to the appliance. Many have seen this. A surge too tiny to harm the adjacent appliance also damaged a grossly undersized protector. Then naive consumers will say, "My protector sacrificed itself to save my ... ". Nonsense. The surge was too tiny to damage anything else. But it blew that protector fuse so that an undersized protector did not create a house fire.

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