There are a number of so-called “whole House” surge suppressors on the market however if you are trying to protect sensitive electronic equipment there are a few rules of power quality that you need to understand:
1. All surge suppressors use MOVs (metal oxide varistors) as a means to address a surge. These varistors may be attached line-to-line “L-L”, line-to-neutral “L-N”, line-to-ground “L-G”, and neutral-to-ground “N-G”. The better suppressors in a single-phase application will have L-N. L-G & N-G protection modes.
2. Very few suppressor manufacturers have enhanced transient filtering in addition to the MOV components. The key to protecting sensitive electronics lies not with the MOV but with the filter. An MOV by design does not turn-on until the surge gets above 150-volts on a 120-volt line. Note that this is not the point where the surge voltage is stopped but rather the starting point where the suppressor addresses the surge. MOVs are great components for reducing the incoming surge energy from a lightning strike or a Utility grid switch but in the real world these types are surges although catastrophic in nature, are very infrequent. Therefore surge suppressors that only utilize MOVs as a means of protection are only going to reduce the energy from a “big hit” but do almost nothing to protect sensitive electronic equipment from the thousands of surges generated in any home’s electrical system caused by equipment load switching and dirty power.
3. The only whole-house surge protector that protects from both high-energy surges from lightning AND load switching/dirty power surges is manufactured by Total Protection Solutions. See their products, application notes, case studies and life-time warranty information at: http://www.TPSsurge.com. Remember to protect every copper line entering the home including phone, cable, data, landscape lighting circuits and control circuits.
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