Every year more and more custom home integrators offer surge suppression to protect electrical panels in the home. Today more than ever all homes, which contain electronics, need protection from externally and internally generated transient surges. This blog post contains information on the need to protect every electrical breaker panel in the home or other structure and not just at the service entrance panel.
Placing surge suppressors on electrical panels in the home is often referred to as Whole Home Surge Suppression or Whole Home Surge Protection. While suppressors installed on service entrance panels will address external transients such as lightning or utility generated surges, only the sub panel units can stop the internally generated transients caused by operation of HVAC equipment, garage door openers, garbage disposals, pumps, copiers, vacuum cleaners, and all other equipment in the home. Plus, if lightning should strike the home or near the home and inductively couple onto the home’s electrical wiring, if no suppressor is located on the branch panel that the wire is run from, the energy from the lightning could go back to that branch panel and spread out to the other circuits on that panel. Installing panel mount suppression units on both upstream and downstream panels is in accord with the IEEE recommended practices.
HOW IT WORKS
The service entrance suppressor takes the extremely high voltage and current of an externally generated surge or lightning impulse and reduces it down to a much lower level (e.g. per IEEE C62.41-2005, the peak values for a Location Category C Combination Wave are 10,000V/10,000A). Then, the suppressor on the sub panel acts as the final stage to further reduce the externally generated surge down to a negligible level. And, if the panel mount suppressor (such as model TK-TTLP-1S240-FL – More info on TTLP). also has an Enhanced Transient Filter,the filter will continuously work to clean up all of the internally generated ring wave transients that adversely affect electronics, whether located in HVAC controls, LED drivers, digital controls for appliances, lighting and home automation systems, or computers, printers, TVs, stereos (and all other consumer electronics).
Protecting all the electrical panels protects the electrical system, protects all the appliances, extends the life of all electrical equipment, and should be the number one priority in protecting a home, but is not true whole house protection. To get true whole home protection, all the copper entering and leaving the home (whether phone, coax, data, speaker wire, or power) needs to have surge suppression. This follows the Whole House Selector Guide approach which can be found on our website here. Additionally, since internally generated transients occur anytime equipment is turned on or off, and even small transients can lock up and degrade electronic equipment, it is critical that the sub panel units have enhanced filtering in addition to surge suppression. The TTLP models (available in all voltages) offer an enhanced transient filter plus surge suppression to give any commercial or residential panel feeding electronic loads complete protection from internal and external transient surges.
The quality panel mount suppressor with enhanced filtering should be part of any transient protection design and will provide the homeowner with a quick return on investment. The quality panel mount unit will save the homeowner money every year and also improve the reliability of any system installed by the custom integrator. Also, the environment will be healthier since we will not be filling up our landfills with e-waste and other prematurely failed electrical and electronic parts and equipment. Whether it is a condo in the city, a home in the suburbs, or a large estate in the country, every electrical panel should be surge protected by a suppression/filter unit.