- Q.Does a surge protector
installed in the service panel eliminate the need for
individual surge protectors throughout the house?
A.Rex Cauldwell responds: No. If you’re
serious about protecting electrical equipment, you should use
both types of devices. I’d recommend installing a
secondary lightning arrestor inside the main service panel and
providing a transient voltage surge suppression device at the
equipment’s point of use.
The suppression system in the service panel will handle the
surges that enter via the ungrounded conductors feeding the
panel (a lightning hit, for example). The point-of-use
suppression device will squash spikes that enter through the
utility’s neutral conductor and also take care of smaller
spikes that make it past the service panel protection.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the $20 surge
strips you see in the hardware store will provide adequate
protection. Point-of-use surge suppressors should meet UL
standard 1449, and you should expect to pay more than $100 for
one that meets this specification.
For in-panel protection, I prefer the Tytewadd Power Filter
(Tytewadd, 704 W. Battlefield Rd., Springfield, MO 65807;
417/887-3770). It costs around $150 and installs under the lugs
of a 240-volt breaker.
Rex Cauldwell owns Little Mountain Electric Co. in Copper