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  1. #1
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    Default Spike protection for electrical items

    I'm no electrician so figuring the best solution in a foreign language makes it even more difficult to figure out. I installed a good quality inverter, thinking this would give me some protection, but when the clock on my new cooker failed within the first week, the tech from La Sirena said I should install "protectors" for each appliance (fridge, TV, A/C etc.) to protect from over-voltage spikes, which can fry electrical appliances.

    What do others use?

    I believe it's possible to install a single "household-wide" protector, rather than individual ones for each separate device (Ferr. Bellon sell the latter type). Has anyone installed the total household type protectors? If so, which one, where did you buy and did they work i.e. have you avoided further electrical failures?

    Thanks, David

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    Leviton Whole House Surge Suppressor / Surge Protector 51120-1 - Smarthome This is a link to an excellent "whole house surge protector". This model is designed for indoor use as it is not weather tight. Of course there are outdoor rated protectors as well. IMO the cost of these units is relatively low considering what they do. This unit for $200.00 USD will protect all of your electronics in your home and its use in the DR will probably pay for itself in short order. The problem is this. I do not know where you can obtain one in the DR. I do not do electrical work in the DR so I am not familiar with the supply houses there. Maybe someone else can tell you. You might be forced to purchase one on line and then have a competent person install it for you.

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    Joslyn Surge, They are the type used in Cell Sites. They are excellent, some other companies make them like Eaton Power Ware, Dehn. This is a must have item in all sites. Looking at the price for the Leviton unit makes me think it's not a quality trust wordy unit. Joslyn protectors are expensive, around $900 dollars.

    The units are protectors and it works like this. They will short them self up when they sense a peak voltage. If the peak is very strong the unit will open up, ( Comit suecide ) to protect the lines. Good units like Joslyn, Dehn, have mechanical indicator to let the user know when they need replacement.

    Now, for the units to work properly you need a good ground ring. This is very expensive because the amount of cooper wires, and the instalation. ( All the discharge goes to ground ) Otherwise the unit will not drain the peak power and will not work.

    Do you live in a hill or near the ocean?

    Something very important, at this time of year it's not likely that the problem is peak surge. It could be more like very low voltage, or worst bad electrical instalation, like low wire gage ( thin wires)

    Do you see the light blink when you turn on high loads?

  4. #4
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    You may buy a surge protector plug bar for individual groups of apparatuses... like your entertainment center or your computer / printer etc. The good ones (you can get them at PriceMart) work perfect AS LONG AS YOU HAVE A TRULY WORKING GROUND WIRE.

    The above suggested home surge protection systems are great too, also NEED PROPER GROUNDING and some now fit into the same slots like breakers.

    ... J-D.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maca_lert View Post
    I'm no electrician so figuring the best solution in a foreign language makes it even more difficult to figure out. I installed a good quality inverter, thinking this would give me some protection, but when the clock on my new cooker failed within the first week, the tech from La Sirena said I should install "protectors" for each appliance (fridge, TV, A/C etc.) to protect from over-voltage spikes, which can fry electrical appliances.

    What do others use?

    I believe it's possible to install a single "household-wide" protector, rather than individual ones for each separate device (Ferr. Bellon sell the latter type). Has anyone installed the total household type protectors? If so, which one, where did you buy and did they work i.e. have you avoided further electrical failures?

    Thanks, David
    The blind leading the blind...

    It is my understanding that the inverter acts like a surge protector evening out the current (I'm a bean counter not a sparkie so don't shoot me!). If the stove was connected to the inverter, it shouldn't be affected.

    Where are you based? If you are in the Capital, I can give you the details of a really good Electrical Engineer (he speaks English). He would be able to explain it to you and offer an affordable solution if appropriate.

  6. #6
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    Hey Track! please, explain to me how low voltage burns up electronic circuits found in appliances, computers and alike. We will start there and then I have other questions about your post. Thanks!

  7. #7
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    You can get a perfectly good whole home surge protector from Home Depot for $185.

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    It is worthwhile defining surge and spike in the situation before lauching into a solution>
    here is my suggestion :-

    Surge protection

    Surge protectors, also called surge suppressors, provide protection for the downstream equipment against large "surges" of voltage that can occur during events such as lightning strikes or transmission/distribution equipment malfunction. A power surge, or spike ( transient voltage), is an increase in voltage significantly above the normal electricity voltage. In normal household the standard voltage is 120 volts or 220 volts or both. If the voltage rises approximately 25% above these levels there is a problem, and a surge protector helps to prevent that problem from destroying items connected to the electricity in your house. What is the difference between a surge and a spike :
    When the increase lasts three nanoseconds (billionths of a second) or more, it's called a surge.
    When it only lasts for one or two nanoseconds, it's called a spike.
    A surge protector passes the electricity through to a number of electrical and electronic devices connected to the power. If the voltage surges or spikes -- rises above the accepted level -- the surge protector diverts the excess voltage (and current) away from the equipment.


    Perhaps we can go from there to a solution?

    Olly

  9. #9
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    Hey Olly! Please explain to me how a surge protector "diverts" excessive voltage? Thanks!

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    Quote Originally Posted by WillSDQ View Post
    Hey Track! please, explain to me how low voltage burns up electronic circuits found in appliances, computers and alike. We will start there and then I have other questions about your post. Thanks!
    Sir, believe it or not this is basic and simple ohm's law, I=V/R, ( It's was taught in physics class in Junior High Or what ever they call it now.

    I will first try explain it using the cables on the inverter.

    The cables on the battery that go to the inverter (DC Side ) are very thick because the voltage ( 12- 48 VDC ) is very low and the current are very high. If you connect the battery using small conductor " AWG 12, 10, 8 etc , The wire will produce lots of heat, and it will conduct the heat all over. This will heat up the poles in the battery and also the connectors to the inverter, all the way to the circuit board, if it keeps happening then the heat will melt the led on the battery poles and/or the solder on the inverter and who knows. At the same time the voltage to the input of the inverter is less than, making it work harder. ( More things happen at the same time ).
    I know this is not a great "Theoretical" example, but in it one could see how the wire size will F..K things up.

    It's a bit the same when you have a bad contact on the breakers. It will heat the beaker, lower voltage to the "device" or TV and it has to work harder because it sense lower voltage ( Again, lower voltage, more current to maintain the the power consumption.) That is directly proportional to more heat.

    The end result could be a broken "device" or TV, Radio, Washing Machine, etc. The ignorant repair person could tell the "Americano" it was a surge, spike, or some other sh..t. and you will believe it.

    Unfortunately I must also say this, If it's sold in "La Sirena" it's probably not a good quality inverter. For example, a Xantrex inverter has very limited protection in the input side, They have slow responding components called MOV, (Metal Oxide Varistors). They will work fine when you have a high voltage for a few seconds, but in a surge ( transient voltage ) They work a bit laid back. Quality components use Gas Tubes, MOV, SOV, and other to archive high speed response.

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanation View Post
    It is my understanding that the inverter acts like a surge protector evening out the current (I'm a bean counter not a sparkie so don't shoot me!). If the stove was connected to the inverter, it shouldn't be affected.
    When the inverter is charging and/or not inverting, it does almost nothing to surge or spike. On the contrary, when it's charging the battery bank it draw high current from the utility company (EdeSur, EdeEste, EdeNorte, or What ever ). This could cause low voltage, high heat, etc. ( Here we go again )..

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