Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/6/18 1:32 p.m.

The service line to the house pulled part-way off a couple of nights ago. We had unregulated power running into the house, which took out on the AC air handler transformer, one refrigerator, a treadmill, the cable modem, and possibly the dishwasher. Smoke came out of the open door of the dishwasher, and the circuit still trips the breaker, so we're waiting for the electrician to come later today. Luckily, the AV equipment and all of the computers appear to have survived. 

All of our power strips, surge protectors and battery backups need to be replaced. There's lots of advice about the topic, but there's a lot of opinions that don't necessarily fit my situation. I don't believe I need a power conditioner for any of our applications. 

I'm thinking of using the advice from the wirecutter.com:

surge protector reviews

What isn't covered is a recommendation for my 220 V clothes dryer. My HF compressor is only a 120, but it's going to pull pretty good amperage, plus there's going to be a dehumidifier and a window AC in the garage as well, maybe on the same circuit. 

Any comments, suggestions?

Karacticus
Karacticus Dork
9/6/18 2:08 p.m.

I've no idea whether it would have helped in your particular instance or not, but we've got a surge protector in our electrical system at the meter.  

Exactly how much good it's capable of I'm not sure-- theoretically it will provide some level of protection on the service side.  I'm told, however, that if we take a lightning strike nearby and the current comes in through the ground side, it won't do a damn thing.

The website I randomly selected the hotlink from also has an interesting discussion of the issue.

https://www.naturalhandyman.com/iip/infelectrical/infsurgeprotect.html

dj06482
dj06482 SuperDork
9/6/18 2:18 p.m.

My in-laws just took a lightning strike that fried their dishwasher.  I showed my father-in-law how to replace the control board in the dishwasher, and he ended up being able to repair it himself for only $150 (control board + shipping).  Much better than $500+ for a new dishwasher.  All the appliance DIY sites are a great help in troubleshooting and performing repairs.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/6/18 3:09 p.m.

Thanks for the replies. Luckily, there's a home warranty on the appliances (not the treadmill, though)  so they're going to be repaired or replaced under that contract. 

I'm curious about the whole house system. Apparently,  surge protectors are still needed on the outlets since everything I read is quoting a statistic that 80% of surges come from inside the building due to cycling of devises on other circuits. 

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
9/6/18 7:44 p.m.

In reply to Floating Doc :

Keep in mind most surge protectors are one-and-done, yet few actually show whether they’re still offering protection. 

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/6/18 8:06 p.m.

In reply to Pete Gossett :

Very good point. From the link, the number one recommended Tripp Lite Protect It! TLP1008TEL shuts off the power when the surge protection stops working.

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
9/6/18 8:52 p.m.

I live in the woods.  Everything that I value that can be is on a UPS.  If a UPS won't work for it, then it gets a surge suppressor.  I used to go through one bread machine about every year to two years.  I put the last one on a surge suppressor and it's been going about 4 years now.  I had to put my new printer on a surge suppressor as it draws too much for a UPS, even a 1KW UPS.

Floating Doc
Floating Doc HalfDork
9/6/18 9:36 p.m.
Dr. Hess said:

I live in the woods.  Everything that I value that can be is on a UPS.  If a UPS won't work for it, then it gets a surge suppressor.  I used to go through one bread machine about every year to two years.  I put the last one on a surge suppressor and it's been going about 4 years now.  I had to put my new printer on a surge suppressor as it draws too much for a UPS, even a 1KW UPS.

So what have you learned? Any opinions about the brand or type?

Dr. Hess
Dr. Hess MegaDork
9/7/18 8:51 a.m.

The UPS' I source from dumpster diving.  Most of them are APC.  Actually, I think all of them are.  People throw them away when the batteries go bad.  I buy the batteries on amazon for like $16 and I always keep at least one in stock in the shop fridge.  They work well.  I would buy APC if I needed one and didn't have any laying around.  The surge suppressors I buy at Walmart.  Not sure of the brands I got there, buy I don't buy the bottom of the line ones.  I buy closer to the top of the line ones.  And I read the specs on the package very carefully.  Two brands that look the same, priced the same, etc., can have one that has twice the capacity (ha, ha, a pun) of the other.  Look for the Joules rating.  I consider the HF "surge suppressors" as nothing more than a power strip. 

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