Discussion in 'Electrical and Wiring' started by BPet, Dec 13, 2017.

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  1. Dec 13, 2017 #1




    New Member

    Dec 10, 2017
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    Deciding on whether to install a Surge Protection Device directly onto the power lugs at the exit from the meter vs attaching a breaker with the surge protection built into the breaker, like the Siemens QSA2020SPD.

    If the Surge Protector is connected directly to the lugs at the meter, the wire is very small as compared to the wires leaving the meter to feed the breaker panel. If attached this way, would the surge even get to my Surge Protector 'before' it hits the breaker panel? I'm wondering if the thick wire would transmit the electricity 10X faster since it is at least 10X the diameter of the small wire? If so, then putting the Surge Protector on the breaker panel would be more effective. On the attached Pic, you can see my old Surge Protector attached to the meter at the bottom - it is the single black wire leading down to the surge protector on each side of the meter output.

    The breaker panel is located in a box right next to this meter box and so the length of the large gauge wire is probably 2ft to the panel that would house the Siemens QSA2020SPD.

    So, which Surge Protector would receive the surge first - thus protecting the system better.

    Current Type 1 SPD.jpg
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
  2. Dec 24, 2017 #2




    Well-Known Member Sponsor

    Jan 20, 2010
    Likes Received:
    If you live in Florida or the Ozarks you may get a lot of surges.

    Surges hit sensitive equipment (not motors or room heaters) which can be damaged within microseconds and upwards.

    I'd choose based on installation difficulty & risk, protector response time and energy absorption
    The wording on this last factor is tricky, watch out for word games played by the vendors.

    BTW, the surge travels along the wires at about a foot per nanosecond so wire length matters little, and the surge duration (by definition) is short, so the wire diameter has little effect. Actually, skinny wire has more inductance per foot of length so it helps suppress the surge.

    For work in the panel, wear level 2 PPE against the arc-flash danger.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2017

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