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Would you put a surge protector on a gas boiler ?

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Dave Carpentier
Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
Gone are the days of a simple hardened circuit that operates a boiler.
New modcons contain a fairly significant (and not cheap) circuit board with chips etc.

We're on rural power and we do get a variety of power blinks and other line noise.
Does anyone install surge protective devices ?

The first modcon I was considering had a simple cord for a 15a receptacle, and I was going to use a basic surge protector (not a ups). The unit that Im considering now hard-wires to a 15a circuit, so I'd have to either cord it (gotta check if thats allowed in my region), or buy a hard-wired surge box.

Worth the effort ?
30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
Currently in building maintenance.

Comments

  • EzzyT
    EzzyT Member Posts: 1,296
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    I install a surge protector on every modcon definitely worth it. 
    E-Travis Mechanical LLC
    Etravismechanical@gmail.com
    201-887-8856
    kcopp
  • pecmsg
    pecmsg Member Posts: 4,915
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    I like the ICM 493 info that’s for 230 single phase a little over kill for a 115 volt furnace. 
  • HomerJSmith
    HomerJSmith Member Posts: 2,479
    edited May 2022
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    We get a lot of lightening storms. I always install a computer grade surge protector on every installation. What people don't understand is that lightening can occur 1/4 mile away and destroy the electronics.

    I also recommend a whole house protection lightening sys. My house has whole house surge and surge capacitor + surge protection at the boiler and every TV and computer.

    One case, a lightening strike about a 1/4 mile away destroyed the garage opener, a TV, two satellite receivers and dish. They had me put on a whole house sys.

    Another case, a lightening strike 4 blocks away, destroyed 4 expensive Grundfos pumps. Further investigation showed that the circuit boards in each pump had the foil on the boards melted.

    I highly recommend it.
  • ChrisJ
    ChrisJ Member Posts: 15,866
    edited May 2022
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    All most surge protectors are is a few MOVs set to basically become a dead short above a certain voltage.

    This means a 240v one is absolutely useless on a 120v circuit.

    It also means many things actually have them built in.  I stopped using them on my home built PCs because every power supply I've used had them.

    Most of them look like this 



    They only limit voltage input and can only do it so many times and I believe they often fail shorted.   

    @mattmia2 could provide more info perhaps but I picture the typical surge protector circuit to just be a few of those MOVs paralleled after a circuit breaker they are more than big enough to trip.   Very simple and very easy to incorporate into devices like TV's computers, modcons.


    Single pipe quasi-vapor system. Typical operating pressure 0.14 - 0.43 oz. EcoSteam ES-20 Advanced Control for Residential Steam boilers. Rectorseal Steamaster water treatment
  • EdTheHeaterMan
    EdTheHeaterMan Member Posts: 8,157
    edited May 2022
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    Surge protectors are not a one and done item. As the surge protector does its job, it uses up its capacity. Once it is all used up, then it is not longer going to protect anything. The way it was explained to me is If you have a surge protector rated at 1000 Joules. Is is good for one surge of 1000 joules or 1000 surges of one joule each. Or any combination therein. So if you are looking to protect a PC board on your HVAC equipment and purchase a surge protector rated at 2000 joules, you may want to check it every year to see if there is any protection left. Some have LED lights to show if there is any protection left. Make sure you mount the Surge protector in a conspicuous place where the LEC indicator can be readily seen.

    AND YES, Put a surge protector on your HVAC Equipment. And have the installer read the instructions!!! there is a wrong way to install a surge protector.

    Edward Young Retired

    After you make that expensive repair and you still have the same problem, What will you check next?

  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
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    There was a mention of a whole-house surge protector, so I did a bit of searching and discovered things like the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA seem pretty promising.
    For that kind of price point, why not go whole-house !
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • Dave Carpentier
    Dave Carpentier Member Posts: 604
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    I guess if a home owner had to pay an electrician to install one, the price point would be quite a bit more. In Ontario, HOs can do their own electrical (I did my own house, was inspected etc). I dont know if an HVAC guy doing an install can add a breaker and one of those surge boxes without a licence ?
    Thanks for putting me on the track of whole-house @HomerJSmith.

    I think all 'affordable' surge boxes (including the Eaton) contain MOVs , which do get consumed while doing their job. It might last until the first storm, or 10 years.

    @EdTheHeaterMan - Good point for the indicator lights. The Eaton has them. We cant tell when end-point MOVs in equipment get used up, until the next surge breaks the equipment.
    30+ yrs in telecom outside plant.
    Currently in building maintenance.
  • PC7060
    PC7060 Member Posts: 1,204
    edited May 2022
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    Easiet solution is a unit that plugs into the breaker panel which protects both phases of incoming power. 
    https://www.gordonelectricsupply.com/p/Square-D-Qo250Pspd-Spd-T2-Qo-Lc-50Ka-120-240V/6042830?text=QO250PSPD&lsi=true

    Barring a catastrophic event such as lightning, electronic surge suppressors are not a consumable items.  The circuitry is actually pretty simple and highly reliable.  

    Uninterruptible Power supply’s provide a higher level of protection against power sags but are expensive and and the batteries require replacement. 
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 9,843
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    There are entire books written about this. One of the better ones is by polyphaser. There are sources of surges internal and external to your house. Near lightning strikes produce huge electromagnetic fields that induce huge currents in everything metal including control wiring and the internal circuitry of equipment. There are better circuits than the mov circuits and certain faults can catch the mov circuits on fire. I would not use mov power strips that do not have metal cases. Most power strips are not listed for permanent installation. That protected led probably means very little. Surgex makes some surge suppressors better than the MOVs across the line type although I'm not sure of their exact circuit. Better surge suppressors will protect you from some things although the control wiring is typically more vulnerable than the ac line. Nothing will protect you completely from a near lightning strike.
    PC7060
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,818
    edited May 2022
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    As explained to me a surge protector could not hurt . So I add them .

    Another thing to check is voltage . Being in a rural area or on the end of the line you may have to adjust the voltage to get it closer to the center of range of the equipment . A boost- buck transformer sometimes is needed .

    There was an error rendering this rich post.

    PC7060
  • jumper
    jumper Member Posts: 2,307
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    Electric power conditioning is a growing business. In the bad old days we had to use isolation transformers.
  • Big Ed_4
    Big Ed_4 Member Posts: 2,818
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    What do you mean ?

    There was an error rendering this rich post.