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240 V Surge Protection ?

Discussion in 'Amateur Radio Amplifiers' started by N4UP, Jan 14, 2016.

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  1. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    I did a search to see if this question has been asked before, with no results.

    Surely there are a lot of folks out there with legal limit amps on 240 V circuits.

    My question is, what do you do for surge protection?


    I have two 240 V circuits in the radio room. One is 15 A with NEMA 6-15 outlets for my two THP SS amps. The other is 20 A with a single NEMA 6-20 outlet for my Alpha 9500.

    I have been so far unable to find any surge protectors for 240 V with either NEMA 6-15 or 6-20 connectors. All the 240 V surge protectors I have found use NEMA 5-15 ( 120 V ) connectors, which doesn't make any sense to me at all. I did find one with "universal" connectors for "international" customers but that is only rated 13 A.

    My Alpha 9500 was recently knocked out by a power surge from a nearby lightning strike. Apparently scrambled the main controller board. So if I can ever get Alpha to respond to my inquiries and eventually get the board fixed or replaced, I would like to discourage this from happening again.
     
  2. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    AA7QQ likes this.
  3. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    Well, that might just work for me. Thanks.

    I'll check with my electric cooperative and see what they recommend and who they might recommend to do the work ( finding a reliable electrician in this rural area is quite a challenge ).
     
  4. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Do you have a breaker panel with one or two empty slots? If so, installing the protector shouldn't be much of a task. Unless there is a bunch of stuff in the way, that always makes electrical work more harder.
     
  5. W1QJ

    W1QJ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes, that would be my recommendation also, a whole house protector put at the main panel.
     
  6. AA7QQ

    AA7QQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I concur. I have installed many whole house surge supressors in Florida, the state of Lightning. Heck, I talked my Dad through it on the phone.

    Ed
     
  7. K8ERV

    K8ERV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not much lightning here, but I have a big GE protector at the breaker box. Supposed to bypass really high currents. But the "let thru" voltage (the peak that may still get onto the load) is as I recall 800 volts. So I put additional MOVs on the 120v circuits right at the sensitive equipment.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
     
  8. N4UP

    N4UP Premium Subscriber QRZ Page


    No empty slots. Since I moved here two and a half years ago I have added two 240V circuits for the radio room and a second heat pump, so that took all the previously available slots. So it might be a challenge, but I am assuming a competent electrician will find a safe way to add a whole house surge protector. I do have a second breaker box for the detached garage and a 25 KW emergency generator with an automatic transfer switch. I believe the guy who does the annual maintenance on the generator is a licensed electrician, so I will see what he can do.

    The "surge" was momentary, and so the generator did not kick in. I believe there is a 30-second delay built in for the generator.
     
  9. AA7QQ

    AA7QQ Ham Member QRZ Page

    They do make 1/2 sized breakers (Or tandems, depending on the brand) to allow creating space, but I would suggest having a licensed electrician, if you at all do not feel comfortable in an electrical service panel. If the space maker breakers (My own term) are put in the wrong slots, you could have 2 circuits feeding the same neutral. I have seen this many times by inexperienced people. The surge supressoe needs to go in the main panel & it would not "Hurt" to have one at the generator panel.

    Ed
     
  10. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    Call your power company and ask if they have meter base surge protectors. That way you don't have to mess with the panel. Having a full panel is a valid reason to have a meter base protector.
     
    AA7QQ likes this.

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