Best Surge Protector Reviews

# Product Rating Price Review
1 Intermatic IG1240RC3 ★★★★ 93.36$ Read Review
2 Leviton 51120-1 ★★★★★ 185.73$ Read Review
3 Siemens QSA2020SPD ★★★★ 85$ Read Review
4 Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA ★★★★★ 87.41$ Read Review
5 Square D HOM2175SB ★★★★ 60.98$ Read Review
6 Intermatic IG2240-IMS ★★★★ 243.38$ Read Review
7 Sycom ★★★☆☆ 65.99$ Read Review
8 Square D HEPD80 ★★★★ 99$ Read Review

Intermatic IG1240RC3 Review

intermatic_IG1240RC3In this Intermatic IG1240RC3 review, we’re going to look at all the important things you need to know about this surge protector.

Overview

The Intermatic IG1240RC3 surge protector is categorized as a type 2 device. Let me explain. This category of SPD are installed on the load side of the primary service entrance and their job is to protect the electrical service entrance or branch circuit against lightning, surges caused by motors, and other voltage spikes.

A type 2 surge protection device can protect your sensitive electronics by clamping down on transient voltage (short surges). They can be used in an industrial, commercial or residential setting but majority of the reviews over the internet revealed so far that the Intermatic IG1240RC3 is successfully used in residential areas.

According to the manufacturer, you can also use this SPD as a type 1 device. A type 1 is also known as secondary surge arresters and they are typically installed on the line side of the main service entrance which is between your power pole and where electricity enters your panel.

Their basic purpose of a type 1 SPD is to protect you from surges that are happening outside your house such as lightning strikes and other external fluctuations. You can think of them as your first line of defense against surges.

Intermatic IG1240RC3 Installation

Intermatic IG1240RC3 InstallationThis Intermatic surge protector is designed for 120/240 VAC single (split) phase and you can install it using a 15A or 20A 2-pole breaker. If you have 2 single pole breakers then you can also use it for this SPD.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) gave this Intermatic SPD a type-3 rating enclosure which basically means that it will perform at its best even when you install it outdoors.

On average it takes about 20 minutes to install if you have some experience. Having your tools ready will lessen the installation time.

This unit has a 4-wire hookup. You will need 2 spaces in your breaker panel for a 2-pole, 20A circuit breaker and two available terminals on the ground bus bar.

If you have some background in doing electrical work, installing the Intermatic IG1240RC3 is going to be an easy job. However, it’s recommended that you call your local electrician or someone who knows what they’re doing if you’re not comfortable working with your breaker panel.

If you insist on installing it yourself, try to wear some very thick rubber gloves. But I would still highly recommend that you call your local electrician in order to ensure maximum safety.

The instructions are just going to be a basic diagram and again this is easily understandable for someone with experience. But it would be a very good improvement if the documentation was presented in a more organized manner.

The device is fairly large so you have to make sure that you have enough room in your breaker panel. The length of the wires is 6 inches long and the material is made from tinned copper. The wires are not made up of aluminum so you do not need to worry about the wires getting oxidized.

Levels of Surge Protection

The Intermatic IG1240RC3 will give you 6 levels of protection and they are protection between:

  • Line 1 and Line 2
  • Line 1 to Neutral
  • Line 1 to Ground
  • Line 2 to Neutral
  • Line 2 to Ground, and
  • Neutral to Ground

Once you’ve installed this whole house surge protector, a bright green LED will light up. This means that the unit is functioning and is now ready to suppress any transient voltage that will enter your house. If you’ve experienced any surges and noticed that the green LED went out, then it means that the Intermatic surge protector took a bullet for your appliance and needs to be replaced.

Consumer Reviews

There are consumers who have been sharing their experience with the Intermatic IG1240RC3 online. Some of them were living in an area where lightning frequently strikes and they were pleased with how the Intermatic surge suppressor saved their sensitive electronics.

Some of them found it hard to give a review because the unit doesn’t really do anything until a surge or a lightning strike happens.

Installing the unit was a pretty simple job for some of the consumers but a few of them did call up their local electrician.

Price

IG1240RC3 pricesIf you go to the manufacturer’s website and compare the Intermatic IG1240RC3 to their other models, you will learn that this particular surge protector is the in-between model when it comes to price and its level of protection.

The cheaper models will only provide a 3-way surge protection and like you’ve read earlier, this model gives you 6 levels of protection. The more expensive ones will have some additional protection for your phone and cable TV.

Warranty for Intermatic IG1240RC3

This Intermatic surge suppressor is under a 5-year warranty and they provide a $10,000 insurance policy for any damage. So make sure that you register for that and save your receipt in you case you need to file a warranty claim.

You won’t find this warranty information clearly stated over at its product page. What you need to do is contact Intermatic through their website to request for a copy of the warranty.

Help and Support?

If you visit the Intermatic website and go to the support section, you’ll see written on their site that they’re dedicated in providing help and support that exceeds their customers’ expectations.

It seems that Intermatic is really serious in providing a high quality of customer support based on consumers’ feedback.

There were some consumers who had a pleasant experience with regards to claiming their warranties for the Intermatic IG1240RC3. Most of the time, the process was really straightforward as you just make a call, fill out a form, and you will get a new Intermatic surge protector in as little as a week.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this review will help you make an informed decision with this type-2 SPD. Do you have any experience with this device? I would love to hear what you think. Thanks for checking this review out.

Leviton 51120-1 Surge Suppressor Review

Leviton_51120-1In this Leviton 51120-1 review we are going to cover the most critical information you need to know about this whole house surge protector device.

This SPD started getting some attention around 2010 – 2011 and right now it’s been getting some consumer reviews over the internet. Are those good reviews or not so good reviews? In this article we’re going to break down the important factors to consider with this surge protector.

Overview

There are 4 types of surge protection that are available and the Leviton 51120-1 panel surge suppressor is categorized as a type-2 SPD. What this means is that a type-2 SPD is to be installed in your main breaker panel. These devices can give you protection from indirect lightning strikes, high voltage spikes and some crazy transient voltage.

The protection panel is built for single phase applications in homes at the service entrance and this is also ideal for light commercial structures.

Here’s a quick glance of what you can expect with the Leviton 51120-1:

  • Solid state suppression per phase
  • Real time visual indicator for surge protection status
  • Standard j box enclosure
  • Low VPR for protecting sensitive electronics
  • Compatible with Leviton Decora home controls
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Connected equipment coverage up to $25,000

Leviton 51120-1 Installation

Leviton 51120-1 InstallationIf you have some electrical experience, the Leviton is going to be fairly easy to install as the instructions are pretty clear. If you need some detailed instructions to gauge the complexity of the installation before you purchase, then simply head over to Leviton’s website.

Take note that this surge protector needs 4 wires for the installation but those wires are not going to be included in your purchase.

As for the wires, you will need 2 black wires which are going to be for the 2 hot electric buses. A white one for the neutral connection and a green one for the ground. Any wire with a minimum of 12 gauge can be used if you’re going to connect it to a 20amp breaker.

The average installation time is going to be around 30 minutes and this is the time from cutting your power off to restoring it. You will have to add in a 20amp double pole circuit breaker to your main breaker panel.

It’s critical that you call your local licensed electrician if you don’t have any experience or if you’re not comfortable working with a breaker panel.

It’s not my intention to scare you but there are hot points inside your breaker that can kill you if you don’t know what you’re doing. There are many videos online that will show you how to install a type-2 SPD but only use those videos as your reference and get some information from it so you could relay it to your electrician.

The Leviton 51120-1 comes in a J-Box metal NEMA type-1 enclosure. This type of enclosure is rated by NEMA to be used for general purpose and also for indoor use. It will provide you with some protection from electrically charged live parts and it will also protect the device from foreign objects like dirt and accumulated dust.

Up to Standards?

The Leviton 51120-1 surge protector has been designed according to standards and it’s fully compliant with the UL 1449 3rd edition.

What’s the UL 1449? Basically it’s all about the safety and performance standards of surge protection devices by the Underwriters Laboratories. This was revised to a 3rd edition back in 2009 and there were 2 critical objectives of the revision.

First objective is to make sure that there is compliance with the international standards for surge protection. The next objective is to change the performance testing methods to better simulate real world scenarios.

Surge Protector Consumers Win!

The changes in the 3rd edition now give 3 significant improvements for consumers of SPDs.

The first is the addition of type-1, also known as secondary surge arresters, which are typically installed outdoors and right before the service entrance equipment.

The second improvement is the addition of a new statistic called the Nominal Discharge Current Rating. As a consumer, this means that you’ll be able to compare a surge suppressor’s durability (or the capacity to survive a lightning strike) under a regulated test of the Underwriters Laboratories.

With that being said, the Leviton 51120-1 has a nominal discharge current rating of 3kA.

The third beneficial change is all about the Voltage Protection Rating (VPR). Before this improvement, this was called the Surge Voltage Rating (SVR) and its procedures were really weak to test out many of the SPDs in a way that would show how well their performance really is.

Real Time Visual Indicator

This device will have 2 lights that will indicate its status. Obviously you want to see the green light as much as possible because this means that your device is perfectly running and ready to protect. A red light means that the device encountered a surge and that you have to replace it and get a new surge protector.

Leviton 51120-1 Price

Leviton 51120-1 PriceIf you’re going to do some research, you will find out the Leviton 51120-1 is going to be more expensive than the other whole house surge protectors. However, you will also find out that they have the highest specifications when it comes to surge suppression for single phase residential use.

If your local power utility installs a whole house surge protector and includes a $10 per month in your electricity bill, then the Leviton 51120-1 will pay for itself in more or less 20 months.

Warranty

The Leviton 51120-1 provides a limited lifetime warranty and if you want more information on their warranty, there’s a file you can easily download at their product page.

They also provide connected equipment coverage of up to $25,000. But like most of the surge suppression businesses around, you’re going to go through a very lengthy process of claiming your coverage and you might not even get a full 100% of your claim.

As for Leviton’s coverage, any outdoor equipment is not going to be covered. I advice that you carefully read the coverage of your warranty and it’s up to you whether it’s worth it to argue with them on what’s covered and what’s not.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this review helped you when it comes to making a decision with this surge protector. Do you have any experience with the Leviton 51120-1 surge suppressor? Leave your comments below.

Siemens QSA2020SPD Review

Siemens_QSA2020SPDIn this Siemens QSA2020SPD review, we’re going to point out the important factors that you need to know about this whole house surge protector.

You can also consider this as a Siemens QSA1515SPD review as the only difference between the two is the amperage of its circuit breakers.

Read this article to find out if this device is going to solve your needs. If you’re already familiar with it then you can check out its price online.

Overview

The Siemens QSA2020SPD is a surge protective device that already comes with two 1-pole circuit breakers. This device is categorized as a type-2 SPD which means that you can install it on the load side of the main service entrance (your breaker panel). But it also has features of a type-1 SPD (also known as secondary surge suppressors) with a lower rating for its clamping voltage. Basically the type-1 category is installed on the line side of the main service entrance (between your pole and where the electricity enters).

Both the surge protective features and the circuit breakers in this unit use Siemens’ own metal oxide varistors (MOVs) and according to Siemens the circuit breakers are SWD and HACR rated.

What is SWD and HACR Rating?

If you see a circuit breaker rated as SWD (Switching Duty) it basically means that you can use the breaker as a switch to turn the lights on and off. The other rating which is HACR stands for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration and this rating simply states that the breaker is suitable if you have some HACR applications in your house.

Siemens QSA2020SPD Installation

Installing the Siemens QSA2020SPD is definitely easier than most whole house surge protectors in the market. The reason why it’s easier to install is because it already has a couple of 1-pole circuit breakers included in the device itself.

Many of the popular SPDs in the market today don’t have their own circuit breakers and so this surge protector from Siemens provides you with an added convenience because you don’t have to buy any additional circuit breakers in order to install it.

With regular SPDs, the average installation time takes about 25-30 minutes. With the Siemens QSA2020SPD, you can finish installing it in 10-15 minutes if you’re familiar with working on your breaker panel.

How Do You Install It?

First you need two available breaker slots. If you don’t have any open positions then you have to remove a couple of existing side by side breaker slots and replace them with the Siemens SPD. After that, you just hook in the attached white wire to the neutral bar inside your breaker panel and you’re already done.

Take note that you need to connect the white wire to the neutral bar and not the ground bar because the code requires it. So make sure to open and check your breaker panel before you consider getting this surge suppressor.

I Don’t Have a Siemens Panel

The Siemens QSA2020SPD will only work in a Siemens panel and not with other manufacturer breaker boxes. However, if you have a Murray panel then you can install this SPD because Murray and Siemens are essentially the same.

There was a review online which described installing this surge suppressor on a non-Siemens panel like a GE panel and sure enough it did not snap right in. However, some modifications were made to the GE box and eventually the Siemens QSA2020SPD managed to work in his GE box. Of course I would not recommend that you make some modifications and force this SPD to work with a non-Siemens panel.

Important Note

It’s very critical to remember that the Siemens QSA2020SPD MUST be installed in a breaker panel with a grounded neutral. For eg. if the panel you are using is only a sub panel off of a main breaker box, then you cannot use this SPD because its neutral is not going to be grounded in its own box.

As you can see, you don’t have to do any cutting, punching out holes and you do not have to deal with any long wires. If you have your breaker panel flush mounted to a wall then installing the Siemens SPD is going to be a breeze as you don’t need to drill through your wall.

However, you still should not attempt to install this on your own especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Working with a breaker panel is very dangerous even if you’ve followed safety precautions as there are hot live points that you can come in contact with. It’s still best to call your local electrician so you can be sure that everything will be done in the safest possible way.

Price of Siemens QSA2020SPD

The price of the Siemens QSA2020SPD is a bit lower compared to the other whole house surge protectors in the market. As much as possible I would suggest that you buy this SPD online because you can find the lowest prices there. You won’t probably have any luck when you try to buy this surge protector or any similar device over at your local hardware DIY store.

Warranty

The warranty for the Siemens QSA2020SPD is probably its biggest disadvantage because its warranty description is not really that enticing when you compare it with its competition.

First off you only get a warranty period of 24 months (2 years) and its warranty regarding the protection of a residential electrical system is not that solid. They exclude some connected equipment like computers, audio/video components, telecoms but include appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, oven, pool pumps, etc. They also provide a lower $20,000 limited warranty for equipment coverage.

I suggest you carefully read the warranty of Siemens on what they will really cover in order to avoid some headaches in the future.

Help and Support

In some whole house surge protectors that I’ve reviewed I can see a representative from the manufacturer providing support for consumers online. In the case of the Siemens QSA2020SPD, I didn’t find any of the same level of support. Hopefully they provide an adequate support but it would be nice if they can be seen interacting with their consumers over at the Internet.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this article helped you in making a good decision with this surge suppressor. Have you owned previous whole house surge protectors before? What’s your experience so far in using them? Leave your comments below. Thanks for checking out the Siemens QSA2020SPD review.

Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA Surge Protector Review

Eaton_CHSPT2ULTRATake some time to read this Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA review so you will know if this whole house surge protector will be a good choice for your needs.

Overview of Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA

This Eaton surge protector is a type-2 SPD and this is installed in your loadcenter or breaker box. Eaton claims that this device will protect your home electronics including cable and telephone lines from damaging surges.

The unit only weighs a pound and has a quick connect design so you can easily connect this to any manufacturer’s breaker box. If you’re already familiar with it then simply check out its price over at any websites.

Who Is Mike Holmes?

The Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is being endorsed my Mike Holmes but who is he really and why should you even consider his endorsement?

Mike Holmes is a residential home improvement contractor from Canada and is a tv host. His first tv show is called Holmes on Homes (2001-2008) and in this show, Mike provides assistance to homeowners with home renovation problems done by lousy contractors.

In August 2012, Mike Holmes and Eaton joined forces to introduce the CHSPT2 series which has the marketing tagline of Holmes Approved Surge Protector. His website can be found at MakeItRight.ca.

UL 1499 3rd Edition

This Eaton surge protector is fully compliant with the Underwriters Laboratories 1499 3rd edition. Basically this refers to the safety and performance standards of the UL. The changes within the 3rd edition is basically for the benefit of SPD consumers.

Installation

Just like in my previous reviews, I would like to recommend that you call a licensed electrician or someone who has experience with working in a breaker panel if you do not know what you’re doing.

I’ll be updating this article to look for some installation videos so you could use it as a reference.

Installation time is going to take around 30 minutes for someone who has an idea of working around breakers.

You will need a 50 amp 2-pole breaker for this surge protector and you have to mount this in 2 available breaker slots. You do not need to have an Eaton breaker panel in order to install this SPD but again it’s really important that you get the right breakers (50 amp 2-pole).

The Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA has one difference among the other whole house surge protectors in the market today. With this Eaton SPD, the instructions recommend that you do not need any kind of conduit in order to install it in your breaker.

Why does having a conduit affect your installation?

The main concern when it comes to installing whole house surge protectors in your home is the installation process. Regardless of the manufacturer’s model, it’s best to keep your lead wires as short as possible. The theory on shorter leads is that you want the surge to travel on the path of least resistance.

It’s suggested to keep the length of your leads to less than 12 inches. You might quickly think this is easy to follow but this actually becomes very challenging when you check your load panel. Sometimes there are certain areas in your breaker where it’s impossible to install the surge protector without the leads going over 12 inches.

The installation instructions for the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRAf recommend that you mount this device as close to the top as possible inside the breaker where the power feed comes in and to keep the wires as short as possible. But installing it at the top most is not going to be worth it if you already have an existing breaker because of all the trouble to move everything.

After the installation, turn the power back on and if everything is successful, you are going to see the 2 green LED’s light up. Now your home and its electronics are basically protected from any surges that might cause some damage.

Although some of you may find that the indicator lights are too dim and you might have a hard time seeing the lights when you install it outside.

If the lights are off then it simply means that you have to replace the surge protector.

Who Will Benefit from Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA?

Of course I can easily say that this surge protector is for everyone with surge problems but I’m going to be more specific.

If you experience repeated surge events in your home then I would recommend the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA. But if you’re just looking for a general whole house surge protector and don’t have any history of surges then I would suggest you try out the SPD in Eaton’s Micro series which is cheaper.

Does It Really Protect?

A whole house surge protector like the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is one of those devices where you’re not really sure if it’s going to work until you experience the surge.

Here’s a story that one consumer shared over at one website about his experience with this surge protector.

Basically the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA protected his house from a close indirect lightning strike. The only noticeable effect that the surge caused was the triggering of some GFCI receptacles that needed to be reset. Unfortunately his neighbor lost a lot of their appliances because most probably they did not have any surge protectors installed.

Issues

One down side that you might have with the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is that the breakers are not included with the device.

Warranty

Eaton will cover your equipment such as microwave ovens, televisions, desktop computers, audio/video components, etc. The reimbursement coverage for the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA is $75,000.

It’s still important that you carefully read its warranty and protection policies so you’ll know what’s the extent of your claim.

Although some times these companies are going to be smart and say that your claim is not valid because of some little technicality on their fine print.

Support

It’s always a good sign when you see a representative from the manufacturer answering and helping consumers over at the shopping sites. So far I don’t see any of that with this SPD but of course it doesn’t mean that their support is non-existing. It could also mean that their device is really effective that almost nobody is having any issues with it.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this article will help you in making a good decision with this surge protector. Do you have any experience with this device? Please let me know by leaving a comment below. Thank you.

Square D HOM2175SB Review

squared_HOM2175SBWe’re going to take a look at another whole house surge protector from Schneider Electric and this time it’s going to be about the Square D HOM2175SB Homeline surge breaker.

Overview

The Square D HOM2175SB is something different when you compare it with the regular whole house surge protectors. If you take a closer look at this device, you will see that it’s labeled as a secondary surge arrester. What that means is that this device is categorized as a type-1 SPD. However, you can also use it as a type-2 SPD.

Of course, there will be an indicator light that will tell you if the unit is working or if it needs to be replaced.

The manufacturer also claims that it will provide equal protection to your circuits and receptacles throughout your entire home.

UL 1499 Listed

If you see a surge protection device that is UL 1499 listed then you can be sure that you’re buying a unit that will be up to standards when it comes to safety and efficiency.

Where to Use the Square D HOM2175SB

Like you’ve read earlier, the Square D HOM2175SB is a type-1 surge protection device (secondary surge arrester). The number one difference between a type-1 and a type-2 SPD is the location in which they are installed.

A type-1 SPD is typically installed on the line side of the main service entrance (this is between your utility pole and where the electricity enters your service panel).

The Square D HOM2175SB can also be used as a type-2 SPD. This type of device is also known as a service or branch surge panel and most of the whole house surge protectors that are available right now are classified as a type-2. They are installed on the load side of the main service entrance and they’re used to protect the electrical service entrance (breaker panel) against surges.

You can also use the Square D HOM2175SB in a combination service entrance device (CSED) and in homeline load centers.

Installation

Installing this square d surge protection device is pretty simple but like I’ve always recommended, it’s still best that you call a licensed electrician especially if you have no experience in working with electrical service panels.

The average time of installation will be around 10-15 minutes. When you install this as a type-2 SPD in your breaker panel, there must be an available 2-slot breaker space.

Before mounting the device, unroll the white wire. You will probably have to move some of your existing breakers down below so you can mount the Square D HOM2175SB at the top.

After mounting it, connect the white wire to the neutral bar of your breaker panel. If the installation is successful and everything is working fine, you will see the green indicator light.

Some people cut the wire short but others leave the length as it is.

In really simple terms, the installation is just all about snapping the device in your breaker and tightening a single screw for the white wire.

Is It Effective?

It’s really hard to test how effective this whole house surge protector is because you have to experience an electrical surge or an indirect lightning strike to tell if it really works.

But having a surge protector installed for your house is like a cheap insurance for your electronics. You’ll definitely feel more secure, save a lot of money and you will never have to depend on good luck.

To test its effectiveness we could look at the numerous consumer reviews for the Square D HOM2175SB over at the Internet.

There was a story where there was a series of storms that went through. It took out 4 street lights and the neighbor’s television and other electronics had suffered a surge but their house with the Square D HOM2175SB and a few power strips didn’t get affected.

Another story is where the consumer owned a lot of monitors, televisions and other sensitive electronics. A lightning hit their power line but the Square D HOM2175SB was the only one that was fried. He was really happy with the protection and performance of the HOM2175SB.

Issues

One small complaint for this Square D surge protector is the green light. You cannot really see the status light if you do not look closely.

Another concern that you might have with regards to this device is the Joules protection which is only at 900 because some power strip surge protectors will give you over 1,000 Joules of protection. However you can use this more than once so you can increase the protection by 900 Joules for every additional device that you install.

Warranty

When it comes to the warranty of the Square D HOM2175SB, you really have to carefully read every detail.

I went to their official website and searched for the warranty information with regards to this particular surge protector. I noticed that the font size of their text is really small and it’s very challenging to read.

Square D/Schneider Electric will accept responsibility for any damage to the homeowner’s major household appliance. This promise will only be valid if their whole house surge protector has been properly installed and complied with the current National Electric Code (NEC).

Take note that only major household appliances are included. According to the manufacturer’s website they do not consider your audio, stereo components, video gear, televisions and computers to be major household appliances so they are excluded from the warranty.

Support

Some whole house surge protectors that I’ve reviewed in this website has amazing support when it comes to responding to consumers on the Internet. So far I haven’t seen that level of interaction from this manufacturer but obviously you can reach them over at their website.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this Square D HOM2175SB review helped you in making with this surge protector. Do you have any experience with the Square D HOM2175SB? It would be nice if you can give your comments below.

Intermatic IG2240-IMS Review

Intermatic_IG2240-IMSThe Intermatic IG2240-IMS is something different from your regular whole house surge protectors.

In this review, we’re going to take a look at what this device has to offer when it comes to protecting your house.

Overview

The Intermatic IG2240-IMS is a whole house surge protector but it can also function as a type-1 surge suppressor device.

This device uses replaceable consumable modules that will allow you to easily and safely replace a module when it’s already degraded or compromised by the surge. The unit weighs just over 6 pounds and its dimensions are 10.8 x 3.8 x 10 inches.

What type of SPD?

Like you’ve read earlier, the Intermatic IG2240-IMS is a whole house surge protector. This is also known as a type-2 SPD and basically this unit can be installed on the load side of the main service entrance (breaker panel).

This SPD from Intermatic is also categorized as a type-1, also known as a secondary surge arrester. This time, a type-1 SPD is normally installed on the line side of the main service entrance (this is between your utility pole and where the electricity enters the service panel).

UL 1499 Listed

This surge protector is also fully compliant with the Underwriters Laboratories 1499 3rd edition. When you say that a surge suppressor is UL 1499 listed, this means that this device passed the safety and performance standards of the Underwriters Laboratories.

The 3rd edition provides the consumers with 3 improvements. First, the device has type-1 capabilities. Second is the addition of nominal discharge rating. For a consumer, you’ll now be able to compare a surge protector’s durability under a regulated test of the UL.

The third benefit that you’ll get from the UL 1499 3rd edition is the voltage protection rating (VPR). This was actually called the surge voltage rating (SVR).

Does Not Protect Against Lightning

Intermatic IG2240-IMSIntermatic clearly indicates in their instructions that this surge protector does not protect against a direct lighting strike. If you ask any professional electrician, they will also tell you the same and back this disclosure.

However, the Intermatic IG2240-IMS does provide protection against nearby or indirect lightning strikes.

TPMOV Technology

When you read about the Intermatic IG2240-IMS, you might probably see that they use the TPMOV technology. So, what exactly is this technology and why does Intermatic think that this is important?

First, we need to quickly define what an MOV is. MOV stands for metal oxide varistor and basically it’s a semiconductor material that clamps down a voltage when it reaches a certain level.

TPMOV stands for Thermally Protected MOV and take note that this is not Intermatic’s own technology. The TPMOV is actually a technology patented by the Mersen Electrical Power and what it does is that it eliminates the typical failure modes that happen in real life applications with your typical metal oxide varistors (MOV).

What you have inside the TPMOV are two things. First is a voltage clamping device and the second feature is a disconnecting system that will monitor the health of the metal oxide disk.

According to Mersen, these two important features make the TPMOV technology a fail-safe device.

Replaceable modules

Intermatic IG2240-IMS button meansThe one main thing that many people are raving about the Intermatic IG2240-IMS is that you can easily replace the surge modules when it’s already consumed.

The whole replacement process is just as easy as getting a cassette tape out and putting a new one in. When you remove a module, a door will snap close over the opening and it will not open until you push in a new module.

It’s easy to think that Intermatic is the only company providing this capability but when you search online for a surge protector with replaceable surge modules, you will actually see a few from Leviton.

But the one main difference of the Intermatic IG2240-IMS from the Leviton product line is the price. The Leviton surge panel with replaceable modules costs anywhere from $400 to over $1,000 while the Intermatic only costs over $200.

The Leviton HC277-M53 surge panel with replaceable modules is the only one in the $200-range but it doesn’t have any reviews yet.

Installation

As always, when it comes to installing any whole house surge protectors, you need to call your local licensed electrician. A professional installation will make sure that everything is going to be safe and you’ll also save yourself from a lot of trouble when it comes to the potential insurance or code problems in the future.

You can install the Intermatic IG2240-IMS inside your house just beside your breaker panel or outdoors. When installing the device indoors, then it’s recommended that you also get the flush mount kit so you can easily mount it in the wall.

The installation price will depend on how your house is laid out. So it’s best that you ask your local electrician first for the installation price before you even consider this device as it can easily double your budget, especially if you need it to be flush mounted in your wall.

Built

Like many of the consumers, you will also probably be satisfied with the overall built of this surge protector. Many people compared its built to a tank. The junction box is made up of solid metal and has a semi gloss black coating with a basic recessed sprung sliding latch.

LED Indicator

Each of the consumable surge modules will have 2 individual LED lights. The blue LED will indicate its power and the green light tells you if the surge protection is still active. When the green light is not illuminating, then you need to replace the surge module with a new one.

Issues

When you decide to install this device, you might complain about the leads because they’re not that long.

Warranty

The Intermatic IG2240-IMS has a 10-year limited warranty and a $25,000 connected equipment coverage warranty for 10 years on your appliances and electronics.

Hopefully this review helped you in making a decision with this whole house surge protector. If you have anything in mind, please leave a comment below.

Sycom Surge Protector Review

Sycom_Surge_ProtectorThe Sycom SYC-120/240-T2 surge protector is another one of the whole house surge protectors that has a good number of reviews online.

I also noticed that this brand also includes a Spike-Ender coax cable suppressor and it seems that this is the only brand that has this additional protection for cables as many of its competitors only provide a standalone SPD.

I also found out that this is the surge protector that Mike Holmes recommended in many of his episodes on Holmes for Homes before he was asked by Eaton to endorse their own product.

Is it up to standards?

Many of the whole house surge suppressors right now are certified and are fully compliant with the UL 1449 3rd edition.

When you look at their product page at a shopping site, there’s no real upfront information that they’re compliant with the UL 1449. You actually have to go to their official website and download the specifications sheet just to check if they’re up to standards.

After downloading their specs sheet, I found out that the Sycom surge protector is also up to standards and is fully compliant with the UL 1449 3rd edition.

Modes of protection

Other surge protectors in the market have indicated their modes of protection. Some have 6 and others have 4 protection modes.

I tried to research the protection modes of this Sycom brand but I cannot seem to easily locate that information.

Maxium surge current capacity

The maximum surge capacity rating represents how big a surge a unit can handle and Sycom claims that their unit can withstand 100,000 amps of surge.

Short circuit current rating

Sycom Surge ProtectorThe short circuit current rating represents the maximum level of the short circuit current that a surge suppressor can withstand.

With Sycom, the SCCR rating is 10,000 amps (10kA).

Voltage protective rating (VPR)

The voltage protective rating, sometimes also known as the clamping voltage, represents how much voltage is still getting passed through to your equipment after your surge protector has completed its job.

Each mode will have its own voltage protective rating and for the Sycom, the VPR numbers are: 600V for Line to Ground and 1,200V for Line to Line.

Maximum continuous operating voltage (MCOV)

This rating might be the most important thing that you have to look out for when dealing with whole house surge protectors.

When comparing units, a higher rating for the MCOV is better. With regards to the Sycom, their MCOV ratings are: 150V for Line to Ground and 300V for Line to Line.

NEMA enclosure type

The NEMA enclosure type is a standard for defining what type of enclosures the surge protector is housed in.

The Sycom SYC-120/240-T2 has a NEMA 4 enclosure type rating. It basically means that this unit is constructed for use in either indoor or outdoor applications.

Warranty

There’s a limited product warranty and any claim is limited to $1,500 for each item up to only $25,000 for every occurrence. You can find a lot of technicalities when you look at their warranty policy and this is expected with this type of product.

Here are the following that are not covered:

Direct lightning hit
Electronic devices such as computers and televisions
If the surge protected is not installed by a licensed electrician

Only standard residential appliances are covered which includes refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers dishwashers, freezers, furnaces and air conditioning systems.

Well pumps are included but only if the surge will pass through the electrical feed at the wellhead connection. If the surge is ground induced then it will not be covered.

Obviously there are too many requirements for the warranty to list them all here and I suggest you download the warranty information over at their website for more information.

Additional protection?

Like I’ve mentioned earlier, the Sycom surge protector includes a Spike-Ender coax cable suppressor. This device helps protect your expensive HDTV receivers, cable modems, etc from destructive surges.

Price

Sycom Surge Protector priceThe price for this whole house surge protector is cheaper compared to other devices on the market. Many are priced over $100 but the Sycom brand with the coax cable protector is a lot lower than a hundred bucks.

Consumer reviews

Many people have installed the Sycom surge protector and did not feel the need to hire a licensed electrician as the installation is pretty simple and straightforward. On average it will take 15-20 minutes of install time and probably much less if installed by someone who knows what they’re doing.

But take note that their warranty will not honor your claim if the unit is not installed by a licensed electrician. And I would still strongly advise that you let a professional do all the work if you don’t have any idea in working with your breaker panel.

A good number of people also mentioned that the main reason they purchased this particular brand is because of Mike Holmes’ recommendation.

Pros

Easy to install
Cheaper than other brands
Coax cable protector included
Perfect for surface mounted breaker panels

Cons

Not ideal for flush mounted breakers as you won’t be able to see the light status indicator when it’s installed inside the breaker box. This is not really a con but it’s still important that you are aware of this little issue. With that being said, the lead on this unit could be a little bit longer.

Square D HEPD80 Surge Protector Review

Square_D_HEPD80The Square D HEPD80 (from Schneider Electric) is one of the more popular surge protectors in the market toady. It’s easy to fall in love with it but it’s also important to know everything that you’ll get when purchasing this device.

In this review, we’re going to learn the most important and essential facts about the Square D HEPD80. You’ll get to know why it’s really popular and you’ll also learn some of the cons that you will encounter with it.

Protection

The Square D HEPD80 has a very high surge current rating of 80,000 amps. If you want to have an idea on how high this surge is then think of it as a direct lightning strike. The Square D is going to protect you as much as any other expensive surge protectors in the market.

If you take a look at plug-in type surge suppressors you will notice that they only provide you with 30,000 amps of protection. It’s a good first line of protection but for some people, they would still need a second line of protection by using surge protection power strips.

Installation of Square D HEPD80

Generally this surge suppressor is very easy to install provided that you have some background and experience with electrical stuff. It’s recommended that you have to install this on a 2-pole 20 amp breaker. If you don’t have any spare then you have to get one. After that, you just hook in the 2 black wires to each half of your 240V breaker. Then the green wire goes to the ground and the white wire goes to the neutral bar.

Installation of Square D HEPD80If you see the 2 green lights illuminated when you switch your main breaker on, then it means it’s already running and you’re already protected.

If you have no idea on what you’re doing, I would recommend that you hire a local electrician just to make sure that everything will be fine.

If you decide to install it yourself, give yourself a good amount of time in order to avoid rushing the installation. If you have some wiring experience, it will probably take you around 20-30 minutes.

square_d_installThe Square D HEPD80 is designed to be mounted directly to your breaker panel through an open punch out. But you’ll have a bit of a challenge if your panel is flushed mounted to a wall. If this is your situation, then it’s probably best to attach the protector inside the panel. Some even drilled a hole into their wall in order to open a punch out and slip the wires inside.

Take time to consider your mounting options in order to make sure that it’s not going to be in the way of a door or any moving structure.

Take note that you might have some trouble installing this in a larger panel with not a lot of room in the side access. The reason for this is because in bigger panels, you only have a limited number of open punch outs. It even gets worse because the neutral and ground bars are not really long enough to reach all the way from the end of the box using the built-in wires.

The length of the leads is 20-21 inches and hopefully the length is enough for you in configuring this device in your breaker. In some cases, you might move some of your breakers but in general situations, the length of the leads were enough.

It’s very important that you do not extend the wires as the protective ability of a surge suppressor weakens with wire length. So keep in mind to keep the wires as short as possible.

When you talk about the build, the Square D surge protector is made up of durable materials and is outdoor rated making it safe to endure the outside conditions.

LED Lights

The HEPD80 will have 2 green LED lights and each light actually monitors the two phases of the 220V breaker separately. One of the lights doesn’t have any label. The other light has a label that will tell you whether it’s OKAY (illuminated state) or if you need to REPLACE (lights out). If one or both of the LED lights are out, then you need to take action and replace it for continued surge protection.

Cheaper?

Like you’ve read earlier, the Square D HEPD80 has a surge rating of 80,000 amps. If you do a quick search for surge protectors that also has a rating of 80K amps you might be surprised to find out that their prices can reach up to over $400.

There are even surge protectors from big name brands that costs over $1,000 but the truth is that they don’t compare to the high level of protection that Square D is providing.

You can do some investigating for yourself if you want to. Look at the voltage protection (VPR) ratings and the lower the number, the better it is.

Basically, the VPR refers to the voltage that will trigger the surge protector to protect every electronics inside your house. If you ask your local electrician about this, they will probably tell you the same thing… that most of the time cheaper units are actually more effective than buying expensive branded products.

Here are some of the VPR specifications of the square d:

  • 600 V from Line to Neutral
  • 700 V from Line to Ground
  • 1,000 V from Line to Line
  • 1,000 V from Neutral to Ground

How Much Is Your House Insurance?

Here’s another perspective that you can think about when it comes to saving money. If you have some house insurance, the price of the Square D is fairly cheap. It’s definitely well worth your investment when it protects your electronics if ever you get a surge.

As you can see, this surge protector provides you with the highest level of surge protection while having a very reasonable price point.

What Are The Issues of Square D HEPD80?

Length of Wires

Like you’ve read earlier, you might have some concerns about the length of the wires. Again the length of the wires is 20-21 inches. Some people have some issues with this but in the end they got the Square D installed. Generally, a lot of people are satisfied with the length of the lead wires and were able to install it fairly easily.

Claiming Headaches

This one is not a direct issue with the Square D HEPD80 itself but when it comes to filing for a claim, I found out that you have to go through a lot of hoops in order to get it. There are many steps that you have to fulfill like verifying the damage cause, filing insurance claim within a month, independent evaluation, etc. If you don’t complete any of the steps then your claim is going to be null and void.

 

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