Whole house surge protection

I'm thinking of having an electrician install one of these devices at the service entrance of my house. I get frequent thunder storms. Does anyone know what these are made of? Do they use inductors? Reason I'm asking is I do not want any device that can limit dynamics of my audio system. I've looked into ZeroSurge, SurgeX, etc that use SMP, which seem to be ideal compared to devices using MOVs. But all of these use inductors..and some who have used this type of technology have complained of dynamic restriction and collapsing of soundstage. Thanks.
Yeah, anytime I've tried surge protection with a transformer it has limited system dynamics.

Now I'm using different filtering and power-regenerating devices from PS Audio and they seem to work very well... providing improved sound quality and musicality with no loss of dynamics.

But of course the only sure way of providing complete protection from lightning strikes is to unplug your gear during bad storms.
"But of course the only sure way of providing complete protection from lightning strikes is to unplug your gear during bad storms."

That's what I've been doing after each listening session, and it's a PITA and wears out the AC outlet and plugs.

I've used the Pure Power AC regenerating conditioner because it was reported not to limit dynamics. It cleaned up the subtle grunge, but it limited dynamics and squashed the sound stage. I don't see why PS Audio would be any different.

Anything using surge protectors using inductors and transformers seems to limit dynamics.

I am hoping the whole house surge protectors work differently and won't limit dynamics.

Anyone who has done this, please chime in.
wears out the AC outlet and plugs.

how much wear and tear can u have on a plug and outlet...? Would take more yrs then the all mighty gave us then time to wear out a power supply plug..
Whole house surge protectors employ either massive MOVs, silicon avalanche diodes (SADSs) or a combination of the two from hot to neutral, hot to ground, and neutral to ground. The Leviton whole house surge protectors claim to employ the use of solid state TVSS devices, which probably means SADs.
Gbart, do those technologies limit current to the extent you'd notice dynamic compression?
I had our utility company install a whole house surge protector after lightning struck the utility access in our front yard. Even though we have underground electrical service, the lightning strike to the cover of the underground junction fried our doorbell and garage door opener circuits. I have heard no deleterious effects whatsoever to my audio system's performance. Unless one had monstrous mono block amps, I have a hard time believing a surge suppressor built to withstand the simultaneous demands of washing machines, refrigerators, ac compressors, stoves, etc. would be affected much by an audio amplifier.
Thanks Photon. Appreciate the response.
Schipo, my ac plugs are made of 99% copper and shows signs of wear, and the flimsy AC outlets are becoming loose because the plugs fit very tightly.

Why not MOVs?

Some reading material....
Eaton’s Residential Surge Protection
Jea, IME MOV have given me problems. I've had a strip that used MOVs and it kept tripping my circuit breaker. When I disconnected it, issue solved, but I had no way of knowing if the MOV inside the strip was damaged or still working. Read below.


I think the whole house surge protectors are made of silicon oxide vasistors, which is suppose to be reusable over and over, unlike MOVs.


I think the whole house surge protectors are made of silicon oxide vasistors, which is suppose to be reusable over and over, unlike MOVs.
02-12-13: 02-12-13: Dracule1


Not sure about that. I believe most are MOV type.

Eaton (Cutler Hammer), Square D, Leviton, and Siemens, use multiple MOVs.

More reading material.
Jea, looks like many home surge protection units use MOVs. I asked a master electrician in my area. He recommended the Eaton CSHP Ultra which uses MOVs.
If you are really serious get the environmental potentials ep2050 with the ep2750 and be done with it. Check the archives here.
Thanks Lifeengineer. I looked into the EP products. Looks very interesting. However, the EP2050 is only rated at 12.5 kA of max surge current. According to my electrician, the higher the max surge current and power rating, the better the protection against catastrophic surge damage. The Eaton CHSP Ultra is rated at 180 kA max surge current and 2880 joules. Not sure how many joules EP2050 is rated at. However, I am very intrigued by the waveform correction and filtering provided by EP products. Don't you think the EP2050 surge protection is somewhat limited?
Also, EP doesn't back up their surge protection with any warranty, unlike Eaton CSHP Ultra that comes with $75,000 warranty against damage.
I use a "Power-Save 1200" also known as an "Abet 2201"...It works great...no surge issues of any sorts and excellent dynamics.
I had it installed via a new sub panel when I built my listening room...it requires its' own breaker...your electrician can probably tell you all about it. Good luck

Where does it say the PS 1200 is a surge protector?

The video says the unit is UL approved. UL 1449 - 3rd addition?

The video with the motor mounted on the board is very misleading.
A squirrel cage induction motor without a connected loaded will have a very poor PF (power factor). The closer the motor is loaded to its rated HP (horse power) the more efficient the motor will be. There in higher PF.

It appears the PS 1200 is nothing more than an AC capacitor that when connected across the AC mains will raise the mains line voltage somewhat.

In the case of a squirrel cage induction motor operated within the motor nameplate data specs an increase in line voltage will result in a decrease in current draw, amps.

P = E x I

P = power measured in watts
E = voltage
I = amps

The Power Utility company meter measures watts consumed. That is why it is called a watt hour meter.

As a residential power user I see no savings gain from using the PS 1200 unit.

Dracule1, did you check the archives here on the ep2050?
Yes I did. couple of things are holding me back. One is the amount of max surge current it can handle, 12.5 kA. Other surge arresters for residential applications I've seen are 80+ kA. And it has no warranty against damage.

Which ever external mounted SPD you go with the unit protects best when the wire leads from the SPD are as short as possible.

If possible the breaker used to connect the SPD to the bus of the electrical panel should be installed as close as possible to the load side of the main breaker as well as the neutral/ground bus bar. Inches matter!

Sharp bending of the SPD wire leads must be avoided.

As for the Eaton CHSPT2ULTRA you will notice the manufacture recommends a 2 pole 50 amp breaker be used for connecting the the SPD to the electrical panel bus.

More reading material.

Thanks Jea. It's a little too technical for me, but I can at least have an idea if my electrician is incompetent after reading the article.
Dracule 1 ,the ep2050 is alot more than just a surge protector.
Lifeengieer, I agree with you. But I am looking for a surge protector, first and foremost. Having some sort of filtering is nice to have.
I have a dedicated power line for my 2 ch audio set up , and just before the main power switch , I have installed Brickwall Surge protection. Model: PW2RAUD .
I have given a separate copper wire running from this Brickwall unit to the backyard , where it is connected to a copper plate ( 12"x12"x1/2") burried at 6 ft. deep below ground ( plus common salt plus coke , water ,to give a good earth or ground ) .
I assume , I have good surge protection for all my equipments.
In last 12 years did not have any problem , but that is no way of knowing!
Any comments , please .
I do not quite follow , but I checked with my electrician .
He says : this dedicated line running from main power supply to my audio room has not been connected to any earthing "untill " it is past the main switch in my audio room and then it reaches Brickwall unit , from where the ground pin of Brickwall unit is directly connected to a bare heavy copper wire to the copper plate for ground . Brickwall ground pin is only connected to this dedicated earthing and nowhere else .
Also all power ports in audio room are from output of Brickwall , hence earthing to all audio equipments is also connected to the same dedicated ground copper plate(through Brickwall ) .
If you can share your email , I would like to give to you a Schematic of my connections .
Brickwall ground pin is only connected to this dedicated earthing and nowhere else .
02-22-13: Radni


Per NEC code the Aux Grounding Electrode you have installed shall connect to the equipment grounding conductor of the branch circuit that feeds the Brickwall and your audio equipment.

What you have now is an isolated grounding electrode that is not electrically connected to the main grounding electrode system of your home. This is a violation of NEC code and the local codes in your area.

Ask your electrician in the event of a ground-fault condition of the Brickwall or associated audio equipment fed by the Brickwall, how the ground-fault current will return back to the source. The source being the electrical panel in your home.

I look forward to his answer......

Moved to a new home 3 weeks ago and have just installed an upgraded dedicated circuit. Main panel is Cutler-Hammer CH series with copper bus bar, subpanel is GE Master Load Center with copper bus-bar. The subpanel is tied to the main with massive 6/4 conduit and I'm using 10/2 Romex (for now,...other options too pricey at 16-25 dollars per foot, with 5 outlets I needed about 150 feet of cable) BUT I have installed an Environmental Potentials EP-2050 on the main house panel to protect everything and an EP-2750 Ground Filter on the dedicated circuit. I have heard nothing but good things about the EP units and that combined with the copper busbar panels should be a nice upgrade in the entire system's sound....very excited to hear the result once i finish unpacking! I'll still be using my Purepower 2000 on the system as a whole but may go straight into the wall for my Edge amp and amps in the Legacy Aeris towers. Ultimately I think I'll move to a Running Springs Audio Dmitri but time will tell if this move can happen....
I have had basically the same EP installation.
The 2050 is installed right where the power comes in on two 30a breakers,plus the 2750 ground filter.
Also for my front rack I use a 60a Torus and in the back a 240v 20a torus for the components rack with projector ect.
My computers and tv's have the EP digiplugs.
Creating a few lines of defense as a couple years ago lost two JL F-113's that were not connected to the Torus,the other two that were connected were perfectly fine.
Also kept blowing bulbs in our DLP tv and since with a surgex and digiplugs,no bulb replacements.
Those bulbs were around 300.00 a pop(no pun)to replace.
Have since upgraded to a LED TV.
I wouldn't be without the above as it can get very costly replacing subs,TV's ect.
I know what you are talking about; up until a couple weeks ago, I still had my 5088W (only made for less than a year) Samsung DLP; it was an outstanding TV and still put up a great picture but the bulbs and color wheels were beyond pricey (IMHO). I recently upgraded to the new Samsung 8550 series of 4K UHD LED displays and am wow'ed by the 2D and 3D video quality that LED TV turns in. The nice side benefit of installing the 2050 on the main house panel is that the LED TV in the main room got even crisper and the colors a bit more realistic (hard to believe given how good the set is OOTB) so I am extremely happy with the EP products install. As I just wrote on another thread, in the first 2 days of listening, even with the system having been boxed for almost a month, this new circuit, panel, EP product setup results in a circuit that is whisper quiet; my system came up from cold start with a vengeance and sounds great even before being fully into the first 1-2 days of warmup. I'm very glad I took this chance and did all this; it was well worth it!