Surge Protection

Posted by: CatBrat

Surge Protection - 12/11/09 05:35 PM

I've been studying surge protection for my home, and discovered that I have a major problem that needs to be fixed. I have an older home, built back in the 1950's that only has 2 prong, groundless plugs. Of these, I have been replacing them, a little at a time, with the 3 prong and just putting a jumper between the ground and the white wire connectors. (I learned this trick from my brother who worked for the local electrical company at one time.)

I'm going to buy a Monster MP-HDP-1800 Power Center today. It looks like I also need to run new wire (with a ground wire included) from the surge protector to the circuit breaker box in the basement and attach it to the silver bar in it, if 1) it has one, and 2) if it is grounded. (Oh joy).
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Surge Protection - 12/11/09 06:22 PM

Sounds like you need to re-wire your home, time for that major renovation project you have always wanted to do ;\)
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/11/09 07:22 PM

Nah. I'll just rewire that 1 recepticle for now. It least it might be a fairly straight shot to the breaker box.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 12:02 AM

Actually, I think I will get my house rewired and will be using an electriction to make sure the building is kept up to code. But until I have the money to do that I want to at least put in a new temporary circuit for just the HT I currently have. I will be splicing into the same circuit that my garage door opener is on. My breaker box doesn't have a ground connection that I can find.

On the other side of the wall, which is outside, the phone line for my DSL is grounded to a pipe, I wonder if I can connect the ground wire from the new line running from the HT to this pipe? Any electrictions that care to comment?
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 10:32 AM

Here's a quote from This link "Incidentally, all grounding of house wiring must go directly to the "grounding bus" in the electrical panel. Older techniques, including attaching a ground to a cold water pipe or to a rod in the earth are no longer acceptable for individual circuits."

My box doesn't seem to have a "grounding bus". The grounding bus and where you connect the white wires appears to be one and the same. The only real solution is to replace the circuit breaker box.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 10:39 AM

This doesn't help with any bad wiring issues, but I recently bought this surge protector/battery backup and it works great:
http://www.staples.com/APC-Back-UPS-XS-1500VA-10-Outlet-Green-UPS/product_797220?cmArea=SEARCH

I got it on sale for about $40 off the listed price. The battery can support my xbox 360, ps3, 50" lcd rp, denon 3808, and dvr if all are running at the same time for like 13 minutes if the power goes out.
Posted by: terzaghi

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 10:40 AM

In my opinion, electrical stuff is best left to the electricians \:\)
Posted by: Ray3

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 01:02 PM

 Originally Posted By: terzaghi
In my opinion, electrical stuff is best left to the electricians \:\)


Agreed!

When you can't see something and it can kill you, it's not a good thing.

When I had a whole-house generator installed a few years ago, the next door neighbor wandered over with a gift. He has a business that specializes in power stuff (I wish I knew more about it), and he gave me a whole house surge suppressor. I had the electrician install it at the electrical box. A nice alternative to plugging suppressors in all over the house.
Posted by: oldskoolboarder

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 01:29 PM

Ray
Do you have a spec or part number on that?

I'd like consider that in my house since, my panel is now open.

Thanks!
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 02:10 PM

I just got back from a Lowes store, from looking at the electrical stuff, bought a Black and Decker book on house electrical, and talked to salesperson. For the whole house surge protection, you purchase it from the utility company and they install it.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 02:14 PM

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Posted by: Potatohead

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 02:29 PM

Is it not possible to just re-wire a new circuit with a new breaker for the one outlet, and have that a three prong? Perhaps the breaker you need doesn't work in the old panel. I ran three new circuits for my theatre, but I have a new home so it was pretty simple, just had an electrician hook it to the panel and I did the rest.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 04:46 PM

I have seen the whole house surge protectors from Home Depot, but they are special order items.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/13/09 11:53 PM

My breaker box doesn't accept 3 wires, only 2. It's from 1950 before they added the ground wire. This house ran out of circuits years ago and an additional panel has been added to satisfy other things, but they are all full.
Posted by: PeterChenoweth

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 01:32 PM

 Originally Posted By: CatBrat
My breaker box doesn't accept 3 wires, only 2. It's from 1950 before they added the ground wire.


Call an electrician. Bring money. ;\)

I live in a house that was built in 1910. I feel your pain.

Actually you never know. Just putting in a new sub-panel for the HT room might not be as bad as you think.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 01:41 PM

I'm going to do it one step at a time.

Step 1: get an electrician to install a new service panel with full home surge protection.

Step 2: Install a dedicated circuit for living room HT, which will be in the closet behind the TV wall.

Step 3: Replace wiring to the rest of the house a little at a time, adding more circuits than there was originally. Right now the Kitchen, dining room, living room and a bedroom are all on the same circuit. Also, add some for additional lighting in the living room (currently pole lamps only).

Step 4: Add another dedicated circuit in a bedroom for 2nd HT location.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 03:49 PM

Man, I wish I had 3 prong outlets. But I live in a rental.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 04:47 PM

 Originally Posted By: kcarlile
Man, I wish I had 3 prong outlets. But I live in a rental.


I hope your not using those 3 to 2 prong adapters for your electronic equipment. Installing 3 prong outlets on a 2 wire system after you have installed a jumper between the white and ground on the back of the outlets is a better way to go.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 05:00 PM

That scares the bejeezus out of me.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 05:40 PM

If you're not comfortable doing this, then find someone who is. Here's how to ground a 2 prong electrical plug.

Just turn the juice off at the breaker first. I plug in a radio, turn it up, then go into the basement and start flipping breakers until the radio goes off.

Click [url=www.selfhelpandmore.com/switch-outlet/composition-of-a-standard-electrical-outlet.php] here [\url], scroll about halfway down to the picture of the 2 outlets, with the numbered arrows.

1) Get a short piece of wire the same diameter/guage as what is attached to the plug, then strip off a short piece of wire so you have a bare wire about 2 or 3 inches long for the jumper.
2) Attach one end of the jumper around the silver screw #5 and the other end around the green screw #6. #5 is the neutral and #6 is the ground.
3) Attach the white wire to #3, which is the neutral wire.
4) Attach the black (or red) wire to #10 on the other side, which is the hot wire.
Posted by: Ken.C

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 05:57 PM

Oh, I'm not afraid of working with the electrical (what breaker? I have fuses, man...), but I'm not sure about the solution you're suggesting. No offense meant.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 06:51 PM

No offense taken. I'd be a little leary trying something like this learned off of a forum too. But my brother taught me this. He was a lineman for the local utility company. I have about 4 or 5 outlets wired this way and the surge protectors report back that I have a ground.
Posted by: jakewash

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 06:54 PM

YOU'RE GROUNDED, Go to your room!! \:\)
Posted by: Wid

Re: Surge Protection - 12/14/09 07:50 PM


I have one outlet that was only two prong. I did the same thing as Brian suggested (years ago). It was taught to me by an electrician also. It tests out good when I use my outlet tester.
Posted by: CatBrat

Re: Surge Protection - 12/30/09 01:28 PM

I'm having an electrician install a new breaker box, breakers and grounding rod this Saturday for around $550. He's going to use double breakers where 2 15 amp breakers fit into a single breaker slot. I don't know exactly how many left over slots I'll have. He said 4, but I told him I'm going to need more than that, so I'll have to wait and see what I end up with.