Electronics Repair (sci.electronics.repair) Discussion of repairing electronic equipment. Topics include requests for assistance, where to obtain servicing information and parts, techniques for diagnosis and repair, and annecdotes about success, failures and problems.

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Default Electric Smart Meter Surge Protection

Hi,
Recently my electric meter was replaced with a "Smart Meter".
I realized that it must have surge protection for it's sensitive
electronics.

Does this surge protection also help protect what is inside
my house? Note: I have many surge protectors in various
outlets.

Thank You in advance, John



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Default Electric Smart Meter Surge Protection

On Monday, 30 April 2018 13:08:52 UTC+1, wrote:
Hi,
Recently my electric meter was replaced with a "Smart Meter".
I realized that it must have surge protection for it's sensitive
electronics.


why? Most PSUs don't.

Does this surge protection also help protect what is inside
my house? Note: I have many surge protectors in various
outlets.


then you've spent your money adding a fire risk with no gain.


NT
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Default Electric Smart Meter Surge Protection

It's not likely to protect the whole house.

Probably, your best bet is a whole house surge suppressor with a warranty. There is really no point without a protected equipment warranty. Many times, you need the receipt. A whole house suppressor typically connects to a breaker.

The "surge stopper" products from Linear Technology now Analog Devices seem to be very good, but it's something that's designed into the low voltage power supplies.

I had extremely good luck by using a line conditioner from ONEAC, now Powervar and an ISOBAR suppressor. One particular computer had a 17 year stint before it was upgraded. The SCSI drives lasted 17 years. The floppy failed (mechanical) and dust created ventilation issues.

It initially was used on an obsolete system and the failures were pretty much the same. Floppies and fans.

The same system was continued on the new upgraded system. It's not a UPS.
Rebonding the neutral cleans up the ground. See some youtube videos on the Powervar concept and actual videos. They don't like the ISOBAR.

In an APC surge suppressor I had, that failed because a thermal fuse blew, allowed the unprotected AC to power the devices. yes, a light indicated that the outlets were unprotected, but who looks at these.

There are systems that take this "concept" and do it at the power entry panel.

Inherently, the AC distribution in the US is flawed. Hospitals and radio transmitting stations may use a better method which totally separates signal ground from a ground fault. Orange outlets have an isolated ground which allows two independent grounds to be connected. Ideally every duplex outlet should be wired directly to the panel.

You then have green and green/Yellow grounds. one will never see fault currents.

You have both common mode and normal mode surges to deal with as well as high frequency issues. The transformer fixes the high frequency issues because it's hard to couple that across the windings.

In a daisy chained outlet, a surge could raise the ground potential of everything connected to the chain and stuff that uses the ground for communication will see different levels. If each had a signal ground to the panel, the surge would raise everything in the house because of the surge path and the signal grounds would all be at the same potential.

Communication between equipment is sometimes done via the ground connection and that's where the re-bonding of the neutral helps dramatically.

It is best to stop noise and surges at the source too. A Carrier HVAC system polluted the AC line when it was on. X-10 devices would not work until a line filter was installed at the furnace. I also felt it was wise to add a bidirectional transorb (TVS bi-directional diode) on the 24 VAC supply. There is a low voltage fuse, so if the Transorb should short the fuse should blow.

Basic surge suppression costs the manufacturer a lot of money for $10.00 or less of parts. One experience highlights the problem. A multichannel analyzer (an instrument that bins pulses) that we had the schematic for, but lacked the expertise to fix failed. he MFR offered board/exchange type of repair. I noticed that there was absolutely no protection for the low-end model costing about $5000.00 USD and the board repair was about $1000.00.

I asked the manufacturer and got the following. We specify that the product needs 120 VAC, 60 Hz. Surges violates that spec, so it's your problem.

One thermocouple scanner would break in the presence of 1000 W IR lamps used for heating. The schematic showed a complete voltage regulator, but the product was shipped with that unpopulated. Adding two parts and not the full design fixed the failure issue.
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