Author Topic: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?  (Read 6630 times)

Baylor3217

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Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« on: May 05, 2013, 06:13:03 PM »
My repair man swore by it.

Surge protect the whole house?

ketchup

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 08:07:17 PM »
I only ever put surge protectors on my computers (UPSes here too) and consumer electronics (TV, video games, etc).  I haven't ever thought of putting one on appliances but I could see that making complete sense.

The only person I've known that has lost anything to a power surge is my grandma.  She had a VCR get hosed a few years back.  Luckily, it was 2010, so she didn't need a new one.

MountainFlower

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 10:03:55 PM »
Whole house.  It wasn't that expensive.  We're the highest thing on the top of a hill at high altitude (wicked lightening storms) and we've been hit by lightening more than once.  We lost two computers in one day, so we had to do something! 

Vilx-

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2013, 12:55:43 AM »
If I had a house, I too would probably put a surge protector on the entire house. I only have lost a wifi router, but I have at least two relatives who have each lost a computer to lightning. Other devices don't seem to be so much affected by them, but you can never know.

Also, I'd put the advanced circuit breakers with... I don't know what is it called - "leak detection"? I can't find anything in Google on that, so I guess it has a different name in English.

The idea is - normal circuit breakers only trip if there is a short-circuit anywhere (which results in HUGE power consumption which is then what triggers the breaker). But the advanced one also compares the "incoming" and "outgoing" currents and trips if there is a significant difference. So if someone accidentally touches something with voltage and gets a shock, the circuit breaker trips too and prevents further electrical injury to the person.

I don't know how it is in the USA, but around here these things are not very popular. Sometimes even the salespeople don't know that they are selling them! :D One way to tell is that the "normal" breakers are usually about $10-$20, while the advanced ones are over $60 (at least here where I live).

So, yes, they are significantly more expensive, but also not THAT much expensive, and they DO save lives.

Spork

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 09:08:23 AM »

I keep meaning to put in a whole house surge protector.  As far as I know that's the only way to protect 240v appliances (which now seem to have delicate computer boards in them).

Installation looks painfully easy.  (It's just an additional circuit.)  I am not entirely sure if I need to upgrade my grounding in order to do it.

It also seems like a good thing to have if you're investing $10 or more on energy efficient LED bulbs that are (presumably) full of fragile circuitry, the whole house surge might be good insurance.

BlueMR2

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 10:13:56 AM »
I don't bother.  The whole house surge protection is interesting, but we really don't have any issues with surges on the incoming AC lines (despite lots of lightning) here in Ohio.  I've got an antenna tower as well, but surge protection of appliances/AC power doesn't really do anything for you in that case.  For that case what's required (and what I have) is a fully bonded ground system with multiple ground rods.  Only surge suppression devices I use are on the antenna cabling at the entryway box.  The idea is to give a low impedance path to ground for strikes and eliminate internal voltage differentials (a little redundant, since that's what voltage is, a differential) by allowing the whole system to float at the same potential.

Snow

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #6 on: August 02, 2017, 11:51:56 PM »
I would rather surge protect a whole house, as opposed to one appliance at a time. I grew up with just unplugging everything whenever there was a thunderstorm nearby and then all would cluster outside under a roof to admire the view.

Spork

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2017, 09:47:31 AM »
I would rather surge protect a whole house, as opposed to one appliance at a time. I grew up with just unplugging everything whenever there was a thunderstorm nearby and then all would cluster outside under a roof to admire the view.

From what I've read, you still want to have individual surge protectors on vulnerable items even if you have a whole house surge protector.  I added a whole house surge a few years ago... and still have individual surge protectors scattered everywhere.  I have very dirty power and I've lost more than my share of circuit boards.

COEE

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #8 on: August 03, 2017, 09:22:49 PM »
From what I've read, you still want to have individual surge protectors on vulnerable items even if you have a whole house surge protector.  I added a whole house surge a few years ago... and still have individual surge protectors scattered everywhere.  I have very dirty power and I've lost more than my share of circuit boards.

EE here and I've worked with surge based applications.  Some places have 'dirtier' power than others.  I'd only suggest a whole house surge protector if your power is especially dirty or in strange circumstances (like MountainFlower's).  Most hardware is inherintly immune for single random events.  Real problems creep up when multiple pieces of hardware are connected to line voltage (think your computer and your monitor), especially when they are different brands.  Desktops, TV's, game consoles etc, usually have some protection, but it's good to have a secondary on expensive equipment.

As far as your fridge.  You might want to use a surge protector if there are sensitive circuits in your fridge - but I doubt it - unless you have a more modern electronic type fridge with a computer in it or something.  I'd still suggest calling the manufacture or looking in the users manual to find out if they suggest one.

Most surge protectors have a warranty for x number of years.  Replace them after that time.  When you buy it write the day that you installed it with a sharpie marker on the surge protector that will help with any warranty claims - do this with all of your light bulbs too.  (Pro tip: Always buy light bulbs in multi-light packs - and write installation dates on them - I've had single lights fail and then took them back to the box store and they let me take the whole multi-pack as a replacement.)  Use the warranty.  Look for good warranties.

Spork

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2017, 09:31:01 AM »
From what I've read, you still want to have individual surge protectors on vulnerable items even if you have a whole house surge protector.  I added a whole house surge a few years ago... and still have individual surge protectors scattered everywhere.  I have very dirty power and I've lost more than my share of circuit boards.

EE here and I've worked with surge based applications.  Some places have 'dirtier' power than others.  I'd only suggest a whole house surge protector if your power is especially dirty or in strange circumstances (like MountainFlower's).  Most hardware is inherintly immune for single random events.  Real problems creep up when multiple pieces of hardware are connected to line voltage (think your computer and your monitor), especially when they are different brands.  Desktops, TV's, game consoles etc, usually have some protection, but it's good to have a secondary on expensive equipment.

As far as your fridge.  You might want to use a surge protector if there are sensitive circuits in your fridge - but I doubt it - unless you have a more modern electronic type fridge with a computer in it or something.  I'd still suggest calling the manufacture or looking in the users manual to find out if they suggest one.

My (limited) experience is: yes, most computers are now rock solid, especially those aimed at business applications.  They can handle quite a bit.  Appliances: not at all.  In the past 5 years I've replaced circuit boards (or entire appliances when the boards were too expensive) in a dishwasher, garage door opener, DVR (multiple components at various times), washing machine...  I know I am forgetting some.  (And I know DVRs are "just computers"... they're just often made with low end components.)

But yes: I have dirty power.  I get about 3 UPS battery transfers a day.  (I have 4095 transfers since January 2014, which is as far back as that log goes.)

Bottom line: A small 600 joule Tripp-lite single outlet surge protector costs about $8 new with a lifetime warranty.  A new refrigerator is $600 on up to a few grand if you're willing to shell that out.  I think it's reasonable insurance to put them on appliances.

Almost any appliance (excepting older vintage appliances) is going to have sensitive circuitry.  I think you can actually make a reasonable case for buying vintage appliances for this reason.

Rosy

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2017, 03:53:28 PM »
We have four, printer, computer and both TV's.
Circuit board on the stove burnt out (water damage when a pot boiled over and the seal on the glass top had deteriorated), but that is the sort of thing Mr. R. does at work - so he took it to work and replaced whatever was shorted out or whatever the term is.


MayDay

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2017, 06:47:44 AM »
I don't bother.  The whole house surge protection is interesting, but we really don't have any issues with surges on the incoming AC lines (despite lots of lightning) here in Ohio.  I've got an antenna tower as well, but surge protection of appliances/AC power doesn't really do anything for you in that case.  For that case what's required (and what I have) is a fully bonded ground system with multiple ground rods.  Only surge suppression devices I use are on the antenna cabling at the entryway box.  The idea is to give a low impedance path to ground for strikes and eliminate internal voltage differentials (a little redundant, since that's what voltage is, a differential) by allowing the whole system to float at the same potential.

When we lived in Ohio we had huge issues!

I think it is very regional. Our area (licking county) had constant power blops and outages. We also got struck by lightening.

The constant blips destroyed the fridge in our rental (fried the circuitry) and a lightening strike took out a number of small appliances.

We now have a lot more things on surge protectors and we also make sure we unplug stuff like the computer, tv, and treadmill if we aren't going to use them for awhile.

I hadn't heard about the whole house thing. We will be getting a new panel in our new house (have to move it out of a bathroom) and I will ask the electrician about it.

HipGnosis

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2017, 10:18:18 AM »

A small 600 joule Tripp-lite single outlet surge protector costs about $8 new with a lifetime warranty.  A new refrigerator is $600 on up to a few grand if you're willing to shell that out.  I think it's reasonable insurance to put them on appliances.

Almost any appliance (excepting older vintage appliances) is going to have sensitive circuitry.  I think you can actually make a reasonable case for buying vintage appliances for this reason.
Very informative.
Does the Tripp-lite single outlet surge protector warranty cover what is plugged into it??

I think there is a teeming market for simple appliances and devices.  I prefer non-electrical for most things, like my hand crank food processor.

Spork

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Re: Do you put a surge protector on your fridge?
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2017, 04:18:20 PM »

A small 600 joule Tripp-lite single outlet surge protector costs about $8 new with a lifetime warranty.  A new refrigerator is $600 on up to a few grand if you're willing to shell that out.  I think it's reasonable insurance to put them on appliances.

Almost any appliance (excepting older vintage appliances) is going to have sensitive circuitry.  I think you can actually make a reasonable case for buying vintage appliances for this reason.
Very informative.
Does the Tripp-lite single outlet surge protector warranty cover what is plugged into it??

I think there is a teeming market for simple appliances and devices.  I prefer non-electrical for most things, like my hand crank food processor.

It claims to come with a $5k insurance policy to pay for appliance. 
amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Tripp-Lite-Protector-Suppressor-SPIKECUBE/dp/B00006B81E/ref=sr_1_27?ie=UTF8

I've had such bad luck with blown appliances... I sprinkle them everywhere.  (And I have a few simple appliances as well.  My 1951 stove is certainly not afraid of a little electrical surge.)