genme
I have a Cutler-Hammer CHSP Ultra surge protector. I found the following in an installation booklet regarding connection of this devise to an Eaton ATS:

"If you have a Service Entrance rated ATS and are backing up the entire service or main panel, install the surge suppressor on the service entrance circuit breaker. This will provide protection to the ATS and the loadcenter."

Is this ok to do in with a Generac transfer switch? Wouldn't the wires for the surge protector need to go under the lugs?
Model 5875, Nexus controller, 999cc Engine, 20kW LP, 2011
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johnc
Genme: Explain what and where you are connecting the surge protector. I have my protectors wired onto the range 220v breaker on my utility panel box. Would there be any reason to mount protecters on the ATS? What do you mean when referring to a service entrance rated ATS? I got the model 4390, 13kw n.g. generator. Thanks for your help
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genme
I'll try to explain. I currently have a whole house surge protector (BR Surge) from Cutler-Hammer installed in our main breaker panel. It takes the space of a double pole breaker.

Some time ago, I bought the CHSP Ultra as an upgrade to the BR Surge since the CHSP Ultra can handle a greater surge, has a lifetime unit warranty, and a protected equipment warranty. I never installed it.

Right now, our range (and house) is protected by the BR Surge. We also have a 110 volt plug in surge protector on our (gas) range. My question doesn't really involve the range (mentioned in another thread.)

Here is my non-technical explanation (others can clarify my explanation) - a Service Entrance Rated ATS (automatic transfer switch) has utility power going directly into it as well as the generator feed. The transfer switch sends either utility or generator power to the main distribution panel (loadcenter) which powers all of the circuit breakers (in the house.) The distribution panel is currently our main breaker panel, but our main breaker panel will become a sub-panel of the Service Rated ATS once our wiring is done.

The BR Surge (or the CHSP Ultra if) connected to the distribution panel will only protect the circuits after it, not before it, so the Service Entrance Rated ATS is unprotected from utility surges. One way around this is to properly connect surge equipment to the meter (before the ATS.) I would need to purchase different surge equipment to do this.

I was just wondering if I could protect the ATS, and possibly the generator, from utility surges with the CHSP Ultra that I have.

I'm not sure if doing this will cause a problem or not. Apparently, this is not a problem for a Cutler-Hammer ATS. Also, I don't know if doing this would effect the Generac warranty or not.
Model 5875, Nexus controller, 999cc Engine, 20kW LP, 2011
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techntrek
Everything is connected electrically, so it will protect everything no matter where it is connected.
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ceb58
genme;9754 wrote:


Here is my non-technical explanation (others can clarify my explanation) - a Service Entrance Rated ATS (automatic transfer switch) has utility power going directly into it as well as the generator feed. The transfer switch sends either utility or generator power to the main distribution panel (loadcenter) which powers all of the circuit breakers (in the house.) The distribution panel is currently our main breaker panel, but our main breaker panel will become a sub-panel of the Service Rated ATS once our wiring is done.

The BR Surge (or the CHSP Ultra if) connected to the distribution panel will only protect the circuits after it, not before it, so the Service Entrance Rated ATS is unprotected from utility surges. One way around this is to properly connect surge equipment to the meter (before the ATS.) I would need to purchase different surge equipment to do this.

I was just wondering if I could protect the ATS, and possibly the generator, from utility surges with the CHSP Ultra that I have.

I'm not sure if doing this will cause a problem or not. Apparently, this is not a problem for a Cutler-Hammer ATS. Also, I don't know if doing this would effect the Generac warranty or not.


A SE rated transfer switch will have the utility breaker built into the ATS and this is where the neutral-ground bond will take place. The older ATS units had both the utility breaker and generator breaker in them. All panels down stream from the SE rated ATS will now become sub-panels with separation of the neutrals and equipment grounding conductors.
The best way to protect every thing is to tap the line side of the service entrance conductors and go to a single breaker enclosure to feed the surge suppressor.
As far as protection of the gen. from utility surge it will do no good and is not needed. The generator is mechanically disconnected from the utility by the contactor in the ATS. Kinda the whole purpose of a ATS

techntrek;9760 wrote:
Everything is connected electrically, so it will protect everything no matter where it is connected.


Not true. If the TVSS is installed down stream of the ATS it will have no protective value for the ATS.
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genme
ceb58;9764 wrote:
As far as protection of the gen. from utility surge it will do no good and is not needed. The generator is mechanically disconnected from the utility by the contactor in the ATS.
Are there connections between the transfer switch and the generator through the six control wires?
Model 5875, Nexus controller, 999cc Engine, 20kW LP, 2011
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Skip Douglas SkipD
genme;9773 wrote:
Are there connections between the transfer switch and the generator through the six control wires?
Yes there are.

There's no way that I can see that a disturbance such as a lightning hit will affect the generator first and then enter the house through the generator's power wiring. However, a spike on the utility feed to the house could go to the generator via the N1/N2 wires and possibly cause problems in the generator.

A single spike suppressor (if it's large-enough) located at the utility feed to the house should protect the generator as well as devices in the home.

That said, Mother Nature does not play by anybody's rules, and she can do things that nobody would ever imagine.

One true situation: A good friend of mine, also an Amateur Radio operator like I am, realized that a storm was head toward his home on the shore of Lake Michigan. He went to his radio room and pulled both the power cable and antenna cable off his low-band two-way radio and thought he was protected. The storm came closer and a lightning bolt struck his antenna tower. It blew up the radio. How? The grounding wire was still connected to the radio. That hit also blew a light switch out of the wall in an inner hallway and it blew a receptacle out of the wall in the kitchen. The television in the living room was still on and unaffected by the hit, though. I don't know of anybody who can explain this sort of stuff.
Skip Douglas
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techntrek
ceb58;9764 wrote:
Not true. If the TVSS is installed down stream of the ATS it will have no protective value for the ATS.


The voltage potential (in this case an over-voltage potential) is instantaneous across the entire system since a voltage potential travels at the speed of light. So a surge protector will fail to ground (to redirect the surge) at the same time no matter where in the system it is placed. Even with one mounted right on your service entrance you could still have damage on something plugged in at the farthest location from the service entrance. There are [B]no [/B]guarantees with lightning, only that there are no guarantees. ;)
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johnc
SkipD;9775 wrote:
Yes there are.

There's no way that I can see that a disturbance such as a lightning hit will affect the generator first and then enter the house through the generator's power wiring. However, a spike on the utility feed to the house could go to the generator via the N1/N2 wires and possibly cause problems in the generator.

A single spike suppressor (if it's large-enough) located at the utility feed to the house should protect the generator as well as devices in the home.


Yes, I agree with that after checking out my ATS wiring diagram. So by having surge and lightning protectors wired anywhere to the utility panels hot buss bars either at the mains or at a 2 pole breaker, not only should the household circuits be protected but also the 220 volt circuit N1 & N2 going to the gen. Skip's ATS must be similar to mine although his is a newer version. Genme's ATS must be a completely different wiring system. Thanks for checking that out Skip.
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techntrek
johnc;9780 wrote:
So by having surge and lightning protectors wired anywhere to the utility panels hot buss bars either at the mains or at a 2 pole breaker, not only should the household circuits be protected but also the 220 volt circuit N1 & N2 going to the gen.


Exactly.
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techntrek
SkipD;9775 wrote:
There's no way that I can see that a disturbance such as a lightning hit will affect the generator first and then enter the house through the generator's power wiring.


The hundreds of thousands of volts in a lightning bolt can do anything. It could hit the generator, enter the ATS and then jump the air gap from the genset feed to the utility feed and then into the house. If it can jump the air gap from the cloud to the ground, it can jump a few more inches inside the ATS.
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Skip Douglas SkipD
techntrek;9784 wrote:
The hundreds of thousands of volts in a lightning bolt can do anything. It could hit the generator, enter the ATS and then jump the air gap from the genset feed to the utility feed and then into the house. If it can jump the air gap from the cloud to the ground, it can jump a few more inches inside the ATS.
You are right, of course. I was thinking of a hit somewhere out on the grid and not something hitting locally. That's kinda dumb of me, though, because our amateur radio antenna tower at the old house took a direct lightning hit a few years back. At our new place the antenna tower is only 20 feet from the generator while the utility power comes in underground and further yet from the tower.

I don't think that [U]any[/U] add-on devices will do much for a local lightning hit. That's what insurance is for.

When we had the hit on the old tower, there was a very interesting effect as a result. The ground rod - which was driven at the bottom of the hole where the tower was installed, before the concrete was poured - had been tested for ground resistance and was fine. After the hit, it appeared that the soil around the ground rod was turned into glass because the resistance to ground was infinite after the hit.
Skip Douglas
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Jack Hottel
I remember something I saw on tv about scientists who launched rockets trailing a ground wire into thunderstorms . Then they dug up the ground and examined the fused sand (glass) to learn more about the characteristics of the bolt.
You are right, lightning can overwhelm the best defense.
Jack Hottel
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techntrek
SkipD;9786 wrote:
I don't think that [U]any[/U] add-on devices will do much for a local lightning hit. That's what insurance is for.


Agreed. Nothing can protect from a direct hit, although that doesn't mean everything will get fried either. My church's property took a direct hit two months ago, 4 buildings all fed from one transformer. Nothing was affected in the church or one of the other buildings, one witness in a 3rd building (a residence rented out) saw lightning arc across her room but otherwise no damage, the 4th building had a bunch of circuit breakers trip and the alarm system was fried but also was otherwise untouched.

One of the two legs in the pad transformer was fried and it smoked for hours before the electric company got out there. You would think that kind of energy would have taken out everything in all the buildings also attached to that transformer, thankfully it wasn't.
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