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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Depends what you mean by surge, loss of neutral in the local 3-phase supply, lightning strike on a local supply line or transformer, or a more distant lightning strike.

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why? Most PSUs don't.

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


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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 ti mes, 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 p ower supplies.

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

It initially was used on an obsolete system and the failures were pretty mu ch 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 th at the outlets were unprotected, but who looks at these.

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

Inherently, the AC distribution in the US is flawed. Hospitals and radio t ransmitting 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 outl et should be wired directly to the panel.

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

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

In a daisy chained outlet, a surge could raise the ground potential of ever ything connected to the chain and stuff that uses the ground for communicat ion will see different levels. If each had a signal ground to the panel, t he 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 sys tem 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 sho uld 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 ana lyzer (an instrument that bins pulses) that we had the schematic for, but l acked the expertise to fix failed. he MFR offered board/exchange type of re pair. I noticed that there was absolutely no protection for the low-end mo del 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 produc t 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 use d for heating. The schematic showed a complete voltage regulator, but the product was shipped with that unpopulated. Adding two parts and not the fu ll design fixed the failure issue.

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Ron D.

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