Intermatic IG1240RC3 Review

Intermatic IG1240RC3 In this Intermatic IG1240RC3 review, we’re going to look at all the important things you need to know about this surge protector.

Overview

The Intermatic IG1240RC3 surge protector is categorized as a type 2 device. Let me explain. This category of SPD are installed on the load side of the primary service entrance and their job is to protect the electrical service entrance or branch circuit against lightning, surges caused by motors, and other voltage spikes.

A type 2 surge protection device can protect your sensitive electronics by clamping down on transient voltage (short surges). They can be used in an industrial, commercial or residential setting but majority of the reviews over the internet revealed so far that the Intermatic IG1240RC3 is successfully used in residential areas.

According to the manufacturer, you can also use this SPD as a type 1 device. A type 1 is also known as secondary surge arresters and they are typically installed on the line side of the main service entrance which is between your power pole and where electricity enters your panel.

Their basic purpose of a type 1 SPD is to protect you from surges that are happening outside your house such as lightning strikes and other external fluctuations. You can think of them as your first line of defense against surges.

Intermatic IG1240RC3 Installation

This Intermatic surge protector is designed for 120/240 VAC single (split) phase and you can install it using a 15A or 20A 2-pole breaker. If you have 2 single pole breakers then you can also use it for this SPD.

The National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) gave this Intermatic SPD a type-3 rating enclosure which basically means that it will perform at its best even when you install it outdoors.

On average it takes about 20 minutes to install if you have some experience. Having your tools ready will lessen the installation time.

This unit has a 4-wire hookup. You will need 2 spaces in your breaker panel for a 2-pole, 20A circuit breaker and two available terminals on the ground bus bar.

If you have some background in doing electrical work, installing the Intermatic IG1240RC3 is going to be an easy job. However, it’s recommended that you call your local electrician or someone who knows what they’re doing if you’re not comfortable working with your breaker panel.

If you insist on installing it yourself, try to wear some very thick rubber gloves. But I would still highly recommend that you call your local electrician in order to ensure maximum safety.

The instructions are just going to be a basic diagram and again this is easily understandable for someone with experience. But it would be a very good improvement if the documentation was presented in a more organized manner.

The device is fairly large so you have to make sure that you have enough room in your breaker panel. The length of the wires is 6 inches long and the material is made from tinned copper. The wires are not made up of aluminum so you do not need to worry about the wires getting oxidized.

Levels of Surge Protection

The Intermatic IG1240RC3 will give you 6 levels of protection and they are protection between:

  • Line 1 and Line 2
  • Line 1 to Neutral
  • Line 1 to Ground
  • Line 2 to Neutral
  • Line 2 to Ground, and
  • Neutral to Ground

Once you’ve installed this whole house surge protector, a bright green LED will light up. This means that the unit is functioning and is now ready to suppress any transient voltage that will enter your house. If you’ve experienced any surges and noticed that the green LED went out, then it means that the Intermatic surge protector took a bullet for your appliance and needs to be replaced.

Consumer Reviews

There are consumers who have been sharing their experience with the Intermatic IG1240RC3 online. Some of them were living in an area where lightning frequently strikes and they were pleased with how the Intermatic surge suppressor saved their sensitive electronics.

Some of them found it hard to give a review because the unit doesn’t really do anything until a surge or a lightning strike happens.

Installing the unit was a pretty simple job for some of the consumers but a few of them did call up their local electrician.

Price

If you go to the manufacturer’s website and compare the Intermatic IG1240RC3 to their other models, you will learn that this particular surge protector is the in-between model when it comes to price and its level of protection.

The cheaper models will only provide a 3-way surge protection and like you’ve read earlier, this model gives you 6 levels of protection. The more expensive ones will have some additional protection for your phone and cable TV.

Warranty for Intermatic IG1240RC3

This Intermatic surge suppressor is under a 5-year warranty and they provide a $10,000 insurance policy for any damage. So make sure that you register for that and save your receipt in you case you need to file a warranty claim.

You won’t find this warranty information clearly stated over at its product page. What you need to do is contact Intermatic through their website to request for a copy of the warranty.

Help and Support?

If you visit the Intermatic website and go to the support section, you’ll see written on their site that they’re dedicated in providing help and support that exceeds their customers’ expectations.

It seems that Intermatic is really serious in providing a high quality of customer support based on consumers’ feedback.

There were some consumers who had a pleasant experience with regards to claiming their warranties for the Intermatic IG1240RC3. Most of the time, the process was really straightforward as you just make a call, fill out a form, and you will get a new Intermatic surge protector in as little as a week.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this review will help you make an informed decision with this type-2 SPD. Do you have any experience with this device? I would love to hear what you think. Thanks for checking this review out.

How to Choose a Good Surge Protector

How did you know that there’s a device that will protect your equipment from high surges?

To be honest with you I really didn’t know much about a whole house surge protector until I started researching more about it. Even today I will admit that I still have a lot of things to learn. I also created this website in order to share my findings.

I can remember during my childhood days that all the surge suppression we had in our house was taken care of by a fuse box. It was flush mounted on a wall, had a big on/off lever and was really rusty.

There are different levels of protection when you want to protect your electronics and other appliances from sudden voltage spikes. There are many types of surge protectors that are available right now and just like anything that you buy in real life, there will be some factors involved.

If you buy something really pricey, then expect to have a high quality of protection. If you’re looking for something cheaper then don’t raise your expectations.

Of course there are still surge suppressors that are cheaper than high-end brands that provide better protection like the Square D HEPD80.

Are Surge Protectors and Power Strips the Same?

This is a very common question for a lot of people that are looking for surge protection. I actually have a power strip where my computer is plugged in and also wondered if it provides any protection from voltage spikes.

A surge protector is definitely not a power strip but there are low end brands that will look a lot like your regular power strip. Basically, a power strip is just a power extension cord and it won’t have any type of surge protection.

However, there are power strips that do provide protection and usually you’re going to see them labeled as having surge protection or surge suppression. If you don’t see any of these labels then 100% of the time it’s just going to be a basic power strip.

You can also take a look the price as power strips are cheaper than surge protectors. Additionally, there should be a Joules rating for it to be considered a surge protector.

Qualities of a Good Surge Protector

Let’s discuss the things that can be found in a good surge protector.

Remember my very brief fuse box story? Well, some of the surge protectors actually do work like a fuse. They will absorb those electric spikes and when they had enough, they will eventually die out. This can happen by having a really huge single surge or through a lot of small spikes over a long amount of time.

Surge Protector Health

One of the first things you have to look out for in a surge protector is the Joules rating. Think of a surge protector as a simple battery and its health and longevity is going to be determined by the Joules rating. Basically if the rating is high on a surge protector, then expect a longer lasting protection.

But longevity results can be different depending on how much surge is absorbed.

Let’s say you are choosing between 2 surge protectors. One absorbs a 1,000-volt spike and brings it down to 300 volts. The other absorbs the same amount of spike but only brings it down to 600 volts. If this is the case, assuming all things are equal, the one with the higher voltage absorption will typically be worn out first than the other.

Warranty

When you go out and shop for a surge protector, you’ll typically see the warranties and equipment protection policies that they provide.

What determines the type and how much warranty you get for a surge protector?

Well, it seems that all the talk about the warranties is mainly for the best interest of the manufacturer’s marketing and accounting department. Basically this means that a surge protector’s warranty is not really determined by hard scientific data from the manufacturer.

However, there are some reports where a company backed up claims of its customers. On the flip side, there are also numerous horror stories of consumers having to go through so many hoops or in some cases not receiving any dime from the company.

You can also determine in their warranty whether a surge protector will act like a fuse or a circuit breaker. Typically, a lifetime warranty on a surge suppressor will act like a circuit breaker.

What Are You Looking For?

What type of surge protection are you looking for? Do you have any experience in using a whole house surge protector or do you just have a power strip? Leave your comments below. Thanks for checking this out.

Square D HEPD80 Surge Protector Review

Square D HEPD80 Surge ProtectorThe Square D HEPD80 (from Schneider Electric) is one of the more popular surge protectors in the market toady. It’s easy to fall in love with it but it’s also important to know everything that you’ll get when purchasing this device.

In this review, we’re going to learn the most important and essential facts about the Square D HEPD80. You’ll get to know why it’s really popular and you’ll also learn some of the cons that you will encounter with it.

Protection

The Square D HEPD80 has a very high surge current rating of 80,000 amps. If you want to have an idea on how high this surge is then think of it as a direct lightning strike. The Square D is going to protect you as much as any other expensive surge protectors in the market.

If you take a look at plug-in type surge suppressors you will notice that they only provide you with 30,000 amps of protection. It’s a good first line of protection but for some people, they would still need a second line of protection by using surge protection power strips.

Installation of Square D HEPD80

Generally this surge suppressor is very easy to install provided that you have some background and experience with electrical stuff. It’s recommended that you have to install this on a 2-pole 20 amp breaker. If you don’t have any spare then you have to get one. After that, you just hook in the 2 black wires to each half of your 240V breaker. Then the green wire goes to the ground and the white wire goes to the neutral bar.

If you see the 2 green lights illuminated when you switch your main breaker on, then it means it’s already running and you’re already protected.

If you have no idea on what you’re doing, I would recommend that you hire a local electrician just to make sure that everything will be fine.

Square D InstallationIf you decide to install it yourself, give yourself a good amount of time in order to avoid rushing the installation. If you have some wiring experience, it will probably take you around 20-30 minutes.

The Square D HEPD80 is designed to be mounted directly to your breaker panel through an open punch out. But you’ll have a bit of a challenge if your panel is flushed mounted to a wall. If this is your situation, then it’s probably best to attach the protector inside the panel. Some even drilled a hole into their wall in order to open a punch out and slip the wires inside.

Take time to consider your mounting options in order to make sure that it’s not going to be in the way of a door or any moving structure.

Take note that you might have some trouble installing this in a larger panel with not a lot of room in the side access. The reason for this is because in bigger panels, you only have a limited number of open punch outs. It even gets worse because the neutral and ground bars are not really long enough to reach all the way from the end of the box using the built-in wires.

The length of the leads is 20-21 inches and hopefully the length is enough for you in configuring this device in your breaker. In some cases, you might move some of your breakers but in general situations, the length of the leads were enough.

It’s very important that you do not extend the wires as the protective ability of a surge suppressor weakens with wire length. So keep in mind to keep the wires as short as possible.

When you talk about the build, the Square D surge protector is made up of durable materials and is outdoor rated making it safe to endure the outside conditions.

LED Lights

The HEPD80 will have 2 green LED lights and each light actually monitors the two phases of the 220V breaker separately. One of the lights doesn’t have any label. The other light has a label that will tell you whether it’s OKAY (illuminated state) or if you need to REPLACE (lights out). If one or both of the LED lights are out, then you need to take action and replace it for continued surge protection.

Cheaper?

Like you’ve read earlier, the Square D HEPD80 has a surge rating of 80,000 amps. If you do a quick search for surge protectors that also has a rating of 80K amps you might be surprised to find out that their prices can reach up to over $400.

There are even surge protectors from big name brands that costs over $1,000 but the truth is that they don’t compare to the high level of protection that Square D is providing.

You can do some investigating for yourself if you want to. Look at the voltage protection (VPR) ratings and the lower the number, the better it is.

Basically, the VPR refers to the voltage that will trigger the surge protector to protect every electronics inside your house. If you ask your local electrician about this, they will probably tell you the same thing… that most of the time cheaper units are actually more effective than buying expensive branded products.

Here are some of the VPR specifications of the square d:

  • 600 V from Line to Neutral
  • 700 V from Line to Ground
  • 1,000 V from Line to Line
  • 1,000 V from Neutral to Ground

How Much Is Your House Insurance?

Here’s another perspective that you can think about when it comes to saving money. If you have some house insurance, the price of the Square D is fairly cheap. It’s definitely well worth your investment when it protects your electronics if ever you get a surge.

As you can see, this surge protector provides you with the highest level of surge protection while having a very reasonable price point.

What Are The Issues of Square D HEPD80?

Length of Wires

Like you’ve read earlier, you might have some concerns about the length of the wires. Again the length of the wires is 20-21 inches. Some people have some issues with this but in the end they got the Square D installed. Generally, a lot of people are satisfied with the length of the lead wires and were able to install it fairly easily.

Claiming Headaches

This one is not a direct issue with the Square D HEPD80 itself but when it comes to filing for a claim, I found out that you have to go through a lot of hoops in order to get it. There are many steps that you have to fulfill like verifying the damage cause, filing insurance claim within a month, independent evaluation, etc. If you don’t complete any of the steps then your claim is going to be null and void.

What’s Next?

Hopefully this review helped you in making a decision with the Square D HEPD80. Do you have any experience with this whole house surge protector? Please leave a comment below. Thank you.

What is a Surge Protector?

Before we get into the whole house surge protection discussion, let’s first take a look at a basic surge protector.

What is a surge protector? What are its parts? Are there any types?

All of the answers to these questions will be tackled in this article so we hope that you stick around to learn more.

Basically, a surge protector, sometimes called a surge suppressor, is a device that’s been designed to protect your electronics from unwanted voltage spikes.

How does it do this? A surge protector will try to limit the voltage that goes through an electronic device by two ways. Blocking the voltage is the first way and the second is by shorting to ground the voltage spikes that is above a safe level.

You will encounter some vocabulary like surge protection device (SPD) or transient voltage surge suppressor (TVSS) when dealing with this subject. Those two terminologies are basically a description of the devices that are installed in a lot of electrical systems for the purpose of voltage spike protection.

If you have a power strip at home then you might probably have some basic surge protection. If you bought a power strip that has some surge protection capabilities you will quickly see this in the label. But there are power strips in the market that are mistakenly marketed as having surge protection.

Let’s briefly talk about the specifications. First is the clamping voltage which is sometimes referred to as the let-through voltage. This will indicate what amount of voltage surge will cause the protective parts inside a SPD to redirect unnecessary power from the protected line.

Generally you get a better protection if you see a lower clamping voltage but sometimes the overall protection is not that long. The lowest voltage protection levels are 330V, 400V and 500V and they’ve been described in the UL ratings. A typical clamping voltage for a standard 120V AC device is at 330V.

Next specification is the Joules rating and this is basically a number which tells you how much power a metal oxide varistor (MOV) surge protector can absorb in a single event without any failure.

In this case, it’s a complete opposite compared to the clamping voltage. If you see a lower number then you can expect a longer life expectancy provided that it can reroute more energy elsewhere, thus allowing it to take in less spikes.

Surge protectors don’t really work right away; there’s a little delay. If there’s a longer response time, the connected devices will be more exposed to the surge. But the thing is that surges don’t happen at an instant too as they take a few microseconds to reach their highest voltage. A surge protector with a very fast response time would quickly catch the spike and lessen its highest intensity.

Whew! That was quite a lot and if your head is already hurting then you’re not alone. Obviously this site is all about surge protectors but more specifically the types that you use in your house.

We still have a lot of things to discuss and in the future we’re going to list down the most popular whole house surge protectors.

Do you have any experience with surge protectors? If you have any type of feedback, it would be great if you could leave a comment below. Thanks!