In this Siemens QSA2020SPD review, we’re going to point out the important factors that you need to know about this whole house surge protector.
You can also consider this as a Siemens QSA1515SPD review as the only difference between the two is the amperage of its circuit breakers.
Read this article to find out if this device is going to solve your needs. If you’re already familiar with it then you can check out its price online.
The Siemens QSA2020SPD is a surge protective device that already comes with two 1-pole circuit breakers. This device is categorized as a type-2 SPD which means that you can install it on the load side of the main service entrance (your breaker panel). But it also has features of a type-1 SPD (also known as secondary surge suppressors) with a lower rating for its clamping voltage. Basically the type-1 category is installed on the line side of the main service entrance (between your pole and where the electricity enters).
Both the surge protective features and the circuit breakers in this unit use Siemens’ own metal oxide varistors (MOVs) and according to Siemens the circuit breakers are SWD and HACR rated.
What is SWD and HACR Rating?
If you see a circuit breaker rated as SWD (Switching Duty) it basically means that you can use the breaker as a switch to turn the lights on and off. The other rating which is HACR stands for Heating, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration and this rating simply states that the breaker is suitable if you have some HACR applications in your house.
Siemens QSA2020SPD Installation
Installing the Siemens QSA2020SPD is definitely easier than most whole house surge protectors in the market. The reason why it’s easier to install is because it already has a couple of 1-pole circuit breakers included in the device itself.
Many of the popular SPDs in the market today don’t have their own circuit breakers and so this surge protector from Siemens provides you with an added convenience because you don’t have to buy any additional circuit breakers in order to install it.
With regular SPDs, the average installation time takes about 25-30 minutes. With the Siemens QSA2020SPD, you can finish installing it in 10-15 minutes if you’re familiar with working on your breaker panel.
How Do You Install It?
First you need two available breaker slots. If you don’t have any open positions then you have to remove a couple of existing side by side breaker slots and replace them with the Siemens SPD. After that, you just hook in the attached white wire to the neutral bar inside your breaker panel and you’re already done.
Take note that you need to connect the white wire to the neutral bar and not the ground bar because the code requires it. So make sure to open and check your breaker panel before you consider getting this surge suppressor.
I Don’t Have a Siemens Panel
The Siemens QSA2020SPD will only work in a Siemens panel and not with other manufacturer breaker boxes. However, if you have a Murray panel then you can install this SPD because Murray and Siemens are essentially the same.
There was a review online which described installing this surge suppressor on a non-Siemens panel like a GE panel and sure enough it did not snap right in. However, some modifications were made to the GE box and eventually the Siemens QSA2020SPD managed to work in his GE box. Of course I would not recommend that you make some modifications and force this SPD to work with a non-Siemens panel.
It’s very critical to remember that the Siemens QSA2020SPD MUST be installed in a breaker panel with a grounded neutral. For eg. if the panel you are using is only a sub panel off of a main breaker box, then you cannot use this SPD because its neutral is not going to be grounded in its own box.
As you can see, you don’t have to do any cutting, punching out holes and you do not have to deal with any long wires. If you have your breaker panel flush mounted to a wall then installing the Siemens SPD is going to be a breeze as you don’t need to drill through your wall.
However, you still should not attempt to install this on your own especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. Working with a breaker panel is very dangerous even if you’ve followed safety precautions as there are hot live points that you can come in contact with. It’s still best to call your local electrician so you can be sure that everything will be done in the safest possible way.
Price of Siemens QSA2020SPD
The price of the Siemens QSA2020SPD is a bit lower compared to the other whole house surge protectors in the market. As much as possible I would suggest that you buy this SPD online because you can find the lowest prices there. You won’t probably have any luck when you try to buy this surge protector or any similar device over at your local hardware DIY store.
The warranty for the Siemens QSA2020SPD is probably its biggest disadvantage because its warranty description is not really that enticing when you compare it with its competition.
First off you only get a warranty period of 24 months (2 years) and its warranty regarding the protection of a residential electrical system is not that solid. They exclude some connected equipment like computers, audio/video components, telecoms but include appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, oven, pool pumps, etc. They also provide a lower $20,000 limited warranty for equipment coverage.
I suggest you carefully read the warranty of Siemens on what they will really cover in order to avoid some headaches in the future.
Help and Support
In some whole house surge protectors that I’ve reviewed I can see a representative from the manufacturer providing support for consumers online. In the case of the Siemens QSA2020SPD, I didn’t find any of the same level of support. Hopefully they provide an adequate support but it would be nice if they can be seen interacting with their consumers over at the Internet.
Hopefully this article helped you in making a good decision with this surge suppressor. Have you owned previous whole house surge protectors before? What’s your experience so far in using them? Leave your comments below. Thanks for checking out the Siemens QSA2020SPD review.