I gave an answer on a heating website and now I an second guessing myself. Was my answer wrong?
New boiler overview and do I need surge protector? After 57 years of service we have decided to replace our Weil-McLain. It still works, but gobbles fuel like it is still 30 cents a gallon and often cuts out of hot water at inopportune times. Quotes we have gotten are for basically the same components and the system we are going with will likely be a Buderus GW115WS with Carlin burner, logomatic controls, Super-Stor SSU-45 indirect hot water heater, and Taco pumps. Not knowing much about heating systems this set-up seems light years ahead of our current system. What experience have people had with this or similar hydronic systems? The contractors I have gotten quotes from say they have never had problems, but with the computer controls should I have a surge protector added to the circuit? Finally, messages on this and other boards often refer to replacing systems that are 18-25 years old; is this normal? I only ask because as inefficient as our current system is it keeps doing its thing without a hiccup and only requires a yearly clean-out and change of filters. I guess I'm worried that we are getting into a situation like an exotic car that is great when it works, but is temperamental and in constant need of attention. Thanks for your help/advice
Surge suppresor question only DISCLAIMER: I am not a heating professional however I am an Electrical Engineer. A GOOD surge suppressor is inexpensive insurance against electrical surges PROVIDED they are installed on a good electrical system. What makes a good electrical system? 1) Good grounding system. This means the ground rods are less than 30 years old or the electrical system is bonded to the re bar in the concrete of the foundation or an in ground swimming pool. Plus all metallic piping that exits the structure and goes into the earth.
2) All paths for conducting lightning into the structure are all bonded together at one point. This includes telephone, cable, satellite, and power all come into the house near each other and they are all bonded together and to the earth.
3) The furnace is on its own dedicated circuit.
Do you need a dedicated surge suppresor? It depends.
How often do you lose power?
How often do lightning strikes happen in your area?
If lightning strikes are common, I would suggest a multi-tiered approach. Get the electrical system as best as reasonably possible. Add a whole house surge suppresor at the main electrical panel. Then add a dedicated surge suppresor for expensive failures such as computers and microprocessor controlled equipment such as furnaces, major appliances and anything else that is expensive to replace or repair.
Not much is going to survive a DIRECT lightning strike. Decent preporations should allow you to withstand most local strikes.