|Good Value, Good Specs, Good Protection?
||Time Owned: 0 to 3 months.
|I recently purchased and installed this Surge Protection Device (SPD). While it lists for around $400, I fould it for just over $200. Installation could not have been much easier. There was room inside my panel for a new dedicated 2-pole 20A breaker (required) AND room for the device itself to mount just under the bus bar. This kept the wires from the device to the breaker and ground and neutral busses short and direct, as suggested for best performance. If there is no room to mount the device inside your breaker box, you can use a flush wall-mount and route the wiring iinside the wall and nto the breaker box through a knockout. Mounting mine in the panel itself meant that the LED lights on the device were obscured by the panel cover (once re-attached). No problem, though, as the brightness of the LEDs is such that merely opening the door of the breaker panel lets me see the reassuring glow of the two GREEN LED status lights leaking through the small gap between the panel door frame and the breaker cover plate.|
If the capacity of the FS-140 is exceeded, it fails and displays a RED LED and an audible alarm The dedicated breaker to which the FS-140 is attached can be switched to OFF, and the alarm and RED LED will disappear, but there's no further surge protection until the unit is replaced. But, a failed unit will not disable circuits on the panel.
NO, this device is NOT intended to protect against direct LIGHTENING strikes. It IS supposed to be able to dissapate a surge/spike INDUCED by a nearby strike, as well as surges caused when major appliances turn on/off or power is interrupted and restored. The FS-140 is recommended for locales having high frequency lightening strikes (e.g., Florida). Lesser versions are suggested for areas of lower risk. I have visible proof of a VERY nearby strike in the form of a heavily scarred maple tree 25 feet from the shack. It occured before we purchased the property, but that's close encough in both time and space for me.
The equipment protection warranty is for major HOUSEHOLD appliances ONLY (i.e., HVAC, frig, etc.), and HAM GEAR is NOT covered by the warranty, so be advised. Other exclusions apply, so one should not purchase based on the warranty. Hopefully, though, the PROTECTION afforded by the device will render exclusion from warranty coverage a moot point.
The FS-140 does not eliminate the need for outlet-based (Type 3) Surge Protection Devices, and in fact Siemens strongly recommends them as a complement to the Type 2 FS-140 SPD. They also claim there is additional protection from a Type 1 SPD. I'm still doing research on that, so will leave it to others to comment, if appropriate.
It's hard to know if the device is actually thwarting significant surges. If it contnues to operate and display GREEN LEDs, that just means it's operational and hasn't been overwhelmed by an exceptionally powerful surge, and that it hasn't failed for some other reason. There's no, "Hey, I just disappated a HUGE power surge! Aren't you going to say THANKS?" message or alert.
For around $200, it's probably a reasonable investment and I hope it proves to be an unecessary one. May I never know for sure.