Thread Number: 74073  /  Tag: Other Home Products or Autos
Best Surge Protector for Washer Dryer
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Post# 978566   1/16/2018 at 11:39 by dylanmitchell (San Diego, CA)        

Anyone using a Tripp Lite Isobar ULTRABLOK or ISOBLOK2 for washer dryer and have feedback? Looking at the ULTRABLOK since it's only a few dollars more. Any reason not to get it vs the ISOBLOK2?

Also open to suggestions or other recommendations for surge protection. And yes I will add whole house surge at some point but right now have an older panel and rely on plug-in point of use surge protection for electronics. Thanks.

Post# 978578 , Reply# 1   1/16/2018 at 13:06 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        

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Yes, I have several of the Isobar products (the white one). They are very well made and actually have components inside of they that do something. I have a couple of them in front of radio equipment located at water tanks in our city and those sites actually take lightnings hits several times a year, no damage to the Isobar or the connected equipment after a couple seasons.

I would recommend AGAINST the Ultrablock as it has a circuit breaker in it. For a major appliance this could result in nuisance trips, allow the breaker in your service panel do that job. These TripLite products are very well made and can handle the current without turning into a melted lump of molded plastic. It doesn't appear the Ultra has any other advantage then the added breaker and the "Ultra" name, the Joule rating of the MOV's is the same.

I do recommend adding a whole house suppressor at the panel. This is the best place to shunt a surge that comes zinging down the power line. Impedance to ground is lowest at the panel. For really sensitive electronics a device like one of these at the device makes sense too. If you ever get a lightning strike within a couple hundred yards the electro-magnetic pulse can (will) induce a fair bit of energy into the house wiring itself, a 2nd line of defense isn't a bad idea.

Now with all that covered, I still believe that the likelihood of damage due to power spikes and surges is greatly exaggerated. The engineers that make AC powered devices design the power supply to live in the real world with all the power fluctuations. I'm way overcautious because I am a ham and I have antennas in the air (and I live above average terrain). This means I am FAR more likely to have a significant surge then the average household. Even the equipment I maintain for my local radio club has experienced very little failure and again those sites are drilled by lightning often (I've picked up shards of fiberglass antennas on the ground!). Surges are blamed for every electronic anomaly just because it is the one thing people have heard of, that doesn't mean a surge caused the failure.

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Post# 978590 , Reply# 2   1/16/2018 at 15:22 by sfh074 (atlanta)        
Just install one of these!

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Surge protection at the receptacle is OK but why not catch it BEFORE it has a chance to be distributed thru the entire house? Just install one of these and dump it to ground at the source .... well before the spike has the chance to make it to every receptacle!

And very easy to install. Just hook L1 and L2 wires from the device to an existing 20A or greater double circuit breaker such as the one for the kitchen oven. White wire to the neutral bus strap and the green to the earth ground strap, done!

The link is to amazon .com that describes in detail the device and also has a nice little video talking about the protection capabilities and the $25k warranty from Leviton if you get hit and any equipment is taken out. The device also has its own monitoring system and 2 green led status lites tell you if the device is working properly or needs to be serviced. I've had one of these for years and here in Atlanta we get a huge number of electrical storms every year. Before installing one I used to cringe with every lightening flash and once had a TV, printer and refrigerator taken out by a single lightening strike in '02. Installed one of these in '02 and no other problems 16 years later.


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Post# 978596 , Reply# 3   1/16/2018 at 15:57 by henene4 (Germany)        

Only had one case where a surge of sort caused "bigger" damage: When our range hood blew up it took out the CD player function of a radio combo plugged into the socket right next to it.

What I do however belive in is that over the longterm smaller spikes can damge supply components focused on smoothing which in turn allows the supply to the controlls to become more noisy and thus can lead to failure of sensitive components like more complex microprocessors or the corruption of ROM elements.

The idea is that that smoothing happens via capacitors and small voltage spikes which are supposed to be absorbd by such capacitors can wear them out more quickly, reducing their ability to smooth supplys.
If the supply has lots of noise on it due to other things inducing that (for example transmitting devices like routers are known to be more noisy, microwaves can be a verry good example for that) the lifetime might be reduced.

A way bigger threat to electronics however is heat.

Post# 978600 , Reply# 4   1/16/2018 at 16:01 by GusHerb (Chicago/NWI)        

I have a couple of their regular isobar surge protectors, and a cheaper plastic surge protector from them as well that doesn't have the individual outlet noise filters but is rated the same as a metal isobar. I would get one for my 2015, REAL SQ washer if I didn't already have a cheaper one from Menards on there. One thing to keep in mind with those isobloks is they only have one plug on the back so you'll be running the washer and dryer through one outlet in the wall which if it's not a beefy spec grade outlet could overheat if both appliances draw a high enough amount. 


Tripp Lite HQ also happens to be just a few blocks from where I work, I can see their building from the 3rd floor of this building. 

Post# 978601 , Reply# 5   1/16/2018 at 16:03 by kb0nes (Burnsville, MN)        
Whole house protection

kb0nes's profile picture
Both my post and Matthew's initial post did make mention of a whole home protector. They are a great first line of defense and I would suggest them for anybody that has lots of potentially sensitive electronics or someone that is at a higher then normal risk of surges. They don't really protect against EMP in the house wiring though so they may not be a panacea.

Love the Amazon source, especially if you add the "expert" installation for an extra $1200...

Again, try not to be overly paranoid about surges, our computer, power supplies and radios all survived the surge that caused this damage about 15 feet from our rack. At that time we had no surge protection other then the UPS on the computer.

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Post# 978610 , Reply# 6   1/16/2018 at 16:58 by sfh074 (atlanta)        
Sorry I sometimes forget ....

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I am a DIY kind of guy and I forget to include "expert" installation costs. But $1200 seems really steep. Had a 2nd breaker panel added in the basement for $580 a few years ago which is way more involved than a 4 wire surge device added to an existing panel.

Post# 978616 , Reply# 7   1/16/2018 at 18:32 by dylanmitchell (San Diego, CA)        

Thanks for the info. Isobar looks good point of use/ outlet surge option and tip on getting the ULTRABLOK version with no circuit breaker is helpful.
Have looked at the Leviton mentioned above the Leviton 50240-MSAMeter Socket Surge Arrester and other whole-home systems. I'm a fan of Square D QO and Eaton products so I'd consider surge protector from them too. None are too bad of an install and even cost of licensed electrician install wouldn't be bad especially when you consider making an insurance claim after a licensed electrician installs vs DIY if/ when something happens.
Like to get a replacement panel with built-in surge protection like Eaton CH Load Centers (factory mounted and wired surge suppressor ) since my GE Panel is +/- 30 year and 125 amps. Bigger hit to the pocketbook though. Should just put a whole home surge like the Leviton option until I'm ready to do a full panel swap out. Good news is it's not an old Federal Pacific or Zinsco panel or a knob and tube wired house like my last place.

This post was last edited 01/16/2018 at 21:06
Post# 978618 , Reply# 8   1/16/2018 at 19:07 by sfh074 (atlanta)        
La Mesa??

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Hey Dylan

I see La Mesa after your name. Is that La Mesa, CA? If so, I lived there for 28 years and loved it. Olive Ave and then on Severin Dr.

Post# 978626 , Reply# 9   1/16/2018 at 20:51 by dylanmitchell (San Diego, CA)        

sfh074 it is La Mesa we're in Grossmont area and I know Olive and Sevrin. Great part of San Diego and like the community here. Changing with livelier updated downtown Blvd and growth. Atlanta must have been quite the change weather wise. Realized I'd left off state in my profile so went back and added that.

You familiar with La Mesa Appliance, Aztec Appliance, Humphrey Appliance, Appliance Alley, Broadway Auto, Earl Fite Plumbing etc.?

Any favorites services shops you used like Humphrey's, Code 3, or Gormsen for service? La Mesa Appliance was the go-to for a while but the techs they send out now are meh at best.

Post# 978711 , Reply# 10   1/17/2018 at 14:13 by sfh074 (atlanta)        
La mesa

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My parents always used La Mesa Appliance. I would always go to Appliance Parts Co on Johnson Ave in El Cajon and get what I needed. They had good prices and the counter people were really knowledgeable. They always had or could get anything I ever needed.

So I lived on Olive Ave, then Severin Dr, then 8 years on C Ave in Coronado. Then moved to Atlanta. And YES, the weather was and still is the only downer. We got 1.5" of snow overnight and the high is 17. today.

Post# 978852 , Reply# 11   1/18/2018 at 13:30 by dylanmitchell (San Diego, CA)        

La Mesa's nice but Coronado's another level of nice. Appliance Parts Co is good and I'll also use Coast Appliance in Grantville.

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