Consumer Units


Postby Masterpop » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:54 am

hi,

are there any consumer units out there which smooth the electricity coming into the home?

i use things like surge protectors and mains conditioner for my hi-fi system, tv, computer, etc. In my mind this is something that should be done at the point of entry to the house.

I was just wondering if there is a solution for doing the "mains conditioning" at the consumer unit level.

any feedback much appreciated.

thanks
Masterpop
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
31.6%
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:49 pm

Sponsor

Simply Build It

Postby ericmark » Sat Dec 12, 2009 10:07 pm

Band pass filters and the like have a limited life. If you look at a MK filtered socket you will set the filter is renewable. Some items like motors and transformers can bring the waveform closer to a true sine wave and until recent years there was not much of a problem. Transformers do use energy and although using an isolation transformer will likely remove a good lump of the harmonics it would not remove it all. And most items are not that critical so it makes sense only to filter out the rubbish where required.

If you re-wired your house with Ali-tube cable then harmonics would not be transmitted and by using switch mode plug in power supplies you could reduce the cables able to radiate to very minimum.

But also a good power supply in the audio equipment should remove nearly all mains based interference.

If we look at other services the same questions are being asked. Why filter and purify water when so much does not need that level of filtration?
ericmark
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1796
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Postby sparx » Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:43 am

hi. there are units available as mains filters which can be fitted to all or some circuits at mains position, in fact it is likely to soon be a requirement to fit them and power usage metering to all new properties.
I can't at this moment find any 'bumph' on it but a helpfull wholesaler or manufacturer may have info, I find Hager very good , try tech help on 08706076677 or www.hager.co.uk
regards Sparx
sparx
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 2166
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:33 pm
Location: The fifth continent.

Postby sparx » Sun Dec 13, 2009 9:00 am

More,
just found in 'Group Schneider' cat. under Merlin-Gerin' brand a
PRF1 master surge arrester etc, 08706088608.
Also Voltimum website had article on subject recently,
happy hunting Sparx
sparx
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 2166
Joined: Wed Mar 21, 2007 8:33 pm
Location: The fifth continent.

Postby ericmark » Sun Dec 13, 2009 3:33 pm

Seems I mis-read the question. I was not considering the lighting strike and yes the units that Sparx refers to will offer some protection.

Google "clipsal.com/seau/__data/page/10089/SP_Catalogue.pdf" does go through the options but as far as I can see these devices work in main by switching off the power. Not sure if that's what you want? And I find storms often trip my RCD anyway so that does offer some protection.

And of course no point in protecting the incoming mains without also looking at all other aerial devices. We all do it I know but one should never fit an aerial to gable end or soot lined chimney.

For indirect hits Google "download.schneider-electric.com/C1257307002C08FC/all/8A0D2B223659E4DFC125735C00359137/$File/90277e.pdf" gives more information but there are two points.

One as said before these do not last for ever and need the cartridge replacing from time to time. And two which is more to point I can't find any for sale! Just like Ali-tube cable and maintenance free junction boxes it seems the manufactures make them but retailers don't stock them.

So all rather pointless!
ericmark
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1796
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Postby Masterpop » Sun Dec 13, 2009 7:52 pm

hi ericmark and sparx,
thank you very much for your replies. you've given me some leads so I can go read some more. i'll report back once i have more info.
take care
Masterpop
Rank: Apprentice
Progress to next rank:
31.6%
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 10, 2009 6:49 pm

Postby ericmark » Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:41 pm

You must realise that Sparx and myself both have a hobby which means we take more note of lighting and EMC (Was called interference) then most. The regulations refer to where you have more than 25 electric storms per year and at the moment we don’t.

I went to a very interesting lecture and this basically split it into two.
1) prevention.
2) reduction of damage.
I would say in the normal home for latter we rely on insurance. For houses I know of three where lighting did damage and one of them had a long wire aerial running across his garden. The problem is 1000’s of amps need very thick and good conductors to lead them away safely and the cost of a lighting conductor on a normal house is not worth the money. Especially until people are given discount on their insurance for fitting them.

So back to 1) Prevention. Lighting like all electric takes the easy path. Which is normally the shortest to earth. Any metal sticking up in the air and grounded is likely to be targeted by lighting. But during a storm the air is moving and the ionised air is also moving so often although the metal starts the ionisation track the actual strike does not hit metal but something near by. This is why you should not shelter under a single tree. It can miss the tree and get you instead. As the metal becomes higher the chances of being hit increases.

For years we all earthed out aerial metalwork mainly so it would not electrocute you if touched it. As not only do storms produce lighting but generally a voltage differential in the air and we have all had (Static) shocks where this has charged up some metal work like a car. Steel radial tyres have reduced that. So as with so much in life we need to strike a balance. So we have a large resistor between aerial and earth to leak the voltage away so once the storm has passed it can be touched in safety and a spark gap in case it’s too much for resistor. You can see these in a master telephone socket.

TV is a problem. Many TV sockets have de-coupling capacitors, which in the main stop you getting a belt of aerial plug. But mast head amplifiers and LNB’s need DC supply so there are also versions without the capacitor or at least with some by-pass. I had band pass filters in my TV aerial which all had to be removed in order for the Sky Digi-eye to work.

Which brings us to EMC filters. Many are fitted from new by the manufactures. For example a good speaker network will have a band pass filter which directs the difference frequencies to bass, treble, and twitter speakers and in so doing also removes all or most of the interference (EMC) the speaker wires pick up. The power supply has to rectify and smooth the incoming AC to a DC and remove the ripples and really it does not matter too much what is on the incoming AC as the power supply will remove it.

Where the problem lies is the wires around your house act as a broadcast transmitting aerial and the speaker wires act as a receiving aerial. Twisting the cables and encasing in earthed braid will help. The same with the mains cables running the line with neutral (Which is not always the case with two way lighting) and Ali-tube cable will help.
But in the main if you buy good equipment in first place that’s all you need to do.

Fitting car radio’s was the first time I found this. I had earth the bonnet, put suppressers on ignition coil, and on alternator, and used a choke to supply radio but I could not get rid of engine noise. The old mechanic with me said maybe it’s the radio lets try fitting the one I have in my locker. It was perfect not a crackle. So as an experiment I removed all the suppressors I had tried and still perfect. So we had to tell customer the radio was rubbish. After that I have found again and again how cheap radios pick up interference and more expensive one’s filter it all out.

If you think of your house buying a Hi-Fi (I know old name) costing £2000 is cheaper than re-wiring the house with Ali-tube cable.

So although we may fit a filtered socket to stop spikes that is about the limit. Just buy a good audio system to start with.

Yes do obvious like don’t fit an aerial on a chimney which is stainless steel or soot lined and try to avoid gable end. But in real terms in this country all you need is insurance.
ericmark
Rank: Project Manager
Posts: 1796
Joined: Fri Oct 02, 2009 8:49 pm
Location: Mold, North Wales.

Display posts from previous
Sort by
Order by



  • DIY How to Project Guides

  • DIY how to tutorial projects and guides - Did you know we have a DIY Projects section? Well, if no, then we certainly do! Within this area of our site have literally hundreds of how-to guides and tutorials that cover a huge range of home improvement tasks. Each page also comes with pictures and a video to make completing those jobs even easier!



 


  • Related Topics