electrical / surge question

Here is my basic setup:

HAI Omni LT w/ 2 RC80's and an outdoor temp sensor.

I also have a Leviton 51120-PTC Multimedia Surge Suppression Panel installed.

Last night I we had a lighting storm. The power went off once for about a second. Now one of my RC80's appears to be dead. I took the second RC80 and installed it in the first location and verified that it is not the wiring. When the bad RC80 is plugged in the Omni reports the heating/cooling setpoints correctly, but the temp is set to '0'. The installer guide tells me when the temp sensor is broken, the tstat will appear dead, so I am assuming this is what got fried.

My first question: Did the lighting/power surge/something electrical destroy my tstat, even with the 51120-PTC?

My second question: I know absolutely nothing about electricity. Is there any chance the

51120-PTC is installed incorrectly? The reason I ask is that there are 2 circuit breakers on my panel that are labeled "Surge Surpressor". My understanding was that the surpressor would sit between the incoming electricity and the house. Is that the case? Could the surpressor just be protecting certain areas of the house?

thank you so much for your help. I have been following these forums for a while and I really respect your opinions.


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The 51120 sounds like it is installed correctly. It sits in parallel to the rest of the power - not in series as you thought. That would be how you'd install an isolation transformer. Lightning can do strange things and even the best suppressors can't protect against everything so it sounds like the lightning fried the sensor.

From:ssg4605 snipped-for-privacy@yoohoo.com (replace oo)

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Jack Painter, Richard Harrison, and other industry professional discuss the most critical aspect of protection in the newsgroup rec.radio.amateur.antenna entitled "House ground rod question" starting 22 April 2005 . Protection is not the protector. Protection is earthing. The protector will only be as effective as its earthing.

If all wires entering your building were earthed, then destructive transients could not harm your RC80. But then no utility services are provided. We must both earth those utility wires AND have utility service. So we install a protector to earth those wires only during transients.

Wires that enter your appliances that are no different from antennas, which is why that other discussion is relevant. We install a protector to earth each wire only during the transient. No effective protector will stop, block, or absorb transients as urban myths so often will claim. If your Leviton 51120 did not earth a destructive transient, then the Leviton 51120 may not be properly connected to earth. Again, earthing is also discussed in "House ground rod question".

If your earthing is compromised - disconnected, too long, wire has splices or sharp bends or is bundled with other wires, not using a single point ground, etc; then you would not have effective earthing.

Electricians understand installations to protect humans - as required by code. But electricians may not understand additional requirements to protect transistors. There are no code requirements for transistor protection.

All utilities must first make a 'less than 10 foot' connection to a single point earth ground where utilities enter the building. All utilities must enter at the same location. The Leviton 51120 can only earth each utility wire if the 51120 is properly earthed. That earthing connection must be short (less than 10 foot), direct (no splices, no sharp bends), and independent (must not be shared with any other ground until all grounds meet at the same ground electrode AND must not be bundled with any other non-grounding wires). If these principles are violated, then the Leviton 51120 may not provide the protection (the earthing) that RC80 transistor protection requires.

When a protector does not provide protecti> Here is my basic setup:

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