Whole Home Surge Protection/Power Factor Correction


Building a new home, maybe some of you have glanced through my Quadomated: The Building of a Smart Home for a Quadriplegic thread or possibly popped in on my blog.

I'm starting to delve into researching Whole Home Surge Protection and/or Power Factor Correction devices and was wondering what the best practice/many of you use in your own houses and installations. I've looked a little bit at the Leviton and Power-save products, but really don't have any idea what is the best type of stuff to use for this type of thing.

Any ideas or suggestions?
I use Ditek Surge Products. I have used them in the security industry for about 13 years and had good success. The
WH-8 is a whole house kit that has everything you will need to get started. I also use their surge strips at most locations around the house where they are needed. If there is electronics there there is a surge device or an APC UPS there.
I would also entertain the future use maybe of a generator and backup power for essentials.

IE: maybe now dividing and wiring circuits for said endeavor.

I just read the local (2009) building codes relating to electric in my area and the base is 200AMP service for a home under 3500 SF and around 350AMP service for a home over 3500 SF. I only have 200 AMP service but have doubled the fuse capacity on my panel by installing more circuits to cover said area in my home.

IE: Yesterday my family room had only two circuits supplying electric; today it have 3 more giving it 5 distinct electrical circuits. Your draw may never exceed 200 AMPs or more but dividing up the circuits for 200AMPs would give you more choices of what you can do in the future.

Residential is totally different than commercial but I would still entertain maybe a whole house essential UPS/generator electrical infrastructure base.

I have a natural gas feed to my home and the 15Kw natural gas generator is higher on the punch list than the granite counter tops right now. (but its really still very debated and related to WAF).

Take advantage of the "green" things you can do to provide energy and internal environmental things specifically geared to you.

A friend of mine told me about 5 years ago that with effiencies in constuction now (insulation etc) you can heat your home with very little energy use. He mentioned heating a new home with just one candle (a bit of an exaggeration).

I have a friend that recently (3 years ago or so) purchased 60 acres of land behind his home (top of the "hill") in near Estes, CO. To date only the gravel road has been built going to his new home site on his property (very expensive endeavor). Last time I was there we walked from the base of the "hill" to where his home was going to be built. It took well over an hour of walking to get to his homesite. I'm guessing it'll be another 5-6 years before he breaks ground for his new home (some rock will need to be escavated). I've been somewhat making fun of our age difference and the "slowness" of his construction when we talk lately.

I've been to his currently utilized home in the winter and although he has electric going to his current home and have been there during some major snow storms. One time it snowed more than 4 feet in about 4 hours; electric continued to flow but the possibility that it might have not and has planted the seed for electric resilence in the new home. We were snowed in for about 4-5 days after that specific storm (airport was closed anyways).