I live in a place where lighting strikes and power surges are very common. After experiencing multiple electronic failures I decided to look into surge protection, specifically whole house sure protectors.

Looking at a variety of models and brands, most of them seem to be rated for 120/240 V (ground, neutral and 2 live wires). My house electrical installation is 120V single phase (ground, neutral and 1 live) and I just can't seem to find a surge protector for this specific installation.

Is it posible to use a 120/240 V SPD and ignore one of the live wires and connect the rest as normal? Would it work? Would it be dangerous? Any info could help me as i'm still an amateur in electrical related stuff

  • 1
    Can you post a specific model number you have found? Generally, if it says it's a 120/240 surge protector, it should theoretically work if it's supplied only 120, but I would recommend consulting the user manual of the product first. It is likely (although not guaranteed) that it will clamp surges on either leg, which means it would also clamp a single leg, assuming a good ground is present. – StephenH Nov 8 '16 at 21:08
  • Really took my time to answer this didn't I? the model I found is this: homedepot.com/p/… manual says nothing about operating at 120v but I will be trying anyways, at the end it's better to try than have a completely unprotected house – Xfsec Feb 8 '17 at 11:01
  • Oftentimes people are unaware that the source of the surges is their own stuff. You often have to protect your things from each other... or just buy better things. – Harper - Reinstate Monica Jun 5 '17 at 3:40

I have done exactly that in a similar situation. It did not explode or anything. The unit I used was a HEPD80 from Schneider.

enter image description here

I capped one of its hots and wired its remaining hot, neutral, and ground in parallel with an L5-30 plug and receptacle to improvise "an L5-30 surge protector" which otherwise does not exist or I couldn't find one.

I have no proof that it suppresses surges. But it seems not to have contributed negatively. I could not imagine any way it would hurt.

As expected, only one of the "OK" leds light up. That could be confusing for future residents, so you might want to label it appropriately.

| improve this answer | |

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.