This article will provide some useful information regarding installing Stetzerizer Filters at your main circuit breaker panel (fuse box).
Your main circuit breaker box is the hub - the central location - for all your home's wiring. They say all roads lead to Rome, well all of your wires lead to the main circuit panel box. Your circuit breaker is there to protect the wires in your house from overheating due to too much current (amperage) being used by your electrical devices. This is why if you turn too many things on, the breaker will trip or the fuse will burn and go out.
Fuses generally have screw type contacts that look like the end of a light bulb. Most homes now have re-settable circuit breakers - usually switch type. Occasionally homes have a "Pushmatic" type that is a push-button circuit breaker.
The main panel is also where the electricity comes into your house from the utility company or from the building in case of an apartment/condo. There are usually 3 main large wires that come in: 2 hot wires often called "phases" or "lines" or "legs" or "A" and "B" and 1 wire called the neutral or return. Often there is a 4th ground wire. Technically speaking, "phase" is incorrect terminology as they are not separate phases but just 1 phase that is split - called a "split phase." But electricians and other contractors still use this incorrect terminology frequently, so we mention it here. The two hot wires each have their own different signal and frequencies. They each have their own dirty power or EMI from neighbors and the power grid and from the devices inside your home.
Installing filters as close to the main breaker panel as possible is a great way to reduce the dirty power coming in, as well as give your entire living space a centralized filtering effect. You can begin by simply plugging 2 Stetzerizer single filters into an outlet that is right next to or very close to (within a few feet is ideal) the main circuit panel box. By doing this, you have filtered one of the hot wires or lines coming in. This is because a standard 120 volt outlet in the home is wired to just one of the "hot legs" either "A" or "B."
So, if you want to have the most ideal setup possible, you should install a second outlet (another standard 2 plug "duplex" outlet) near your breaker box. If you are lucky to have at least 1 outlet (2 plugs) there already, it is only connected to one of those lines or phases. Even if you have more than 1 separate outlet there, there's a chance it's on the same phase or line as the other, in which case it won't provide the effect we would like. If you have two separate outlets there - find out which circuit(s) they are connected to. If they are on the same breaker - then you will still need to install another outlet, or have an electrician switch one of the outlets over to another breaker, and ensure the other breaker is on the other phase/line. A quick way to see is plug the meter and filter into one outlet. Check the reading, then leave the filter plugged in but move the meter over to the other outlet. If the reading is identical, then the two outlets are most likely on the same circuit or phase/line.
Check with local building codes and hire a certified electrician if needed if you require an outlet or two installed by your main breaker.
For switch-type breakers, they are usually configured by horizontal row. When you look at the circuit breaker, it probably has 2 vertical columns. These columns are NOT the separation of the two lines or phases, so don't let it visually confuse you. If you have two vertical columns, then each horizontal row (for example the very two top switches on both the left and right side, usually numbered 1 and 2) would be on one line - we will call it line (A). Then the next horizontal row below those two switches (switches 3 and 4 usually) would be on line (B). Then switches 5 and 6 would be on line (A) again. 7 and 8 would be on (B). You get the idea.
If you have only 1 horizontal row of 8 or so switches, instead of two columns or two rows, then each switch space (single space, not double) is on a different 120 volt line.
Why are some switches larger and take up two spots? Because they are for 240 volt equipment such as electric clothes dryers, air conditioners, ovens, etc. Each of the lines produces 120 volts to neutral. But to each other they produce 240 volts (it's actually a split phase system). So the larger switches take up two spots because they physically must connect to both rows and therefore both lines or legs of the split-phase.
If you have a typical setup of 2 vertical columns of switches, then for example if an outlet near the box is connected to breaker #1 (switch 1) and another outlet is connected to breaker #4, you would have a good setup to filter both legs. However if your outlets are connected to switch 1 and switch 5 (or switch 6) then you would not have the ideal setup.
Our recommendations for installing outlets at the panel (main breaker and sub-panels too):
- Mount outlets vertically or parallel with the breaker panel so that 2 Stetzerizer Filters (if desired) may be plugged into the same duplex outlet. This means one filter would be plugged-in "upside-down" and the other the usual way.
- Mount outlets at least 1.5 inches from the panel to allow room for filters
- Mount second outlet at least 6 inches apart vertically so that filters can be fully installed into both outlets (total of 4 Stetzerizer filters for example) and not physically interfere with one another.
- The closer to the panel the better - we really love it directly off the panel using an offset or similar fitting so that it is very close - within inches.
- We prefer NON-GFCI outlets. Some codes may require GFCI outlets, but they may not be required. GFCI outlets contribute to dirty electricity. Mark the outlets that you install FOR FILTER USE ONLY.
- We prefer 20 amp outlets, heavy-duty commercial or industrial grade outlets. These "grab" the filters better and will hold them better.
- 12-gauge stranded wiring is preferred, and the wire should be as short as possible.
- Ensure tight connections with outlet terminals and breakers (for stranded wire, giving it a reverse-twist and landing it onto a screw on the outlet is our preferred method.
We carry a number of brands of filters. We also avoid some brands for very important reasons. If you found this article helpful, please support our continued work by shopping with us. We are the authority in dirty electricity filters, emi/emf filters, and cleaner, healthier power.
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