Protect Your Home and Appliances From Surges

by | Aug 11, 2015 | Electrical Tips

Why Install a Whole House Surge Protector?

Spikes and Surges in power happen more often than people think. Power surges are caused by lightning strikes, power outages, and troubles in the electrical grid.

Your home is equipped with many electrical sockets to provide various appliances and electronics with a consistent power voltage.  All it takes is a 3-nanosecond surge to damage electronics and hurt your wallet.  Power surges destroy the circuit boards and wiring of electronics and appliances. Surges do not discriminate between new or old property, it destroys whatever is in their path.

Types of Surges

A power surge may last for only a few millionths of a second, but at its worst, it carries tens of thousands of volts, enough to fry circuit boards, crash hard drives, and ruin DVD and home entertainment systems. Lightning-induced surges are the most powerful and most feared: A 200,000-amp jolt crashing through a power line will burn standard 20-amp wiring like a lightbulb filament. But a lightning strike has to be less than a mile from the house to cause harm, and in fact, most surge-related damage is not caused by lightning.

Far more common, if not as dramatic, are surges caused by downed power lines, sudden changes in electricity use by a nearby factory, or even the cycling on and off of laser printers, electric dryers, air conditioners, refrigerators, and other energy-sucking devices in the home. The damage inflicted by these minor power fluctuations can be instantaneous — but may not show up for some time.

Protect Your Home and Appliances With Whole House Surge Protection

  • Point of Use Surge Protector: commonly known as a strip surge protector that you plug into your outlet and then plug the electronics into for protection.  There are many different sizes, protections, and prices for these types of surge protectors but their protection is very limited.
  • lightning plugWhole House Surge Protector, installed by a licensed electrician in the main panel Breaker Box, protects the entire house from surges created from lightning surges, power outage surges, and electrical grid issues. When a house is hit with a surge thousnds of dollars can be lost in damaged wiring and appliances.

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Not long ago, electrical contractor Allen Gallant was about halfway through the job of completely rewiring a 3,200-square-foot house in Acton, Massachusetts, when the owners decided to save some money and not install whole-house protection against power surges. Sure enough, soon after the house was finished, Gallant got a phone call from the distressed owners: Lightning had struck a utility pole near their house, sending a tidal wave of voltage through the wires, past the main breaker panel, and into the house. “It burned out the motherboard in the Sub-Zero refrigerator, fried the temperature controls in the double-wall oven, killed six dimmers, two computers, and every GFCI plug in the house,” Gallant says. “It was an $11,000 loss.”

Many homeowners believe that adequate surge protection begins and ends with plugging their computer into a power strip. Unfortunately, that’s seldom the case. First of all, not all surge protectors live up to their name; some are little more than glorified extension cords. Second, a surge will follow any wire into a house — phone, and cable lines included — and threaten fax and answering machines, televisions, satellite systems, computers, and modems. Third, as the owners in the Acton remodel discovered, delicate electronic circuitry has proliferated throughout our homes, leaving common appliances as vulnerable as computers to the effects of surges.

Install a Whole House Surge Protector today to protect your family and your investments.


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