Whole House Surge Protector – Why You Need One

Many people believe that the power strip where you’ve plugged your computer, printer, television, stereo, lamp, cable box, etc. is protecting your appliances and electronics from a power surge. It’s true… but is it enough?

Power strips, even ones that have a surge protector built in are not a bad idea, and can be valuable. The issue is that these power strips offer very little surge protection and are most often a glorified extension cord. If a lightning strike occurs nearby, that power strip will do little to nothing to protect whatever is plugged into it. They simply aren’t strong enough to handle that sort of load. You shouldn’t be plugging in a bunch of items (or heavy-load items like space heaters) into your power strips as a general rule anyway.

burned power strip

According to the National Weather Service, there are approximately 25 million lightning strikes per year in the United States. These lightning strikes can enter the house from anywhere, and having the whole-house protector working in tandem with the power strips provide the most effective protection.

A powerful surge can travel through any wire in the home, including phone and cable lines. Imagine all of the electronic devices and appliances you rely on suddenly burning or malfunctioning. While lightning-induced surges are the most feared, the far more common cause of home power surges is the common cycling of power caused by energy-sucking devices in your home, like a laser printer, air conditioner or dryer. Downed power lines and changes in electricity use at near by factories can also cause power surges to neighboring homes. Incidents like these can cause damage that you may not realize for some time. You may ask yourself one day, “Why is my microwave no longer working?”

What You Can Do

Exterior-mounted surge protector
Exterior-mounted surge protector

To protect your home from these spikes, install a whole-house surge protector. Normally, the whole home suppressor just sits there, allowing electric current to flow through them. When higher-than-normal voltage travels through, the devices instantly divert excess voltage to the ground wire; when levels return to normal, the flower of electricity is restored.

Installing a whole-house surge protector is a relatively simple job.  In just a 1-hour service call, we will hard-wire the suppressor to the service panel. Most systems protect against a 40,000 amp surge. If your home is running several other devices such as a phone system, cable system and Ethernet, surge protection for those lines is also recommended.

As of 2020, it is now a code requirement to include panel-level surge protection for new construction and service rebuilds. So if you’re in need of a service rebuild, we will include a surge protector as part of the installation.

Some other facts for you to consider:

  • Many homeowners’ policies do not cover lightning strikes.
  • Your homeowner’s insurance may give a discount for homes that have surge protection installed.
  • The average home gets 20 energy spikes PER DAY from the utility lines!
  • You can get 30% more life out of your appliances and electronic equipment if you have and use surge protectors.
  • A lightning strike up to one mile from your home can do damage to your sensitive equipment.

We can also install surge protection on larger homes and commercial properties, and so far, we’ve never had a callback!

If you need a surge protector for your home or business, contact us to request a quote!