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How a Whole House Surge Protector can Protect your Home

The whole house surge protector... currently the trend in home design and additions.

“Why didn't I know the power strip comes in a 6-foot model? Will the dog bed have to be moved to accommodate a hulking piece of steel with the fortitude to withstand a lightning

bolt?” Absolutely not!

This and other misconceptions are easily explained as we tackle this trend, which is not only here to stay but will also protect your electronics and your home.

So, exactly what is a whole house surge protector?

I’m glad you asked-- Simply put, a whole house surge protector protects all the appliances in your home from voltage spikes, limiting excess electrical current by blocking its flow or shorting it to ground-- much like the pressure relief valve on your Instant Pot.

Whole house surge protectors are hard-wired into your electrical box (a.k.a. electrical panel). During installation, an electrician ensures the surge protector is properly grounded, since without proper ground even the best surge protector will be deemed useless and unable to perform its job. This is one reason it is essential to have the installation safely performed by a professional.

With the investment of your home and the sophistication of its appliances, you simply can’t afford not to guard your safety by protecting these assets with a whole house surge protector. There are a handful of occurrences that can make your electronics look like Chernobyl’s reactor No. 4, and a whole house surge protector is the best defense.

  1. The first one that typically comes to mind is the direct lightning strike. While we are quick to dismiss these as freak accidents that will never happen to us, it actually occurred in my own neighborhood a couple of years ago, just four homes down the street. The National Geographic states that cloud-to-ground lightning bolts are a surprisingly common phenomenon— about 100 bolts strike the Earth's surface every single second— and their power is extraordinary. One bolt can contain up to one billion volts of electricity. (You do not want to be on Zeus’ naughty list!)

  2. The more common occurrences of surges come from things like fallen power lines, sudden changes in electricity use by a nearby factory, or even the cycling on and off of energy-sucking appliances such as printers, clothes dryers, air conditioners, and refrigerators. The damage inflicted by these minor power fluctuations can be instantaneous — but may not show up for some time.

My recommendation to anyone purchasing a surge protector for their entire home is to look for a device that has both an Underwriters Laboratories ("UL") listing and a transient voltage surge suppressor listing. Together, these two certifications mean that the device meets industry performance standards, and is rated on the basis of the surge protector’s capability to protect your home's devices.

If you would like to learn more information about whole house power surge protection and installing this protection in your own home, or have questions on the safety of your electrical wiring, your Master Electrician is happy to help. Call David anytime at 904-579-2434, or shoot a quick email.

As always-- stay safe, friends!


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